If you are considering the job of a business analyst to be your career path, you need to search for all kinds of helpful information related to the profession.
If you are a problem-solver and a creative person, the profession of a business analyst may be a good fit for you.
In the following article, you will find details about the duties, required skills and education, as well as the job outlook.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Business Analyst Do
Shortly speaking, a business analyst is responsible for identifying the needs of a business and finding solutions.
Those solutions may include the development of software systems as well as evaluating the business systems, policy development, and strategic planning.
Business analysts advance the stated goal of a company by analyzing, identifying, and documenting technical solutions, even if the economy is down.
Business analysts need management skills.
They work with various business units and related parties.
The focus of a business analyst’s work is defining and managing requirements.
The primary duties of a business analyst include the following:
- Determine the requirements of the project through interaction with future and existing users.
- Predict future requirements that can affect the baseline plan.
- Focus on the core business needs, which means that non-essential modifications in trends or preferences of the users can decrease the success of a project.
- Categorize the requirements.
- Find practical technical solutions based on business requirements.
- Verify the accuracy and functionality according to the original plan.
- Emphasize simplicity to help reach the objective.
- Manage project requirements such as costs, schedules, and timeline to gain approval.
- Maintain the new operations and systems by correcting defects, making improvements, and providing maintenance reports to management.
To be successful in this position, you need to possess the following skills:
Excellent verbal, written, and face-to-face communication skills are significant for business analysts.
You need to convey the project requirements clearly, ask the right questions, and listen effectively.
Business analysts should be effective problem-solvers.
These skills are critical for the position.
Business analysts need persuasion skills to balance a profitable outcome and deal with clients, users, developers, and management.
Business analysts should evaluate every issue and analyze various choices.
Creative thinking, innovation, and planning:
With this set of skills, business analysts can find solutions that are not apparent to others, so these are necessary skills for business analysts.
Organization and attention to detail:
In the problem-solving process, every detail should be examined for its role.
Documentation of these details serves as a blueprint for the solution.
Leadership, conflict resolution, and business consensus:
Before the implementation of the solution, all parties participating in the process should come to an agreement.
Business analysts are the ones who should convince everybody else.
How to Become a Business Analyst
You can get an entry-level job as a business analyst with a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, management, or computer and information science.
However, many employers prefer analysts with an MBA.
Your chances are also higher with experience in a certain industry.
If you have another job and can work alongside the business analyst of your company, this experience will benefit your resume.
Also, you will get an idea of what this work is like.
Training and Qualifications
The position can vary in different industries, but the basic duties of a business analyst include studying the business process and procedures and finding ways to improve efficiency and performance.
Often, business analysts look for positions related to their majors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, or chain management.
Experience in the industry will give you a good understanding of how things go.
Senior analysts usually have a master’s degree, extended experience, and great performance in previous positions.
It can also be helpful to study business administration, business analytics, and information systems.
To improve your image as a business analyst, you may get certifications from the International Institute of Business Analysts.
They issue the Certified Business Analyst Professional certification (CBAP).
Also, you can get the Certified Management Consultants (CMC) certification from the Institute of Management Consultants USA.
If you are still in school, you can find available business analyst internships.
With them, you can get a close-up view of the job as well as get on the path to an entry-level position.
If you recently graduated and work in the area you study, such as manufacturing or healthcare, it’s hard to obtain the position of a business analyst right away.
However, with work experience and observations on the job, you can eventually get there.
Make your career path known, so when you get an opportunity, you can use it.
Generally, business analysts should have some experience.
However, employers often hire talented young professionals and offer them entry-level positions.
Business analysts usually work in-house or as management consultants.
They work fixed working hours.
They can split their day between visiting clients and working at the office.
So, some traveling may be involved.
Clients typically have tight schedules, so it can be stressful trying to fit in travel, client meetings, and actual analysis.
When the deadlines are tight, business analysts may have to work more than 40 hours a week.
Business analysts can also be self-employed and control their own schedules.
However, the job can be stressful as they have to always expand their client base.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 14% growth for business analysts’ employment through 2024.
This is significantly faster than the national average.
Also, companies always seek new ways for improvement of efficiency and reducing costs, so the demand for business analysts is always high.
Management analysts will be needed in the healthcare industry.
The reason for this is the aging population and the Affordable Care Act.
The employment rate will be high in government agencies as well.
Because of the high earning potential, this is an attractive occupation, so the competition for these jobs is also strong.
Those who have a degree, certifications, and bi-lingual skills have better chances.
If you are considering this position as a career choice and think that you have the required skills and education, there are multiple jobs out there awaiting you.