No one imagines themselves as a Business Analyst when they are a kid. But seeing the lucrative career prospects and salary range, it grows on us. But not everyone has a profound IT background, but that’s okay. Having excellent business skills is just as important, if not more.
Who is a Business Analyst?
A Business Analyst is responsible for assisting businesses in enhancing the processes and systems. In addition, it is their responsibility to do research and analysis to streamline corporate operations and provide new technology to businesses and customers. A business analyst investigates the market environment, as well as the operations and systems of companies.
A business analyst may also be referred to as a:
- Business architect
- Business systems analyst
- Enterprise analyst
- Management consultant
- Process analyst
- Product manager
- Systems analyst.
How to Become a Business Analyst?
There are many ways to become a business analyst in the UK. A range of options are available that will help you acquire the business skills required to be a business analyst. You can get a job as a business analyst by any of the following.
- Taking a university course
- Getting an apprenticeship
- Apply for this job directly
If you want to follow the route of getting a university degree, then you need to fulfil the entry requirements. Usually, they are
- 2 to 3 A-levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- A degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You can get a Bachelor’s degree or even better if you can get a Master’s degree in any of the following.
- Business management
- Business information systems
- Computer science
- Computing and systems development
A Bachelor’s Degree
Business analyst occupations often require a bachelor’s degree in any subject. On the other hand, employers may prefer a degree in business, computing, economics, or numeracy. You can earn your degree either through full-time university study or through a business analysis apprenticeship.
A bachelor’s degree or above is required for most entry-level business analyst jobs. Because few undergraduate schools are specifically designed to teach business analysts, most employers prefer people with business degrees. As a result, business degrees in operations management, human resources, logistics, finance, accounting, business administration, business analytics, and business information systems are viable options for this field.
A Master’s Degree or A Doctorate Degree
Candidates with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related business degree are in high demand by many companies looking to hire a senior analyst or consultant or advance their careers. After several years on the job, junior analysts frequently return to school to pursue master’s degrees in their fields of study.
A master’s degree, on the other hand, isn’t always necessary for career advancement. A job candidate without a master’s degree may be able to get by if they have enough work experience, a specific skill, and a track record of excellent performance.
A doctorate in business analytics, data science, statistics, computer science, information management, finance, or economics is a great way to advance your career. You may need to complete an advanced degree to rise to a career in business analytics at the management level or even higher. To stand out in a crowded field, consider earning a master’s degree in business analytics or a master’s degree in business administration. And, these programs usually take a year to complete.
Find an Apprenticeship
An apprenticeship can be a smart choice if you want to get hands-on experience along with getting financial benefits. You can look for an apprenticeship where you live or anywhere it’s convenient for you. It would be helpful if you have completed an apprenticeship on level 4 IS business analyst or have a degree apprenticeship in project management.
In general, the entry requirements are 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-levels. Or equivalent qualification will do for a higher or degree apprenticeship. After completing your apprenticeship, it should be fairly easy to find jobs with your newly acquired business skills and experience.
Get Additional Qualifications or Take Online Classes
Competition for business analyst positions is very high. Therefore, having any additional certification can give you a distinct advantage. Earning certifications can help you show your fundamental abilities, learn about the newest software and technology variations, and begin specialising. Certifications can also be useful if you want to advance to a new job after you’ve been working for a time. Though companies may not need particular certificates, obtaining one in your chosen field of study may assist in emphasising your expertise.
Many institutions also offer a variety of additional courses online, such as Business Analysis Advanced Course. These courses, which typically span several weeks, cover a wide range of topics, from monitoring warehouse inventory to collecting spreadsheet data. Modules, regardless of what you study, are usually self-paced, allowing you to further your education while continuing to work. In a nutshell, choose a focus and then make it happen!
Hone Your Technical and Business Skills.
