3 questions to ask yourself before your next BI hire

Author: May Campbell
Posting date: 2/13/2019 2:40 PM
Data & Analytics are a vital part of every organisation nowadays, so it is not surprising that the importance of Business Intelligence keeps growing. With increasing demands from executive management, operations, and sales, a stronger and better BI team is essential. 

The responsibilities of the BI team include but are not limited to: performing Data validation and Data Analysis, delivering KPI related reports and dashboards, and working with end users to define business requirements and needs. However, as every company is different, every BI department is different as well. This means that from one BI team to another, the needed skills can vary completely. To get the most out of your team, it is important to have a clear understanding of what skills you already have, which skills you need to add with your next hire, and whether this is realistic for your business. 

Here are three important questions to ask yourself before your next BI hire: 

1) What does your team look like at this moment?


To be successful in expanding your team, it is vital to take a closer look at the type of profiles and skillsets you already have. This is a good time to map out where the skills are in your team and see what is lacking, or what can be improved. To do so, you should consider three key elements: how (much) Data is used and made available, how this Data is structured and what is being done with this Data. The following three questions are important here: 

  • Do you get the right Data out of your Datawarehouse/Data Lake?
  • How is the Data structured now, and do you get the reports and dashboards needed? 
  • Are you able to provide stakeholders with the right insights?

These questions can function as starting point of deciding what skills you have now, and which areas to focus on with your next BI hire to fill in gaps or improve the areas where needed.

2) What does your Data Roadmap look like? 


It is important to have a clear vision of where you want to go with your BI team and how to leverage your Data. At the highest level, your vision will be determined in a Data Strategy. On a more practical, day-to-day level, the steps to take are outlined in a Data Roadmap, with every part of the process requiring a different skillset. 


What we often see is that companies who are at the start of their Data Roadmap, first hire a Data Analyst. Typically, a Data Analyst knows how to work with the Data and has a strong business sense but is not a specialist in either field. On the other hand, when the Data infrastructure has been set up, the need is higher for someone who can make sense of the Data and present this in reports and dashboards. 

Two key points to consider:

  • What is the next step in your Data Roadmap? 
  • What type of skillset is needed to get to that next step? For example, this can be technical skills such as building Data Pipelines or stronger analytical skills to get insights from the Data. 

By having a clear understanding what phase of your Data roadmap is next, it will be easier to hire the next member of your team.

3) What is realistic for your business?


While you may know what type of profile(s) to hire next, it is important to determine whether this is feasible. The following factors are important to consider:

  • As with every field of expertise, the salary ranges depend on which type of profile you are looking to hire. It is vital here to ask yourself where to invest your money best. For example, it is great to have an Insights Analyst in the team, but is this type of profile the main priority? You might want to first hire a Data Analyst to structure the Data and build useful reports.
  • The candidate market within Data & Analytics is tight, so think about what you can give them in return to attract the best talent. A training program for personal development and the possibility to work flexible hours are two selling points that make your company stand out from the rest. 
  • Location is key for many candidates. Businesses in larger cities are more popular with strong candidates in comparison to more remote businesses.

 It is clear, therefore, that multiple factors are involved in determining what your next BI hire should be in terms of skillset and profile. 

If you are looking to expand your BI function but not sure where to start, get in touch and I can advise you on the best next steps.  

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