Business Analyst: Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Tips to Become One

Business analysts, described as “an agent of change” by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), statistically analyze large data sets to identify effective ways of boosting organizational efficiency. Leveraging data analytics for assessing processes, determining requirements, and delivering policy recommendations, business analysts fill the vacuum between enterprises and their IT departments with actionable, data-driven insights that improve decision-making capabilities.  

Business analysts are prized for their analytical skills in comprehending how data-focused strategies add value to an organization's bottom line — including its processes, services, hardware, software, and products. But not just that. The business analyst job description also requires them to possess strong business acumen and organizational abilities to balance their strategies against what is functionally, technologically, and financially feasible.

To become more data-focused, agile, and competitive in this age of digital disruption, organizations are increasingly relying on business analysts for guidance on best practices and innovative technologies. This is dramatically supercharging the demand for business analysts in a variety of emerging roles. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for business analysts is expected to see a 14% increase by 2024, which is the highest average percentage among growing professions.

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Business Analyst Job Description, and What It Really Means

While a business analyst's work involves several aspects, the primary role of a business analyst is to make changes within an organization. The solution-oriented changes improve an organization's overall efficiency, including process optimization, cost reduction, or identifying fresh business opportunities. 

Business analysts accomplish this through research-gathering and data analysis, presenting a range of data-driven solutions, and thereafter implementing those solutions and optimizations using analytics tools and technologies. 

Business analysts must have extensive knowledge in financial analysis, forecasting, and budgeting, besides having a clear understanding of reporting and regulatory requirements, key success factors, and performance indicators. 

Here is an outline of the business analyst job description, which will give aspiring business analysts an idea of the roles they need to perform: 

  • The ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders to gain an in-depth understanding of critical business requirements.
  • The ability to analyze data models to deliver logical conclusions. 
  • Developing innovative solutions for operational and strategic changes, which is a business analyst's primary role. 
  • Being proficient in inventing processes or systems needed to implement changes.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with senior-level management regarding the implementation of changes.
  • Sound knowledge and expertise in evaluating the implications of changes. 
  • Competence in writing reports and making presentations to highlight the effect of changes you made. 
  • Conducting tests, surveys, and workshops will be a part of your daily activity.

Skill Sets That Are In Demand And Essential Part Of The Business Analyst Job Description

Considering the crucial role that business analysts play in today’s ever-changing business landscape, there’s a high demand for skilled talent to fill this role in organizations across the world. 

If you are planning to start your career in this field, it is worth noting that business analyst job descriptions often include specialized skills and baseline skills. Specialized or technical skills and baseline or soft skills, you will need to crack the interview including the following.  

Technical Skills

To identify business solutions, business analysts should be fully aware of existing technology platforms and emerging technologies to determine potential outcomes they can achieve through current applications and new offerings. Designing business-critical systems and testing software tools are also crucial technical skills, and common requirements in business analyst job descriptions today. 

Communication Skills

The nature of a business analyst job involves interacting with developers, clients, end-users, and management. A project's success depends on how clearly business analysts communicate details like requested changes, testing results, and project requirements. So fluency in communication is a must-have skill for any business analyst.

Analytical Skills

A business analyst's skill set should include superior analytical skills to interpret and translate the needs of customers into operational processes. Most Business analyst job descriptions include excellent analytical skills to analyze documents, data, user surveys, and workflows, which will deliver problem-solving solutions, as must-haves.

Decision-Making Capabilities

Sound decision-making skills are mandatory requirements in any business analyst job description. Business Analysts should be capable of assessing inputs from stakeholders, analyzing a situation, and selecting the right plan of action. In terms of its survival ability and sustaining profits, the viability of an organization will depend significantly on the decision-making skills of business analysts.

Managerial Skills

Planning the scope of a project to directing the workforce, forecasting budgets to managing change requests, and monitoring time constraints are elements in almost business analyst job descriptions. Being an interdisciplinary job role, business analysts should possess high-level managerial skills to handle projects from the start to end.

To know more about how to create an impressive business analyst resume that highlights the aforementioned skills and more, read this

Salary of a Business Analyst 

Expect to be well compensated and enjoy highly rewarding experiences if you succeed in breaking into this career. According to the latest Payscale.com data, a business analyst in the US can rake in an annual salary of $67,762, while for a business analyst based in India, the average salary could fall anywhere between ₹8-14 lacs. 

After 1-5 years, most entry-level business analysts make headway into advanced positions as senior business analysts or project managers. However, experience level, location, and industry will greatly influence how much you make as a business analyst. Those in the financial or technical field are known to earn more than their peers in other fields. 

Looking forward to your next job role as a business analyst? Check out our Post Graduate Program in Business Analysis. Click to view program details. 

How to Become a Business Analyst 

Business Analyst job descriptions often require multi-functional expertise. Beyond your undergraduate academic degree in finance, accounting, or business administration, you should also learn computer programming, which will enhance your technical skills and play a key role in strengthening your career as a business analyst. 

Regardless of whether you are studying or working, the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) reference book is recommended by experts as a brilliant resource to know the tricks of the trade before venturing into the real world of business analysis. 

For aspiring analysts, a sure-fire way to carve a career path in this field is to pursue a certification course on business analysis offered by a premier educational institution like Simplilearn. Learn more about how anyone can gain a business analyst certification.

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Endorsed by the International Institute of Business Analysis, Simplilearn’s highly-rated Business Analyst Master’s Program covers the core areas of business analytics, including data analysis and statistics, planning and monitoring, visualizations, SQL databases, and Agile Scrum methodology.

Providing access to 60+ live instructor-led online classes and hands-on industry training with 14+ real-life projects, Simplilearn’s innovative business analytics course, with a JobAssist program in association with IIMJobs.com, will make you work-ready for the best-paid jobs in the field of business analytics. 

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