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In recent years, with the rising competency in the job market, parallel evaluation is of much significance for all businesses. It helps them map out their objectives and goals.
What does a business analyst do and what is the growth of this profile in the job market? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not record data for this particular profile. However, it does track many job categories that fall under the broader profile of business analysis.
As per an article by BrainStation, “Some of the long-established categories – like Financial Analyst, which has been around for decades – are predicted to see modest growth, while categories that relate to emerging technologies can expect much more dramatic growth over the decade ending in 2029”.
A business analyst becomes a guardian who protects the company’s interests. They help the business flourish, synchronizing their personal goals with industry requirements.
This requires evaluation of past and present data. This, in turn, improves the decision-making process and the outlook of the business.
Jotting down the FAQ’s covered with regards to what does a business analyst do in the following sections:
- What are the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst?
- What is the job description of a business analyst?
- What is the average business analyst salary?
- What are the skills required by a business analyst?
- How to become a business analyst?
- What does a business systems analyst do?
- What does a business intelligence analyst do?
Listed below are some common doubts people face in this job profile:
- Is Business Analyst an IT Job?
- Is SQL required for Business Analyst?
- Is Tableau Important for Business Analyst?
Roles and Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
The role of a business analyst is related to the IT department, so much so that it is considered a technical job. A business analyst should be adept at both technical and managerial skills to fulfill his responsibilities.
Following are some of the most common responsibilities that fall under a business analyst profile:
The first step a business analyst needs to take is to study their company’s processes, the current technology in use by the company, and its present goals. Later in the process, they need to study the results that have been achieved with the current policies in play.
After the collective data analysis, one can work upon the areas lacking effectiveness. For example:
- Ways to make the new project cost-effective
- Ways to make the new business model beneficial for the company and its clients
Revamping Business Model
Once you get to know the setbacks, a refined business model must come into play. The model must comprise of advanced technological tools and an updated industry approach.
The business analyst needs to prepare a detailed presentation on the new model. For instance, if the project is to redesign the company website, you need to throw light upon every aspect such as the wireframe, the sectional distributions, the additions, and subtractions, etc.
Designing the Process
The business analyst then needs to discuss the reconfigured process with the stakeholders. It is significant for them to understand the pros of the new business model.
The company staff will need training and the clients associated with the business would also need an orientation program. The changes would only bring the desired results when the people associated with the business can adapt to it in the best manner possible.
Also read: Entry Level Business Analyst
Entry level business analysts work in the operational areas of an organization, such as sales, customer support, marketing, to gather and analyze market trends and industry data. They work with senior business analysts and project teams to ensure the products being developed comply with the needs of the customers.
Business Analyst Job Description
A business analyst can either work as an in-house employee looking solely after the project management of one union, or they can be employed by another analyst or consulting firm and are designated to partake in the projects specific to their supervisor’s clients.
The main tasks allotted to a business analyst are to:
- Understand the company goals
- Compile recommendations to make process variations
- Perform some user acceptance testing
- Be able to explain abstruse concepts to non-technical users
- Track deliverables and ensure timely completion of projects
A business analyst serves as a liaison between stakeholders and developers and is ought to look after the resources and priorities of the company with an analytical approach, to propose necessary amendments which lead to prosperous results.
Also read: Business Analyst Jobs
Business Analyst Salary
The national average salary for a business analyst is USD 77,218 as stated by Glassdoor for an intermediary profile, keeping in calculation the major IT and telecom sectors. For an entry-level and a senior business analyst, the standard annual salary is recorded as USD 37,707 and USD 144,511 respectively by Janbask.
The salary depends on various factors such as:
- Working location
- Economic conditions
- Work Experience
- Designation hierarchy
- Size of the company
People tend to opt for this job profile not only because of the growing industry need, but also the monetary increment.
Ashley DiFranza from Northeastern University quotes, “The general job outlook for business analysts is increasing at a faster-than-average rate of 11 percent, and the popularity of many other big data careers is on the rise, as well. These factors together have led to an increased interest in data careers across a variety of industries”.
Also read: Entry Level Business Analyst Salary
Skills Required to Become a Business Analyst
This profession requires a balance of hard skills and soft skills on conceptual grounds. As discussed before, technical skills are just part of the skill set required by a business analyst.
An individual needs to have the intelligence to read people and understand situations, for this one cannot be specifically trained, since this skill is acquired through years of experience.
To bifurcate your technical skills from your key skills and present them accurately in your resume, you can find pre-made resume templates at Hiration's Online Resume Builder of business analyst job profile which offers you customization with in-built data.
Following are the most significant sets of skills required in a business analyst job profile:
Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving
An analytical interpretation is the core of this profession. The objectives and requirements communicated by the management and subordinates are to be understood by the business analyst, both at a collective and individual level.
