Let’s understand who is a business analyst! In any organization, the business analyst is an indispensable professional. A business analyst works as a liaison between clients and IT teams.
They gather requirements from clients to understand their needs and work with the tech team to develop a solution that meets those needs and deliver it back to the client. Business analysts are also responsible for analyzing data to get insights into how things work in your company.
The business analyst position is highly lucrative and offers many opportunities for advancement. The demand for business analysts is enormous, especially in the IT sector. Business analysts develop solutions to better businesses by combining business demands with IT resources. A business analyst plays an important role in an organisation.
They listen to corporate executives, stakeholders, and others to comprehend a current scenario or problem. Then, using data analysis, they work on enhancing it. If you believe you’d be excellent at assisting firms in making significant changes to their operations, products, and services, here’s, a look at what being a business analyst entails.
1. Business Analyst?
Business analysts utilize their business analyst skills to work within the foundation of many firms, whether large or small, to enhance and simplify processes that assist a company in fulfilling its objectives and achieving its goals. They aid in the implementation of increased staff productivity and, eventually, assist corporate information systems that give answers to a wide range of business concerns across many departments. A business analyst may also assist firms in documenting business processes by analyzing the business model and its connection with technology.
2. Business Analysis VS. Business Analytics
While both “business analysis” and “business analytics” entail the study of data-based insights to benefit an organization, there are very few distinguishing characteristics that help differentiate each activity. Whereas detailed business analysis is concerned with process development and implementation, business analytics is concerned with data and the use of that data to make conclusions about the company’s performance.
The distinctions between these professions are becoming closely intertwined as companies rely on data for all types of high-level decision-making.
3. Need for Data Professionals
Analytics professionals are in charge of converting the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that we generate every day (unstructured collected data) into a manner that the brain can interpret. Following is a business analyst job description
- Data analysts do more technical tasks such as sifting through data, formulating conclusions, and successfully conveying that data using data visualization and verbal storytelling with data.
- Business analysts analyze historical and present business data with the major purpose of enhancing organizational decision-making processes.
- Data scientists are related to business analysts in that their major focus is on the methods used to collect data for business purposes. On the other hand, data scientists concentrate on the technical aspects of these operations, as opposed to business analysts. They assess data collection, storage, and early analysis before applying data science methodologies to assess effectiveness.
While each of these professions is important in the overall usage of data analytics in business, the work of a business analyst has the most immediate influence on a company.
4. Types of Business Analysts
Numerous professional titles use the word “business analyst” in some way, as this is a buzzword. Many business analysts undertake research across firms, while others concentrate on specialized areas of study. Management analysts, for instance, examine an organization’s processes and procedures and make recommendations on how to increase efficiency. A compensation, benefits, and job analyst, on the other hand, examines compensation and benefits programs and then proposes the best options for the firm. Similar job titles are:
- Business System Analyst
- Functional Architect
- Information Security Analyst
- Operations Research Analyst
- Business Data Analyst
5. Career Prospects of A Business Analyst
5.1. Job Outlook
The need for business analysts has surged in recent years and is expected to rise further. ACCORDING TO THE US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, the BA job was expected to grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for similar professions will vary from 7% for computer systems analysts to 25% for operations research analysts between 2020 and 2030.
Management analyst and operations analyst are two related job titles that perform activities comparable to those of business analysts. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is expanding exponentially, showing an increase in the need for business analysts. Business analysts are always an organizational priority because they must operate near senior executives, clients, and stakeholders.
5.2. Business Analyst Salary
According to PayScale, the average annual compensation for an IT business analyst is $67,762. BAs earn the most in San Francisco, where the average wage is 28% more than the national average. According to Glassdoor, the average income for business analysts in the United States in December 2021 was $77,218. Your actual wage will depend on the firm, region, and level of expertise.
6. What Do Business Analysts Do?
A business analyst can come from any industry, and the function varies depending on the industry and industry trends. A business analyst’s work is continually expanding and changing, particularly as firms rely increasingly on data to advise company operations. Every firm has unique difficulties that a business analyst may handle, such as obsolete legacy systems, changing technology, broken processes, low client or customer satisfaction, or siloed huge enterprises.
Business analysts go by various job titles, including: Business architect, Management consultant process analyst, business systems analyst, Business intelligence analyst, Systems analyst, data scientist, product manager, Enterprise analyst, product owner, and requirements engineer, bear in mind that some organizations also use the term “IT business analyst.”
Business analysts find opportunities for improvement to boost efficiency and strengthen business operations. They frequently collaborate with colleagues at all levels of the organization to discuss their findings and assist in executing improvements. The key responsibilities include:
- Talking with people to learn about their aims and present operations
- Put assumptions about why problems arise and why things are done the way they are to the test
- Outlining discoveries and potential solutions
- Budgeting and strategic planning
- Progress monitoring and report delivery
- Identifying and prioritizing the functional and technical requirements of the organization
- Analyzing huge data sets using SQL and Excel
- Assembling charts, tables, and other data visualization pieces
- Developing financial models to aid business decisions
The list is not exhaustive, but more or less, your daily tasks will revolve around these responsibilities.
7. What Skills Do Business Analysts Need?
As you know what the job prospects are as a business analyst and what tasks you have to carry out on an everyday basis, you might be wondering if you have those skills to be a business analyst. Here I have shared some of the skills you would need in this career as a business analyst.
