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What Does a Business Analyst Do? How to Become a Business Analyst in 2021

Last Updated on May 1, 2021 by Admin

Business analysts help maximize a business’s effectiveness through data-driven decisions. Learn about what do business analysts do and what it takes to become a business analyst in 2021. Business analysts work with organizations to assist them in improving their processes and systems. They administer research and analysis to come up with solutions to business intricacies and help introduce these systems to businesses and their clients.

What is a business analyst?

Business analysts use data to form business insights and recommend changes in businesses and other organizations. Business analysts can identify issues in virtually any part of an organization, including IT processes, organizational structures, or staff development.

As businesses seek to increase efficiency and reduce costs, business analytics has become an important component of their operations. Let’s take a closer look at what business analysts do and what it takes to get a job in business analysis.

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What do business analysts do?

Business analysts identify business areas that can be improved to increase efficiency and strengthen business processes. They often work closely with others throughout the business hierarchy to communicate their findings and help implement changes.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a business analyst can include:

  • Identifying and prioritizing the organization’s functional and technical needs and requirements
  • Compiling charts, tables, and other elements of data visualization
  • Creating financial models to support business decisions
  • Understanding business strategies, goals, and requirements
  • Planning enterprise architecture (the structure of a business)
  • Forecasting, budgeting, and performing both variance analysis and financial analysis



Business analyst salary and job growth

The average salary for business analysts in 2021 in the United States is $78,944, according to Indeed. Salaries can range from $57,599 to $108,580, depending on the company, location, and amount of experience the business analyst has.

In India, the average base salary for a business analyst is ₹605,104 per year. According to Payscale. Salaries can range from ₹274,000 to ₹1000,000, depending on the company, location, and amount of experience the business analyst has.

Other related job titles include management analyst and operations analyst—both of which perform duties similar to business analysts.

How to become a business analyst

Becoming a business analyst may require gaining skills and credentials applicable to the work. Coursework, certifications, or degrees can provide aid your path to a job as a business analyst.

1. Sharpen your business analyst skills

Here are some skills you’ll typically want to have as a business analyst.

  • Business acumen: A solid understanding of finance, accounting, and business principles will help you surface what operational issues exist and how best to address them.
  • Technical skills: These skills include stakeholder management, data modeling, and knowledge of IT.
  • Analytical skills: Business analysts have to analyze large amounts of data and other business processes to form ideas and fix problems.
  • Problem-solving: It is a business analyst’s primary responsibility to develop solutions to an organization’s problems.
  • Research skills: Thorough research must be conducted about new processes and software to present effective results.
  • Communication: A business analyst is often expected to communicate with several different players within an organization, including upper management and other teams. Being able to present your ideas clearly and convincingly will be a large asset as a business analyst.
  • Data analysis: Gathering, tracking, and analyzing performance metrics will be central to a business analysis role. Having a good grasp of data analysis and visualization tools like Tableau, MS Excel, and Power BI Tools can be useful. Some knowledge of a programming language like SQL may also come in handy.




2. Take a course

Refreshing your familiarity with the skills expected of a business analyst can show employers your knowledge is up to date and adequate. Coursework, either in person or online, can give you the tools needed to get your foot in the door in the field of business analytics.

Courses in data analytics or business analytics can bring you a holistic understanding of the job. Or familiarize yourself with the tools used in business analytics through coursework in Tableau or Excel and MySQL.

3. Earn a business analyst certification

Earning a certification can expand your skill set and potentially increase your earnings or make you more competitive for jobs. Here are some business analysis certifications to consider:

  • 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)

If you’re starting as a business analyst, the ECBA can show hiring managers you’ve received several hours of training and know the basics of business analysis. If you have some experience with business analytics, the CBAP, CCBA, and PMI-PBA can show employers your competency and experience.




4. Get a degree

Many employers like to see at least a bachelor’s degree on your resume, though some may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor’s degrees are common for entry-level positions in analytical fields, according to the BLS. Getting your bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field like economics, finance, computer science, data science, statistics, information management, or a similar field can prepare you for business analysis jobs.

Master’s degrees and MBAs: Some employers might prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You may also consider getting a master’s of business administration (MBA); several programs offer specializations in business analytics. Getting your master’s degree in business analytics or business administration could help advance your skills and knowledge and give you a leg up in the job search arena.

5. Know your entry-level options

Internships and entry-level positions in accounting, finance, or business settings can build your experience before landing a higher-level position. In your job search, look for titles like a junior business analyst or entry-level BA. If you’re still in school, making an appointment with a career counselor can help you understand what opportunities are out there.


Next steps

If a career in business analysis sounds interesting, start by exploring how you can bolster your skillset. Courses in business analytics or business systems can give you a broad introduction to the profession. Otherwise, sharpen your expertise in data through the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate program.

Glossary of business analysis terms

  • Business architecture: Part of the enterprise architecture that defines the business or organization’s structure, specifically its strategy, goals, objectives, internal environment, external environment, and stakeholders
  • Data-driven decisions: Decisions made based on data instead of emotions, observation, or intuition
  • Decision tables: A type of model that presents complex business rules or logic in an easily read, tabular form with all potential actions and conditions included
  • Enterprise architecture: The structure of a business, including IT software and hardware, business processes, projects, operations, and employees
  • Financial analysis: The process used to evaluate budgets, projects, and transactions to analyze performance and make decisions about whether they’re appropriate
  • Variance analysis: The analysis of differences between the planned performance and actual results to figure out recommendations for correcting and preventing issues




What are general interview questions for business analysts?

Interview questions for business analysts vary depending on the industry they are interviewing for. Here are some common questions a business analyst may be asked in an interview:

  •  How do you handle difficult stakeholders?
  • What is your business analysis process when you work on a project?
  • What tools do you think a business analyst needs to do their job well?
  • Which diagrams do you prefer to use in your role as a business analyst?
  • Describe your experience with SQL queries. 

What techniques do business analysts use?

Business analysts use several techniques to help them analyze business processes to create more efficiency, develop solutions that work, and obtain desired results. Some of these techniques are:

  • SWOT Analysis: Assesses Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat in a business through internal and external forces
  • MOST Analysis: Mission, Objective, Strategy, Tactics or MOST Analysis is a simple and useful tool used to analyze and plan the details of what an organization does or should do
  • Mind-mapping: A graphic way to represent concepts and ideas to strategize, analyze, comprehend and generate new ideas
  • PESTLE analysis: Used to identify what drives change in a business. Stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental
  • Brainstorming: A technique that is used for problem-solving, find facts, and generate ideas.



Conclusion

Business analysts play an indispensable role in helping companies retaliate against outdated processes and adopt new technology. They are in high demand in every area of business, from finance to IT to corporate management.

A business analyst’s career path is lucrative and rewarding. Companies across both IT and e-commerce sectors pay outstanding compensation to deserving candidates who can add value to their organization.




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