Business analysts help organisations meet their objectives by proposing ways to improve structure, efficiency, and profits. Modern day organisations require individuals who are multi-talented and possess specialised knowledge that can advance the firm’s economy. They are employed by government agencies, non-profit organisations, and all forms of businesses. Let’s take a closer look at a business analyst’s job profile.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst?

  • Gathers and analyses information;
  • Formulates and tests the business hypothesis;
  • Develops and communicates recommendations;
  • Implements recommendations by collaborating with clients;
  • Presents results to client management;
  • Works closely with the external stakeholders of an organisation;
  • Understands and investigates feedback about the services and products provided;
  • Identifies the processes and technology required to implement recommendations;
  • Obtains suggestions from senior management regarding the best methods of introducing recommendations to the business;
  • Uses data modelling practices to analyse business procedures;
  • Frames suggestions for the strategic and operational improvements of business proceedings;
  • Considers the advantages and potential risks of the suggestions made;
  • Identifies opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes;
  • Modifies business systems, and designs technical solutions as per requirements.

Is the role of business analyst a good career path?

Business analysis is a great option to begin your professional journey in the field of business, and this career path is considered rewarding, challenging, and flexible. Business analysts are expected to act as mediators, moderators, connectors and ambassadors who efficiently address business requirements. Business analysis professionals not only work as business analysts but can also take up positions such as:

  • Business Systems Analyst;
  • Systems Analyst;
  • Requirements Engineer;
  • Process Analyst;
  • Product Manager;
  • Product Owner;
  • Enterprise Analyst;
  • Business Architect;
  • Management Consultant.

This occupation encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including the following:

  • Project management;
  • Software development;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Interaction design.

How to become a business analyst

1. Acquire the required skills and qualifications: To start your career as a business analyst, you need to either have a strong business background or extensive IT knowledge. They are required to be good communicators and data analysers. It is also essential for them to possess project management and technical skills.

2. Get an entry-level job: Initially, you can take up an entry-level position (industry expert, developer, or quality assurance) which includes collecting, analysing, communicating, documenting, and user-testing data. Additionally, you must be able to gain knowledge about the diverse business functions, such as:

  • Operations;
  • Finance;
  • Engineering;
  • Technology;
  • Architecture.

3. Moving up the hierarchical levels: Once you have developed an interest in a particular area, you can progress into higher managerial positions. Having gained experience in a specific field, you can become a subject matter expert (SME) that will help you choose the next step in your business analyst career progression. With more experience, you can take on larger (or more complex) projects that can enable you to assume job roles such as:

  • IT Business Analyst;
  • Senior (or Lead) Business Analyst;
  • Product Manager.

What qualifications are needed to enter the field?

Business analyst training and education requirements can vary based on employer, job role, or the industry that you wish to work in. The minimum qualification required to enter this field is as follows:

  • Undergraduate or master’s degree in the field of business administration, information technology, or business computing systems;
  • Work experience of one to three years after completing an undergraduate degree (optional).

Additionally, students can pursue specialised training through executive education programmes. Advanced qualifications and client experiences from a reputed organisation can add a distinct advantage to your career outlook.

Taking up a summer internship or placement opportunity and applying for voluntary work at any organisation can help you gain practical experience. This can further help improve your skills in a particular area, prior to getting hired for a permanent job.

What skills do business analysts need?

  • Excellent communication skills (the ability to speak in front of a large audience);
  • Demonstrating aptitude for analytics by implementing evidence-based approach;
  • Understanding information technology and a knack for business development techniques;
  • Ability to work under pressure (finish projects within a given deadline);
  • Exceptional quantitative problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with the team as well as work effectively with employees at all levels in an organisation;
  • Proficiency in strategic business process modelling, traceability, and quality management techniques;
  • Ability to motivate others and showcase leadership skills in a work setting.

How much do they earn and what to expect?

The average annual salary of a business analyst is £35,341. The fastest route to a higher salary and better opportunities is by expanding your business analysis skills or achieving an industry-recognised certification.

Generally, your work will be office-based, except when you need to travel to meet the company’s stakeholders. You should also be prepared to handle multiple projects at the same time, delivering them within their respective deadlines.

Edology offers a range of programmes (master’s, bachelor’s, and short courses) with a focus on business and management. If you want to become a successful business professional, why not enquire about one of these online courses here.

 

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