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As companies continue to expand steadily while satisfying their clients’ and customers’ demands, business analysts are becoming more in demand across various industries. These professionals’ role is to help the company profit more, solve existing business problems, and better achieve their goals. 

 

But, what exactly is a business analyst? Here, take a look at what requirements are needed to become one, their skills, responsibilities, and career paths.    

What Is a Business Analyst?

Business analysts are hired to help organizations or clients develop their procedures and structures by evaluating the business model or its technology implementation. They look at how a company operates by conducting research and analyzing data to develop their knowledge. In turn, they suggest methods for the company to improve its practices, processes, products, services, and software.

Business analyst requirements

Business analyst requirements can differ depending on the organization or client. Analysts can work for an organization (where they will only work on their assignments) or for a consultancy firm. They will typically go to a client’s office and be there for a project’s duration.

 

Most employers expect business analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in a numeracy-related subject such as business administration, accounting, computing, economics, an MBA, or extensive industry experience.

 

Additional requirements could be Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) certification, history of leading successful projects, and industry knowledge.

Business analyst skills

A business analyst’s role is to articulate ideas and balance them against what’s technologically feasible and financially and functionally reasonable. To achieve this, there needs to be a blend of commercial awareness, data modeling, an understanding of project management techniques, and soft and hard skills. 

 

Key soft skills for business analysts are:

 

  • Communication: These professionals must communicate and translate ideas, data, findings, and suggestions from a high-level technical language into information in an expressive way that stakeholders can understand.
  • Problem-solving: A business analyst’s primary duty is to identify which practices or methods are not performing to their full potential and formulate and execute appropriate solutions.
  • Leadership and management: Connecting business and technical staff members, getting everyone focused on a single target, and managing timelines, budgets, and goals.

 On the other hand, these hard skills are what make a business analyst:

 

  • Analytical skills: Analyzing large amounts of data and other business processes to form ideas and fix problems.
  • Research skills: Conducting thorough research about new processes and software to present effective results.
  • Process-improvement skills: Uncovering inconsistencies or inefficiencies in business processes and making actionable suggestions for enhancement.
  • Computer knowledge: Rudimentary understanding of how technical systems work and how to change them . Solutions must also be achievable for the programmers.
  • Math skills: Using certain software types, including spreadsheets, database programs, and financial analysis software.
  • Writing skills: The ability to present very technical information in a written form that is clear and understandable to their intended audience.

Business Analyst Responsibilities

Typically, some typical responsibilities of a business analyst are:

 

  • Analyzing the structure of a business, how it uses technology and what its goals are.
  • Identifying problems within a business using data modeling techniques.
  • Communicating with senior people in organizations to find out what they hope to achieve.
  • Developing ways for companies to improve, based on previous research.
  • Persuading internal and external stakeholders of the benefits of new technology or strategies.
  • Overseeing the implementation of new technology, and systems.
  • Running workshops and training sessions.
  • Researching and reviewing up-to-date business processes and new IT advancements to make systems more modern.
  • Presenting ideas and findings in meetings.

Career Path & Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of management analysts—including business analysts—is projected to grow 14% between 2018-2028, which is significantly higher than the average for all occupations.

 

Business analysts often specialize in a particular industry, such as telecommunications or energy. On the other hand, they may work in a specific business area, like marketing, human resources, or supply chain management. Business analysts’ participation in projects may vary as they may be present for a brief time to come up with solutions to an issue or for a more extended period to help execute the solution.

 

These are some prospects for business analysts as the evolution of big data takes shape:

  • IT Business Analyst: Business analyst career paths that focus on technology and business components of managing corporate data are developing beyond IT and software. This is because these professionals now need to include business components with the ability to focus on the strategy aspect of their roles. This transition opens up a slew of new job opportunities.
  • Business Analyst Manager: Business analyst managers hold the responsibility of overseeing their team’s ongoing education and coaching. Manager position comes with experience, and to earn jobs with high-profile companies, candidates are expected to have a master’s degree in business administration.
  • Data Business Analyst: While both data analysts and business analysts deal with data, the most significant distinction is what they do with it. Business analysts work with large data sets to identify trends, develop charts, and create visual presentations to assist with business making decisions.

 

Problem-solving, partner management, and time management are only a few of the qualities required for a business analysis career. Self-motivated individuals with strong analytical skills can find this profession a good choice, and it also allows them to work in a variety of sectors and industries.

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