Monday, February 18, 2008

What you need to be a Business Intelligence Consultant ??

I read this article recently here the author Reinald Bormann from Harvey jones system gives and insight about the BI Consultant
Most recruiters daily face the sad reality that there is a serious skills shortage in the local IT industry.
The business intelligence (BI) market is not exempt. With BI going from strength to strength since 2003, market-savvy IT professionals are trying to enter this lucrative market, with many cross-skilling on multiple BI platforms or products.
One of the changes afoot in the market is that companies no longer simply deliver a BI solution and then leave clients to their own devices.more often than not, client/consultant relationships extend well beyond delivering the initial project.
Successful BI consultants must be well-rounded people with solid project experience, preferably across various market sectors.
Successful BI consultants should excel in the following four areas:
* Technical ability* Interpersonal skills* Project experience and* Market knowledge
Technical ability
BI projects are being completed quicker today than they were three years ago, with the result that top BI consultants can work on multiple projects each year.
Properly applying the latest technology should always be a BI consultant's highest priority and, with so many technical components to these solutions, specialising in at least one component is beneficial.
While core skills allow consultants to work on projects other than BI, they should always strive to improve their abilities on other components.
Interpersonal skills
All projects involve interaction between BI consultants, fellow team members and clients. Interpersonal communication is a vital skill that each BI consultant must master.
The wealth of knowledge contained in BI consultants' heads is not easily transferred. Effective use of communication skills allows them to share knowledge across the team.
Successful BI consultants also act as mentors and guide internal IT teams through the uncharted waters of their first BI projects. It is BI consultants' role to point clients toward good resources, books and conferences for further education.
Project experience
IT consulting is always evolving. Because project rotation is generally more frequent than in the past, BI consultants must quickly understand new businesses in order to deliver solutions on time and within budget. Getting to grips with unfamiliar businesses is always difficult, but is also very rewarding.
Successful BI consultants leverage their technical capabilities to re-use certain components developed on previous projects.
Essentially, project experience breeds problem identification and reinforces the use of best practice and methodology.
Market knowledge
Just as consultants become comfortable, a new product or toolset emerges, which nine times out of 10 changes the way they deliver. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as successful BI consultants usually make market changes work for them by aligning their technical skills in the new direction.
The release of Microsoft Performance Point Server (PPS) at the end of the year is a very good case in point; most BI organisations are uncertain of the true impact PPS will have in the market, so having skilled BI consultants at hand when the product is released could ensure a significant market share of new BI solutions on PPS.
It should be every BI consultant's goal to be as active as possible in the community. That means attending seminars and Webcasts, taking part in BI forums or using other knowledge-sharing channels.
In today's challenging and demanding BI market, successful BI consultants must be well-rounded and experienced people, able to adapt quickly to various business environments, continuously share knowledge internally and externally, understand future BI market trends and, most importantly, be very sound technically.
If you are lucky enough to have such a person in your employ or can find one, hang on to them tightly with both hands as they are worth their weight in gold.
By Reinald Bormann, BI consultant at Harvey Jones Systems

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