business intelligence analyst interview questions and answers pdf

The rise in business intelligence has increased the number of positions available in this field. If you’re interviewing for a business intelligence analyst position, it can be helpful to learn more about the types of questions the hiring manager may ask. When you provide well-reasoned and detailed answers, you have a better chance of impressing the interviewer and getting the job. In this article, we review the most common business intelligence interview questions and provide sample answers.

General questions

General questions provide the interviewer the opportunity to get to know you. During the start of the interview, the hiring manager will ask general questions about your education and professional background. Consider these general questions commonly asked at a business intelligence analyst interview:

What is your favorite aspect of the business intelligence process?

Hiring managers ask this question when trying to learn why you are passionate about the job. Your answer reveals not only your attraction to business intelligence but also the specific job at this company. Elaborate on your growth as a business intelligence analyst and how it contributed to your interest in the field.

Example: “My favorite aspect of the business intelligence process is analyzing customer behavior. The data I collect allows me to truly understand the businesss customers, their dislikes, likes and needs. Data is the quantitative proof of conclusions I draw as a business analyst. I enjoy the reliability of this information and how it informs me about our customer base.”

Can you tell me about a time when your data required a business to make significant changes?

This question focuses on a more difficult aspect of the business intelligence analyst: conflict and major change. Answer this question by demonstrating your critical-thinking skills and patience. Identify the specific problem and explain what led to change. Describe your approach to respectfully sharing your data and suggesting alternatives.

Example: “When I was working as a business intelligence analyst at a marketing firm, I collected data on the performance of our client online advertising. At the end of the quarter, I noticed that our engagement declined, and we also werent gaining new customers.

I decided to research this data further and investigate how our marketing strategies were not producing results. I then shared my observations with the management team to discuss how to introduce more effective advertising. After I presented this data collection, the business decided to expand its social media accounts. In two weeks, we saw an increase in sales.”

The Skills You Need for a Business Intelligence Job

“Business intelligence” is so broad that it touches on just about every company, many departments within those companies, and employees with different job titles and a vast assortment of skills. BI refers to the processes, architectures and technologies that enable raw data to be transformed into actionable insights so that business leaders can make informed decisions. However, the processes and technologies organizations employ vary from firm to firm.

Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, points to three components to BI job duties: data, analytics and reporting. “The data component typically requires a BI professional to understand, manage and sometimes create the processes for collecting, storing, structuring, cleaning and anything else to make data usable for analytics,” Herbert explains. “The analytics component may entail trending analysis of data over time, developing summary metrics, applying descriptive statistics and related [steps].

“Lastly, the reporting function entails equipping company executives and business unit staff with actionable data to make smart business decisions. Over the years, this has meant moving away from long, static reports to shorter data visualizations, online dashboards or other real-time data reporting applications.”

Success in business intelligence and related fields requires myriad technology skills, such as computer programming and database familiarity, as well as soft skills, such as interpersonal skills. The software, hardware and services needed for BI success change over time. So, professionals seeking positions related to BI should be versed in state-of-the-art as well as emerging BI technologies, tools and practices.

Good analytical skills are necessary for deciphering large amounts of data and transforming it into actionable information to make the right decisions to boost company profits. Gathering data and mastering statistical and analytical tools for data extraction and interpretation are also essential and require professionals knowledgeable in database management, data queries, coding data, drawing inferences, applying scientific methods to gathering data, quantitative analysis, SQL programming, establishing benchmarks, identifying and measuring correlations, classifying data and strategic planning.

BI professionals must also be adept at describing the data, explaining their analysis and offering potential solutions. Communicating clearly and effectively is important because they need to be able to explain complex technical information to non-BI professionals. BI professionals may also have to persuade others to adopt ideas, manage projects or spearhead brainstorming sessions. Their skill list might include technical writing, pitching proposals, making presentations, facilitating group discussions and teamwork, and conveying complex information in clear terms.

Business Intelligence Interview Questions for freshers experienced :-

1. What is Business Intelligence? Business Intelligence is a process for increasing the competitive advantage of a business by intelligent use of available data in decision making.

The five key stages of Business Intelligence:

  • Data Sourcing
  • Data Analysis
  • Situation Awareness
  • Risk Assessment
  • Decision Support
  • 2. What is a Universe in Business Intelligence? A “universe” is a “Business object” terminology. Business objects also happens to be the name of the company. The universe is the interfacing layer between the client and the datawarehouse . The universe defines the relationship among the various tables in the datawarehouse.

    Universe is a semantic layer between the database and the user interface (reports).

    3. What is OLAP in Business Intelligence? Online Analytical Processing, a category of software tools that provides analysis of data stored in a database. OLAP tools enable users to analyze different dimensions of multidimensional data. For example, it provides time series and trend analysis views. The chief component of OLAP is the OLAP server, which sits between a client and a database management systems (DBMS). The OLAP server understands how data is organized in the database and has special functions analyzing the data.

