The Top 10 Skills You Need to Have to Be a Business Analyst

Business analytics is a growing field in today’s times. The need for business analyst professionals is on the rise across the world. There are a set of skills that you must possess for becoming a business analyst. Having all the required skills will open new ventures and help you grow as a successful business analyst. This article will precisely help you understand all the skills needed to grab a job in this popular field.

Who Is a Business Analyst?

A business analyst enables a change in the organization by comprehending business problems and providing solutions that will maximize its value to its stakeholders. 

They are involved in every tiny aspect of the business, beginning from laying out the strategy to creating enterprise architecture. Business analysts play a role in every life cycle within a project. A business analyst documents the business process in an organization and evaluates the business model. 

With this understanding of who a business analyst is, let’s look at the top business analyst skills to help you become a successful one.

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Top Business Analyst Skills

A business analyst must perform multiple duties; hence they need to have a strong skill set that is an amalgam of technical and non-technical skills. 

Here, we will take you through the top ten vital business analyst skills that are a dire necessity. 

1. Understanding the Business Objective

  • A business analyst should be able to comprehend an organization’s goals and problems. 
  • It requires them to recognize business problems and come up with the most suited solution.
  • It is good if business analysts have domain knowledge in the organization they are working in. This will help them with the required deliverables. 
  • In most cases, business analysts work towards enabling a change with the motive of increasing sales, scale-up production, improving revenue streams, etc.

Understanding the business motive is the first step in a business analyst’s life; it is a special skill by itself. Now, let’s proceed to the next set of business analyst skills. 

2. Analytical and Critical Thinking

As the famous quote by Thomas Alva. Edison goes:

“Five percent of the people think; 

ten percent of the people think they think; 

and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” 

This shows that, although thinking sounds basic, it is an underrated ability. Analytical and critical thinking is one of the core business analyst skills. 

  • A business analyst must analyze and translate the client’s requirements distinctly. 
  • Critical thinking helps a business analyst in assessing multiple options before arriving at the aspired solution. 
  • Business analysts focus on gathering and understanding the client’s needs. Critical thinking enables them to prioritize business requirements.
  • A good analytical bend of mind will help a business analyst reach the stated goals even when there is a limitation in the resources and the conditions are nonideal.

3. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

The next skill in our list of business analyst skills are commonly heard of skills - communication and interpersonal skills. 

  • Being understood is as important as understanding. You should have the ability to communicate concisely with the stakeholders and clients with regard to the requirements. 
  • A business analyst uses communication & interpersonal skills at different phases, for example: when a project is being launched, while collecting requirements, when collaborating with stakeholders, while validating the final solution, and so on. 
  • Business Analysts use verbal and written communication to convey ideas, facts, and opinions to stakeholders.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills will give confidence to a business analyst while facilitating meetings.

4. Negotiation and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Needless to say, negotiation is a crucial skill every business analyst must-have. The next skill on our list of business analyst skills is the negotiation and cost-benefit analysis.

  • Business analysts negotiate at every project phase. At the initial stage of a project, negotiation skills are used to decide what they must include in the project's vision. 
  • Business analysts then use their negotiation skills to determine which requests turn into requirements and their priority levels. 
  • As the project progresses, negotiation skills play a significant role in deciding the functional design that fulfills the requirements. Negotiation skills are also used to make technical decisions. 
  • Business analysts carry out a cost-benefit analysis to assess the costs and benefits expected in a project. When organizations undertake new projects, business analysts make use of cost-benefit analysis to establish if they should embark on those particular projects. 

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5. Decision-Making Skills

At number five, we have another non-technical skill, and that is decision-making skills.

  • The decisions made by a business analyst has a direct and indirect impact on the company's business. Hence, they should think of all the aspects before presenting their decision.
  • Before making a decision, a business analyst interprets the problem and finds alternative business approaches. 
  • They then test all the alternative approaches and make a decision based on their thoughts regarding these approaches. They finally test and implement the solution.
  • Business analysts also take the last call in ensuring that a particular technical design conforms to the discussed business requirements or not.

We will now take you through a few technical skills in our list of business analyst skills. 

