Business Intelligence Bi Software Developers – Everything about your past business and current status is recorded as small details. Marketing numbers, human resources, company budget, sales numbers – you name it. The number of business areas that data comes from can be huge. But, as a business, you would like to get value from this information rather than just collecting it. Thank goodness there is software for everything.
Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of technologies and methods for turning business information into actionable reports and visualizations. Founded in the early 80s and developed over time as a separate industry, BI spawned many careers and professions. We have already described the ETL designer part. This information reveals the basic fundamentals of BI data, so we suggest you read it to get a deeper insight into this topic.
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Today we will discuss the BI development role, their typical responsibilities, background and experience required. We’ll also explain the differences between some of the more common aspects involved in building BI systems and the specific cases that require you to hire a BI developer.
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A business intelligence developer is an engineer responsible for developing, deploying and maintaining BI interfaces. These include query tools, data visualization and interactive dashboards, ad hoc reporting, and data modeling tools. But, while we are talking about business intelligence, we need to give a solid definition of this technology concept.
The entire BI system can be divided into its internal component and the actual user interface to interact with the data. Why is this division so important? Despite the complexity of the system, a typical BI platform has 3 parts: the data source area, the storage area, and the reporting layer. Let’s break them down:
That’s where the raw data is stored. These are your databases, cloud storage, and separate files that contain unstructured data. Data sources are the starting point of any BI system because they are connected to all subsequent data integration tools, storage, and business intelligence UI.
It includes all the technologies that drive the storage process. These are both integrated storage for all business data and tools that perform Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL). Data is moved to a single database for several reasons:
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Hence, data sources and storage components are considered as basic components of a BI system. Building and maintaining it is part of the responsibility for database/ETL developers and data analysts/engineers.
Is the last data point. This layer is the true BI interface that allows users to access data, pull it from the warehouse for analysis. Analytical capabilities may vary depending on the business requirements for the system. But at the core, those are SQL queries and simple data visualization tools.
Each piece of software that forms part of the report is the responsibility of the business intelligence developer. In the context of a business intelligence project, a BI developer takes responsibility for engineering, management and strategic planning. So, this person can be a project leader and/or an executive.
As we defined the role of the BI developer in the overall BI platform, let’s look at the responsibilities of this person.
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The scope of the project defines the level of participation for a certain part, since engineers with the same technical skills and knowledge of the site can change. Developing BI interfaces requires deep experience in software engineering, databases and data analysis. So, to some extent, data engineers with a background in software development and BI experience can lead the design development process.
However, business intelligence tools can include a lot of industry-specific functionality. BI developers also know about the unique aspects of the business environment: This allows them to understand business needs, implement the right data models, and data representation solutions. So, the BI developer’s responsibilities are:
Business intelligence is always tied to the actual business environment and the needs of a particular data analysis organization. That means that a company’s BI tools can be completely different. Let’s assume that there are two projects:
In both cases, the end product will be a BI platform. But, in the first case, it will require more advanced options for data analysis, since there are many dimensions to be analyzed. The information itself may require imaging, as it may be provided by any method such as x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound.
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This is the difference in understanding the business needs for the platform that the BI developer should know. Because they will manage the number of reporting services, their types, and additional functionality.
After the business requirements are gathered and documented, a number of data engineers / ETL / front end developers are responsible for translating them into technical tasks. The BI developer in this case is responsible for defining functions that cover the user interface and reporting capabilities. To be more specific, the BI designer will define whether the user interface should be a dashboard with a drag-and-drop interface, or a set of fields filled with data properties, whether the system needs data collection and how the user will react. meet it again.
All those decisions will be translated into the actual activities of the ETL development team, and the BI team (front and back). The development platform can be managed by the project manager or BI developer as well.
As mentioned, the BI developer can perform a technical role within the development team, or can share the actual tasks of the developers. But a BI developer can make strategic decisions about the software developed and manage the entire process up to its delivery. Testing and debugging may also be the responsibility of the BI developer in the early stages.
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Reporting is a different job that doesn’t involve much engineering, but rather working with databases and data models. Using the BI interface, users make queries to the database to get more information. Then this information is presented in a visual form (say, a pie chart), or a text summary of the given property.
While the user is organizing what to draw and how to format it, the software will be responsible for finding this information and recognizing the necessary data. This can be done with the help of a data model – the format in which the data is stored in the database.
Data types are defined and applied to the database by data analysts and ETL developers. But, the BI designer is the one who provides the reporting requirements, so it will be the defining factor of the future model. These types represent the objects in the database and the relationships between them, so they will determine how the data can be queried. And that’s part of the BI designer’s skill set.
Ideally, the BI developer will control how the data is queried, if it is accurate, and how the report works.
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There are many ways to build a unified repository for all business information. We have discussed these methods in a dedicated article on warehouses. While the database design style does not directly influence reporting, the BI designer can participate in the design process.
This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. A BI developer can contribute to writing the data structure of the database, as well as meta-data (more information about the data). These documents will be used during the development process and to help make decisions about the necessary reporting options.
Any system needs technical documentation. Although the BI designer will not introduce users to the platform and show how to use it, he is responsible for providing guidance as a document. These documents cover most common user applications and technologies. employees, for example. API documentation, known technical issues, etc.
BI development skills can vary by project. In some cases, a BI developer may have less interaction with software engineering and act as a SQL expert to validate queries. But for the sake of a complete explanation, we will list all possible skills that correspond to common responsibilities.
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Experience with BI tools. First of all, every BI developer should have experience in developing customer BI products or editing existing ones. In terms of building a custom BI product, knowledge of Python, scripting languages, and experience with data visualization libraries is a must. A solid understanding of all infrastructure is also required: This includes an understanding of data integration tools, ETL/ELT processes, data formats, and database architectures.
If we are talking about a product that uses a BI solution by a vendor, then the BI designer must be familiar with its corresponding technology stack. These depend on the vendor, but the most popular solutions involving data pipelines, reporting and database operations are Amazon products (such as QuickSight), the Hadoop platform, or Apache technologies (such as Apache Superset).
DB/DBA background. The main reason why a BI developer should have experience working with databases is that the main issue involved is SQL/noSQL queries. BI systems often need to deal with databases, data types, or distribution of data across multiple entities.
BI developers can also be involved in designing and building online analytical processing tools (OLAP cubes). This is an advanced option for multidimensional analysis that uses uncorrelated networks.
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The surface of data analysis. Although it doesn’t require a BI developer to be
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