Tips on Hiring a BI Developer

Angelika Seböková
September 16, 2021 | 7 min read
Not to get lost in the complexity of data but to analyze and interpret it correctly is a difficult task! Many companies struggle with finding the right approach how “to use data”, which often varies from one department to another, using different storage locations and legacy systems, plus numerous ways of reporting. To create a holistic approach to data, understand it better, and to provide the business with insights to make informed decisions, companies should hire a specific talent to their team – a Business Intelligence (BI) Developer.

Can a BI Developer improve your business?

BI Developers are able to review how your business is doing in general, identify what can be improved, help trace errors in the data systems and layers, detect areas of pressure for the business, and help establish what data strategy is needed in order to benefit your business. There are several areas of business they can assist you (and your data team) with:

  • Identifying new ways to generate revenue

  • Improving your business efficiency

  • Reducing costs

  • Helping you understand your customers better

  • Identifying patterns and trends on the market

  • Improving your services or product

Superhero skillset

It is important to understand that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” skillset for a BI Developer. First, you must define your needs and expectations to know what to ask from this new role. In general, every BI Developer must have experience with the technical side of BI tools and data visualization, understanding of underlying infrastructures, database/SQL, scripting languages, and Python knowledge, plus software development and analytics skills. 

While the exact combination of the skills always depends on a particular project, try to be realistic and don’t expect too much from one person. When searching for a “superhero”, the recruitment process gets too long, the pool of relevant profiles too small, and after several unsuccessful attempts to find the right match, you’ll end up needing to lower your expectations. Try to prioritize what skills are absolute requirements and give the candidate an opportunity to learn and gain experience in whatever else is needed.

Don’t forget, as any employee, BI Developers don’t just need knowledge and experience coming in but you also need to provide them with the proper tools and the opportunity to learn new things.

Useful tips when looking for a BI developer

As Iconity has been specializing in data management roles and active on the European market for several years now, we have summarized a few tips here on how to attract and hire developers and beat the competition in the job market.

1. Detailed job descriptions

Your job description should provide the candidate with as much information as possible, including the technical information, especially focusing on areas dependent on the level of seniority. Using vague phrases and listing standard benefits is getting old. Try to identify the greatest value your future employee might appreciate. Focus on showing what your company can offer them and don’t forget to include some practical insights i.e., if you are developing an app will the BI Developer be able to see its interface during the first interview.

2. Include a team member in the interview process

We highly recommend including a dedicated person from your team e.g., Project Manager, in the interviewing process. Perhaps this is an especially important tip as it allows you to not only assess the candidate’s knowledge but to create an environment of mutual trust for discussion, as if between partners.

3. Technical aspect of the interviewing process

Basic information about your company, culture, benefits, and expectations from the role are no longer enough. You are dealing with a highly technical person who seeks to know the background of the project and more detailed, specific information. The success of your presentation also relates to your ability to answer candidate’s questions that “dig deeper”.

4. Fast communication

There is a high demand for BI Developer roles on the job market, literally a talent war. Gaining the best specialists will require an interesting presentation, job descriptions with as much detailed information as possible, and, most importantly, fast communication. Forget about automatic replies with uncertain deadlines for CV assessment and feedback. React as soon as possible, keep the communication personalized, and try to provide all the information the candidate asks for.

5. Reasonable amount of interviews

We often witness a situation when a candidate gets exhausted by a never-ending interview process lasting for several months. In most cases, even the most motivated person tends to give up. While it is understandable that you want to make sure your new BI Developer fits the role perfectly, keep in mind the high job-market competitiveness when time is important.

For a complete picture of the data flow in your company, hiring a BI Developer is definitely a good way to start. The specific skillset always depends on the particular project but goal setting and prioritization of skills are a must. And honestly, avoiding unsuccessful recruiting attempts from having unrealistic expectations is not just “nice to have”, it can save you a lot of time. Remember that BI Developers are in high demand. Try to keep your communication fast, your job descriptions specific and interesting, and don’t forget to include the technical aspect. The presence of a Project Manager or any other team member with a good understanding of the project during the interview is a big advantage. Not to mention that team members can easily deal with any technical questions from the candidate, provide more information about your project, and, at the same time, make sure your new colleague will be a good fit to your team.

If this is all too much and you need help or advice, Iconity has dedicated services to help you with your recruitment process.

Angelika Seböková
Marketing Specialist

Are you looking for data experts?

We find specialists in the areas of analysis, consulting, data science, development, infrastructure, management, and testing.