Organizations around the world increasingly rely on solutions offered by business intelligence (BI) and analysis software. These advanced systems from vendors like SAP, SAS, Oracle and IBM help businesses examine and dissect the data they collect to help effectively cut costs, increase efficiency and identify new opportunities for sales or growth.
According to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, BI training can really prove its value to organizations during slow economic times. The report points out that the organizations that launch business intelligence tools across the board are in a position to reap benefits from the ongoing ability to get high-quality information and respond appropriately.
As a result, the significance of information examination is becoming even more crucial to today's leaders. Furthermore, analysts believe current conditions are pushing businesses to cut costs and boost profit by making the information already collected available even more effectively.
"There's a tremendous pressure on cost containment, on developing accurate forecasts of sales and expenses and trying to align the expense stream with projected revenue stream," John Van Decker, research vice-president at research firm Gartner, told Businessweek.
This pressure is good news for makers of BI systems. The Businessweek report notes that BI software was a significant priority for tech spending among businesses in 2009, even though IT budgets were flat in other areas. The report also cites facts from a Forrester Research study where the market researcher documented that the BI market is expected to earn in excess of $12 billion in profits in 2014. These earnings reflect a marked increase of nearly $4 billion more than revenue figures from 2008.
With increasing interest in business intelligence, training in these complex systems can benefit both users and organizations.
Making the most of BI training
According to a report from TIBCO, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based enterprise software group, BI training and certification is an option for professionals who want to prove their expertise and display skills using these kinds of systems. The report suggested that available certifications for those interested in business intelligence courses or training include:
- Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification offered by The Data Warehousing Institute is a vendor-neutral BI cert, according to TIBCO. Candidates can seek "practitioner level" certification or "mastery level" endorsements.
- Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) is a BI training accreditation offered by The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). This cert requires 3,500 hours of intelligence experience, and is also considered vendor-neutral according to the TIBCO report.
Other, vendor-specific BI training can also show more specific skills using business intelligency systems. These certifications are generally reserved for IT professionals rather than business professionals, and options include:
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Business Intelligence Developer certification displays a professional's knowledge and experience working with Windows-based business intelligence systems.
- IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence endorsements show a professional's skills with this program. BI courses offered by this vendor include a wide range of options for everyone from administrators, business and professional authors, consumers, developers and IT project managers.
Business intelligence training and certification can help users become confident using this important technology. These skills are likely to become even more valuable as BI technology becomes even more important in today's economic climate.