The Complex Role of a Business Analyst
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
A business analyst is responsible for analysing data and information to offer recommendations as to how they should develop their operations. They may help them to solve issues within the business or simply suggest how they can make more money. A lot of the work that they will carry out will involve using software systems and they will be looking at a large amount of data.
Many businesses want some answers to how they can make their team more efficient and analysts often recommend IT solutions. This is due to IT solutions being the most advanced.
Their daily tasks may include:
- Working with the business members and discovering what the long term goals are.
- Suggesting changes and documenting the progress of such change.
- Presenting how your changes will benefit the business.
- Looking at data analytics to find patterns.
- Testing whether solutions would work for the business.
- Implementing technology to update the business work force.
The role is clearly complex due to the need to be able to analyse high quantities of information as well as having a high level of responsibility. However, the role is highly rewarding. The sense of reward is high once they achieve a recommendation with successful outcomes. They are also significant players in business growth meaning their input into business projects is desirable.
Why Is Business Analysis So Important?
The Fast Progressive Digital World
Because analysts can help a business adapt and implement new technology to make their practices more efficient, they play an essential part in helping businesses develop along with the progressive digital world.
If businesses fail to develop in the way that competitor businesses do, then they may fall behind and become overwhelmed by fellow businesses.
They Can Help a Business Adapt to Changes
Some businesses do not do well when adapting to changes which will affect the way that they work. One of the roles that an analyst may do is help the business with how to use new operational systems and helping them with their problems. As there is guaranteed to always be changes, this role is essential to keep the business progressing.
They Can Help to Reduce Business Costs
Furthermore, one of the purposes of an analyst is to maximise the profits of a business and reduce the costs. This can help a business stay within their targeted budget and be able to use some of their budget on another focus of the business.
Where Can This Career Take You?
There are many career development opportunities that you can progress with in this role. After a number of years you could work as a senior business analyst and even progress to director level. Alternatively, this career could lead you into more advanced data analysis or systems analysis and other technical areas. Furthermore, you could choose to become a project manager or be a employee for change management.
As many of the roles are highly IT based, there is also the possibility of you entering a career such as an IT technician or other computer based roles.
Many business analysts are passionate about business development and some become business development managers.
If you have worked as a business analyst for many years, you would have built up a strong professional profile which would pave the way for a rewarding career in many different sectors.
What Sort of Person Would Be Ideal for the Role?
In order to be ideal for the role, you will need to be passionate about making developments. Further, you will need a self-starter attitude. This means you are ready to get on with work independently and can manage your own time. It would also be a great role for someone who is interested in technology.
Those who are always developing themselves as a person will also be ideal. This is because they will have the right attitude to always find the best business solutions.
The ability to be critical would serve you well. This would allow you to be critical when looking at business operations to improve them. It would also allow you to do research and criticise things that would not be suitable for your client. Someone who researches solutions and fails to explore wider options would not be ideal for this role.
Finally, you will need to be professional. When you attend client meetings you will have to be polite, dressed smart and generally have a professional demeanour.
How Do You Become a Business Analyst?
There are many routes to get into this career. Because it is a highly skilled career, employers will likely look for those who have a degree. You could take a degree in business management, business information systems and more related degrees. For highly reputable businesses that would search for the most skilled people and offering the largest salary, they will look for those who have at least a 2.1 or 1st class degree.
Alternatively, you could also have some experience in a similar role such as a project manager and with a wealth of experience you would be able to progress into a business analyst role.
If you did not want to commit to the high pressure environment of a degree for 3 or more years, you could first take a diploma. An HND meaning Higher National Diploma is the equivalent to the first 2 years of a degree in terms of its level. You could take a Business HND and top it up to a full degree by just 1 year at an approved university. Many HNDs are focused in the business subject.
Qualifications Are Not Everything – Desirable Skills
In order to become an analyst, you do not only need qualifications, but you also need the right skills. Essential skills include:
One of the most important skills that a business analyst needs is to be able to research how a business can develop the operations. This is extremely important that each recommendation is well thought out. If a lack of research has been conducted, then it could lead to mistakes and a loss from the business. There are also lots of different solutions and choosing the most effective one is essential. Many business analysts will look at tried and tested solutions, finding where similar problems within a business have occurred before. This way, they get the most certainty that the solution will work.
Excellent Understanding of Technology
Because business analysts work with IT systems to solve problems, they often need to be familiar with a number of different software’s. Although for a lot of the business analyst jobs out there, IT skills are not essential, it is useful.
Some businesses need particular software created so that their business can be more efficient, such as software to automate their customer relations and so on.
In addition, they may need to know how to test a new solution and therefore will have to operate the computer systems.
Another of the most important skills that analysts need is an awareness of the business world. Businesses are created with a plan to make money and being responsible for the improvement of business operations means you must have this in mind. Without any commercial awareness, you would not know what would make your clients business successful.
During the role, you will be expected to talk to clients as well as your employees. Sometimes, when you have to explain your proposals to a client you will have to show great communication skills so they understand the solution. Some business analyst solutions can be complex and knowing how to ensure everyone understands is essential so that they can take your recommendations on board.
Developing Your Network
Many experienced business analysts will be able to work freelance. This means that they often will need to build up an excellent record and reputation for clients to choose them to help with their business issues. Building your skills network can help with this. Your skills network refers to the network you create around you that will help you develop your professional skills. This may include connecting with people who have worked in the industry for years on LinkedIn. They may also be able to give you some advice on how to get into the career based on their personal experiences and what is expected.
What is the Working Environment Like?
The role of a business analyst is sometimes very independent, and sometimes it can involve working within a team. You will have to work with clients and with other colleagues if you work for a firm of analysts.
Some business analysts will work freelance when they are confident enough to work without support. For these individuals they will normally work from home and attend the clients business as and when needed for meetings.
Why Should You Progress With This Career?
One of the reasons that this career is so desirable is because of the fact that businesses are developing at such a rapid speed. There are lots of businesses who need people to help them keep up. In addition, there are numerous problems that can occur within a business such as losses. In general, most companies would jump at the possibility of their income being increased by looking at the data behind their operations.
Because of this, it means that business analyst jobs are in high demand. It is a great career to get into if you want a guaranteed job.
There is also a skills gap in this area, as analyst jobs have not been around for very long. You could be part of filling the skills gap and do something that not many people do.
If the above information has not convinced you, another great reason to become a business analyst is because it can offer you a salary of between £30,000 and £40,000 a year. This can rise further to around £40,000 to £50,000 once you are highly experienced.
Another great reason to be involved in this industry is because of the great sense of achievement that you get once you have found workable solutions to a businesses problems. You could get the chance to be someone who works for a large business and create success. Many individuals say this is one of the best parts of the job.
Due to the in demand nature of the career, you would be assured that your job would be very secure. As a lot of the work can be done from home, this also means your job would be more secure if something like the pandemic were to happen again. Many industries are moving their businesses to home working and closing their offices altogether for the future. Home working might become the new norm.
This article has informed you about what a data analyst does and why it is important. It has also informed you of how to be involved in this career. Finally, it gave you some insight on why you should enter the sector.
As the College of Contract Management, we strive to bring you the best learning opportunities we can to set you up for a rewarding career. If you want to know about what we can offer you in terms of helping you reach a career in areas such as construction, IT and business, get in contact.