    A good OLAP interface has writes an efficient sql and reads an accurate data from db.To design and architect having good knowledge on DB understanding the report requirements.

    4. What are the various modules in Business Objects product?

  • Business Objects Reporter
  • Reporting & Analyzing tool
  • Designer
  • Universe creation
  • database interaction
  • connectivity
  • Supervisor – For Administrative purposes

    Webintelligence – Access of report data through internet

    BroadCast Agent – For scheduling the reports

    Data Integrator – The ETL tool of Business Objects, designed to handle huge amounts of data

    5. What is OLAP, MOLAP, ROLAP, DOLAP, HOLAP? Explain with Examples? OLAP – On-Line Analytical Processing.

    Designates a category of applications and technologies that allow the collection, storage, manipulation and reproduction of multidimensional data, with the goal of analysis.

    This term designates a cartesian data structure more specifically. In effect, MOLAP contrasts with ROLAP. Inb the former, joins between tables are already suitable, which enhances performances. In the latter, joins are computed during the request.

    Targeted at groups of users because it’s a shared environment. Data is stored in an exclusive server-based format. It performs more complex analysis of data.

    Small OLAP products for local multidimensional analysis Desktop OLAP. There can be a mini multidimensional database (using Personal Express), or extraction of a datacube (using Business Objects).

    Designed for low-end, single, departmental user. Data is stored in cubes on the desktop. It’s like having your own spreadsheet. Since the data is local, end users dont have to worry about performance hits against the server.

    Designates one or several star schemas stored in relational databases. This technology permits multidimensional analysis with data stored in relational databases.

    Used for large departments or groups because it supports large amounts of data and users.

    HOLAP:Hybridization of OLAP, which can include any of the above.

    6. Why an infocube has maximum of 16 dimensions? It depends upon the Database limits provided to define the Foreign key constraint, e.g. in Sql Server 2005, the recommended max limit for foreign keys is 253, but you can define more.

    7. What is BAS? What is the function? The Business Application Support (BAS) functional area at SLAC provides administrative computing services to the Business Services Division and Human Resources Department. We are responsible for software development and maintenance of the PeopleSoft? Applications and consultation to customers with their computer-related tasks.

    8. Name some of the standard Business Intelligence tools in the Market?

    Some of the standard Business Intelligence tools in the market According to their performance

  • Seagate Crystal report
  • SAS
  • Business objects
  • Microstrategy
  • Cognos
  • Microsoft OLAP
  • Hyperion
  • Microsoft integrated services
  • 9. How do we enhance the functionality of the reports in BO? You can format the BO Reports by using various features available. You can turn the table reports into a 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional charts. You can apply an Alert to show some data in a different format , based on some business rule. You can also create some prompts, which will asks user to give some input values before seeing the reports, this way they will see only filtered data. There are many similar exciting options available to enhance the reports.

    10. What are dashboards? A management reporting tool to gauge how well the organization company is performing. It normally uses “traffic-lights” or “smiley faces” to determine the status.

    11. Explain about Auditing in BO XI R2? What is the use of it?

    Auditor is used by the business objects administrators to know the complete information of the business intelligence system.

  • it monitors entire BIsystem at a glance.
  • Analyzes usage and change impact
  • optimises the BI deployment
  • 12. How do we Tune the BO Reports for Performance Improvement? We can tune the report by using index awareness in universe

    13. Why we ca not create an aggregate on an ODS Object?

  • Operational Data Store has very low data latency. Data moved to ODS mostly on event based rather than time based ETL to Data Warehouse/Data Mart.
  • ODS is more closer to OLTP system. We don’t normally prefer to store aggregated data in OLTP. So it is with ODS.
  • Unlike data warehouse where data is HISTORICAL, ODS is near real time(NRT). So data aggregation is less important is ODS as data keeps changing.
  • 14. What is hierarchy relationship in a dimension. whether it is:

    15. How to connect GDE to Co Operating system in Abinitio? We can connect Ab Initio GDE with Co>operating system using Run->Settings.In there u can specify the host IP address and the connection type .Refer Ab Initio help for further details.

    16. Explain the Name of some standard Business Intelligence tools in the market? Some of the standard Business Intelligence tools in the market According to there performance

  • 17. What are the various modules in Business Objects product Suite?


  • Supervisor is the control center for the administration and security of your entire BusinessObjects deployment.
  • Designer:

  • Designer is the tool used to create, manage and distribute universe for BusinessObjects and WebIntelligence Users. A universe is a file that containe connection parameters for one or more database middleware and SQL structure called objects that map to actual SQL structure in the database as columns,tables and database.
  • BusinessObjects Full client Reporting tool:

  • Helps to create businessobjects reports based on the universe and also from the other data sources.
  • BusinessObjects Thin client Reporting tool:

  • Helps to querry and analysis on the universe and also share the report among other users. It doesnt require any software, just need a webbrowser and the system connected to the businessobjetcs server.
  • Auditor:

  • Tool is used for monitor and analysis user and system activity.
  • Application Foundation:

    This module covers a set of products which is used for Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). The tools are

    18. From where you Get the Logical Query of your Request? The logical SQL generated by the server can be viewed in BI Answers. If I have not understood the question, Please raise your voice.

