How to start your career in Business Intelligence?

This post is a live example of my career as a developer in Business Intelligence (BI). I started BI with no knowledge at hand, and it took me lots of time to understand several areas of business intelligence. This blog will help you to give a smooth start to your career in BI.

Start by following any book or, materials online where you can get the knowledge on What, Why and How. “How” part can be explored later, but we should start with “What” and “Why” to understand the basics of BI.
Following are some areas where you need basic knowledge to understand the overall picture and once you are clear on the actual picture, you can expertise yourself in any of the area to start with:

  1. The description/definitions of BI, what is it exactly and why we need it for our business to grow.
  2. Life cycle of a BI/Data Warehouse  projects
  3. Difference between OLTP and OLAP
  4. Multidimensional Modeling
  5. Extraction Transform Load (ETL)
  6. BI Architecture
  7. Data Mining
  8. Reporting techniques
  9. Dashboard
  10. KPI, etc.

Please find below some online links and information on books, which will help you to acquire knowledge on above areas:


Business Intelligence
By: Elizabeth Vitt; Michael Luckevich; Stacia Misner
Publisher: Microsoft Press

Dimensional Modeling: In a Business Intelligence Environment
By: Chuck Ballard; Daniel M. Farrell; Amit Gupta; Carlos Mazuela; Stanislav Vohnik
Publisher: IBM Redbooks


The different careers in BI:

  1. ETL Engineer
  2. BI Engineer (Reports analysis, design and development)
  3. BI Engineer (Presentations -Dashboard, KPI, charts, etc.)
  4. Business Analysts (BI)
  5. TL/Project Manager (BI)
  6. QA/Testing (BI)

You would need to work on some tools to develop your solutions, I would suggest you to start with some open source if you want to understand the basics properly or, you can choose any paid tool if you want to ease your development.

Please find below some tools which we follow as our development, I would suggest starting with these tools:

  1. Talend Studio (ETL Tool), Open Source
  2. SpagoBI, Open source, It includes external engines such as Birt, Jasper, JPivot, Jpalo, JPXMLA, Geo, Geo Report, QbE, Weka, R(1), CommonJ, etc. It is a complete solution for BI projects.
  3. Schema-Workbench for Mondrian Schema development

Some other tools in the market:

  1. Open Source Tools
    1. Birt Project
    2. JasperSoft
    3. RapidMiner
    4. R
    5. Paid Tools
      1. Tableau Public Desktop (Basic version is free)
      2. Pentaho (Basic version is free)
      3. Zoho
      4. Yurbi, community version is free
      5. Cognos, IBM
      6. Omniscope,
      7. ElegantJ BI,
      8. Visdash,
      9. Dynamic AI,
      10. Precision BI, for healthcare domain,
      11. SuperSTAR
        SuperSTAR provides a unique solution to the challenge of fast, confidential data tabulation, analysis, visualization and dissemination of large amounts of organizational data. SuperSTAR uses a unique approach to analytical processing and reporting through the application of column-based analytical technology and web-based dissemination in one integrated environment.  Users manipulate and analyze data at any level of aggregation, from unit record or micro data to aggregated cubes of data.
      12. GoodData
        GoodData is more than just dashboards. It’s a powerful tool with a robust analytical engine built on a platform that’s revolutionizing BI.
      13. ElegantJ BI
      14. QlikView

Please let me know in case you need my help to understand any particular area/subject in details, I am there to help you always.

7 thoughts on “How to start your career in Business Intelligence?

  1. Dear Rakesh,
    Your article is really inspiring and all your blogs are helpfull too.I need your help regarding OLAP.I am using SpagoBI and want to link one OLAP with another.Can you give me simple step by step proceure showing how to do that.Can you also show me the details step by step procedure for linking charts with OLAP document.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Thanks Sanjoy.

    I didn’t understand your first query properly, do you want to navigate from one olap report to another olap report? And if yes, why you want to do that? Why not you develop your olap cube accordingly.

    For your second query, we can add following extra tags in our chart’s xml file:

    In your case you can give your olap report label value to the document in tag above.

    You can find details at

    Please let me know in case of any further query.


  3. Hi Rakesh,
    i am final MCA year student joined as intern in one of the MNCs in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence(sql server 2008 r2),

    My question is that how to find a full time position in same field?
    But most of them told me that only experienced prof will be hired for BI position not for freshers.. so pls guide regarding this.. if u know any consultancy in bangalore pls provide me the contacts my eid: and m:9686540541
    Thanks and regards

  4. Dear Rakesh,

    Currently I am working as PHP developer from past one year, and I want to start my career in BI so is it possible for me?
    And how can I do this?


  5. @Andanayya: Concentrate on your internship and try to learn as much as you can by approaching people there. I you have knowledge, you will get better position irrespective of how much experience you have. Sorry, I don’t have any consultant’s no.

    @Mangesh: Yes, it is possible if you have a strong interest towards this domain. I think, this blog and links in this blog will give you primary knowledge on the whole domain. On the basis of your interest in particular area (such as ETL, Reporting, etc), you can start reading and using any tool to get acquainted.


  6. Hi Rakesh,

    I need Help Your Help..Thanks In Advance.
    I am working in SpagoBI 3.4 and Studio 3.5 and want to create some Analysis in spagoBI with the help of SQL Server Analysis Services..
    But I am not getting any option or any hint to configure SSAS-Cube via XMLA. And also Mondrian Connectivity I have done.
    I got to know that SPAGOBI-JPXMLA engine can do this but still no full information about this..
    Please Help me on this.
    If you have some document please sent to me on my below mentioned mail-id.

    Ashish jain

  7. dear bro!!
    actually i have also started my carrier in the same way you did but u know i m getting stuck in several of the things .can u help me out for changing the apperance of an olap cube i m using spagobi3.5 with modrian xactly i need which files i have to modify or the mondrian schema i have to modify in order to give look and feel for every cube!!!!
    thanks in advance
    hope u will reply soon!!

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