Candidates may seek alternative options to enhance their technical abilities in addition to traditional business analytics courses at a university, which is expected considering how essential IT is to the field. Though there are other potential fields of study, the following are some popular options available in boot camps around the country:
- Software for statistical analysis (e.g., R, SAS, SPSS or STRATA)
- SQL databases and querying languages for databases
- Programming abilities (if possible)
- Questionnaire and survey software
- Software for business intelligence and reporting
- Exploration of data
- Visualisation of data
- Creating database
Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on developing technologies. You never know how recent changes could be beneficial to your company clientele.
Business analysts also devote effort to honing their non-technical abilities. There’s a lot to think about, from being more comfortable with analytical problem-solving to effectively communicating complicated technical issues to lay audiences. This is also true when it comes to creative thinking, which includes challenging current company processes and brainstorming novel ways to data analysis, as well as understanding wider industry pain issues.
What Business Skills do You Need to Become a Business Analyst in No Time?
The position of a business analyst requires both hard and soft skills to become successful. Business analysts need to know how to collect, analyse and report data trends. They also have to be able to share that information with others and apply it to business too.
Business analysts evaluate how a company functions, conducting research and analysing data to expand its content and skills recommendations for its procedures and processes. A successful business analyst frequently accomplishes these tasks using some skills.
1. Communication Skill
It’s necessary to develop your oral and written communication skills early as a business analyst because communication is vital in the job. Business analysts must be able to communicate well to be successful. This indicates that they can facilitate productive meetings, ask relevant questions, listen to responses, and take in what has been said.
Face-to-face contact is no longer always possible in today’s world of technology. However, the ability to communicate effectively in a virtual environment is just as important as it is in a physical one. As a novice business analyst, you may not have prior expertise with various requirements papers. Nonetheless, your substantial general documentation and writing skills may be sufficient to get you started in your career.
2. Technical Skill
Business analysts are at ease in the IT environment. In practice, this means they are familiar with the most recent software, its capabilities, and any restrictions it may have.
A business analyst must have extensive knowledge of the IT industry. It is critical that you stay current with industry advancements and be able to assess the capabilities of modern tools and technology. Software Design Technologies, SQL Queries, Business Process Models, and other tools are examples of tools you should be familiar with.
3. Analytical Skill
To find practical solutions for theoretical difficulties, you must employ a high level of analytical reasoning, as indicated by the name of the skill. As a result, analysing data, preparing documentation, conducting user input surveys, and overseeing workflow are all routine tasks that contribute to improving corporate operations.
If you’re not too confident in your analytical skills, enrol in a Business Analysis Advanced Course and sharpen your skills.
4. Problem-Solving SkillEvery undertaking comes with its own set of difficulties. In reality, the entire undertaking is a problem-solving exercise of the highest order of complexity. Businesses analysts contribute to creating a shared understanding of the problem, possible solutions, and the project’s scope at the highest levels of the organisation and management. As well as supporting teams in the resolution of technical challenges, business analysts are usually found in situations where numerous commercial and technological parties are involved. Therefore, they typically begin by taking a look at the company’s business process.
5. Decision Making SkillBusiness analysts are typically in charge of creating complex information technology systems and are required to make significant judgments. Therefore, those who wish to pursue a career as a business analyst must be able to assess complicated situations, gather information from stakeholders, and make quick decisions about how to proceed.
6. Managerial SkillThe abilities of project management are regularly used by business analysts, whether they’re defining project scopes or coordinating employees, dealing with revisions or forecasting budgets.
7. Negotiation SkillA business analyst serves as a link between various types of people. Users, management, clients, developers, and everyone else in the department have different skillsets and personalities. Therefore, you must successfully communicate with all the persons and please them. Furthermore, you must retain professional ties while facilitating shared solutions. Finally, your negotiating abilities must be capable of persuading individuals to consider various alternatives and agree on how to implement them.
8. Organising SkillFrom the beginning to the end, you must be organised and record every minute detail. Your report should be precise and brief, with each step spelt out clearly. Technical concepts will be easier to communicate to non-technical staff if you have good organising abilities. In a nutshell, every reader should be able to comprehend your strategy.
