BI Architect

A BI architect is another popular role that’s growing as the BI industry gets bigger and expands. I’m often asked, what’s the difference between an analyst and an architect? The terminology can really vary from company to company.

I usually consider an analyst to be more “hands-on” with the business users. They will work with the requirements.An architect is often more involved with the details of the BI tool, getting more deeper into the objects and possibly the architecture. That’s not to say that architects don’t work with end users, or on the overall IT side. In bigger deployments though, these roles tend to get segregated out much more though. They are usually not as concerned with the front end functionality, such as formatting, dashboards, and training. Its more of a data-centric idea.

A typical staffing situation at a company with a BI functionality, is an IT contact who administers the servers and security, architects who develop the model and objects within the BI infrastructure, and analysts who build reports, work with end users, and work and coordinate support tickets. Sometimes roles are combined, with an architect doing more administrative roles as well or an analyst helping with the object and metadata creation. In a smaller implementation, the architect may be doing most of the back-end work as well, with a business user doing more of the analyst role.

Typically this position will require more familiarity with SQL and datawarehousing than an analyst. In order to properly model the data in the tool the architect will often need to work with the raw data, so those skills are needed. A more in depth knowledge of the “backend” and administrative functionality of the software is a key too, along with batch processing and integration with other IT systems. ETL knowledge and specific database skills are usually handy, but not as critical with this role.

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