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What is the day to day like?

Hello I am studying to be a business intelligence analysis.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Eldon’s Answer

You'll likely have a few meetings to either discuss requirements for new work that you'll be doing or get feedback on work you've recently completed. The rest of your day will likely be spent actually doing the work, manipulating and analyzing data.

Depending on your role, your work will require you to learn about new datasets, understand how data relates to the business, and communicate insights through reports, dashboards, and analysis. The tools you'll likely use are SQL, a Business Intelligence (BI) tool (e.g. Power BI, Tableau), and perhaps a scripting language like R or Python for more advanced analytics.

The most successful BI analysts have a good command of the technical tools required to manipulate, analyze, and present data as well as a curiosity about the business. You should view yourself as a partner with your business counterparts, not just someone who receives tickets to build reports or dashboards.
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Monte’s Answer

I am going to narrow down my answer in addition to the great answers you've gotten so far. I am going to speak to the actual act of doing analytics. Forbes Magazine published an article that stated about 80% of the time of a data analytics project is spent on Data Preparation. Data is inherently messy, even structured data. So in order to make sense of data, the data must be "shaped", cleaned, enhanced, and in some cases, additional function added. In the past, a company would need to hire a data scientist or data analyst in order to clean/shape this data. But in our world today, powerful tools have been developed that enable business and data analysts the ability to create their own data sets relatively easily, though a firm still needs strong Data Scientists (if they can even find them!)

So a large part of your day is going to be spent understanding your clay (your data) in order to create your pot (your dashboard/answers).

Finally, one of the greatest attributes of a successful data analyst is curiosity. So be curious! If you are successful, you great work will create deeper insights and therefore, more questions!

Here is the link to the Forbes Article.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2016/03/23/data-preparation-most-time-consuming-least-enjoyable-data-science-task-survey-says/?sh=642d2f456f63
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Pamela’s Answer

Hi there, your goal would be to provide insights to your company based upon analyzing vast amounts of data.

Your typical day might start out by reading your emails and reading your company Slack posts or messenger posts. You will likely get small requests for analytics help this way. Your manager will likely assign projects for you to work on and provide you with other contacts that will support you. So you might have a meeting or two (in-person or virtual) to get acquainted and better understand the goals of your projects.

From there, you may do some work to get access to large data sets, getting them exported into a spreadsheet for analysis using pivot tables and charts within Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet applications. Or you may get trained on how to use Google Analytics, or my personal favorite, Tableau analytics. Tableau is owned by Salesforce and I believe it to be the best analytical tool to help you visualize trends in your data and better determine hypotheses or key insights about your company to share and educate others.

You will likely spend a great deal of your time studying data, identifying outliers, creating charts from the data, checking things for accuracy, and then exploring trends in the data set. You might also see anomalies in your data (ie a big spike during one month) and then schedule some calls to ask various experts what might have happened during that time. Much of this work will culminate in you sharing your insights and learnings with your manager and/or key decision makers that will make use of the data. They may ask you to dive deeper into the data or add additional data perspectives to learn more.

Good luck!
Pam
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Patrick’s Answer

Rather than "day to day" I'm going to approach this question as kind of "week to week", because for a lot of data analysts/business intelligence analysts the various things you do tend to split up throughout the week. In a given week at a junior level you will likely have some distribution that looks like the following:

10-20% meetings with managers or whoever the recipient of your analysis will ultimately be. These meetings are for things like status updates, working through blockers and questions, and eventually presentation and discussion. As you become more senior, it is likely that this part will become more and more of your time.

50-60% actual analytics work. This will include gathering data (which itself can take a lot of time), cleaning and transforming it to whatever format you need to actually do your analysis, and finally performing and iterating on your analysis (whether this be in excel, python, or some other tool).

20-30% packing insights and preparing a story. This is where you will be living in Tableau and Powerpoint (or whatever equivalent) to summarize the work you've done and tell a clear story regarding it. You have to remember that most of the people who will have to decide what to do based on your work will not have the same technical background as you, so communicating your insights in a way that can be understood by the particular audience is critical to actually turning your work into value.
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James’s Answer

Hey Will,

Each day in the Business Intelligence (BI) field is unique and varies depending on the company's stage and industry. For instance, if you're in a company just starting to build its BI ecosystem, your daily tasks might involve identifying available data and determining what additional data needs to be collected to meet executive needs. However, if you're in a company with a well-established BI ecosystem, your daily routine might involve collaborating with business owners to develop useful analyses and coordinating with the project management team to plan the different phases of the reports you're constructing.

Your role can also vary based on the department you're in. For example, in a financial institution's compliance department, my daily tasks involved liaising with regulators to determine the reports we needed to provide on a monthly or quarterly basis. Now, in a telecommunications company's technology department, my daily routine involves ensuring all data is current and providing front business users with financial insights to assist them in their daily tasks. Earlier, in a manufacturing company, my daily tasks were to keep the reports updated daily and maintain a self-service platform for various users to track real-time purchasing or manufacturing. Remember, BI can mean different things for every company or department combination.

At the heart of BI, effective communication is key as you'll be providing valuable information to various people. This could be an executive urgently seeking financial information, a salesperson aiming to boost their sales, or a manufacturing manager striving to enhance factory efficiency. Each of these roles has different needs, so it's crucial to understand their requirements, ensure timely delivery, and plan for additional perspectives like expanding the report to more users or providing more information to existing users.

I hope you find this information helpful!
Best,
James
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