Business Intelligence Developer vs Data Engineer

Business Intelligence Developer vs Data Engineer Explained


Discover the key differences between Business Intelligence Developers and Data Engineers in this insightful post. Learn their unique roles, skills, and how they drive data-driven success in businesses.

Are you curious to understand the distinctions between business intelligence developers and data engineers?

Let’s explore data-driven decision making and discover the unique skills, responsibilities, and value each role brings to the table. Let’s get started!

What are the differences between a business intelligence developer and a data engineer?

Business intelligence developers and data engineers both play an important role in data management and analysis, but there are some distinct distinctions between their roles.

A business intelligence developer primarily creates data models, designs reports and dashboards, and develops solutions to support data-driven decision making. On the other hand, a data engineer is accountable for designing, building, and maintaining all aspects of an enterprise data infrastructure – such as pipelines, warehouses, and lakes – from scratch.

What is a Business Intelligence Developer?

Let’s start by looking at the BI-developer 

Definition of the role

Business Intelligence Developers are professionals responsible for designing and developing business intelligence solutions to enable organizations to make data-driven decisions. You work with large datasets to create models, dashboards, and reports that offer insight into company performance.

Responsibilities of a BI developer

A BI developer’s duties include designing and creating data models, creating visualizations to represent data, building dashboards and reports, writing SQL queries, assuring data quality and accuracy, as well as working with other teams to comprehend business requirements.

Skills required for the job

As a BI developer, you must possess excellent technical abilities in data modeling, data visualization, SQL programming and database management. Furthermore, familiarity with various BI tools such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau or QlikView is necessary. Furthermore, effective communication and collaboration abilities are necessary for working effectively with other stakeholders within an organization.

Tools and technologies commonly used by BI developers

BI developers use a range of tools and technologies to craft their solutions. Popular options include Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, QlikView, and SAP Business Objects. Furthermore, these professionals employ programming languages such as SQL, Python, and R to work with data and construct models.

Microsoft Power BI Business Intelligence Tool Data Visualization

Definition of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process of analyzing and visualizing data to extract valuable insights and inform decision-making. It involves the use of various tools and techniques to collect, store, and analyze data, and then presenting it in an easy-to-understand format.

The goal of BI is to provide organizations with the information they need to make informed decisions and drive business

What is a Data Engineer?

Moving on to a closer look at the data engineer

Definition of the Role

A data engineer is an individual responsible for designing, building and maintaining infrastructure necessary for storing and processing large volumes of data. You’re accountable for creating the systems and tools used in collecting and analyzing that information. You will have full ownership over these tasks.

Responsibilities of a Data Engineer

Data engineers are accountable for creating and managing data architecture, data pipelines, and processing systems. You collaborate with data scientists and analysts to guarantee data is available and easily accessed. Furthermore, you manage databases while ensuring security of sensitive information so authorized users can view it securely.

Skills Needed for the Job

Data engineers require knowledge of database design, data modeling and warehousing. You should also have experience with big data technologies like Hadoop, Spark and NoSQL databases as well as experience using programming languages like Python, Java or SQL.

Tools and Technologies Commonly Utilized by Data Engineers

Data engineers use a range of tools and technologies such as Apache Spark, Hadoop, AWS S3, AWS EMR, Apache Cassandra, MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL for processing and managing large datasets. You may also employ ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) programs like Apache NiFi, Talend or Informatica to automate data processing tasks.

Microsoft Power BI Business Intelligence Tool Data Visualization

How do the roles of a business intelligence developer and a data engineer overlap?

As a business intelligence developer, you would collaborate with data engineers to construct and maintain the data infrastructure supporting business intelligence applications. Data engineers construct pipelines that extract, transform, and load information from various sources into a data warehouse where business intelligence developers can access it for reporting and analysis.

Nature of Work

Both roles require an understanding of data architecture, database design and data modeling. Business intelligence developers focus on creating user-facing reports and dashboards while data engineers create the underlying infrastructure that allows those reports to be generated.

Tools and Technologies Used

Both roles require proficiency with tools and technologies such as SQL, ETL tools, and cloud data services. Furthermore, data engineers may need to be conversant in big data technologies like Hadoop or Spark.

Education and Certification Requirements

Educational requirements for both roles vary, but typically a degree in computer science, information systems, or an associated field is preferred. Industry certifications such as Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate or Amazon Web Services Certified Data Analytics – Specialty can also be beneficial.

Learn more about diffferent roles in Business Intelligence in our comprehensive guide to different roles in BI

What are the required technical skills for a business intelligence developer vs a data engineer?

Business intelligence developers and data engineers require different set of technical abilities. Here is a breakdown of the essential knowledge required for each role.

Business Intelligence Developer Technical Skills

Becoming a BI developer necessitates both technical and business abilities. You should have proficiency using data visualization and modeling programs like Microsoft Power BI or Tableau, as well as experience using other analytics software packages.

