HOW TO BECOME A BUSINESS ANALYST

HOW TO BECOME A BUSINESS ANALYST

A business analyst is responsible for identifying a business’s needs and challenges and provide technological solutions to improve the involved processes and systems.

If you have analytical thinking skills with an ability to solve business-oriented problems, business analysis is the best career choice for you.

Whether you’re debuting in this area with previous IT experience or starting from scratch, this article guides you on how to become a business analyst as well as the job prospects and average salary.

BUSINESS ANALYST IN A NUTSHELL:

Business analysts work within a company that requires outdated systems and processes to be fixed by adopting current initiatives to stay competitive. To serve this purpose, an individual requires a profound background of specific business and industry trends. A business analyst's essential role is to communicate the process and ideas between interdepartmental entities and external stakeholders.

The responsibility of the business analyst is to trigger a positive change in an organization and produce an environment capable enough to adopt this change. This change might include cost cuttings, figuring out new opportunities and producing beneficial outcomes, etc.

Business analysts develop or update computing and information systems to sort out business problems. A business analyst forwards business requirements to the IT department to turn this business need into a capable system. A business analyst also takes part in the testing and implementation phase of the proposed system.

BUSINESS ANALYST JOB EXPECTATIONS:

A business analyst studies and evaluates data stock of an organization and finds ways crucial to boost efficiency in the organizational process. So, a business analyst serves as a mediator between different departments in a facility, developing roadmaps to schedule and manage processes throughout the organization. A business analyst must be able to maintain productive communication with these inter-organizational groups while proposing ideas easy to understand.

Business analysts conduct four fundamental analysis:

  • Strategic planning—identifying the varying needs of an organization.
  • Business model analysis—defining policies and market approaches
  • Roadmap building—managing and streamlining workflows
  • Systems analysis—Identifying and translating requirements to the IT department

BUSINESS ANALYSIS JOB DESCRIPTION:

There are various tasks involved in this job, and business analysts usually follow a routine of finding, collecting and proposing solutions and then helps the IT department in implementing these solutions as modern technology. In this process, a business analyst has to:

  • Communicate with other team members for a better understanding of business needs.
  • Assist stakeholders in understanding the deliverables provided.
  • Summon for surveys and workshops.
  • Analyze data and propose model to produce solutions.
  • Propose solutions for strategic and operational changes.
  • Filter opportunities and risks of proposed solutions and guidelines.
  • Communicate with upper Hierarchy about introducing changes to the business model.
  • Generate reports for stakeholders.
  • Support the IT department during the implementation phase of the proposed system.
  • Evaluate the impact of changes being brought.

SKILL REQUIRED:

Business analysts must have a combination of hard and soft skills like:

  • Strong Communication skills
  • Business understanding and critical thinking
  • Technical skills

BUSINESS ANALYST SALARY:

The average salary of a Business Analyst is around $58,805 per annum, which is expected to increase for the first 5-10 years, but further experience does not cast much impact on salary. The majority of business analysts serve this position for around 3 or 4 years and later move on for further advanced positions. Promotions may lead to project managers or senior business analysts' job roles.

JOB OUTLOOK:

In the past, companies experienced a transition from paper-based documentation into more advanced automated & electronic processes during the mid-1970s after the debut of computers. Business analysts joined the house in the 1980s and 1990s to link nascent technology with the business domain. However, technology continued to change its direction, but a recent breakthrough in big data after the advent of GPUs and rebirth of machine learning brought stabilization in this area and many projects that required a business analyst’s assistance in the past, no need this role. For now, after the emergence of Big Data Analytics and Data mining, data scientists use to perform mining over data to analyze customer behavior and identify system loopholes.

Too much reliance on technology bounds Business analysts to enhance their capabilities continuously and stay updated with technological advancements while playing a part-time role of data scientists and find ways to merge big data analysis with the part of critical thinking and analysis only possible under human supervision.

CAREER IN BUSINESS ANALYSIS

FOR FRESH GRADUATES:

You can apply for an entry-level role as a business analyst after college education on the basis of a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, HR, or other related fields.

