What Is a Business Analyst? 2022 Career Guide (2022)

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Business analysts help maximize a business's effectiveness through data-driven decisions. Learn about what business analysts do and what it takes to become one.

What Is a Business Analyst? 2022 Career Guide (1)

Leer en español. (Read in Spanish.)

Business analysts use data to form business insights and recommend changes in businesses and other organizations. Business analysts can identify issues in virtually any part of an organization, including IT processes, organizational structures, or staff development.

As businesses seek to increase efficiency and reduce costs, business analytics has become an important component of their operations. Let’s take a closer look at what business analysts do and what it takes to get a job in business analysis.

What does a business analyst do?

Business analysts identify business areas that can be improved to increase efficiency and strengthen business processes. They often work closely with others throughout the business hierarchy to communicate their findings and help implement changes.

Tasks and duties can include:

  • Identifying and prioritizing the organization's functional and technical needs and requirements

  • Using SQL and Excel to analyze large data sets

  • Compiling charts, tables, and other elements of data visualization

  • Creating financial models to support business decisions

  • Understanding business strategies, goals, and requirements

  • Planning enterprise architecture (the structure of a business)

    (Video) Business Analytics Career Path 2022 | How to Become A Business Analyst | Intellipaat

  • Forecasting, budgeting, and performing both variance analysis and financial analysis

What's the difference between a business analyst and a data analyst?

Both data analysts and business analysts support data-driven decisions in their companies. Business analysts tend to focus more on recommending solutions for business needs, while data analysts work more closely with the data itself.

Read more: Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst: What’s the Difference?

What Is a Business Analyst? 2022 Career Guide (2)

Why pursue a career in business analysis?

As a business analyst, you'll have the opportunity to support your organization's success through data-driven insights. It's a career where every day brings new challenges and new ways to put your skills into practice. If you enjoy helping people, asking questions, solving problems, and working independently, a career as a business analyst could be a good fit.

Business analyst salary

The average salary for business analysts in December 2021 in the United States is $77,218, according to Glassdoor [1]. Your exact salary will vary depending on the company, location, and amount of experience you have.

Job outlook

The demand for business analysts has increased in recent years and is projected to continue. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth between 2020 and 2030 for similar roles to range from seven percent (computer systems analysts) to 25 percent (operations research analysts) [2, 3]. Other related job titles include management analyst and operations analyst—both of which perform duties similar to business analysts.

How to become a business analyst

Becoming a business analyst may require gaining skills and credentials applicable to the work and the industry you're interested in. Coursework, certifications, or degrees can each aid your path to a job as a business analyst.

1. Sharpen your business analyst skills.

Here are some skills you’ll typically want to have as a business analyst.

  • Business acumen: A solid understanding of finance, accounting, and business principles will help you surface what operational issues exist, and how best to address them.

  • Communication: A business analyst is often expected to communicate with several different players within an organization, including upper management and other teams. Being able to present your ideas clearly and convincingly—both verbally and in writing—will be a large asset as a business analyst.

  • Data analysis: Gathering, tracking, and analyzing performance metrics will be central to a business analysis role. Having a good grasp of data analysis and visualization tools like Tableau, Excel, and BI Tools can be useful. Some knowledge of a programming language like SQL may also come in handy.

  • Business analysis methodologies: Depending on your industry, it could help to be familiar with specific methodologies, like Agile Business Analysis, Six Sigma, or Rational Unified Process.

    (Video) Business Analyst Career Paths | Business Analyst Career Path

  • Industry expertise: Different industries have different business needs and challenges. Developing business solutions for an IT company might look different than it does for a health care company. Industry experience, even in another role, can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

2. Take a course.

Refreshing your familiarity with the skills expected of a business analyst can show employers your knowledge is up to date and adequate. Coursework, either in person or online, can give you the tools needed to get your foot in the door in the field of business analytics.

Gain a holistic understanding of the job with courses in data analytics or business analytics. Or familiarize yourself with the tools used in business analytics through coursework in Tableau or Excel and MySQL.

