What is a Business Analyst?
In simple terms, a business analyst (BA) is a person who uses data analysis to improve the productivity and efficiency of a product, process, service, or software. Business analysts work closely with organizational leaders, managers, and stakeholders to develop business models which will usher a company into the future. While this may seem relatively easy, the role of a BA quickly becomes complicated. The best way to fully understand what a business analyst does is to learn about their day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and interactions.
The list of a BA’s skills and responsibilities is truly daunting. Not only are they expected to possess technical and analytical skills, but they must also master leadership and communication skills. Because business analysts work with team members and managers, they must have a thorough knowledge of business structures. This knowledge is then used to assist with making important decisions about the goals and future of a company. From there, a BA consults with financial teams to understand what solutions are fiscally feasible. Then, the IT department provides information about the technological aspects of the newly devised plan. Finally, a business analyst must develop a creative way to interpret the financial and technical aspects of a plan or solution to the project/team manager.
Though these job requirements may seem impossible to meet, BA’s are provided with excellent technology to assist them with their jobs. These tools are meant to be used throughout every task a business analyst undertakes. They help collect and sort data, create graphs and visuals, and write and present documents. All of these functions are important for business analysts to effectively communicate between different departments. Ultimately, the efficacy of these tools depends on the skill of the user, so becoming a BA requires training in these technologies as well.
Business analysts are highly valued by companies because they are essentially bridges between the executive and technical departments of a corporation. Their salaries and benefits are a testament to how important business analysts are. A beginner BA makes on average between 50,000 and 65,000 dollars per year. The financial rewards of pursuing a career as a BA are compelling, but should not be the only reason to consider such a career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for business analysts is expected to grow from 7% to 27% in the next ten years. Job stability and career growth are all promising aspects of becoming a BA.
Data is arguably the most valued commodity for many corporations. As organizations have come to realize this, the demand for business analysts has grown. Making data-driven decisions about the future is a difficult task even for the most established organizations. Integrating technology and finance with business requires skills and expertise which only a business analyst can provide. Pursuing a career as a business analyst is a great decision to make if you are an effective leader, creator, and communicator. If you are interested in learning more about being a business analyst make sure to explore the rest of our articles or consider enrolling in our BA certification course.