As a freshly graduate candidate, how can you surpass the abilities of other applicants?

Strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills, critical thinking instinct, and a problem-solving approach can promise you to standout yourself from others. Decorating your resume with business analysis internships can be extra beneficial.

CAREER TRANSITION

If you’re currently serving your company as IT or business or professional, you already have one-sided skills required to merge both fields as a business analyst.

Interchangeable skills can let you dodge entry-level hurdles and groom you for the business analysis field, faster.

3 STEP TO BECOME A BUSINESS ANALYST

Whether you’re debuting in this field with existing IT experience or starting from scratch, below are some essential skills you need:

1. LEARN BASIC SKILLS

You have to master these essential skills as a fresh business analyst:

Documentation skills: Preparing clear and concise documentation is necessary. Business analysts are responsible for listing operational requirements, business models, and more into a document format. Adequate documentation and writing skills can assist you a lot.

Analysis skills: Business analysts invest a significant part of their job identifying problems and finding solutions. Knowing how to translate business and information workflows for the IT department helps a lot in providing a career boost.

Visual modeling methods: Business analysts are expected to use visual tools for building flowcharts in order to study trends and variations.

Communication skills: Business analysts call different types of meeting sessions to inform stakeholders about project requirements and maintain transparency in a process. Understanding how to deliver your statements effectively and plan meetings whenever necessary is an essential role of a business analyst.

While applying for a business analyst position, these skills provide a foundation to achieve a strong position.

2. BUSINESS ANALYSIS TRAINING COURSES

Attending business analysis training courses can help you master additional skills like:

  • Writing complex business cases and documenting documents.
  • A strategic approach to solve business problems with budget-friendly practices.
  • The Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) for process mapping.
  • Business Process Diagrams (BPDs) to solve complex business problems. 
  • Agile management and Scrum.

3. EARN CERTIFICATIONS:

Business analysis certifications boost your professional capabilities and escalate your development chances. You can experience a salary boost by a factor of 15 to 20 percent.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), formed in October 2003 with the objective of supporting and promoting the area of business analysis, offers three different certifications:

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA): This certification is suitable for fresh college graduates and professionals who are seeking a career transition. Earning the ECBA prepares you for a launch in the area of business analysis.

Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA): practitioners having 3 years of experience can enroll for this certification to be recognized for their business analysis skills.

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): This certification is for individuals having five years of experience as a business analyst, at least. This certification makes you worthy of a business analyst role in managerial and leadership perspectives.

DATA SCIENCE BOOTCAMPS:

Background of data science can help you get a job as a data analyst and business analyst, as well. Due to the evolving needs of technology, Business analysts need to master this field in order to fulfill the need for a data scientist or data analyst up to some extent.

Here are 15 Data Science Bootcamp options that can help you acquire data science knowledge.

  • NYC Data Science Academy
  • Dataquest
  • RMOTR
  • Metis
  • Data Science Dojo
  • The Dev Masters
  • Ubiqum Code Academy
  • Level
  • The Data Incubators
  • Jedha
  • Science to Data Science

CONCLUSION

Business analysis is a critical connection between an organization's business aspect and the IT department. A business analyst serves as a mediator between different departments in a facility and proposes roadmaps to schedule and manage the organizational processes. 

All three IIBA certifications possess a certain number of professional development hours that you can attend through approved online or in-person classes or workshops. You can also attend data science Bootcamp in order to fill your void in data science knowledge.

The CBAP certification is highly advised for individuals who want to unlock the position of a senior business analyst as it portrays your dedication to this field and your ability to conduct business improvement projects.

About The Author
Associate Instructor

Owais Rashidi

Owais is an associate instructor at QuickStart having prior experience of doing projects in .Net, SQL Server, SSIS, Data warehousing and Business Intelligence. He has done Bs in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which is a unique blend of both Software Engineering and Business Administration. And is also configuration and implementation of SAP core modules.