Business Analysts are also referred to as Management Analysts sometimes. They are in charge of understanding a business’s unfolding needs and offering technology solutions to help it improve its processes and systems. Business Analysts, in this way, act as a bridge between business and IT teams.
It all started way back in the 70s’ when companies and organizations began automating their paper-based approaches into electronic mediums with the rise in computers. The demand for Business Analysts started increasing by the 80s’ and the 90s’ when these professionals started combining new technologies with business acumen. The internet boom and parallel developments in many fields have led to massive transformations in almost every sector. The Business Analyst’s role has also changed. Business Analysts of today work alongside the Data Science team and can mine Big Data for understanding customer behavior and patterns, identifying system inefficiencies, and many more roles.
Here in this article, we will discuss the job of Business Analysts, how to become one, job description, skills needed, job outlook, salary, etc.
What is a Business Analyst?
Business Analysts (BAs) by bridging the gap between IT teams and business professionals, analyze an organization or a business to identify inefficiencies in the process, system, or business model, and assess technology integration in guiding them to improve these through Data Analysis. For them to work efficiently, BAs need to have in-depth knowledge about the specific business, its trends, and conventions associated with that line of business.
The IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysts) considers BAs to be agents of change within a business or organization. Now, these changes could be high-level changes, like changing infrastructure and policy changes, or it could be small-level changes like cutting costs, etc. However big or small the change may be, Business Analysts must bring in or find new opportunities for the organization. If you are passionate about Business Analytics, check out this Business Analyst Certification Course.
What does a Business Analyst do?
Business Analysts work with data and look for ways to improve efficiency in an organization. To bring in changes to the organization in a big or small way, these professionals must have strong communication skills and bridge different groups, work with them to understand the bottlenecks, present solutions to streamline processes to other professionals and stakeholders.
Many industry experts have segregated four different analyses that Business Analysts must engage in, and they are:
Strategic Planning, Business Model Analysis, Process Design, and Systems Analysis.
Business Analysts stumble upon many organization’s problems and inefficiencies and offer solutions in numerous formats like flowcharts, data models, business plans, strategic plans, etc.
How can I become a Business Analyst?
Let me state here that the below-mentioned points must not be taken as absolute, and there are many ways to become a Business Analyst. I will focus on the more traditional approach to getting hired as a Business Analyst.
Get an Undergraduate Degree in Business Administration, Finance, or Accounting
Getting a UG degree in these relevant fields is a good start to your journey in becoming a Business Analyst. You also must have skills in computer programming. Because there is a strong demand for Business Analysts, the better prepared you are, the better will be the opportunities that come your way. The best guide for you will be IIBA’s BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge). This guide will help you learn and understand the tasks and techniques of a qualified Business Analyst.
Gain Work Experience
Gaining Work Experience must be your priority task. Volunteer for work in a small company first or apply for summer internships. If you are working already, try to get maximum exposure by offering to work for projects that BAs undertale. Business Analytics is a wide field, working on some specific business domain such as billing, customer relations, workflow, etc., in a small or large company, different sectors, governments, etc. Start small and work on as many projects as you can to gain experience, and then later, you could specialize in the domain that you wish to work in. To crack interviews I recommend going through Business Analyst interview questions and answers.
The next and final step is to earn a Master’s Degree or an Advanced Certificate.
After gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in the business domain, and gaining work experience, you can then look for doing your Master’s in Advanced or specialized fields. You can even go for a Master’s before gaining work experience, but gaining work experience will make you better prepared for future challenges. Try earning certificates in Data Analytics, Project Management, Operations Research, Predictive Analytics, Database Analytics, etc. For some experienced candidates, IIBA offers you Professional Certificates like Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA), Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), etc. You can earn these certificates and move on to your specialized and advanced fields for better opportunities.
Business Analysts Job description
After reviewing many job descriptions for Business Analysts, I will list down some general job descriptions to keep in mind:
- Communicate with professionals to understand the business requirements.
- Work with stakeholders to better understand their services and products.
- Conduct tests, surveys to analyze and model data to reach conclusions.
- Offer suggestions and solutions for infrastructure, policy, or operational changes.
- Communicate with senior management regarding inefficiencies and how you propose to tackle them.
- Document all these into reports and evaluate the impact of these changes. Communicate the same to senior management as well as stakeholders.
And many more roles are company and project-specific.
Skills needed to become a Business Analyst.
I will list here some of the most significant skill sets that are required to become a Business Analyst, and they are:
- Good Communication skills
- Business Acumen
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
- Technical skills like Data crunching, wireframing, presentation skills, Big Data mining, Database management, computer programming, etc.
Business Analyst Salary
Business Analysts earn a good payroll for their contribution to organizations, companies, enterprises, or businesses. According to PayScale.com, Business Analysts in India will earn an annual average salary of INR 607,048, and in the US will earn USD 69,784.
Business Analyst Job Outlook
The potential of this profession is rising with each passing year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2029, this field will grow by 11%. More opportunities pop up in large cities where major MNCs are headquartered.
Keep up with technology, keep upskilling yourself, earn certificates, and always be curious to rise in your career as Business Analyst.