3. Earn a business analyst certification.

Earning a certification can expand your skill set, and potentially increase your earnings or make you more competitive for jobs. Here are some business analysis certifications to consider:

  • IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)

  • IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

  • IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)

  • PMI Professional in Business Analytics (PMI-PBA)

If you’re just starting out as a business analyst, the ECBA can show hiring managers you’ve received several hours of training and know the basics of business analysis. If you have some experience with business analytics, the CBAP, CCBA, and PMI-PBA can show employers your competency and experience.

4. Consider a degree.

Many employers like to see at least a bachelor’s degree on your resume, though some may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor’s degrees are common for entry-level positions in analytical fields, according to the BLS. Getting your bachelor's degree in a quantitative field like economics, finance, computer science, data science, statistics, information management, or a similar field can prepare you for business analysis jobs.

Master’s degrees and MBAs: Some employers might prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You may also consider getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA); several programs offer specializations in business analytics. Getting your master's degree in business analytics or business administration could help advance your skills and knowledge, and give you a competitive advantage in the job search arena.

5. Start with an entry-level role.

Internships and entry-level positions in accounting, finance, or business settings can build your experience before you advance to a higher-level position. In your job search, look for titles like junior business analyst or entry-level business analyst. If you’re still in school, making an appointment with a career counselor can help you understand what opportunities are out there.

Next steps

If a career in business analysis sounds interesting, start by exploring how you can bolster your skill set. Courses in business analytics or business systems can give you a broad introduction to the profession.

What Is a Business Analyst? 2022 Career Guide (3)

(Video) Business Analyst Career Path

specialization

Business Analytics

Make Data-Driven Business Decisions. Achieve fluency in business data strategies in four discipline-specific courses.

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Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Customer Analytics, Analytics, Business Analytics, Decision Tree, Predictive Analytics, Regression Analysis, Marketing Performance Measurement And Management, Simulation, Mathematical Optimization, Solver, Talent Management, Performance Management, Collaboration, Accounting, Earnings Management, Finance, Strategic Management, Data Analysis

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Not all business analysts work for a company's IT department. If you're interested in both data analysis and IT, consider a role as an IT business analyst. In this job, you'd analyze the needs and pain points of the IT department, and recommend technology and business solutions.‎

(Video) Business Analyst Job Outlook in 2022

Business analytics might be a better fit if you're more business minded. If you enjoy working with numbers and excel in mathematics and statistics, then consider data analysis as a career path. Many of the skills overlap, so it's possible to start as a business analyst and move into a role as a data analyst (or vice versa).‎

A business intelligence analyst, or BI analyst, is a hybrid role somewhere between data analyst and business analyst. BI analysts analyze, model, and visualize data on industry trends and the competitive landscape to help businesses drive profits.‎

Related articles

  • Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst: What’s the Difference?

  • Business Intelligence Analysts: What They Are and How to Become On

  • What Does a Data Analyst do? A Career Guide

  • 10 In-Demand Jobs You Can Get with a Business Degree

Article sources

1. Glassdoor. "Business Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/business-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,16.htm." Accessed December 10, 2021.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer Systems Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm." Accessed December 10, 2021.

3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Operations Research Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm." Accessed December 10, 2021.

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

FAQs

What is the career path for a business analyst? ›

A Business Analyst's Career Path

With sufficient experience and good performance, a young professional can move into a junior business analyst position. Some choose instead to return to school to get master's degrees before beginning work as business analysts in large organizations or consultancies.

How do I become a business analyst in 2022? ›

How to Become a Business Analyst?
  1. Start with Basics of Business Analyst. ...
  2. Earn a Degree related to this field. ...
  3. Acquire Business Analyst Skills. ...
  4. Get Online Certification of Business Analyst. ...
  5. Work on Real-time Projects to Gain Practical Knowledge. ...
  6. Prepare a Good Portfolio to Present your Hands-on Experience. ...
  7. Apply for a Job.

Is business analytics a good career 2021? ›

Why pursue a career in business analysis? As a business analyst, you'll have the opportunity to support your organization's success through data-driven insights. It's a career where every day brings new challenges and new ways to put your skills into practice.

Is business analyst a good career start? ›

The simple answer is yes – being a business analyst is a good career choice and provides an opportunity for life-long learning and addressing challenges to provide solutions to business problems. You have the opportunity to work in different sectors and industries to apply your skills.