As intricate as it sounds, it is very closely related to conducting a survey and then reaching a conclusion based on the statistics. To reach the point of solving the problem, the problem must be read in-depth first. Then only the best-suited solution can find its way.
Communication and Consultative Skills
In any high-functioning environment, communication is the key. A business analyst must possess the clarity of delivering ideas and propositions.
While collecting information, the right kind of questions must be asked to gather accurate data. It is required for business analysts to have interpersonal skills, to communicate comfortably with their co-workers.
Also, as the position holds the responsibility of making process and policy variations, a business analyst must possess decision-making skills.
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Negotiation
Negotiation is a crucial skill required in a business analyst which is significant in every project they need to work upon. It helps to decide the project’s vision and trajectory.
A business analyst should also carry out a cost-benefit analysis to assess the costs and benefits expected in a particular project. With the help of a cost-benefit analysis, a business analyst can figure out whether the project undertaken will be rewarding enough or not.
Programming Languages and Software Knowledge
To conduct data analysis, programming knowledge becomes a must in this profile. Two important programming languages which can make or break the game are:
- Python - While working with huge data and advanced modeling, knowledge of Python can be a life savior. Python comes in handy as it allows to automate processes and saves time.
- R - For cost-effective statistical computing, R is the best option as it is open-source and is free. It helps in the parameter of cost-benefit analysis as it cuts down on software budget.
- SAS and SPSS - As these are statistical software, it’s recommended to gain knowledge about these for this job profile.
In addition to these, Excel and Powerpoint are a prerequisite to fulfilling the eligibility for this job.
Some Commonly Occurring Doubts
Is Business Analyst an IT Job?
In many cases, business analysts work solely within IT, focusing on both business and systems requirements for a project, consulting with various subject matter experts (SMEs) to ensure thorough understanding.
However, there is a specialized role called IT Business Analyst. This profile is responsible for enhancing the quality of IT products and services, analyzing data to inform business decisions, and finding technological solutions to business needs, among other duties.
Is SQL required for Business Analyst?
Most business analyst positions do not compulsorily require SQL. Based on Glassdoor data, only 27% of business analyst job listings have SQL as a requirement and 73% do not.
However, this need for SQL is dependent on company size, career experience level, and a company’s ability to provide on-job training in SQL.
Is Tableau Important for Business Analyst?
Tableau, and several other visualization tools, play a great part in a business analyst's life.
Tableau, for instance, is not only a great tool for visualization but for descriptive analysis as well. Visualization of the data is the communicative platform that lets the company understand the suitable course of action.
How to Become a Business Analyst?
The primary requirement to set foot in this career path is to have a graduation degree in a quantitative field such as:
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Information Management
Further specialization like post-graduation or certification in any of these subjects or similar fields is an added advantage. Gaining an understanding of business data, combined with the knowledge of Microsoft Office can be of great help for a business analyst aspirant.
As a beginner, you can apply for an Internship and entry-level jobs in the fields of business administration, accounting, and finance that will help you gain experience and eligibility for a senior-level position.
Also read:Senior Business Analyst Salary
Difference Between Business Systems Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, and Business Analyst
We have come across some lack of clarity about the difference between these three job profiles.
There are notable differences between these profiles concerning their area of expertise. We will break it down for you in the following tables:
What Does a Business Systems Analyst Do?
|Business Analyst||Business Systems Analyst|
|Fulfill requirements from a business process perspective||Works as a support system to enable processes|
|Majorly resolves non-technical business problems||Tend to take care of the technical business problems|
|Models: process maps, strategy maps, etc.||Models: user stories, state transition diagrams, etc.|
What Does a Business Intelligence Analyst Do?
|Business Analyst||Business Intelligence Analyst|
|Assess information to make effective conclusions||Compile data for backing their recommendations|
|Evaluate the efficacy of a project or process||Evaluate that the conclusions met are sound and accurate|
|Creates new solutions to rectify administrative practices||States variables that affect sales and performance|
Also read: Business Analyst Cover Letter
- In a cut-throat job market, a business analyst is a force of the new-age company to bring unconventional change with their analytical approach to maximize the output.
- A business analyst is responsible for evaluating the industry requirements and current technology in play to make optimum use of both to achieve desired results.
- It is required from a business analyst to thoroughly understand the company goals and bring necessary process variations to obtain the same.
- Business analysts should have interpersonal skills to be comfortably in sync with their coworkers and consultative skills as the business operations majorly depend upon their professional advice.
- The job profile is closely related to the IT department, therefore a decent understanding of programming languages Python, R, and software like Microsoft Suite is a prerequisite.
This sums up our answer to the question around a business analyst's job profile.
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