6. Programming Languages

  • Business analysts should have hands-on programming knowledge in order to perform quicker and better data analysis. 
  • Knowledge of R and Python is extremely beneficial. Complex problems can be solved by writing efficient codes. 
  • R and Python comprise several libraries and packages for data wrangling, data manipulation, data visualization, and analytics. Additionally, a sound understanding of statistical software like SAS and SPSS is recommended.
  • With the help of the above programming languages, massive data can be analyzed and visualized finely. Also, business models can be created for making business predictions.

7. Creation of Reports and Dashboards

The next vital skill we have is the creation of reports and dashboards. 

  • Business analysts must be proficient in using various business intelligence tools for creating reports and dashboards. 
  • Business analysts develop general reports and dashboard reports to solve decision-making problems. 
  • Sound knowledge of Tableau, QlikView, and Power BI is necessary to make different reports based on the business requirements.

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8. Database and SQL

The next skill every business analyst should have is the knowledge of database and SQL.

  • Business analysts most often work with structured data. In order to store and process this heavy data, they should have a sound understanding of relational databases like Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL database, Oracle DB, as well as NoSQL databases. 
  • Every business analyst must carry hands-on experience with SQL. This will help them access, retrieve, manipulate, and analyze data. 
  • They must write data definition and data manipulation commands like create, delete, select, update, insert, etc.

9. Microsoft Excel  

Next, in our list of business analyst skills is knowledge of Microsoft Excel. This is a fundamental skill that every business analyst must-have. 

  • Excel is one of the oldest and strongest analytics and reporting tools; business analysts use it to perform several calculations, data, and budget analysis to unravel business patterns.  
  • They summarize data by creating pivot tables. They make different charts using Excel to generate dynamic reports related to a business problem. 
  • Excel is used to create revenue growth models for new products based on recent customer forecasts, plan an editorial calendar, list expenses for products, and create charts to show how close the product is to budget across each category. 
  • Business analysts use Excel to calculate customer discounts based on monthly purchase volume by product. They even summarize customer revenue by product to find areas where there is a need to build stronger customer relationships.

10. Documentation and Presentation 

Last, in the list of business analyst skills, we have documentation and presentation.

  • A business analyst should document their project teachings and results very well, clearly, and concisely. 
  • They should confidently present their project findings and outcomes in front of the stakeholders and clients. With the help of organized documentation, business analysts can communicate technical concepts easily to non-technical employees. 
  • Jotting down project lessons is vital, as this will help them make better decisions in the future. 
  • Later, if similar problems crop up, business analysts can use the previous solutions, thereby saving time and preventing unwanted issues.  

Now that we have covered all the vital business analyst skills, I’ll show you how Simplilearn can help you become a business analyst. 

Gain expertise in the latest Business analytics tools and techniques with the Business Analyst Master's Program. Enroll now!

How Can Simplilearn Help You?

After reading this article on business analyst skills, you might wonder as to how Simplilearn can help you? Let's have a look at how Simplilearn can help you become a business analyst. 

If you're looking to become a business analyst, then the "Business Analyst" Master's Program provided by Simplilearn is a brilliant choice. This Business Analyst Master’s Program's endorsed education provider is IIBA.

The course will cover Introduction to Business Analysis, Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®), Agile Scrum Master, Business Analytics with Excel, SQL, and Tableau. You will also work on hands-on, industry-relevant capstone projects in three different domains. 

The tools covered in this program are Excel, JIRA, Power BI, Tableau, PostgreSQL, Planbox, VersionOne, etc.

Taking this certification will help you with becoming a business analyst. To know more about this program, click on this link: Business Analyst Simplilearn.

Are You Ready to Become a Business Analyst?

Business analysts find their prominence in every sector today. There is a need for professionals with core business analyst skills to improve business processes. After reading this article, you would have understood who a business analyst is and the various business analyst skills one has to possess. You had a look at both non-technical and the technical skills required to become a business analyst, and you also saw how Simplilearn can help you become one. Do you have any questions related to this article on business analyst skills? If you have, then please put it in the comments section of this article. Our team will help you solve your queries at the earliest. 

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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