Example of Power BI dashboard

Microsoft Power BI Business Intelligence Tool Data Visualization

Image source: Microsoft Power BI

Additionally, you should have experience working with databases and query languages such as SQL. Furthermore, knowledge of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes and data warehousing should be an advantage.

Data Engineer Technical Skills

A data engineer must have a sound foundation in software engineering, programming languages and big data technologies. You should possess expertise with database management systems like Oracle, SQL Server or MySQL as well as knowledge of distributed computing frameworks like Apache Hadoop and Spark.

Finally, you should be knowledgeable about cloud-based platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure and have experience working with data processing pipelines.

Visualization of different data sources connecting to Power BI. I wish it was this easy in real life, just draw some arrows and then the data flows. Well, for some of the more experienced data engineers i’ve worked with it almost seems that easy.

Power BI Data Integration Connections

Image source: Microsoft Documentation Power BI

In conclusion, business intelligence developers and data engineers possess distinct technical abilities. A BI developer specializes in data visualization and modeling while a data engineer is responsible for processing, storage, and engineering tasks.

Career Paths For BI Developer and Data Engineers

Business intelligence (BI) developers and data engineers are two essential roles within the field of data management and analysis. Both positions play a vital role in helping organizations make informed decisions based on data-driven insights.

Potential Career Pathways for Business Intelligence Developers and Data Engineers

As a BI developer, you may pursue a career as a BI analyst, data analyst, data architect, or BI manager. These roles require more strategic thinking, problem-solving abilities, as well as communication abilities.

As a data engineer, you have the potential to pursue careers as data scientists, machine learning engineers, data architects or big data engineers. To be successful in these roles, one must possess an in-depth knowledge of data infrastructure along with strong technical proficiency.

Ways to Advance in Each Role

As a BI developer, it is essential that you hone your analytical and data visualization skills. Take time to learn new data visualization tools and techniques, as well as gain an in-depth knowledge of data modeling and warehousing.

As a data engineer, it is essential to hone your technical skills in data infrastructure, big data technologies and data architecture. Additionally, you could specialize in an area such as machine learning or data warehousing for even further advancement.

Opportunities for Cross-Training and Upskilling

As a Business Intelligence (BI) developer or data engineer, you have the unique advantage of learning about data engineering and big data technologies to further advance your career. For instance, someone with basic BI knowledge could study data engineering techniques in order to become an experienced data engineer.

Data engineers can also develop data visualization and reporting skills to become Business Intelligence developers. There are plenty of online courses, workshops, and boot camps to help you hone new abilities and progress in your career.

Remember, the key to success in both roles is staying informed on the latest technologies and trends, as well as continually honing your skills and knowledge base.

Business Intelligence tools are types of software used to gather, process, analyze, and visualize large volumes of past, current, and future data in order to generate actionable business insights, create interactive reports, and simplify the decision-making processes.

Conclusion: Data Engineer vs Business Intelligence Developer

This post has explored the distinct roles of Business Intelligence Developers and Data Engineers. While they share many similarities, there are some significant distinctions.

Data Engineers create visualizations and analytics solutions that enable data-driven decisions, while BI Developers specialize in creating visualizations and analytics solutions to support those same decisions.

FAQ: BI Developer vs Data Engineer

What is the primary responsibility of a Business Intelligence Developer?

A BI Developer designs, develops, and supports BI solutions. They produce interactive dashboards and reports to enable businesses to make data-driven decisions by analyzing, visualizing, and presenting key insights from data.

What Does a Data Engineer Do?

Data Engineers are accountable for designing, building and maintaining the data infrastructure necessary for processing and analysis. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThey create ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) pipelines to extract value from data sets while assuring its quality; plus they leverage big data technologies to ensure efficient flow of information between analytics applications and business intelligence tools.

How do the roles of Business Intelligence Developer and Data Engineer intersect?

Both roles involve working with data, and their responsibilities may sometimes overlap in areas such as data modeling, warehousing and integration. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, their primary focus and skill sets differ; BI Developers focus on data visualization and analytics while Data Engineers take care of infrastructure and pipelines related to that data.

Which role would be most suitable for someone with a strong background in programming and data architecture?

u003cbru003eData Engineer roles require someone with a strong programming and data architecture background, as they must create efficient data pipelines, use big data technologies, and design scalable data infrastructure to support analytics and business intelligence requirements.

Do Business Intelligence Developers Need to be Proficient in SQL?

Absolutely, Business Intelligence Developers should possess strong SQL proficiency as it is essential for querying and manipulating data. With SQL knowledge, BI Developers can extract insights from databases and design custom reports and dashboards tailored towards specific business requirements.

Eric J.
Eric J.

Meet Eric, the data "guru" behind Datarundown. When he's not crunching numbers, you can find him running marathons, playing video games, and trying to win the Fantasy Premier League using his predictions model (not going so well).

Eric passionate about helping businesses make sense of their data and turning it into actionable insights. Follow along on Datarundown for all the latest insights and analysis from the data world.