Are you thinking of becoming a business analyst?
Business analysts help businesses with data-driven decision-making to maximize business effectiveness.
Simply put, business analysts use a large amount of data to identify insights and recommend strategies to improve business operations. Business analysts have the ability to analyze and identify issues in any part of the business, including company structure, employee engagement, IT processes, production, etc.
The primary goal of any business is to increase operational efficiency and minimize operating costs. And business analysts can help them achieve that through data-driven analysis. That’s why they have become an integral part of aany businesses.
Let’s look at the exact functions of a business analyst and what it takes to become a successful business analyst.
In this article, we will talk about:
- What is a business analyst?
- What does a business analyst do?
- Business Analyst Job Description
- Business Analysis vs. Business Analytics
- What is a business analyst salary?
- Steps to launch a successful career as a Business Analyst?
- What are the skills you need to master to become a Business Analyst?
What Is a Business Analyst?
A business analyst acts as the bridge between the technical team and the management team of a business. Business analysts primarily ensure that the projects the technical team is delivering meet the need for business objectives and improve the company’s bottom line.
Business analysts work with business leaders and users at the same time to collect feedback and analyze data to identify data-driven changes in the process, product, service, or processes to improve business efficiency.
Not only that, they must balance their suggestions with technical and financial capabilities. Business analysts have to work with large data sets to identify improvement opportunities.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
Business analysts must work closely with stakeholders and clients to communicate their suggestions to improve business outcomes on a given day.
Business analysts also analyze trends and communicate business-relevant data to the management team. Organizations heavily depend on the insights of business analysts to reconfigure their goals and processes.
Here are some of the key roles and responsibilities of a business analyst:
Business Analyst Job Description
Business analyst role and responsibility:
- Understanding the function and processes of a business and evaluating the efficiency of those processes, cost, and results.
- Identifying improvement opportunities in business operation and processes
- Compiling recommendations to the management by identifying new technologies and methodologies, etc.
- Managing and developing project plans and monitoring performance for ensuring timely turnover and delivery.
- Engaging with business leaders and users to understand business goals and work accordingly.
- Testing new systems and creating system documentation and user manuals for ensuring proper operation
Business Analyst vs. Business Analytics
There is a lot of confusion between business analysis and business analytics.
Both fields work on reviewing data-based information to benefit an organization; still, they have a few differences. Business analysis focuses on process improvement via modifying solutions, while business analytics focuses on analyzing data to understand business performance.
Average Salary fo Businesss Analysts
Here is a salary trend according to the BLS Occupational Employment and Wages
According to the data from Payscale, an IT business analyst makes around $67762 per year in the USA. And it varies from place to place.
- The average salary in San Francisco is 28% greater than the national average.
- In New York, the average salary is 18% higher than the national average.
- In Boston, it’s 7% higher than the normal average salary.
Here is a list of similar jobs and their salary for your understanding:
|Job title||Average Salary|
|Business management analyst||$60,428|
|Business performance analyst||$60,678|
|Business analyst II||$64,981|
|Junior IT business analyst||$65,330|
|Application business analyst||$66,882|
|Business intelligence analyst||$66,791|
|ITSM business analyst||$66,891|
|Technical business analyst||$71,489|
|Agile business analyst||$74,000|
|IT business analyst||$74,000|
|Business solutions analyst||$75,243|
|Systems business analyst||$78,095|
|Business analyst III||$78,107|
|Senior IT business analyst||$90,201|
Steps to Launch a Successful Business Analyst Career
Though everyone has a different story of becoming a business analyst, the typical business analyst roadmap is similar. Let’s explore the same.
1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is the primary requirement to become a business analyst. There is no specific requirement for the field of study, but usually, people with a background in finance, business, economics, psychology, computer science get the preferences.
2. Fine-tune your Technical Skills
Just having a relevant degree won’t cut it if you want to become a business analyst. Candidates have to explore different technical skills to become business analysts. Here are some of the software you need to master to become a business analyst:
- Statistical analysis software such as R, SAS, SPSS, STATA
- SQL database and query language
- Survey and query software
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Visio
3. Get Entry Level Job
An entry-level job or internship in accounting, finance, business analysis can be your building block for becoming a business analyst. When you search for a job, look for titles like Junior Business Analyst, Analyst Intern, Associate Business Analyst to get an entry-level position.
4. Get Advanced Degree
If you want to pursue a business analyst position at the management level, you might look for an advanced degree such as a master’s in business analytics, data science, statistics, computer science, information management, finance, or economics. Most high-level positions require you to have these advanced degrees.
5. Get Certification
Earning a certification is beneficial when you want to expand your skills and increase your earning potential in the market.
Here are some standard business analyst certifications:
- IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
- IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)
- PMI Professional in Business Analytics (PMI-PBA)
The ECBA certificate can showcase that you have all the training to become a business analyst. However, if you are already working in the business analyst field, CBPA, CCBA, PMI-PBA can show the employers your competency.
Business Analyst Skills to Master
Here we have compiled five essential skills you need to master to become a business analyst.
Business analysis is a highly tech-oriented field. So if you are not very fond of technology, computer programming, then becoming a business analyst can be difficult for you.
But, if you have good knowledge of programming languages and can analyze the effectiveness of processes and tools, it will be easier for you to become a successful business analyst.
Some common technical tools you will need to become a business analyst are:
|Business Analyst||Technical Skills|
Data Analysis and Statistics
As a business analyst, you have to collect and analyze data on the company’s problems. Here are some of the skills you require around data and statistical analysis to become a business analyst:
- Data Warehousing
- Data Collection
- Data Visualization
- Data Reviewing
- Statistical Analysis
A business analyst’s job doesn’t end with providing data-driven insights to stakeholders. They also have to understand the current resource constraints and plan out a cost estimation for the entire project accordingly.
