BI specialist: what about salaries, where and what to study, and what do employers pay attention to?

Hey! The guys from Hays are in touch, and again useful, but not boring material about another profession. With the development of the trend towards digitalization, the professions in the field of Business Intelligence are becoming more and more in demand. Some 10 years ago no one heard of them, but today there is such a department in almost every large company – and employers are actively turning to us for help. And again we are happy to share our expertise and tell who a BI specialist is and what he does.

What is a BI Specialist?

BI – Business Intelligence – can be translated into Russian as “business intelligence”. It is easy to guess that a BI specialist is the one who deals with this analytics, that is, a specialist who is responsible for collecting information from various sources, analyzing and presenting it in the most convenient form for perception.

BI specialists solve many different important business problems:

– quickly analyze large (and VERY large) data sets,

– generate reports (for example, in marketing, sales or finance),

– based on the data obtained, the effectiveness of business processes is assessed,

– automate reporting and dashboards.

Based on the data provided by BI specialists, management can make key decisions for the development of the company.

What motivates BI professionals?

We have collected our TOP-4 motivation factors:

  1. Professional Development,

  2. career growth,

  3. tasks to be worked on,

  4. money (the most “unobvious” point).

The latter factor is explained by the relative scarcity of the profession. Junior’s salary ranges from 70 to 110 thousand rubles, Middl’s – from 120 to 200 thousand, Senior’s – from 190 to 260 thousand. The salary of the Head of Department varies from 290 to 700 thousand rubles.

But if the presence of a financial component in this list does not raise questions, then non-material motivation requires some comment.

The profession in the field of BI provides an opportunity to gain deep technical expertise – due to the fact that specialists must constantly study and use new technological solutions in their work.

In addition, work in BI presupposes a fairly dense immersion in business processes, which means that it will be relevant to those who want to develop at the intersection of IT and business.

“In my work, I like the result most of all. It’s nice to see how your models work and your forecasts come true “, – Alexey, 29, BI analyst

What to learn and what skills to develop?

Among the soft skills for a BI specialist, perseverance, pedantry and the ability to concentrate are especially important. In addition, it would be useful to develop communication and presentation skills in order to better “report” to the authorities on the results of the work done.

“For a beginner, I would recommend books on math statistics, machine learning, and data analysis. As for the courses, the required ones are Excel, PowerBI and SQL. I would also advise you not to neglect the English language: in the IT world this is one of the prerequisites ”, – Alexey, 29 years old, BI analyst.

A technical or mathematical background will not be superfluous. Also, BI often comes from the financial sector.

What is important to employers?

When choosing candidates, employers are more often guided not by the industry of the company, but by the extent to which a potential employee is able to integrate into the corporate culture.

Technical skills, an understanding of the basics of working with SQL queries, and experience with BI solutions are important.

The analytical skills of the candidate are also appreciated. Since all solutions available on the market are more or less identical, having the skills to work with one of them, it will be easy for a specialist to deal with others.

Requirements for a candidate are usually as follows.


  • Higher specialized education (information technology, mathematics, statistics, business informatics).

  • Strong knowledge of Excel.

  • Knowledge / experience with one of the BI solutions.

  • Having an understanding of at least basic SQL.


  • Experience in the role of BI-specialist at least 2 years.

  • Ability to write SQL queries.

  • Experience in developing reports and dashboards in one of the BI solutions.


  • Experience in the role of BI-specialist at least 4 years.

  • Experience in developing reports and dashboards from scratch in one of the BI solutions.

  • Experience with OLAP cubes.

  • Deep knowledge of the architecture and functionality of BI solutions.

  • Experience in the design and development of a data warehouse.

  • Experience in communicating with business customers.


  • Experience in team leadership.

  • Experience in developing a BI development strategy.

  • Experience of interaction with top management.

  • Availability of implemented BI projects in the role of Team Leader.

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