Do you have a passion for information technology?
Are you a natural problem solver?
Do you enjoy working with data and ‘crunching numbers’?
Are you keen to work in a role that has a real impact?
If the answer to these four questions is yes, then becoming a business analyst could be a great career choice for you.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the position a business analyst plays in an organisation, why it is such an important role, and how to take the first step in a career as a business analyst.
What is a business analyst?
A business analyst is someone who advises businesses. They can work in-house, as part of a consultancy or freelance.
A business analyst may also be known as a BA, business architect, management consultant or product manager.
A business analyst makes suggestions as to how a business’s IT systems and processes can be improved. This is done by carrying out research with staff and stakeholders, as well as reviewing quantitative data from a range of sources.
A business analyst will look at a variety of different factors, taking business needs, budgeting requirements, planning and monitoring into account.
Once they have carried out this research, they will put reports and documentation together, giving their findings to senior staff and company stakeholders. They will need to be persuasive as well as present their recommendations in a clear and compelling way.
If the improvements are agreed on, a business analyst will help prepare for and implement the changes within the organisation.
How much money can you earn as a business analyst?
Highly skilled analysts are in extremely popular demand. A junior business analyst can make up to £35,000 a year, with senior business analysts making up to £58,000.
The best and most experienced business analysts can even advance into becoming Chief Technology Officers.
What hours does a business analyst work?
Business analysts generally work standard office hours. However, they will be expected to work longer hours, evenings and weekends in order to complete work to specific deadlines.
Flexibility is critical in this type of work.
Why is the role of a business analyst so crucial for a business?
A business analyst can help a business improve the way it works. This ultimately can help an organisation become more streamlined and efficient, meaning it saves time, money and resources.
A business analyst’s work can support a successful business in moving to the next level, as well as help a struggling business survive.
A business analyst can also act as a conduit between the IT department and the rest of the business. Many people may not be aware of the work that IT does and the impact it can have on the company.
An analyst will carry out research and report findings to the relevant people in a clear, jargon-free, and easy-to-understand way. This will help them understand more about IT processes.
What qualifications do you need to become a business analyst?
There is no specific qualification that you need to take in order to become a business analyst. Business analysts come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Some studied to become one, while others found they had a natural aptitude for the role!
As it is a competitive industry though, you need to have a comprehensive skill set to be considered for work.
Having a degree in a relevant subject (for example, business management, programming or computer sciences) can be an advantage when applying to become a business analyst.
IT knowledge and experience are especially important for business analysts, either learnt through education or life experience.
However, practical experience in managing projects is a critical skill. Business analysts need to be able to manage several different projects at once, ensuring that everyone involved hits the right deadlines.
Project management courses like Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, PRINCE2 and AgilePM can help you manage complex and time-intensive projects.
A course like Change Management Foundation can enable you to learn techniques that can help you prepare organisations and employees for change initiatives. Some people may be resistant to change, especially if they have done things a certain way for several years.
As well as qualifications, you will need a variety of soft skills to become a successful business analyst. Some of the skills you will need include:
- Communication – you will need extremely strong verbal and written communication skills
- Persuasion – you will need to convince a wide range of people to accept your proposals
- Confidence – you will need to be able to lead and motivate an organisation in making significant changes
- A keen eye for detail – there is a lot of data that needs to be reviewed and analysed. Not only this, but an ability to look at the big picture is vital too
- A passion for IT as well as a desire to help make changes – you need to believe in the suggestions that you propose
- The ability to work under pressure – there may be a lot of time-sensitive decisions that need to be made
- The ability to multitask – you may be working on multiple projects at once
Want to find out more about becoming a business analyst? Contact us today!
Being a business analyst can be a challenging role, but it is one that is extremely rewarding. You can help make a real difference to a wide variety of businesses, enabling them to grow and thrive.
Whether you are considering a career change, or if you are a business analyst who wants to boost their skill set, we have the courses you need to grow.
All of our accreditations can be completed online, meaning that you can work at your own pace and study at a time convenient to you.
Contact our specialists today to find out which qualification is the right choice for you, and how you can progress in your career as a business analyst!