IT Recruiters 16 min read 04/30/2022

Business Intelligence (BI) Developer Interview Questions (2022)

We believe a list of 13 different BI Developer interview questions is vital to assess a business intelligence developer’s skills, knowledge, and abilities.

During a recent webinar, we talked with some of our fellow developers about the difficult task of finding and hiring the right person. The conversation led to the most difficult and essential qualities in a Business Intelligence Developer and how we can best prepare our hiring managers and interviewers with the right questions to find precisely the fit they are looking for.

The 13 Best Interview Questions to Ensure you Hire the Right Business Intelligence Developer 

1. What is Business Intelligence? 

Right off the bat, we want to make sure that there is 100% agreement on what exactly Business Intelligence is. Without this basic understanding of the term, moving forward in the conversation becomes tough.

This question aims to understand better the candidate’s understanding of BI and what it entails. And also give you an idea of their level of experience and confirm if their idea of BI aligns with your understanding.

2. What is the role of a BI Developer? 

This question will help you better understand the BI Developer’s expectations and how they view themselves and their role. It also gives you a chance to evaluate if the candidate’s expectations align with what is required for the position.

BI developers are responsible for:

  • Extracting data from various sources 
  • Transforming and cleaning the data 
  • Analyze and optimize data 
  • Building data models 
  • Developing BI reports 

3. Why BI? What interests you in this field? 

This question is crucial because it will help you understand why the candidate wants to enter into the BI world, and it gives you a chance to assess the likelihood of them staying in the BI world for a while.

When hiring, we don’t want “tire kickers” or people who are bored with their current roles and want to get into BI just for the sake of it. We want people genuinely interested in the field and have a long-term vision for their careers.

4. What problems does BI solve? 

A BI developer has a vital role to play - helping to make critical business decisions. This question is one of the most important questions you should ask during an interview because it allows you to assess how well the candidate understands the business world and can see the big picture. 

Candidates should be able to talk about how BI can help companies make better decisions by analyzing data and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

5. What tools or programming languages are you familiar with?

During the interview process, many conflicts are created when we see a candidate’s expertise in tools or languages that we don’t use or ones that are no longer in use. This question will help you avoid that and understand what the candidate is familiar with.

There are many BI tools. Some of the best in the market include Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), Tableau, IBM Cognos Analytics, Microsoft Power BI, MicroStrategy, Oracle Hyperion, etc.

BI developers use some of the most popular programming languages: SQL, Python, and JavaScript.

6. What is your notable achievement in your last role? 

This question is an excellent opportunity to get an idea of the candidate’s skills and abilities. It could be anything from developing a new BI solution to tackling a particular challenge with the team. You want to find out what they achieved, how it added value, and any notable results.

You may also be able to uncover if the candidate is a team player or someone who prefers working on their own.

7. What are the necessary procedures for developing a company’s BI analytics from the bottom up?

You want to hire someone who understands the process and can execute it. This question will give you a better idea of whether or not your candidate fits that description.

The following is needed to develop BI analytics from scratch: 

  • Gather data and identify what is important 
  • Select the right BI tools 
  • Data pre-processing 

Build data warehouses and data marts

Make a data storage schema-based not only on the company data but also on what BI demands are

Create BI reports

Maintain and modify BI reports as required

8. What is a data mart, and when should it be used in place of a single data warehouse?

Digging into the specifics sometimes helps better understand how they think, their level of expertise, and whether they are worth hiring.

Therefore, this question will help you assess all of that.

A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse. It is used to store data relevant to specific departments, problems, or workgroups.

Using data marts instead of a single data warehouse makes maintaining and updating the data easier.

On the other hand, a data warehouse is a single store of all the data relevant to many departments or workgroups. To create a single warehouse, you have to integrate data from different sources.

9. How would you explain data normalization and mention its benefits? 

Data normalization is used to make data less redundant and more organized. The following are some of the benefits: 

  • Remove duplicated data
  • More beneficial queries can be performed, which means better performance.
  • More efficient storage
  • Facilitates data updates 

The interviewee should explain the concept reasonably well because data normalization is generally used in BI.

10. What are some of the most popular data visualization tools? 

Once the data is normalized and appropriately stored, the next step is to visualize it to make it easier for users to understand.

There are a lot of different data visualization tools out there, the most popular of which are:

  • Tableau
  • Qlikview
  • RapidMiner 

A candidate with experience with any of these tools will be a big plus.

11. How do you go about designing efficient BI reports? 

Even if the following questions are not answered directly, they will still explain how well the candidate knows their stuff.

A good report has all the necessary information, displays it well, and is easy to understand.

First of all, you need to determine the questions the report is supposed to answer. Then you can start mapping out what data needs to be displayed and how it should be organized and formatted.

The candidate should be familiar with best practices for designing effective BI reports. They may also have the methods they prefer using, but it should be in line with industry standards.

12. How can you improve the data quality? 

Data is the most crucial asset for a BI system, and if the quality is poor, it can affect everything from data analysis to report generation.

There are many ways to improve data quality: 

  • Correct data entry
  • Data cleansing
  • Remove duplicates
  • Standardize data
  • Track data changes
  • Data quality assurance 

13. Explain what OLTP and OLAP are, including their purposes and differences.

OLTP is Online Transactional Processing. It manages transaction data such as account information for banks and trading companies, reservation systems, and retail shops. OLTP mainly deals with customer-facing data.

OLAP is Online Analytical Processing. It is used to analyze data coming from within the organization. It is used to answer questions such as how the company is doing, what products are selling well, and how much profit the company makes. OLAP is used primarily to make better business decisions.

Last word

This overview should help you get a good idea of what to look for in a BI developer. While not an exhaustive list, the questions above will give you an idea of the candidate’s BI knowledge.

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