With the rise of big data and related technologies, big brands, businesses, governments, and even political leaders have been taking advantage of all these new techs. Business Analyst jobs have been on rise in the last couple of years as the brands, especially the government, have been taking a more creative and dynamic approach to work.
Business analysts are liable to people who are likely to play important roles in bringing about change. As a business analyst, you will dig through data, analyze those and create business & growth strategies for your employer. The most technical a job is, the better is the salary of a business analyst.
In this article, I will help you understand the various aspects of being a business analyst.
Table of Contents
What does a Business Analyst do?
The first thing a business analyst needs to do is understand what the organization’s current state is and then construe what it could potentially become in the future. For the latter purpose, they need to consider the opinions of leaders, subject matter experts, project team leaders, and stakeholders. They can then develop methods to take the organization from its present state to its ultimate goal. Thus, business analysts can provide a refreshingly new perspective of existing issues and devise innovative ways of solving them.
Business analysts are at an advantage because they enter a situation without holding biased opinions that people who are actively involved with a project’s subject matter tend to have. They can ask seemingly stupid questions without making a fool of themselves. They also have the liberty of questioning the basic assumptions that others seldom think about. Thus, if you have a knack for solving problems, business analysis has a lot to offer you.
Duties and Responsibilities
Mostly, business analysts tend to deal with project teams. They could be needed to perform some or all of the tasks given below, as part of their daily duties:
- Work closely together with their project managers
- Take up multiple projects together, and thus keep evaluating their deadlines and priorities over and over again
- Become well-versed with the details of their organization’s business processes associated with the project goals
- Aid in solving problems associated with the project by documenting relevant processes (this usually involves diagrams that depict how work is carried out).
- Finding out how the work in question differs from established protocols, procedures, and policies.
- Come up with requirements that a solution must have and gather requirements to ensure that their knowledge is deep and contextual.
- Build upon the foundations of business solutions (which, in turn, demands familiarity with the way technology solutions are implemented)
Since a business analyst knows the technical and business-related aspects of a project, they play a very important role in its success. In fact, this knowledge is usually far more extensive than that of the project manager himself or herself. A business analyst can express technical details in a simplified manner that the project members can readily understand. Similarly, they can also help computer programmers understand confusing terms that are exclusive to the organization.
Following the implementation of solutions, a business analyst needs to ensure that the technical work serves the business needs. He or she could also assist in the creation of user manuals and system testing.
In business analysis, like nearly every professional field out there, the highest-earning individuals are usually the ones who have been working in the field for a long time and have a track record of outstanding performance as well. An IT business analyst receives an average salary of $70,000 to $84,000 per year. Business analysts in San Francisco receive 28% higher salaries than the national average. With salaries being 18% higher than the national average, New York comes in at the second position. Boston ranks third with 7% higher salaries than the national average.
|Job Title||Average Annual Salary|
|Business management analyst||$60,600|
|Business performance analyst||$61,500|
|Business analyst II||$67,000|
|Junior IT business analyst||$65,000|
|Application business analyst||$69,000|
|Business intelligence analyst||$72,000|
|ITSM business analyst||$74,000|
|Technical business analyst||$76,000|
|Agile business analyst||$84,000|
|IT business analyst||$84,000|
|Business solutions analyst||$88,000|
|Systems business analyst||$92,000|
|Business analyst III||$92,000|
|Senior IT business analyst||$112,000|
Education, Training, and Certification
The position of a business analyst has certain educational and training criteria that need to be fulfilled. Generally, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field like business administration, accounting, finance, political science, sociology, statistics, or economics. They also receive training on the job, although previous experience as a junior analyst is needed for some positions.
Business analysis is a rather new discipline in information technology. Still, a few organizations have started to give out certifications to improve your resume and give you credibility as a business analyst. These organizations include the PMI, IREB, IQBBA, and IIBA. Each of them offer their own customized certifications for business analysis. Given below is a list of such certifications:
- PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PBA)
- IRED Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)
- IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
- IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC)
- IIBA Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP)
- IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
- IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
The position of a business analyst demands both hard skills and soft skills. They must know how to pull, analyze, and report data trends; furthermore, they should know how to share that information with other people and apply it aptly to the organization’s business.
If a business analyst knows the basics of how tools, products, and systems work, they don’t really need to hail from an IT background. On the other hand, some business analysts have their roots in IT and lack experience when it comes to business. These people often prefer to move away from IT and take up this mixed role.
Listed below are some of the vital skills that experience that a business analyst needs to have, according to the IIBA:
- Analysis of costs and benefits
- Basic knowledge of computers
- Consultative and interpersonal skills
- Effective oral and written communication skills
- Facilitation skills
- Giving attention to details and maintaining optimal accuracy in work
- Good knowledge of the business structure
- Mathematical skills
- Organizational skills
- Problem-solving and analytical thinking skills
- Process modeling
- Requirements engineering
- Stakeholder analysis
- Understanding of databases, networks, and other technology
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the employment for different kinds of business analysts could likely grow from around 7% to 27% over the next decade. Notably, these growth rates are more or less the same or faster than the average growth rate of 7% for all jobs between 2016 and 2026. Similarly, budget and computer systems analyst jobs could likely grow from 7% to 9%. On the other hand, operations research analyst and management analyst jobs could possibly have much higher growth rates – 14% to 27% through 2026.
Work environment and schedule
Business analysts tend to work in regular office settings, but some of them could possibly have to travel in order to meet other people for professional reasons or collect business details first-hand. The work schedules of business analysts tend to be tight, with the project’s reporting deadlines and pressure adding to the stress. Business analysts tend to work full-time in regular business hours and occasional overtime during final reviews of deliverables or project outcomes.
The business analyst career is a remarkably flexible one. A business analyst’s skills are clearly universal, but the real challenge lies in knowing where and how to apply these skills. This can greatly vary depending on their products, organization, industry, and the project that is being worked upon as well. By virtue of options like this, many brilliant young minds have been interested in becoming business analysts. I hope this article will clear all your doubts about the field of business analysis.
A business analyst’s role is continuously evolving and changing as companies are increasingly dependent on data to advise on business operations. Every company has some issues that business analysts can successfully address. Thus, business analysis is one of the most worthy career options out there. If you are truly interested in becoming a business analyst, you should consider reading all the points mentioned in this guide and following them.