In the last decades, few career profiles have gained a lot of prominence. One among them, which is also highly lucrative, is that of a Business Analyst. Businesses need analysts to make better decisions and help them in succeeding. It is expected that in the coming years, the demand for such professionals will increase further.
There can be multiple ways to enter the field of certified Business Analysis. While some people start with careers in finance and accounting, others could have an IT background. Regardless of the background, most prospective Business analysts need analytical and problem-solving skills.
Many business and management analysts begin their careers as interns and move up the ladder. However, you can also change careers midway if your past experience is valuable enough.
Here we are going to share everything about the path for a business analyst and which are the best business analyst careers.
What is a business analyst?
The business analyst uses the data to create business insights and then advises changes in the way the businesses operate. They have the ability to identify issues in any department of the organization. As a company aims to increase efficiency and reduce costs, analytics becomes a critical aspect of the organization.
With their data-driven insights, the business analyst supports the organization’s success. His job includes analyzing the Company’s processes, systems, and products to make profitable decisions for the Company.
What does a business analyst do?
The Business analyst job can be rather varied. As a key resource, they might have to handle all or some of the following duties:
· Using data modeling techniques to find out ways to streamline the Company’s operations
· Communicate with the senior resources to find the goals of the Company
· Find out different ways to improve the Business
· Persuade the internal and external shareholders about the implementation of new ideas and strategies
· Oversee implementation of new policies and systems
· Conduct workshops and organize training
· Explore how the Company is currently operating through various research methodologies
· Suggesting solutions and detailing the risks and benefits of each
· Creating documentation to outline the changes suggested
· Travel to the Company’s other premises and overview work there
9 Best Business Analyst Career Path
A business analyst’s profile has immense growth possibilities. Not only that, job satisfaction and promising career advancements make it one of the most sought-after careers. However, there can be various career paths in the Business analytics domain.
Have a look at the Top 9 in-demand business analyst career paths that are hugely popular at the moment.
A data analyst, as the job title suggests, deals with data and researches market trends to forecast their outcomes. Some of his other responsibilities include:
· Data preparation– Preparing the data so other decision-makers and analysts can use it.
· Data Visualization– Visualizing the data so it becomes easy to understand and use further.
· Data Validation– Helping in validating the company data sets so that it is consistent with company rules and regulations.
To become a data analyst, users should get a bachelor’s degree in Business administration or MBA in Information systems, etc. You could also proceed with earning a master’s degree in the same field. Moving on, you could attain promotion as a Data scientist or Data architect.
Data analyst job description:
Information Security Analyst
With recent security breaches, the job description of an Information security analyst is considered quite important. His primary task is to defend the company networks and avoid any sabotage. Apart from that, some other responsibilities he is assigned are:
· Set up security apparatuses to prevent any security threats
· Generate reports that IT admins can use to find the practicality of the security apparatus
· Alter the security networks, so unauthorized individuals cannot access information
· Educating other colleagues about security measures enforced.
· Maintain firewalls and data encryption software.
· Stay updated with the latest IT security developments
A certification course in IT security is sufficient to make a mark. However, it should include all aspects of network security, like data breaches, firewalls, and encryption.
These are experts in analyzing financial assets and comparing them with the impact of economic conditions. Some other duties they fulfill are:
· Understanding how a company allocates its financial resources
· Research market trends and micro and macroeconomic variables
· Provide guidance on how to increase a company’s value
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in Economics, Finance, or even Management can help you pursue a career in business analysis as a financial analyst.
IT Business Analyst
The IT business analyst works with multiple departments to understand the Company’s Business efficiently. Their duties include:
· Comprehending regulatory and reporting requirements
· Creating various functional specifications
· Prioritize business requirements after analysis
· Create management proposals and work to achieve the Company’s goals
· Delivering correct elements of system design, business rules, etc.
To proceed with this field, you must obtain a degree in computer engineering, business administration, or any other related field.
The Test Analyst is a person who tests the Company’s processes and identifies its weaknesses and strengths. The job responsibilities include:
· Collaborate with the product development team during the initial phase of the launch.
· Reviews software, identifies bugs, and informs the development team.
· Conceptualize the design process and analyze the app requirements
· Run diagnostic tests and present the results to Management
· Develop test plans and protocols and see they are adhered to
A Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, IT, or Computer Science is sufficient for a good career in the field.
Businesses employ Network analysts to optimize their network and business operations. Their duties can include the following:
· Analyze the network requirements
· Set up computer networks in various locations
· Configure computer hardware and software
· Managing the IP addresses and resolving any conflicts
· Train IT to support staff
An Associate of Science degree in computer network administration is required for entering the field. Bachelor’s degree in Computer science or management Information systems would also suffice.
An industry-specific business consultant tackles issues as per the industry they are working in. They usually help streamline the workflow of a particular industry or department. For instance, the consultant could take care of the Finance department if that is not performing as per expectations.
The duties of a Business management consultant could be as follows:
· Carry out data collection and research for the betterment of the organization
· Conducting data analysis and using the insights further
· Interviewing employees, stakeholders, and management team to generate feedback
· Run various focus groups and facilitate workshops
· Preparing business proposals and presentations
· Identification of issues and finding solutions
· Presenting the findings and recommendations to the clients
· Collaborate with the clients and keep them updated about work progress
Business Systems Analyst
This profile requires an evaluation of the Company’s processes and systems. He is also supposed to do the following:
· Analyze the company performance and the hardware and software usage
· Track and report the progress of Company systems
· Research and compare hardware and software needs
· Make recommendations and prepare reports
· Translate complex data into meaningful interpretations
Acquire a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a master’s degree in Business administration to pursue this profile.