If you have good financial planning skills, it will be easier to create a cost estimate after the vision and object have been set for a project.
Staying organized is the key to becoming a successful business analyst.
If you have documented everything and it’s easy to understand, your job as a business analyst will become much easier.
A well-organized document will help you communicate your findings from lower-level employees to higher-level stakeholders. That’s why a strong command on writing is one of the essential skills to become a business analyst.
Communication is a must-have skill in any high-functioning job profile, especially for a business analyst, when you have to constantly talk to various people, including clients, managers, users, remote team members, co-workers, etc.
So, you must have the capability to make your agenda known to everyone with extreme clarity.
You sometimes have to talk to employees with zero technical knowledge, and you have to explain things to them in simple and easily understandable language.
Having the ability to communicate with a wide range of people is extremely important to becoming a business analyst.
What Are the Different Types of Business Analyst Jobs?
There are multiple types of business analyst jobs that exist. And not all jobs are related to software.
In most unique field of businesses, specialists are more welcome than generalist analysts.
Here are a few types of business analysts job you can aim for:
Business consultants are specialists in the business analysis field. A business consultant’s job is to understand a field of business and answer questions to the client about how it can improve its profitability.
Business consultants are not tied to one specific business. Most of the time, they work with different businesses to solve their problems.
The Average Salary of a business consultant in USA: $79,858 per year
Business analysts have to work in an agile environment at some point in their careers. Then even have to take up the project manager or product manager in some cases. Some industries have combined business analysts and product managers in a single profile.
The job of a product manager is to develop a product by understanding users’ pain points and improving existing products to improve profitability.
Product managers need a high level of business knowledge, analytical skills, and competitors’ knowledge to create a product that offers everything the customers need.
The Average Salary of a product manager in USA: $96,015 per year
Every business needs a lot of written data. And since business analysts have a good understanding of each function of a business, they are perfect to work as a technical writer for producing accurate technical documentation.
The Average Salary of a technical writer in USA: $68,555 per year
Business Analysis Manager
The responsibilities of a business analysis manager are to recruit and train business analysts and develop a high-performing business analyst team. They also develop business analysis policies and procedures to optimize performance.
The Average Salary of a business analysis manager in USA: $121,218 per year
IT Business Analyst
IT business analysts specialize in information technology and they have experience in working with multiple projects and technologies to create effective business processes.
The IT business analysts also need to be extremely good with communication since they have to constantly be in communication with executives and stakeholders.
The Average Salary of a IT business analyst in USA: $70,441 per year
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are responsible for designing and installing IT security systems and procedures to prevent cyberattacks on a company’s cloud networks. They are also involved in identifying and testing new firewalls and tools to increase security. An information security analyst will also monitor company networks for security breaches, install software patches and updates and maintain security documents for future reference
The Average Salary of a information security analyst in USA: $103,590 per year
How to Find an Entry Level Business Analyst Job?
Getting an entry-level business analyst job as a fresher is not easy. But, if you follow a systematic approach, you can do it in no time.
Here are a few steps you should follow:
1. Post Resume on Job Sites
Most job sites allow candidates to upload their resumes on the portal. So that they can easily apply for jobs, and recruiters can easily see their resumes to see if they are a good fit for a job.
2. Network with People
If you want to get into an entry level position, there is no better way than networking. You can go to networking events, job fairs. Nowadays, there are online events and webinars to connect with industry professionals without leaving your home.
Also Read: How to network with people via LinkedIn?
3. Transform Your Resume
You may think that you will get an entry level job with only your skills and qualifications. But if your business analyst resume doesn’t correctly highlight your skills and experience, how will the recruiter understand that you are worthy of the job?
A resume solely focused on the business analyst job should be formatted professionally and should properly highlight your skills and expertise.
Add a separate project section, where you mention all the past projects you have worked with. Also, add a key skills section, where you mention all your core and technical skills to help you get noticed by the recruiter. It will also help your resume get through the ATS Systems.
4. Optimize Linkedin Profile
That means it’s necessary for candidates looking for a job to optimize their LinkedIn profile. Make sure it has an updated experience section and you have a professional profile picture. Also, ensure that your profile headline and about section are optimized for the search.
Also, you can ask the people you’ve worked with to give some recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. This will make your Linkedin Profile much more robust than any other candidate.
Business Analysts FAQs
Is business analysts an IT job?
No, a business analyst does not come under IT jobs. Any type of business can have a business analyst to improve its processes. However, if you want to work with IT companies specifically, then you can consider the role of IT business analyst.
Business analyst or data analyst, which is better?
It’s a subjective question. If you are more business-minded, then a business analyst job might be a better fit for you. But, If you enjoy working with data, then data analyst is more your forte.
What is a business intelligence analyst?
Business intelligence analyst is a hybrid role based on data analysis and business analysis. They analyze data and use data visualization tools to identify industry trends to drive profit in a competitive market.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the blog:
- The demand for a Business analyst is snowballing in this cut-throat job market.
- The main job of a business analyst is to understand the company vision, analyze existing processes and suggest improvement opportunities.
- Business analysts should have coding knowledge, excellent data analysis, and interpersonal skills.
- The minimum requirement for becoming a business analyst is to have a relevant bachelor’s degree in business, data analysis, statistics, computer science, etc.
This sums up our answer to what is a business analyst. We hope you have learned everything you need to know about becoming a business analyst. You can further read about business analyst jobs to get a clear idea about the job market.