7.1. Analytical skills
Exceptional analytical abilities will distinguish a great business analyst. A significant portion of the BA function entails the fundamentals of business analysis, such as data analysis, workflow, user or stakeholder inputs, documentation, and so on.
7.2. Leadership skills
One of the business analyst’s roles is to direct team members, anticipate budgets, assist team members with problems, etc., which will require leadership skills.
7.3. Technical skills
If business analysts work in the IT industry, they should be familiar with operating systems, hardware capabilities, database principles, networking, the SDLC process, and so on.
7.4. Knowledge of Business Processes and Planning
Planning the project scope, comprehending and implementing project requirements, and identifying project resources are some of the tasks that will require business process skills.
8. Tools and Software Needed for Business Analytics
The software and tools you’ll need to employ will be determined by your job title and the company’s needs. Software used by business analysts includes Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, SQL, Google Analytics, and Tableau. These tools assist BAs in gathering and sorting data, creating graphs, writing papers, and designing visualizations to illustrate the insights. A business analyst role does not require programming or database abilities, but they will come in handy if you already have these talents.
9. What Techniques Do Business Analysts Use?
Business analysts use several strategies to assist them in assessing company processes to increase efficiency, develop viable solutions, and achieve the intended objectives. Among these techniques are:
- SWOT Analysis: Evaluates a company’s internal and external factors to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- MOST EXAMINATION: Mission, Objective, Strategy, Tactics, or MOST Analysis is a basic and effective approach for analyzing and planning the specifics of what an organization does or should accomplish.
- Mind-mapping is a graphical method of representing thoughts and ideas to strategize, analyze, comprehend, and produce new ideas.
- PESTLE analysis is a method for determining what drives change in a firm. Brainstorming is a problem-solving, fact-finding, and idea-generation process.
10. How to Become a Business Analyst
I hope you have already learned about the skills and tools needed to work in a business analyst role. If you think you do not have the skills or qualifications to be successful business analysts, read this part of the article. Business analysts often have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, finance, economics, statistics, or a related field. Many business analysts have prior experience in IT job or software development.
10.1. Certified Business Analysis Professional
Industry-recognized accreditation can help advance your career. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has many certifications to provide you with the tools to be a successful business analyst.
- Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
- Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
- Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis (IIBA-CCA)
- Agile Analysis Certification (IIBA-AAC)
- Certification in Business Data Analytics (IIBA-CBDA)
10.2. Other Certifications
Although business analysis is a relatively new subject in IT, a few organizations already provide certificates to help strengthen your portfolio and demonstrate your worth as an analyst. Aside from the IIBA, several more professional institutions may provide you with the greatest expertise in business analysis. Each IQBBA, IREB, and PMI offers its specialized certification for business analysis.
- IQBBA’s Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
- IREB’s Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)
- PMI’s Professional in Business Analysis (PBA)
10.3. Degree Programs
Many businesses prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree. However, some may prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees: According to the BLS, bachelor’s degrees are prevalent for entry-level occupations in analytical disciplines. A bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline such as economics, finance, computer science, data science, statistics, information management, or a related field might help you prepare for business analysis employment.
Master’s degrees and MBAs: Candidates having a master’s degree in a related topic may be preferred by some companies. Consider acquiring a Master of Business Administration (MBA); some institutions offer business analytics concentrations.
Unlike certificates, which are meant to validate your existing talents, boot camps are aimed at giving you new skills or enhancing your present set. Boot camps can range from basic workshops done over a few days to complete instructor-led courses that last weeks or months. Whatever your chosen learning approach is, you may find a boot camp to meet your requirements.
Courses are frequently given both in-person and online; otherwise, your employer may invite a boot camp to do a workshop. Some boot camps are free, while others may charge a monthly or one-time fee. They’re all intended to provide hands-on experience and assist you in building your résumé.
Refreshing your understanding of the abilities demanded of a business analyst can demonstrate to employers that your knowledge is current and acceptable. Coursework, whether in person or online, may provide you with the tools you need to break into the profession of business analytics.
A data analytics or business analytics course might help you gain a comprehensive grasp of the work. Alternatively, you may become acquainted with the technologies used in business analytics by taking courses in Tableau, Excel, and MySQL.
10.6. Internships or Entry-level Jobs
Internships and entry-level work in accounting, finance, or business environments can help you gain experience before moving up. Look for titles such as “junior business analyst” or “entry-level business analyst” in your job hunt. If you’re still in college, meeting with a career counsellor might realize what options are available to you.
11. Common Interview Questions for the Business Analyst Job Profile
Interview questions for business analysts differ based on the industry for which they are being interviewed. Here are some frequently asked interview questions for a business analyst:
- How do you deal with resistant stakeholders?
- What is your business analysis process when working on a project?
- What tools do you believe business analysts need to execute their work effectively?
- In your work as a business analyst, which diagrams do you like to use?
- Describe your SQL query experience.
12. Fly Your Career as A Business Analyst
The Business Analyst acts as a liaison between the client and the IT team. They are responsible for understanding the client’s business objectives and gathering requirements through interviews, workshops, and other formal methods of communication. The BA then translates these requirements into system specifications that engineers can implement.
They must also have strong technical skills themselves and project management skills. Business analysts also need excellent communication skills because they spend most of their time liaising between stakeholders from both sides of the table. After getting all the insights into a business analyst’s role, make sure you take your career to a new horizon with the required qualification skills.
-edited by Steffy Michael|2/7/22