Business Intelligence / Analytics / Big Data Leader Job Description

Clients often ask Forrester to help them define a job description for a business intelligence (BI) / analytics / big data leader, executive, or manager. Here’s what we typically provide:

Finally, here’s a description of a senior BI architect/manager/executive that we’ve used in the past.

Job title: Director/manager/VP of business intelligence / analytics / big data

Reports to: Chief operations officer, chief strategy officer, chief information officer, chief financial officer (more popular in the past than the present) or some of the newer titles such as chief customer officer, chief data officer, or chief analytics officer.

Job description: The director/manager/VP of BI has primary responsibility for setting the strategy and vision and for managing the day-to-day tactical operations of the BI teams. He/she will be responsible for all strategic, tactical, operational, financial, human, and technical resource managerial responsibilities associated with the following BI and BI-related functional areas:

  • Data preparation (sourcing, acquisition, integration)
  • Data warehousing (Forrester often recommend that the first two functional areas are managed separately by  data management / data preparation team(s))
  • Reporting, analytics, data exploration
  • Information delivery (portals, mobile)
  • BI competency center or center of excellence (BICC or BI COE)
  • Advanced / predictive analytics (may be part of the same or a different position / department)
  • Big data (may be part of the same or a different position / department)
  • Optional. Monetizing data and information. Finding ways to leverage existing enterprise data and information in company's products and services. Especially lucrative in the B2B market segment - selling analytics as a service to partners.
  • Enterprise / Corporate Perforamnce Management. Management and governance of strategies, goals, objectices, metrics, KPIs/KPMs. Optionally, enterprise scorecards (Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, TQM, etc)

The director/manager/VP of BI will lead his/her teams by establishing and executing a vision for the delivery of information and analytics platforms and solutions to the business’s  key stakeholders, including, internal staff, partners and clients. This position will be ultimately responsible for helping transform the company into a business that truly differentiates and competes on information and analytics.

Job requirements:

  • Clear understanding and a buy in into the company's business strategy
  • A degree in computer science, mathematics, operations, management, or a related field is required.
  • A minimum of X years of progressively responsible experience in a directly related area, during which both professional and management capabilities have been clearly demonstrated.
  • Industry/domain skills:
    • Extensive expertise in [insert industry- and domain- (finance, HR, sales, marketing, etc) specific verbiage].
  • Technical skills:
    • Extensive expertise in [insert specific BI and related technical platforms].
    • Extensive expertise in data modeling, both logical and physical.
    • Extensive experience in multidimensional data modeling, such as star schemas, snowflakes, denormalized models, handling “slow-changing” dimensions/attributes.
    • Experience and understanding of a wide variety of analytical processes (governance, measurement, etc.).
    • Experiance with relational - SQL - and multidimensional - MDX - query languages
    • Experience with agile software development.
    • Experience with business driven / self-service BI
    • A solid understanding of data security and privacy technologies
    • A solid understanding of key BI trends.
    • A solid understanding of leading edge technologies and best practices such as Hadoop and Big Data
    • A solid understanding of the BI vendor landscape
    • A solid understanding of mobile delivery architecture and best practices
    • A solid understanding of Customer Experience (CX) technologies
    • If the position also covers advanced / predictive analytics - experience with data science, statistical analysis, data mining and predictive algorithms
  • General business skills:
    • Extensive experience interacting with C-level executives.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    • Excellent presentation skills.
    • Experience managing large [global] complex BI projects and teams.
    • Proven ability to manage complex vendor, suplier, sub-contractor relationships
    • Experiance in building and supporting BI/analytics/big data business cases
    • Proven ability to complete projects and achieve results in an ambiguous work environment.
    • Proven strong leadership skills within the project team and in the business community.
    • Proven ability to establish and articulate a vision, set goals, develop and execute strategies, and track and measure results.
    • Proven ability to build and motivate a team to achieve well communicated expectations.
    • Proven strong negotiating and consensus building abilities.
    • Proven skills to work effectively across internal functional areas in ambiguous situations.
    • A solid understanding of data security and privacy laws
    • A solid understanding of CX best practices

Comments

BI Leader

Hello my friend. I would just like to add data governance, metadata management, security and compliance to the list of requirements, as these have played important roles in all of my BI implementations, either as a direct responsibility or in close relationship with those having these responsibilities. Data governance seems to be the one most lacking on my engagements, with the exception of the one I am on with the State of Washington, where they have done an exemplary job.

I would have thought the

I would have thought the trend these days was more towards 'Information Management' roles at this level within an organisation - roles that have stewardship for BI, but other IM responsibilities as well. The earlier comment mentioned Data Governance, etc. which are great examples of this.

I suppose if an organisation is less mature, then starting with a senior BI role makes sense, but a longer term, more mature perspective should be broader.