What skills does a business analyst need? ›

Business analyst skills
  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Interpersonal and consultative skills.
  • Facilitation skills.
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving.
  • Being detail-oriented and capable of delivering a high level of accuracy.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Knowledge of business structure.
  • Stakeholder analysis.
17 Apr 2019

Is business analyst a IT job? ›

Business Analyst in the IT industry

IT business analysts are knowledgeable in both business and information technology. Liaising between IT and the executive branch, enhancing the quality of IT services, and understanding business needs are among their major roles.

What does a business analyst do on a daily basis? ›

A business analyst's daily job duties include identifying business issues, collecting and recording data, analyzing data, and evaluating and presenting data solutions. They work with several groups including customer service management, product development, business operations, and business clients.

What is business analyst in simple words? ›

Business analysts are agents of change—professionals who analyze a business or organization, by documenting its systems and processes, assessing its business model, identifying vulnerabilities, and devising solutions. Business analysts go by many other job titles, including: Business Architect.

Does business analyst require coding? ›

While the ability to program is helpful for a career in analytics, being able to write code isn't necessarily required to work as an analytics professional. Apart from the above languages, statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and even Excel can be used when managing and analyzing data.

Are business analysts well paid? ›

Business Analyst is among the top 10 highest-paid jobs in the US.

Is business analyst a tough job? ›

Being a business analyst can be tough because, at one point in this career, the individual will have to deliver inputs or outputs for a project despite encountering many problems and issues and that makes being a business analyst a tough job and it can get stressful at times due to various deadlines.

Is business analytics hard to learn? ›

The short answer is no. Business analytics is less about hardcore technical aptitude – especially compared to something like data science – and more about generating real-world insights from large bodies of data.

Is business analyst easy to learn? ›

The path to becoming a Business Analyst is not short nor easy. I'll guide you and give you the information you need, but I can't force you to take action... that's up to you.

What is the next position after business analyst? ›

If you have a good background in IT, your career stream can take you to project manager, senior project manager, programme manager, and senior programme manager. If your business management talents are as strong as your technology expertise, you can rise to senior business analyst and business consultant.

What are the disadvantages of being a business analyst? ›

Business Analyst Cons
  • Long hours. A business analyst position can be stressful. ...
  • Lots of deadlines. Business analysts have tight deadlines because they work on projects with quick turnaround times. ...
  • High level of responsibility. A business analyst works at the core of business operations.
11 Sept 2022

What are the three main roles of a business analyst? ›

Business analyst responsibilities
  • Analyzing and evaluating the current business processes a company has and identifying areas of improvement.
  • Researching and reviewing up-to-date business processes and new IT advancements to make systems more modern.
  • Presenting ideas and findings in meetings.

How can I improve my BA skills? ›

How to Improve Your Business Analysis Skills: 6 Business Analyst Tips
  1. Know Why You Are Looking. ...
  2. Use A Variety of Tools. ...
  3. Consider Positives and Negatives. ...
  4. Look for Underlying Causes. ...
  5. Understand Your Organization. ...
  6. Present Conclusions Meaningfully.

What are the main challenges faced by a business analyst? ›

The challenges facing Business Analysts
  • Misconception of BA's scope of work.
  • Created specifications do not satisfy the needs of the development team.
  • Possible solution.
  • Changing requirements or business needs.
  • Conflicts with stakeholders.
  • Undocumented processes.

What is the most important role of a business analyst? ›

The most important responsibility of the Business Analyst is elaborating the details. This is where he gets into evaluating the needs and guarantee the implementation team has the entire details, they require creating or implementing the process.

Can business analyst work from home? ›

They can work full-time, part-time, freelance, or as independent contractors across a variety of career fields. And, because much of the business analyst role includes data analysis and visualization (think: crunching numbers and creating graphs and pie charts), in many cases, their work can be done remotely.

What do a business analyst do? ›

Business analysts assess how organisations are performing and help them improve their processes and systems. They conduct research and analysis in order to come up with solutions to business problems and help to introduce these solutions to businesses and their clients.

Do business analysts work alone? ›

Business analysts typically work in an office environment and deal with many people on a daily basis. The analyst is rarely working alone and is constantly communicating with different workers and managers of different departments within each business.

