35 BI Developer Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Updated 12 September 2023

Business intelligence (BI) developers design, maintain, monitor and deploy tools and analytical interfaces that help companies to study data, develop dashboards and deploy data visualisation channels for generating reports and taking effective business measures. There is often competition when applying for such roles at multinational companies. It may be necessary to demonstrate your knowledge and technical expertise in multiple interview rounds. In this article, we discuss 35 BI developer interview questions to help you impress interviewers.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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General BI Developer Interview Questions

Interviewers often ask general BI developer interview questions to understand your personality and enthusiasm. Learning about these traits can allow employers to determine if you fulfil the criteria of the host company. Here are ten general questions hiring managers may ask in your BI developer interview:

  1. Tell us about yourself.

  2. Why does BI interest you?

  3. What do you not know about BI?

  4. Can you work under strict deadlines?

  5. Are you a team player? How do you collaborate with a team to produce business solutions?

  6. What do you want to achieve in five years?

  7. Why ought we hire you over other candidates?

  8. What skills do you possess that make you a good BI developer?

  9. Can you work under pressure?

  10. Why do you want to work for this company?

Related: What Is Business Intelligence? (With Techniques And Uses)

Questions About Education And Professional Experience

Hiring managers may assess your education and professional experience to evaluate your qualifications, and troubleshooting skills. These queries determine if you have the necessary abilities that managers consider essential for a BI developer's role. While answering such questions, refer to the programming and data analytical skills you mentioned in your resume. Here are some examples to help you prepare strategic answers:

  1. What skills might a BI developer possess?

  2. Do you have any prior experience working in a data warehouse system? Which one do you prefer and why?

  3. Tell us about your past BI projects and how they helped you improve your programming skills.

  4. Which tools and skills do you want to learn in this job?

  5. What kind of challenges have you faced so far in your career? State an instance and explain how you reacted to that situation.

  6. Tell me about a recent BI tool development project and describe how you contributed to its success.

  7. How do you determine the goals of a company and client?

  8. Have you worked with international BI developers before?

  9. When working with large datasets, how do you avoid common mistakes?

  10. How do you update yourself with new programming languages?

Related: How To Write A Business Intelligence Resume (With Example)

In-Depth Questions

You can expect in-depth questions from hiring managers that closely examine your reporting or data modelling knowledge. Potential employers often ask them to evaluate your expertise and if you can explain the complex functioning of BI tools, and other data analysis procedures. Review the following questions to design in-depth answers for your BI developer interview:

  1. How do you create effective BI reports?

  2. How do you confront a colleague who asks for data you cannot share?

  3. What problems does a BI developer solve?

  4. How do you test a new BI system and check for bugs?

  5. Tell us about the programming languages you know and their utility in BI.

  6. What is a universe in business analytics?

  7. What do the terms HOLAP, DOLAP, MOLAP and ROLAP mean to you?

  8. What are fact and dimension questions?

  9. If a customer seeks a recommendation from you about a potential BI tool, which would you recommend and why?

  10. What do you understand by self-service business intelligence?

Related: Business Intelligence Analyst Resume Skills (With Examples)

5 BI Developer Interview Questions

Hiring managers may ask the following questions to test your capability to debug programs or your potential to provide intelligent business solutions. Some sample BI developer interview questions are:

1. What do you understand about BI?

An employer may ask this to ascertain your experience level in this field. A basic understanding of BI can inform them of your data querying abilities. Talk about the core ideas of business intelligence and include the principal objectives of the subject.

Example: BI is a technology-driven process that allows executives to analyse data and provide actionable solutions. The intelligence process enables companies to collect data from IT sectors and external sources. With this data, individuals can create graphical representations, BI dashboards and analytical reports, which can help in preparing strategic plans. BI comprises multiple objectives that help corporates improve business planning. Such technological procedures collect data, ask queries to potential customers, study market trends and produce corrective solutions to boost business growth. Furthermore, executives use BI to check if a company is operating according to its plan.

2. What are the popular BI tools you have used? Which one do you prefer working with and why?

BI tools are essential to studying and reporting on changing market data. Often, hiring managers prefer developers with prior experience and knowledge of working with varied intelligence models. Mention how these tools are impactful and whether they help restore, repair or deploy BI interfaces.

Example: In the last ten years of my career, I worked with SAS, IBM Cognos and Microsoft Power BI. Among these tools, I am most comfortable working with SAS Business Intelligence. SAS differs from other intelligence tools in multiple ways. It provides a better visual exploration of data and interactive dashboards for easier collaborations with various teams. It further supports integrations with Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word, allowing you to access the results from Microsoft Office.

Related: 5 BI Tools To Use (With Definition, Benefits And Tips)

3. What steps can you follow to develop a company's BI analytics?

Discuss how you document BI strategies, decide on existing or custom tools and configure a data warehouse with a detailed architectural approach. Such a question can help employers understand your developer skills and determine if you match the eligibility criteria. Talk about infrastructure setup and why KPIs are essential.

Example: I typically follow six steps to develop a company's BI analytics setup. First, I define the objective or the problem statement. This process can help me find various hypothetical solutions to the problem. Second, I try to understand the main issues behind analytical drawbacks and choose a suitable BI tool to keep track of the business metrics, and the key performance indicators (KPIs). Third, I collect market data on the objective and conduct an assessment using BI analytic tools. This data can be quantitative, and qualitative, depending on the customer reviews.

Once I have the data from internal and external sources, the next step is to re-process the data. This involves removing rumours and false information so that I only work with high-quality data. Fifth, I choose an analysis type based on the goal, such as univariate, bivariate, time-series or regression analysis. Finally, after interpreting the data, I share the results with the entire company.

Related: What Is A Key Performance Indicator? Importance And Types

4. Tell us something about dimensional modelling. How do BI developers implement them?

Dimensional modelling is one of the fundamental practices in BI that enables developers to create databases. An employer may ask this question to evaluate your understanding of additive, semi-additive and non-additive facts. Explain how you design data models with a combination of relationships and complex tables.

Example: Ralph Kimball first designed this data categorising structure. Dimensional modelling is a technique that BI developers use to record and maintain data at varying levels in a structure called a data warehouse. This technique optimises the database to retrieve data from large datasets easily.

BI developers use the dimensional model to read, summarise and analyse numeric information in a data warehouse. I used the dimensional model to record daily sales data in my previous job. When aggregated in a cluster, I was able to find the weekly sales data. The dimensional model helped me calculate time-variant numerical values without collecting the weekly data separately.

Related: 10 Dimensional Modelling Skills To Learn For A Data Modeller

5. Mention the differences between OLAP and OLTP.

Hiring managers may ask you about the differences between online analytical processing (OLAP) and online transactional processing (OLTP) to test your knowledge. Though both seem similar, they are different systems with varying functionalities and purposes. Explain their correlation, and how they analyse transaction data using high-level queries.

Example: OLAP stands for online analytical processing, which analyses large-scale and complex data. The result helps executives decide on effective business measures. Online transactional processing or OLTP, allows individuals to process numerous daily transactions. The terms have several differences. Though OLTP takes less time because of its fast processing ability than OLAP, OLTP also works with many transactions, while OLAP operates on complex data sets that vary in size. Another difference is that OLAP gathers data from various sources, including OLTP databases. The transactional process refers to the traditional database management system to keep multiple real-time transaction data.

Lastly, OLAP requires less frequent backup support because the technological process can retrieve it from the OLTP database even if it loses its data. But the OLTP needs frequent backups because they are transactional and the data keeps changing.

Related: 11 Business Intelligence Interview Questions With Answers

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