    19. Major Challenges You Faced While Creating the RPD? Every now and then there are problems with the database connections but the problem while creating the repository RPD files comes with complex schemas made on OLTP systems consisting of lot of joins and checking the results. Th type of join made need to be checked. By default it is inner join but sometimes the requirement demands other types of joins. There are lot of problems with the date formats also.

    20. What are Global Filter and how thery differ From Column Filter? Column filter- simply a filter applied on a column which we can use to restrict our column values while pulling the data or in charts to see the related content.

    Global filter- Not sure. I understand this filter will have impact on across the application but I really dont understand where and how it can be user. I heard of global variables but not global filters.

    21. How to make the Delivery Profilers Work? When we are Use SA System how Does SA Server understand that It needs to use it For Getting the User Profile information?

    22. Where to Configure the Scheduler? We configure the OBIEE schedular in database.

    23. How to hide Certain Columns From a User? Application access level security- Do not add the column in the report, Do not add the column in the presentation layer.

    24. How can we Enable Drills in a Given Column Data? To enable Drill down for a column, it should be included in the hirarchy in OBIEE. Hyperion IR has a drill anywhere feature where dont have to define and can drill to any available column.

    25. Is Drill Down Possible without the attribute being a Part of a Hierarchical Dimension? No

    26. How do u Conditional Format.? while creating a chat in BI Answers, you can define the conditions and can apply colour formatting.

    27. What is Guided Navigation? I think it is just the arrangement of hyperlinks to guide the user to navigate between the reports to do the analysis.

    28. How is Webcat File Deployed Across Environment?

    How the users Created Differs From RPD/Answers/Dashboards Level?

    RPD users can do administrator tasks like adding new data source, create hirarchies, change column names where as Answers users may create new charts, edit those charts and Dashboard users may only view and analyse the dashboard or can edit dashboard by adding/removing charts objects.

    29. Online/Offline Mode how it Impact in Dev and Delpoyment? Online Mode- You can make changes in the RPD file and push in changes which will be immediately visible to the users who are already connected. This feature we may use in production environment.

    Offline mode- can be useful in test or development environment.

    30. Explain the concepts and capabilities of Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence helps to manage data by applying different skills, technologies, security and quality risks. This also helps in achieving a better understanding of data.Business intelligence can be considered as the collective information. It helps in making predictions of business operations using gathered data in a warehouse. Business intelligence application helps to tackle sales, financial, production etc business data. It helps in a better decision making and can be also considered as a decision support system.

    31. Name some of the standard Business Intelligence tools in the market. Business intelligence tools are to report, analyze and present data. Few of the tools available in the market are:

  • Eclipse BIRT Project:- Based on eclipse. Mainly used for web applications and it is open source.
  • It is a free web based reporting tool.
  • JasperSoft:- BI tool used for reporting, ETL etc.
  • Pentaho:- Has data mining, dashboard and workflow capabilities.
  • Openl:- A web application used for OLAP reporting.
  • 32. Explain the Dashboard in the business intelligence. A dashboard in business intellgence allows huge data and reports to be read in a single graphical interface. They help in making faster decisions by replying on measurable data seen at a glance. They can also be used to get into details of this data to analyze the root cause of any business performance. It represents the business data and business state at a high level. Dashboards can also be used for cost control. Example of need of a dashboard: Banks run thousands of ATM’s. They need to know how much cash is deposited, how much is left etc.

    33. Explain the SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence components.

  • SQL Server Integration Services:- Used for data transformation and creation. Used in data acquisition form a source system.
  • SQL Server Analysis Services: Allows data discovery using data mining. Using business logic it supports data enhancement.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services:- Used for Data presentation and distribution access.
  • FAQ

    How do I prepare for a business intelligence analyst interview?

    Tips to Prepare for the Interview Process
    1. What is your definition of “business intelligence?” …
    2. Why is business intelligence important? …
    3. What interests you most about the BI field? …
    4. What can you tell me about yourself and the BI projects you have worked on? …
    5. Which BI tools do you have experience using?

    What questions will be asked in a business intelligence analyst interview?

    General BI Analyst Interview Questions
    • Tell me about your educational background and the business intelligence analysis field you’re experienced in. …
    • What’s your experience in SDLC and UAT? …
    • Do you plan on continuing your education with an MBA? …
    • What is your opinion about Agile software development for BI projects?

    What makes you think you would make a strong business intelligence analyst?

    Basic Business Analyst Interview Questions
    • What is the role of a business analyst in an organization? …
    • How do you see yourself fit for the role of business analyst in our company? …
    • What, according to you, are the core competencies of a Business Analyst? …
    • List some of the skills and tools used by Business Analysts.

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