Business Intelligence (BI) is a transformative organisational function, key for business growth and to gain competitive advantage. Yet, the degree to which an organisation maximises its employees’ potential can vary drastically.
Do you feel like you’re able to add value in your current position? If not, it is time to consider your next career move. Two senior consultants, specialising in BI, share their top six signs it’s time to look for your next BI role.
Has your company has been using the same technologies for the past few years? With the IT landscape rapidly evolving, many technologies that businesses are currently using could soon become obsolete.
Mat Knutton, Associate Director at Robert Walters comments, “In order to gain competitive advantage, companies need to be increasingly dynamic, ensuring they are keeping up to speed with the latest trends in BI and investing in the latest technologies from the industry’s leading suppliers.”
Some of the latest technologies prevalent in BI include predictive and prescriptive analytics, self-service BI and artificial intelligence (AI).
A reluctance from your employer to invest limits long-term business growth and prohibits you from gaining a thorough understanding of your business performance. For example, how can you ask questions about your data if your spending time building reports and pulling that data out of numerous databases?
What’s even more important to consider is your future in the field. If you’re not adept in the latest technologies, this could harm your employability in the long-term. You don’t want to be playing catch-up later down the line.
When evaluating your current BI position, you might want to think about how much opportunity you get to further develop your technical or design skills. Aside from formal training, this might be through BI-specific seminars and events with leaders in the profession, or participating in a BI network to keep up to date with the latest trends, share skills and generate fresh ideas.
Mat continues, “BI networks and industry events are becoming essential for professionals to upskill, learn innovative ways to get more out of their data and gain insights into streamlining their current analytics processes.”
If your employer isn’t putting enough emphasis on your career development, it could be time to transition to a company where learning is at the forefront of your role.
Stakeholder interaction is key to delivering a successful BI project. If your BI function is sitting in isolation within IT, you’re unable to engage with staff at a variety of different levels in your organisation. You’re also unable to gain an essential transferrable skill which will be invaluable to you as you further your career.
Alex Taylor, BI Business Director at Robert Walters explains further, “Stakeholder engagement should be a fundamental aspect of any BI position. For a BI project to be successful, it needs to be embedded in the business at all levels to ensure the function is working in line with overarching stakeholder objectives.”
If you’re not getting the stakeholder interaction essential to BI, it’s unlikely you’re able to maximise the value you are adding to your organisation. As well, you could potentially be seen as a support-only function, rather than recognising the vital business resources that BI brings.
Perhaps your strategy isn’t really linked to any tangible business goals, your role has become lost and the BI function isn’t actually influencing any strategic decision-making.
“A clearly defined BI roadmap outlines where the business wants to be in the future and identifies KPIs to continuously measure performance against business goals. An organisation without a robust BI strategy does not value its data and is unlikely to gain competitive advantage,” Alex continues
If your BI strategy lacks direction, you should think about working somewhere where BI stimulates tangible business outcomes.
Maybe you’re driven by creativity and analysis, but your role is confined to the technical delivery of BI. You’re spending your time reporting to the business rather than generating fresh insights from your data. Maybe you’re passionate about design – you want to be creating intuitive dashboards to present high level data to users, but you’re spending the majority of your time managing spreadsheets.
If there’s little scope for creativity in your current role, now could be the time to find a job where your creativity can flourish.
As with any role, you want to maintain a positive work-life balance in your BI career. Depending on your personal preference, you might want a BI job that gives you the autonomy to carry out your job effectively without having to stick to stringent office hours or unpaid overtime.
“With BI candidates in high demand, businesses are becoming more flexible with their employment offers, and adopting non-monetary benefits such as flexi-time and agile working with portable tech,” Alex highlights.
If your employer doesn’t acknowledge the benefits of a positive work-life balance and you’re not getting the sociable hours and flexibility you’re looking for, it’s worth looking for employers who will provide this.
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