Business Intelligence Consultants: What They Do & How to Become One

Learn about BI Consultants in this comprehensive guide.

What is business intelligence consulting?


In the fast-paced and information-rich world of modern business, data has emerged as a goldmine of untapped potential. Companies across industries are now realizing the transformative power of data-driven decision making.

According to Think with Google, Highly data-driven organizations are 3X more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making.

This paradigm shift has brought to the forefront the vital role of business intelligence consulting. A BI consultant navigates the velocity, variety and volume of data and extracts valuable insights to steer businesses toward success.

If you are in need of a Business Intelligence Consultant, often the best option is to work with a company providing similar BI advisory. Zuar's team of consultants can help you formulate and implement a successful data strategy, from raw data to executive dashboards. Learn more.

Overview of BI consulting

What is a Business Intelligence Consultant?

A business intelligence consultant is a skilled professional who specializes in analyzing complex datasets and transforming them into actionable insights for businesses.

These consultants act as strategic advisors, guiding organizations in making informed and data-driven decisions to enhance their overall performance and competitiveness.

Additionally, more companies are using data analytics software to streamline operations and have concrete data to support business decisions. A BI consultant can help professionals in finance, marketing, operations, etc., by guiding them on how to use these technologies and various approaches for deriving insights.

What is a BI consultant?

Why Do Companies Need Business Intelligence Consultants?

According to MIT Sloan, only 18% of organizations reported being able to take advantage of unstructured data, which makes up around 80-90% of data volume according to the estimates of multiple analyst.

This underscores the critical role of business intelligence consultants, whose expertise lies in providing much-needed analysis and insights.

A business intelligence consultant collaborates closely with the organization to define clear objectives and assess existing data infrastructure. They offer expert insights on business analytics and intelligence software, encourage the use of industry-specific benchmarks, and develop efficient data collection and utilization processes.

Throughout the data lifecycle, BI consulting seamlessly manages the ever-increasing array of data sources from collection and integration to analysis and visualization. Their expertise empowers companies to leverage data as a strategic asset, propelling them toward sustainable growth.

In essence, business intelligence consultants serve as invaluable catalysts, propelling companies forward by transforming raw data into actionable intelligence. They skillfully steer businesses towards unprecedented heights of success in this data-driven era.

Importance of BI consultants

How to Become a Business Intelligence Consultant

Becoming a proficient business intelligence consultant demands a well-rounded blend of educational background, relevant certifications, honed skills, and practical experience.


Most BI consultants hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, business, or other relevant field.

However, pursuing an advanced degree, such as a postgraduate in business analytics, can provide a competitive advantage, leading to better job prospects, higher salaries, and potential leadership roles.

Certifications and Training

Acquiring industry-recognized certifications, such as those offered by vendors like Microsoft and Tableau, can demonstrate proficiency in specific BI tools and the technologies that you will likely use on the job.

Essential Skills

A successful BI consultant must excel in a range of technical skills. This includes data analysis, data visualization, and a comprehensive command of various BI tools.

Additionally, soft skills play a crucial role in the consultant's effectiveness. Excellent communication skills enable effective stakeholder collaboration, to convey complex insights to decision-makers.

Problem-solving abilities are also vital, as BI consultants must navigate diverse data sources to obtain relevant insights.

Gaining Practical Experience

To build on academic knowledge, aspiring BI consultants can seek internships or freelance projects. Such hands-on experience allows them to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, build portfolios, and establish their credibility in the field.

Salary of BI consultant

Business Intelligence Consultant Skills

To thrive in the dynamic world of business intelligence, a successful BI consultant must possess a well-rounded skill set encompassing both technical and soft skills.

Technical Skills

  • Data Modeling: Designing efficient data structures for seamless analysis and reporting.
  • SQL: Querying and manipulating databases to extract and process relevant information.
  • BI Software Proficiency: Navigating and leveraging BI tools to generate insightful visualizations and reports.

Soft Skills

Effective communication is paramount, as BI consultants must articulate complex findings to non-technical stakeholders. Proficient project management ensures seamless BI solution execution, and meeting deadlines and objectives are met.

Additional Soft Skills Include:

  • Collaboration: Working with cross-functional teams to achieve common goals.
  • Adaptability: Embracing changes and adjusting strategies accordingly.
  • Analytical Thinking: Evaluating data patterns to draw insights.
  • Attention to Detail: Ensuring data accuracy in analyses and reports.
  • Customer Focus: Understanding clients' unique needs and goals.
  • Time Management: Efficiently allocating resources for project milestones.
  • Leadership: Guiding teams through data-driven strategies.
How to become a BI consultant

Business Intelligence Consultant Salaries

The salary range for business intelligence consultants can vary depending on multiple factors. According to, the salary of BI consultants ranges from around $78k to $96k per year.

Experience plays a significant role, with more seasoned consultants commanding higher pay levels. Advanced degrees can also make candidates eligible for more competitive compensation. Moreover, job location strongly influences salary, due to varying market demands and cost of living factors.

BI consulting skills

Business Intelligence Consultant: Next Steps

If you're an aspiring Business Intelligence Consultant, good luck on your journey and be sure to take advantage of the advice provided above.

If you are in need of a Business Intelligence Consultant, often the best option is to work with a company that specializes in providing those data services. Zuar's team of consultants can help you formulate and implement a successful data strategy. We can also help you identify the tools your business needs to efficiently collect, transform, disseminate and visualize your data.

Services including data staging, automation, Tableau consulting | Zuar
Zuar’s certified experts provide data and analytics strategy and staging, from consulting to implementation. Big data, Tableau, ETL, and much more.
Zuar Portal | Expand the capabilities of your Analytics
Learn why you need a visual analytics portal, how you can brand your own with Zuar, and our scalable portal pricing plans. Start your 2 week trial today.