Business analysts play a very important role in helping companies become the best they can be. In this age of political uncertainty, intense competition, economic downturns, rapidly advancing technology, and let’s not forget the pandemic, companies that want to stay ahead of the competition turn to business analysts. As we all know in business every advantage counts, and a good business analyst could be the difference between being mediocre or excellent.
In this article we would do our best to enlighten you on the following topics that will help you explore the business analyst career path:
- Who are business analyst?
- Why are business analysts important?
- Is business analyst a good career path?
Let’s begin by exploring who business analyst are, then working our way up to how to become one!
Who are Business Analyst?
Business analysts are people who study a company’s operating procedures, processes and large data sets to find means to enhance operational efficiency while achieving better performance within the organization. Although business analysts are sometimes also known as management analysts, please do well not to confuse them with data analyst.
Business analysts majorly work with management to reduce costs, reduce or eliminate inefficiencies, and boost the company’s competitiveness in the ever-changing modern business world.
They use their analytical skills to first analyze, secondly, understand and finally apply data-focused strategies best suited to increase the organization’s bottom line.
Why Are Business Analysts Important?
To best answer the above question, let’s look at what the position entails to ascertain a business analyst career path. A business analyst:
- Works with the organization/company to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes.
- Helps to design or modify existing business systems and IT systems to improve efficiency.
- Interacts with business stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) to understand their needs and problems better.
- Helps to gather documents and also analyzes the company’s needs and requirements.
- Helps to resolve business problems and also designs technical solutions
- Helps documents the functional and some other times the technical designs of the organization/company systems
- Meeting consumers and users to gather necessary requirements.
- Prototyping and modeling products and processes.
- Collaborates with the system architects and developers within and outside the organization to make sure that the system is properly implemented.
- Helps to test the systems while also creating system documentation and user manuals.
- Facilitating workshops to establish a shared understanding among diverse stakeholders.
We exist in a time in history where data is everywhere. Large data sets often contain essential information for making reliable, data-driven business decisions. So companies that want that extra competitive advantage would always need someone to collect, analyze, and apply data sets in beneficial ways.
That person is the business analyst and that is what they do. The business analyst functions as the in-house liaison personnel that collects, manages, and distributes relevant data between all departments involved in the day to day operations of the company.
We find business analysts in all kinds of industries and businesses of all types, including government agencies and nonprofits organizations. While any industry can benefit from the expertise of the business analyst, management consulting and IT-related firms make up the largest share. Companies that specialize in finance, investment banking, accounting and market research also offer significant opportunities for business analysts.
As a matter of fact, data is one of the major currencies the commercial sector uses to buy success. Business analysts work with data and in-house departments, making intelligent, informed, data-driven decisions that will boost profits and strengthen the company.
Is Business Analyst a Good Career Paths?
The career path of a business analyst is very flexible. While the required skills are universal, how and where they apply the said skills can vary widely by the industry, organization, products, and even the project they are working on, but before you get moving on to your business analyst career path, You would be needing either a good background in business or solid knowledge in information technology. Entry-level business analyst positions usually require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, usually in finance, accounting, management or information technology.
The options available to them makes business analyst an attractive career path for ambitious professionals willing to commit to learning the required skills for the job, among those skills are:
- Being a good communicator and listener.
- The ability to multitask effectively.
- Being a great negotiator who can get timely buy-ins on crucial decisions from stakeholders
- The willingness to consider the change.
- Keen eyes for Identifying opportunities to improve processes that could lead to efficiency and output improvements.
- Knowing how to prioritize, based on multiple stakeholders’ needs.
- Effectively working as part of a team, including collaborating with individuals and groups outside of the team.
To effectively as mentioned above a candidate must have the ability to leverage insights from data into actionable options and doing so requires they become crystal clear communicators, smooth facilitators, precise analyzers and team players.
There are the five most in-demand business analyst career paths:
- Business Analyst Manager
- Data Business Analyst
- Data Analysis Scientist
- Information Security Analyst
- IT Business Analyst
Business analysts sometimes work within companies. However, they most often work as consultants who are specifically brought in to lead special projects that focus on identifying the root cause of an organizational issue and developing the best solutions.