Top 10 Business Intelligence Interview Questions and Answers [For Beginners & Experienced]


The modern business highly depends on the data that is generated by consumers and users. Converting data into meaningful information is essential to understand and analyze the business insight that will help drive the business into profitable actions. That is where Business Intelligence (BI) comes into effect. This article will provide all the necessary business intelligence interview questions and answers for your interview preparation.

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The Business Intelligence industry and its professionals rapidly evolve with time and space with no specific signs of slowing down. It is because almost every large enterprise is heavily dependent on data-driven analysis and its predictions. 

Hence, every company is transforming its decision-making abilities through Business Intelligence tools. So, we have compiled the most commonly asked Business Intelligence interview questions and answers. These questions are popularly asked in the top companies and can help you clear the Business Analyst interviews.

Business Intelligence Interview Questions And Answers 



Here the top business intelligence interview questions and answers

1. What do you understand by Business Intelligence? (This is one of the most common business intelligence interview questions)

The term Business Intelligence refers to a collective meaning, including technologies, tools, applications, practices for the data collection, and providing those data to the users, especially to help in running the business or a part of it. 

In other words, the business analyst’s reports generated and compiled using the Business Intelligence approaches are consumed by the higher management administrative and business executives to make better decisions for the overall maturity of the business.

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2. What are the primary objectives of Business Intelligence?

The primary objectives of Business Intelligence are:

    1. Business Intelligence is leverage to make the following enterprise-level decisions.
    2. Business Intelligence helps in identifying the wrong tracks and approaches of a business.
    3. Business Intelligence can cluster the data for analysis and then compile them to monitor corrective actions.
    4. Business Intelligence is also useful for determining whether a company is executing as per plan.
    5. Identification and extraction of trends and insights from business are possible using Business Intelligence tools.

3. What are the popular Business Intelligence (BI) tools used by Business Analysts?

The popular Business Intelligence (BI) tools used by Business Analysts are:

  1. Microsoft BI
  2. Cognos
  3. MicroStrategy
  4. Tableau
  5. SAS
  6. Business Objects
  7. OBIEE
  8. Hyperion

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4. How will you implement a BI system in your professional approach?

There are three steps to implement a BI system:

  1. Extract the raw data from the corporate database. The data might be available across various heterogeneous databases.
  2. Then, the data is cleaned to put them in the data-warehouse by linking the table and forming the data cubes.
  3. Lastly, using BI systems, business analysts can extract business insights, request ad-hoc reports, analyze those clean datasets, and predict the business decisions.

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5. How will you define OLAP (Online Analytical Processing)? (This is one of the most common business intelligence interview questions)

OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) is a technological concept applied in various BI tools and applications that helps in executing complex analytical calculations. OLAP analyzes the trends, performs intricate calculations (like aggregation, summation, count, average, min, max), and carries out sophisticated data modeling in a BI system. OLAP systems’ primary objective is to diminish the response time of queries and improve the effectiveness of the calculated reports.

6. How will you define OLTP (Online Transaction Processing)?

OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems are the vast collection of small data transactions like insert, delete, and update. These are operational databases that produce quick processing of a query. It also determines the integrity and consistency of data. It is the number of transactions per second that helps in measuring the efficiency of an OLTP system.

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7. Define the term Data Warehousing? (Another common business intelligence interview questions)

Data Warehousing is the repository system used to analyze and report data from various heterogeneous sources and forms. These data will be available from the oracle database, SQL Server, Postgres, or a simple excel sheet. The warehouse uses one central mechanism called the repository, through which the business analyst can fetch all historical reports associated with that data.

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8. Mentioned some characteristics of the Data warehouse

    1. A data warehouse is a separate database responsible for storing historical information records and is kept separate from an operational database.
    2. Processed and analyzed data from a data warehouse helps make top management strategic and tactical decisions based on the analysis.
    3. Analyzing data in the data warehouse helps the business analysts and users see the current business trends.
    4. The data warehouse is also responsible for consolidating historical data analysis.

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9. What are the key advantages of using BI systems? (Another common business intelligence interview question)

The key advantages of using BI systems are:

    1. It helps boost productivity and makes it possible to create a business report with just a single click.
    2. It also helps increase the visibility of the data analysis and possibly identify those areas that demand attention.
    3. As per the organization’s goals, the BI system sets the accountability.
    4. BI systems automate several tasks by offering predictive analysis, benchmarking, modeling figures, and statistical calculations using different methodologies.

10. Mention two disadvantages of Business Intelligence Systems. (Another common business intelligence interview questions)

The two disadvantages of Business Intelligence Systems are:

    1. The BI systems are costly, so using them for small and medium scale enterprises will prove expensive.
    2. Implementing BI systems for the data warehouse is complicated. Hence, the complexity of using it is another drawback of it.

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11. What are aggregates?

Aggregates are a form of data found in the aggregate table. To calculate these aggregates, various aggregate functions such as min, max, count average, etc. are used.

12. Explain in one line the meaning of granularity.

Granularity tells us about the level (high to low) of information residing in the table. The lower the granularity is, the low-level information it contains.

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All these essential Business Intelligence interview questions and answers will help you boost the business analyst job interview. upGrad provides various business analyst courses and programs 

If you are curious to learn about data science, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s Executive PG Program in Data Science which is created for working professionals and offers 10+ case studies & projects, practical hands-on workshops, mentorship with industry experts, 1-on-1 with industry mentors, 400+ hours of learning and job assistance with top firms.

What are the five major stages of business intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) is the process of transforming the obtained information from business data into knowledge that could be used to enhance the business's growth. Data represents facts and figures, while information is processed data. And when the information is further processed, it adds sense and meaning to it to become knowledge.

Business intelligence has five major stages:

1. Data Sourcing – Obtaining data from different sources in the electric form, such as digital cameras, database queries, computer file access, web searches, scanners, etc.
2. Data Analysis – The data is analyzed by estimating current trends, understanding and predicting missing information, summarizing the available information, and predicting future trends.
3. Situation Awareness – BI is about filtering the irrelevant information to stay only with the relevant information that can be of any value.
4. Risk Assessment – BI is about assessing the risks and benefits of different decisions that are taken.
5. Decision Support – BI helps to assess every decision that has been taken to improve on portions where it is required and make everything smooth.

What are the key elements of the business intelligence system?

One of the most common mistakes made by organizations is that they consider front-end BI tools to be similar to BI systems. But, there's a lot more included in every BI system that can be of huge help for the organization.

The key elements of every business intelligence system are:

1. Data modeling
2. Data warehouse
3. Appliance systems
4. Source systems
5. Enterprise Information Management (EIM)
6. Technologies and Tools
7. ETL process

What are the major types of business reports?

There is a huge variety of business reports. If we move towards the category of managerial processes, the major categories can be grouped into balanced scorecard-type reports, dashboard-type reports, and metric management reports.

1. Metric Management Reports – These reports include outcome-oriented metrics based on the key performance indicators.
2. Dashboard-type Reports – These reports provide static as well as a customizable view of different performance indicators on a single page.
3. Balanced Scoreboard-type Reports – These reports include an integrated view for determining the company’s health from different perspectives, including financial, growth, customer, and business view.

These are the major types of business reports being used by every business in the market.

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