You may be interested in a career as business analyst if you are passionate about technology, business, problem solving, data analysis, and business. You would be responsible to help businesses gain an edge, improve their performance, and be more competitive in the market by using data to inform and improve business processes. Although everyone has a different career path, you should be familiar with the basics of the field and the responsibilities that you will face in order to become a business analyst.
Although you may be able become a business analyst without any experience, it is possible to acquire the necessary skills to succeed in the field. Find out more about the industry, the potential opportunities and how to make your own path in business analysis.
Learn What a Business Analyst Does
A variety of responsibilities are required to be a business analyst depending on the company you work for. A business analyst is someone who works with companies to use data and technology to improve processes, understand market needs, and make them more competitive. While the job description of a business analyst is different from one organization to another, it may include looking for ways to improve processes, interpreting data and analyzing market trends and competitors. Business analysts can be involved in decision-making because they use concrete data to make conclusions.
This role is unique because it allows people to become business analysts even if they have never worked in the field. If you have the right skills and come from a different background, you might be able to launch a new career in business analysis. O*NET OnLine is a career database that tracks the Department of Labor’s skills. These skills include complex problem-solving, systems evaluation, and analysis . O*NET suggests that business analysts might need to be familiar with computers, databases, and management principles. This knowledge is not limited to business analyst experience.
Understanding the role and responsibilities of a business analyst is crucial to your success in this field.
1. Take into account your educational background
Business analysts require education. You may find business analyst positions with many degrees, unlike other fields. You might have a bachelor’s in business administration, data analysis, computer science or finance.
Each company will have its own requirements for business analysts, but many organizations focus on the importance of data in decision-making. It is important to be able to use technology to solve business problems, increase competition, and other aspects. Degrees that are focused on technology, statistics, and data analysis may be a good start for a career as a business analyst. O*NET recommends that most business analysts have a bachelor’s degree, but they do not need to be specific to any industry. You may also be able to learn practical skills even if your education is not in finance, math, or technology.
People with different backgrounds may be able to gain valuable skills in a role as a business analyst through boot camps. These programs focus on teaching critical skills to aspiring business analysts. These boot camps provide students with the knowledge they need in areas such as data science, technology, business intelligence, data management and data visualization.
2. Look at relevant business analyst skills
Like any other career, you will need both soft and hard skills to succeed as a business analyst. The nature of your work might change depending on where you work, but the core skills that business analysts need to be successful are the following:
- Statistics, data modeling, interpretation, and Data Visualization.
- Database management skills.
- Understanding of common programming languages, including R as well as StructuredQuery Language (SQL),.
- Project management skills, including development best practices.
- Strong analysis skills including market insights and competitive analysis.
Business analysts often work in collaboration with other departments and leaders to inform decisions. There are key soft skills that can be useful for this role. These skills include, but aren’t limited to:
- Strong communication skills, both verbal and writing.
- Ability to create and present presentations. This includes the ability to distill complex or data-heavy information into understandable language.
- Problem solving skills include the ability to solve business problems using technology and new processes.
- Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and organize.
- Leadership and decision-making skills, which include the ability to work closely with leaders and executives within an organization.
These soft skills are used by many professionals working in all areas. These skills can be used to increase your potential as a candidate for the business analyst position by highlighting them on your resume. You may be able to get a head start by demonstrating your ability to create presentations, work with executives, manage projects, or solve problems in your current job.
3. Get familiar with the different roles of business analysts
There are many roles for business analysts. A large portion of the daily responsibilities of a business analyst depends on where they work. A business analyst may be employed by a traditional, large company to interpret data and find ways to make the company more competitive. A similar position in a technology-driven organization may directly be tied to the development and maintenance of new products, software, and technology.
It may help to know what roles you might pursue as a business analyst. These are some possible roles:
- A general business analyst can work for a company to understand and improve business functions. This could include market analysis, research on competition, and looking at the roles of different departments in an organization’s success.
- IT business analysts can help companies solve their growth and competitive issues by using technological solutions. This could involve using automation to increase efficiency, or playing a role developing new technology or implementing technology that solves business problems.
- Business intelligence analysts might be more involved in data management or interpretation. This could include the development of methods to collect and interpret market data and company data.
Some of these jobs may be related to other careers. A finance professional might gather data to assist leaders in making decisions about new products or business lines. As you begin a new career as an analyst in business, you may be able use your previous work to enhance your resume.
4. You can add Business Analyst Courses in your Portfolio
You may be curious to learn how to become an analyst in business. This could start by using your daily work to make yourself stand out in the market. You may need to use metrics and your ability to analyze data to make business decisions or solve problems. These skills can be developed in many roles, including marketing, finance, IT, and human resources. This includes highlighting soft skills that you might use every day, like communication, leadership, problem-solving, and team-building.
This method and courses can help you become a business analyst even if you don’t have a degree. You may be able use education to fill any gaps in your hard and soft skills, from boot camps to courses in business analytics.
5. Participate in Projects
You can gain experience while working in your spare time to get business analyst experience. To demonstrate your ability to solve problems and understand the consequences of change, you might take on projects. These are just a few examples of projects that you might be able to complete to show off your talents:
- Use your role to understand data and develop strategies. It is crucial that you don’t reveal or use proprietary information during this process.
- Study a common business process to gain a better understanding and create multiple solutions. Include solutions that utilize technology such as automation.
- Examine the ways in which a software program could solve a business problem, and make a case to implement it into your business.
- Create a case study describing a market or problem and the strategies that a business can use or leverage it to grow its business.
- To take on any business analyst roles and tasks, volunteer with a non-profit. Keep track of your progress and documentation.
Your success may depend on your ability to stay connected with professionals in your field. While this may be true for your current job, it could also help you in your quest to become a business analyst. Talking to business analysts can help you understand the realities of their work. These conversations can help you gain insight into the job and help you determine what skills you need to succeed.
Here are some examples of questions to ask a business analyst when you meet them at a networking event:
- What was their path to get the job they have now? Did they start as analysts or migrate from another job?
- Their educational background and degree.
- If they are members in good standing of professional associations.
- What advice would they offer someone who is just getting started in this field?
It can be difficult to find people or attend networking events. These are some ways to meet the right people.
- You can join a professional association that includes people in the business analysis and other related fields such as finance, IT, data sciences and project management.
- Ask your coworkers in the analysis department if they are interested in discussing your career prospects.
- Talk to your classmates about business analysis and find out who has the experience and knowledge that will help you grow.