What is difference between project manager and business analyst? ›

A Project Manager usually concentrates on the project as a series of tasks, establishes baselines, interacts with the development team, and addresses project issues. On the other hand, a Business Analyst is concerned with the final product, analyzes market problems, and proposes a technical solution.

How many hours do business analysts work? ›

Business analysts typically work a standard a 40-hour week, but flexible hours and overtime may be sometimes be required.

What is another word for business analyst? ›

What is another word for business analyst?
economisteconomiser
economizerfinancial expert
miser

How do I become a business analyst with no experience? ›

Key Things To Do To Become a Business Analyst With No Experience
  1. Learn Business Processes. ...
  2. Get Domain Knowledge. ...
  3. Get Familiar With The Key Software. ...
  4. Learn Data Analysis. ...
  5. Get Familiar With Glossaries. ...
  6. Improve Your Communication Skills. ...
  7. Don't Underestimate The Power Of Documentation. ...
  8. Internship Opportunity.

Who can be a business analyst? ›

Most Business Analysts possess a bachelor's degree – often in business administration, finance, accounting, statistics, or computer science or programming – and for many people, this degree may be the most logical first step in getting some exposure to business analysis theory.

Can a non IT person learn business analyst? ›

We discussed four key skills for an entry level business analyst and evaluated them with the perspective of a non-IT professional. These skills are not related to programming, but take a bit of time to acquire. So, it is completely feasible and possible for a non-IT professional to become a business analyst.

Which is better business analyst or data analyst? ›

Data analysts tend to work more closely with the data itself, while business analysts tend to be more involved in addressing business needs and recommending solutions. Both are highly sought-after roles that are typically well-compensated.

Is being a business analyst stressful? ›

Conclusion. Business analysis could become stressful in some way at some point in time. But it doesn't mean, only your job is stressful and other jobs are easy to do. Every job could lead to a stressful situation but it is up to the person, how he/she handles it.

What is the highest position in business analyst? ›

After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you could advance to chief technology officer, chief operating officer, project management office director, or work as a consultant.

Do business analyst make 6 figures? ›

And on Salary Expert, the average business analyst salary is listed at 96,000. That puts business analysts with only a few years of experience within spitting distance of the six-figure club. Salaries for experienced business analysts can go much, much higher.

Are business analysts happy? ›

Business analysts are below average when it comes to happiness. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, business analysts rate their career happiness 3.0 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 32% of careers.

How long does it take to become a business analyst? ›

It takes 4-years to become a business analyst.

Around 66% of business analysts have a bachelor's degree and 17% have master's degrees. The qualifications needed to become a successful business analyst include a bachelor's degree, certifications, and on-the-job experience.

Is business analytics math heavy? ›

Contrary to popular belief, business analytics does not involve extensive coding, math, or knowledge of computer science. It's a great career fit for those who enjoy solving complex problems and offering practical conclusions based on real business data.

Is python required for business analytics? ›

Python is one of the most popular languages for business analytics today and continues to grow at an astonishing rate. It's commonly considered one of the easier programming languages to read and learn—its programming syntax is simple and its commands mimic the English language.

What are examples of business analytics? ›

Real-World Business Analytics Examples
  • Growing sales. ...
  • Developing marketing strategies. ...
  • Using predictive analytics. ...
  • Improving financial efficiency. ...
  • Increasing productivity through streamlined processes.

How do I start business analyst? ›

The Three Steps to Launching a Business Analyst Career
  1. Step 1: Get an Undergraduate Degree in Business Administration, Finance, or Accounting. ...
  2. Step 2: Gain Work Experience. ...
  3. Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree or Obtain an Advanced Certificate.

What are the basics of business analysis? ›

Core Components for Business Analysis Planning. Completing Requirements Elicitation and Analyses. Tracking and Monitoring Requirements During the Life of a Project. Creating and Implementing a Solution Evaluation Plan.

What is the most difficult part of being a business analyst? ›

Lack of Clarity

One of the most difficult aspects of any project is achieving clarity of scope, business objectives and communicating same to stakeholders so that everyone is in agreement. Clearly, one of the main responsibilities of a Business Analyst is to clear up any confusion surrounding the scope of the project.