9. Time Management SkillOf all the talents required of business analysts, this is one of the most important. Time management is vital since a business analyst’s work schedule is packed with duties, and they must guarantee that their commitments to each of them are met. The most fundamental stage in time management for business analysts is to understand the priorities and then schedule the day-to-day duties as needed. Multi-tasking is a key sub-skill in time management since it allows you to complete numerous tasks at once, freeing up time for other obligations. However, it is not only job responsibilities that are important, but also the ability to strike a work-life balance.
10. Leadership SkillLeadership is a research field as well as a practical talent that encompasses an individual’s, group’s, or organisation’s ability to “lead,” influence, or direct other people, teams, or entire organisations. This is a talent that a business analyst should acquire.
11. Commercial Awareness SkillCommercial awareness is the ability to recognise what makes a business or organisation successful, whether via the purchase or sale of goods or the provision of services to customers. Thus, commercial awareness is often known as ‘business awareness’ or ‘organizational awareness.’
Can You Become a Business Analyst without an IT background?Well, not all business analysts need or have a background in IT or Information Technology. While it doesn’t hurt to have sound knowledge or expertise in SQL or programming languages to go ahead in a career, they are not the only important skills in a business analyst. As long as you possess a general understanding of how systems function and the basics of required tools, you should be fine. Alternatively, some business analysts may have a strong IT background but are less experienced in the business side. That’s also okay as long as you can perform your job well and make up for it with your excellent business skills.
Job Responsibilities of a Business AnalystBusiness analysts have a variety of overlapping responsibilities. On any given day, they may be required to complete a wide range of tasks similar to those performed by management analysts. Here are some essential responsibilities of a business analyst:
- Identifying opportunities for growth in business operations and processes
- Meeting with customers and users, as well as subject matter experts and other stakeholders, to better understand their IT requirements.
- Modelling and prototyping of products and processes
- Designing or modifying business or information technology systems
- Solving business problems and developing technical solutions
- Working with developers and system architects to ensure that the system is implemented correctly
- Assisting in the testing of the system and the creation of system documentation and user manuals
- Facilitating workshops to foster shared understanding among diverse stakeholders
- Recognising when a system is out of date and organising replacements
- Assess company requirements by directly interacting with management and personnel and conducting surveys and workshops with stakeholders.
- Understand how technology solutions are deployed and develop a strategy for effectively utilising them to meet company objectives.
- Produce thorough business assessments, establish business needs, sketch out challenges, and develop solutions for operational and technical improvements.
- Collaborate with project managers to convey project progress to stakeholders.
- Track and evaluate solutions, as well as assess the value of the changes to the company in order to make additional enhancements or adjustments.
How Much Does a Business Analyst Earn?Starting average salaries for business analysts are £30,000 a year, according to National Careers Service. And for experienced business analysts, it can be up to £70,000 a year. In general, it is between £21,000 and £31,000 at the beginning. On the other hand, the average salary of business analysts, with around five years’ experience, ranges between £32,000 and £38,000 as per Prospects. You have the choice to work permanently, as a freelancer or on a contract basis. In that case, your earnings would differ too, depending on your experience. Please note that income figures are intended as a guide only.
Career Path and Progression of a Business AnalystYou may look for progression from this role as a business analyst. You can check out roles with similar opportunities or related careers, such as
- Management consultant
- Business project manager
- Systems analyst
- Social media manager
- Business adviser
Business analysts work for a wide range of companies, non-profits, and government agencies. Business analysts study business processes and operating procedures in search of ways to improve an organisation’s operational efficiency and achieve better performance. While job functions vary depending on the position, the work of business analysts entails studying business processes and operating procedures in search of ways to improve an organisation’s operational efficiency and achieve better performance.
Business analysts collaborate with management to develop new or improved systems and work processes that decrease or eliminate inefficiencies, lower costs, and boost a company’s market competitiveness. If you want to be a part of this dynamic profession, prepare yourself with this Business Analysis Advanced Course.