Supply Chain Analyst
A supply chain analyst ensures that the Company’s product supply matches the customer’s requirements. Their profile includes doing the following:
· Collection and analysis of supply chain data
· Managing different supply chain operations
· Conducting the inventory analysis and designing reports
· Providing training and solving any issues
· Maintaining fruitful relationships with vendors and Business partners
A bachelor’s degree in operations, logistics, and Business management is required to work further as a supply chain analyst.
How to become a business analyst: Step-by-step guide
Becoming a Business Analyst requires loads of hard work and perseverance. The field is suitable for those who can crunch numbers and have data analyzing and management abilities. If you are interested in pursuing the area, the following steps will prove helpful.
To pursue a Business analyst career path, you must first get an Undergraduate degree either in Management, accounting, or finance. Apart from that, basic computer skills like Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint are crucial.
This criterion is, however, useful only for entry-level positions. For a senior position, you would have to accomplish an advanced degree in Business administration.
Options of certifications
Certifications are required if you want to grow further in the role of a Business Analyst. Some areas which could be covered through certification are knowledge of SQL, coding, data visualization tools, etc. Standard business analyst certifications in the above field are :
· Certified Analytics Professional
· Entry Certificate in Business Analysis
· Certification Of Competency in Business Analysis
· Certified Business Analysis Professional
· Agile Analysis certification
· Certification from the International Institute of business analysis
· International qualification board for Business
Work on projects
Now you can practice applying your Master of business administration expertise to solve business problems. Compile projects that showcase different ways data analysis can help in growing a business. Gather data and analyze it using custom-built algorithms.
Based on your career goals, the projects must include types of business solutions, mining structured data, and making predictions. During the project-making process, hone your interpersonal skills as well.
Develop a Business Analyst portfolio
You have created your projects, but displaying them in the proper manner is required. A well-executed project could help you demonstrate your abilities, impress hiring managers and make your portfolio unique from others:
· Choose a facet of business analysis that you are particularly interested in.
· Ask a question about the problem and gather data related to it.
· Document the journey of the problem and the solutions.
· Give a clear explanation of the process and highlight your business analyst skills with creativity.
· Pinpoint real-world outcomes and how they improve a company’s growth.
Apply for jobs as a Business Analyst
With the required skills as their strength, business analysts often start applying for jobs. LinkedIn is a valuable platform when it comes to the task. You could also look for typical job boards, as they tend to have multiple opportunities.
Update your resume before sending it further. Read the job description of the entry-level business analyst positions before you apply for a career as a business analyst. You can add specializations to your resume to streamline your search further.
To gain higher insights into the junior business analyst position, applicants could go for an internship. Doing that would offer you practical experience very early in your career path as a Business Analyst. If you are in a different profile, you can ask in your Company itself. They can assign you simple projects in Business analytics. Later you could shift to the field as you gain proficiency.
Some companies look for business consultants to help with the task. After a few years in the field, you could move to setting up a business consultancy. Attend conferences and networking events to identify prospects. Reach out to your past employers for references, as word of mouth and referrals play a critical role here.
Once your career starts moving smoothly, you could go for a Masters’s degree. Common Master’s degree proficiency includes the following:
· Master in Business Administration
· Business Analytics
· Business Intelligence
· Data Science
However, a Master’s degree for any business analyst profile is expensive, and if budget is a concern, you can always go for a certificate course.
Scope of promotion
Typically, a business analyst starts at an entry-level position. However, there is immense scope for growth. In time and with experience, the specific business analyst can transition to profiles like:
· Senior Business Analyst
· Business project improvement manager
· Project Manager
· Product Manager
· Senior business architect
· Enterprise Technology Architect
· Business Operations Manager
· Lead business analyst
· Management analyst
· Senior business architect
Again, you could also privatize your knowledge and open your business consultancy. Though setting up a consultancy for working as a business analyst won’t be easy, the returns you get from it are multi-fold. Apart from that, business analysts can switch to the market analytics field as well.
Top skills required to Become a Business Analyst
The Business analyst profile is neither technical nor non-technical. That is why a strong command of technical and soft skills is required for a person to become a junior Business Analyst. Let us first cover the technical skills for the career path of a business analyst:
· Knowledge of Statistics and Probability
· Programming skills like R and Python
· Data visualization to convert data into representations
· Microsoft Excel
· Analytical skills
· Documentation and presentation skills
· Business problems solving
· Project management
· Business Decision making
· Critical Thinking in the business world
· Problem-solving, i.e., identifying the issue and finding executable solutions
· Key Business negotiation skills
· Effective business communication skills
· Relevant business skills
· Business intelligence
Average Salary of a Business Analyst
The average salary for a successful business analyst remains around $83640. As per Indeed.com, the breakup as per seniority levels is as follows. This influences the demand for business analysts:
Business analyst’s profile is much in demand these days. Those who choose to pursue the career do really well for themselves. With both money and career growth wise, a business analyst position is a lucrative one. Every Company needs such support professionals with a business background to help them achieve exemplary growth.
Despite this, surviving in a business analyst career could be difficult. Only resources who are well versed with mentioned skills in entry-level Business analyst profiles can stay and grow further. Since the work pressures are high, the business analyst may drop out of the area. Yet the business analysts are in high demand.
A business analysis career comes with multiple sub-areas, so you can choose as per your interests. However, a basic sense of data analysis and a Business degree is a must for all these sub-fields. Once the career settles down, diverting from one area to another could increase growth opportunities further.