Business Intelligence or analytics? Bridging the gap…

James  Thompson our consultant managing the role

Data is arguably one of the most critical elements of an organisation – how can we drive a business forward by effectively understanding our customers and our clients without data insights, analysis and management?

It may sound like a lot to get your head around if you’re in a business that isn’t as close to their data as they would like to be, what’s the solution? – Business Intelligence.

Business intelligence is a technology-driven tool that transforms data into actionable results - aiding all elements of the business, whether strategic, operational, or financial (or usually all three). There are numerous business intelligence applications and vendors on the market today which, used combined, or individually have the potential to revolutionise the way organisations manage and use their data.

Companies understand how integral data is, hence the increase in business intelligence adoption and the increase in business intelligence roles. Whilst we once had the holistic ‘Data Manager’ role, we are now seeing Business Intelligence Managers / Directors and Analytics Directors, through to Developers, Analysts and even vendor specialist roles. Although we see an even spread of business intelligence and analytics roles, the increase in senior level roles is soaring since around Q3 2018. Perhaps this is due to the heavy adoption of BI in companies; organisations are re-structuring to accommodate business intelligence business units.

As the demand for business intelligence has grown and its function expands within organisations, so too has the various denotations of the term. As a recruitment consultant who specialises in the business intelligence space, and studied analytics at university, I find there’s ambiguity on how we define business intelligence – what some call analytics, others call big data, while others simply use the all-encompassing term of ‘business intelligence’.

I am keen to find out from the business intelligence professionals in my network; do we have one definition for business intelligence and what it symbolises? Or does it depend on the organisation, sector, or purpose of what we are trying to do with our data?

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Five minutes with a Business Intelligence professional
Five minutes with a Business Intelligence professional



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We sat down with my latest business intelligence candidate for a Q&A about her background, how she moved into Business Intelligence & Analytics, and her thoughts about the future of the field. What was your background before getting into Business Intelligence (BI) / Analytics? After seven years in the military working with information systems, I left and joined a Swiss bank as a technical analyst creating multiple types of reporting.       What motivated you to get into the BI / Analytics field? I was made redundant from my role in the recession in the early 2000’s, and was offered a consultancy role for a hedge fund custodian.       What is the biggest change you have seen in BI / Analytics in the last 3-5 years? The most fundamental change is probably the trend to move from highly structured data on residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) databases to the utilisation of semi-structured and unstructured data using the new breed, such as ‘not only structured query language’ (NoSQL) and cloud databases.       What is your biggest BI achievement within your career? Building a complete management information system (MIS) or geographic information system (GIS) for a hedge fund custodian with a portfolio of 250 billion assets under custody.       Where do you think BI & Data Analytics will be 5 -10 years from now? BI and Analytics is moving rapidly towards more pervasive analysis of behaviours and sentiment of both customers and staff alike in order to   In your opinion – what is the best BI Vendor currently in the market and why? I have had experience with a wide variety of BI / Analytics, from small solutions such as SlamData, through to Tableau and DataWatch. All of these solutions have their place in the ecosystem of BI Tools; for me there is yet to be a clear winner due to the large variation in cost and time of deployment.        In your opinion, which division do you think BI should fall under within an organisation? I suppose that depends on your perspective. Although the infrastructure of any BI / Analytics platform should be owned and supported by IT, the reporting and business logic therein should rightly be owned by the business – maybe it’s time to create a new division?  What do you think the next trend in BI / Data will be, & what impact will that have? With the pervasive power of social media and the current issues regarding privacy, the pendulum of public opinion is likely to swing towards the other extreme with a backlash against these large platforms. Since the recent allegations of social media swaying public opinion in politics and voting, I believe that the public face of BI and Analytics will be portrayed as a move towards the protection of national security and anti-terrorism. To view our Business Intelligence & Analytics career opportunities, click here


We I sat down with my latest business intelligence candidate for a Q&A about her background, how she moved into Business Intelligence & Analytics, and her thoughts about the future of the field.

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Michael Moretti


Michael Moretti

Michael Moretti


Michael Moretti


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Sr BI Data Analyst - Fintech £50k


£45,000 - £50,000 per annum




Financial Services

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Business Intelligence & Analytics




£50,000 - £60,000


None specified

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a rapidly growing Fintech are seeking to employ a Sr Business Intelligence Data Analyst.



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