The Job Market For A Business Analyst – Why is the company losing money? Why are costs increasing, workflows inefficient, and the product schedule constantly falling behind? Just as critically, who can answer these questions?
Meet the business analyst, an expert who has become essential to the success of modern business. Business analytics combines a range of technical, analytical and problem-solving skills into an increasingly important discipline. Business analysts turn data into decisions, create solutions out of obstacles, and drive growth for their organizations. By creating value, business analysts become valuable. As a result, many professionals enter a career as a business analyst.
The Job Market For A Business Analyst
But how do you get there? The path to becoming a business analyst goes through many educational pursuits and careers, and not everyone follows the same course. Some people focus on becoming business analysts; others step into the role. Regardless, those involved in business analysis often find it both challenging and rewarding.
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Research estimates that the global big data and business analytics market will reach $448 billion by 2027, representing a significant opportunity for business analysts. Newbies to the field may wonder how to become a business analyst without experience. To help you plan your career, we’ve put together this guide. Here we address this and a few other key questions –
What do business analysts do? Is it hard to be a business analyst? – and adjust your strategy to enter this highly influential career.
In sports parlance, utility players are those who skillfully play multiple positions. In a way, business analysts are business actors in the store.
Business analysts use a variety of techniques and strategies to make their organizations more efficient, productive and profitable. They employ the discipline of business analytics, which uses research and data analysis to study business operations and ways to improve those practices.
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Business analysts are useful actors because they have a variety of skills and apply them to a myriad of requirements. They identify inefficiencies in product development, IT, human resource management and many other areas; and collaborate with members of the IT and finance groups, with stakeholders and customers, and with vendors and suppliers.
Business analysts are intermediaries between business and technology teams, translating and visualizing recommendations and solutions. They can also work as data analysts, research analysts, systems analysts, business architects or even product managers.
According to the International Institute for Business Analysis, business analysts with this level of influence are change agents. They identify and accelerate changes in the organization.
Business analysts have become embedded in successful organizations by creating better ways to track trends, analyze consumer habits, manage supply chains and understand their markets. After all, business analysts make companies healthier.
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I want to… Which best describes your goal? Start a new career Change career path Advance your current career Start/expand a business Don’t want to say Other Start a new career Change career path Continue your career Become an entrepreneur Fresh graduate, First job Other
There is no direct path to becoming a business analyst, which is not a negative. Many business analysts found their careers by accident or lucky timing. They may have worked in IT, finance or software development and accepted projects with more business analysis responsibilities. In other words, the job found them more than they found the job.
Others have pursued a career as a business analyst by studying finance or economics, perhaps earning an MBA, and learning the technical skills the job requires. Still, others approached the field from the engineering side, studying computer science or statistics while gaining business skills.
Most business analysts went to college. According to CareerOneStop, 79 percent of analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 36 percent have a doctorate. An MBA in Business Analytics is a popular resume for business analysts.
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It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect degree for an aspiring business analyst. You can enter the field through economics, finance or business administration. Because data is such an integral part of the workplace, degrees in data analytics, data science, and computer science also have value. Business analysis can even appeal to professionals with engineering or social science degrees.
While college degrees are important, they are not necessary to become a business analyst. Another option is boot camp. For example, a data analysis course covers many of the tools and techniques that business analysts should be familiar with. Their curricula include database programming languages such as SQL, data visualization programs such as Tableau, and statistical modeling and forecasting techniques.
In the Data Analytics Boot Camp, students complete projects using real data sets in a professional environment. After completing the 24-week program, students take home a certificate and a new set of skills for the labor market.
Business analysts juggle a combination of skills ranging from technical to high level. You will probably need some coding skills, especially with databases and specific software knowledge. You will also use the reliable soft skills that every professional should cultivate.
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According to IBM, business process modeling enables organizations to “understand and optimize workflows by creating data-driven visual representations of key business processes.” It is an important component of business analysis.
In business process modeling, analysts use data mining and visualization techniques to document workflows, identify problems, and automate processes. Use technologies such as SQL, database programming languages, and special modeling software to perform these functions efficiently.
Business analysts should be familiar with other statistical analysis techniques such as the Python and R programming languages and SAS software. Microsoft products – especially Excel and PowerPoint – and Tableau are also important. These and other tools will be fundamental to your business analyst training.
To turn data into actionable insights, business analysts must analyze. They perform data analysis, statistical analysis, quantitative analysis, gap analysis and risk assessment. Essentially, they need to understand the data and decide how to act on it. It requires the ability to research, collect and interpret data and draw conclusions from the results.
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Business analysts can benefit from becoming subject matter experts in their organizations. They need to know the company’s product line, customer base, how it sources materials and labor, shipping and distribution methods, and successes and failures.
For example, business analysts for online stores need to know who visits their website, what they search for the most, and what they buy. The more you know, the better business analyst you will be.
Business analysts gather information from stakeholders, share information with managers, developers, and auditors, and write and deliver reports to management and customers. Consequently, they must be clear communicators.
Communication is not just about writing, although it is important to distill technical research into readable terms. Business analysts often have to socialize with different teams that may not speak each other’s language at work. They can help translate programming jargon to the finance team and reinforce deadline messages to coders. Business analysts should be able to ask insightful questions and listen to the answers.
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With all the skills and training you have, you should be able to create a distinctive resume to become a business analyst. Additionally, make sure your resume highlights your qualifications as a business analyst, even if you haven’t worked specifically in that role.
Review your career history for examples of business analysis experience. You probably have more than you realize. Perhaps you worked as a project manager, helped develop a new product, or increased the efficiency of your department. Congratulations – you’ve passed your business analysis and may be closer to becoming an analyst than you first thought.
Remember the earlier note about business analysts sometimes finding themselves stuck in their roles? You can facilitate this process by volunteering for projects that require analytical skills. Offer to lead a team or build a dashboard. Prove that you are an expert in a particular field. Work even if no one asks you to.
The extra effort can serve several purposes. First, it makes you more valuable to your organization. Second, it provides experience with business analysis and concrete projects that you can add to your portfolio.
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Acquiring certifications can further enhance your qualifications as a business analyst. Certificates demonstrate knowledge, skills and interest in further education in your field. The International Institute of Business Analysis offers a range of advanced and specialized entry-level business analysis certificates that can enhance your skills and marketability.
Before interviewing for a business analyst position, research the company. Get to know their products or services, markets and customers. Maybe you can give some tips on efficiency in the interview.
Additionally, research the interview topics you are likely to cover. Indeed has compiled eight of the most common business analyst interview questions, and recruiting agency Robert Half has provided six other frequently asked questions. Including:
Now that you’re in your career as a business analyst, let’s examine the market that’s growing as businesses transform with data. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for management analysts (another term for business analysts) is expected to increase by 14 percent between 2020 and 2030. Demand for operational analysts who use more advanced mathematical and statistical skills could grow by 25 percent. while estimating the BLS.
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Demand will grow faster in some industries than in others. For example, management analysts will be sought after in healthcare, retail and some manufacturing industries