Why should we hire you as a business analyst? ›

“One of the main reasons I want to be a business analyst is because I like to be able to see a direct relationship between my efforts and the company's success. In my summer work term, I was able to improve the company's operational efficiencies resulting in a cost savings of 2%.”

What does a junior business analyst do? ›

A junior business analyst is trained in gathering, validating, and documenting various system information and requirements. They are responsible for carrying out in-depth evaluation and verification of the system capabilities and act as the intermediary between end-users and software developers.

What is the next position after business analyst? ›

If you have a good background in IT, your career stream can take you to project manager, senior project manager, programme manager, and senior programme manager. If your business management talents are as strong as your technology expertise, you can rise to senior business analyst and business consultant.

Where can you go from business analyst? ›

While any industry can benefit from business analyst expertise, management consulting firms and IT-related firms make up the largest share. Companies that specialize in accounting, finance, investment banking, and market research also offer significant opportunities for business analysts.

Is business analyst a high paying job? ›

Average Annual Salary

Very High Confidence means the data is based on a large number of responses. Business Analyst salary in India ranges between ₹ 3.0 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 7.0 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 71.3k salaries received from Business Analysts.

Whats next for a senior business analyst? ›

A business architect comes after a senior business analyst.

A senior business analyst may become a technology architect or an enterprise architect, then advance to senior leadership positions in those roles. In other cases, senior business analysts go on to become chief technology officers (CTO).

Is coding necessary for business analyst? ›

While the ability to program is helpful for a career in analytics, being able to write code isn't necessarily required to work as an analytics professional. Apart from the above languages, statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and even Excel can be used when managing and analyzing data.

What are the disadvantages of being a business analyst? ›

Business Analyst Cons
  • Long hours. A business analyst position can be stressful. ...
  • Lots of deadlines. Business analysts have tight deadlines because they work on projects with quick turnaround times. ...
  • High level of responsibility. A business analyst works at the core of business operations.
11 Sept 2022

Is business analyst a tough job? ›

Being a business analyst can be tough because, at one point in this career, the individual will have to deliver inputs or outputs for a project despite encountering many problems and issues and that makes being a business analyst a tough job and it can get stressful at times due to various deadlines.

Is business analyst easy to learn? ›

The path to becoming a Business Analyst is not short nor easy. I'll guide you and give you the information you need, but I can't force you to take action... that's up to you.

What does a business analyst do day to day? ›

A business analyst's daily job duties include identifying business issues, collecting and recording data, analyzing data, and evaluating and presenting data solutions. They work with several groups including customer service management, product development, business operations, and business clients.

Do business analysts work alone? ›

Business analysts typically work in an office environment and deal with many people on a daily basis. The analyst is rarely working alone and is constantly communicating with different workers and managers of different departments within each business.

Which IT field has highest salary? ›

Here are some of the highest paying IT jobs in 2022:
  • Data Scientist.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Architect.
  • Big Data Engineer.
  • Software Architect.
  • Blockchain Engineer.
  • DevOps Engineer.
  • Cloud Architect.
  • Full-Stack Developer.
22 Sept 2022

How many hours do you work as a business analyst? ›

Business analysts typically work a standard a 40-hour week, but flexible hours and overtime may be sometimes be required.

Who is the highest paid business analyst? ›

The top 5 highest paying jobs as Business Analyst with reported salaries are:
  • vice president - ₹40lakhs per year.
  • product manager business analyst - ₹34lakhs per year.
  • associate vice president - ₹31lakhs per year.
  • business analyst scrum master - ₹31lakhs per year.
  • chief business analyst - ₹30lakhs per year.

What is higher than a senior business analyst? ›

Typically, a Lead Business Analyst is a more formal role on a larger project with a dedicated team of two or more Business Analysts. Often the Lead Business Analyst responsibilities fall on the most senior Business Analyst on the team; although that might not always be the case depending on project circumstances.

How old are senior business analysts? ›

The average age of an employed senior business analyst is 43 years old. The most common ethnicity of senior business analysts is White (71.1%), followed by Asian (11.5%) and Hispanic or Latino (8.1%).

Are business analysts happy? ›

Business analysts are below average when it comes to happiness. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, business analysts rate their career happiness 3.0 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 32% of careers.

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