A Closer Look at the Business Analyst Job Description

A Closer Look at the Business Analyst Job Description

A business analyst discusses business processes with a colleague.

These days, just about every industry is leveraging data analytics in their day-to-day and long-term operations. That’s why demand for business and management analysts is so high, with more than 100,000 new job openings projected each year between now and 2031.

If you’re hoping to use your critical thinking abilities, decision-making skills, and methodical approach to problem-solving to secure an exciting career with ample opportunity for advancement, it makes sense that you’re interested in becoming a business analyst.

The most effective way to prepare for the career you want is to develop a comprehensive understanding of what you’ll be tasked with on the job. Below we’ll outline what you can expect from a typical business analyst job description.

Business analyst job requirements you should know

Professionals who specialize in business analytics work for companies across industries to provide an external perspective on business operations. They help determine the necessary steps to maintain and grow a successful enterprise.

The role of a business analyst is to develop technical solutions to complex business problems, and there’s a lot that goes into it. Take a look:

Business analyst job duties

By pursuing a career in business analytics, you’ll be responsible for assessing an organization and coming up with strategic approaches to overcoming organizational challenges of all kinds. Because this is a multifaceted role that brings value to just about any industry, your responsibilities on the job will undoubtedly vary depending on your employer.

That said, examples of duties you can expect to encounter include:

  • Evaluating current business processes and identifying potential areas for improvement
  • Gathering insights about issues that need resolving or processes that can be improved
  • Recommending organizational changes, such as new systems or procedures
  • Training and coaching staff members
  • Collaborating with managers and executives to ensure changes are effective

Business analyst skills

If you hope to be successful in taking on business analyst responsibilities like the ones listed above, you’ll need to develop the type of skill set employers are looking for. There are both soft and hard skills necessary in order to find success in this role.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most effective business and management analysts have strong analytical, communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills.

But there are also a host of different technical competencies businesses are looking for in their analysts, such as:

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  • Familiarity with IT and software applications
  • Basic understanding of standard operating systems
  • Knowledge of programming and software testing
  • Strong database awareness with programs like Python, Apache Spark, SQL, and more

You may also come across organizations requesting specialized knowledge of particular data analytics techniques, such as SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, and mind mapping.

Business analyst qualifications

One of the primary ways employers look to ensure business analyst job candidates are equipped with the necessary skills is by evaluating their education and qualifications. For entry-level positions, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a related field. In these entry-level roles, you’d be a part of a team under senior analysts.

If you hope for a role that will allow you to work more independently, you should expect to need at least two years of work experience in the field. Most advanced business analyst positions will also require a Master of Science in Business Analytics, or a graduate degree in a related field.

Finally, while not a requirement, many business analysts opt to pursue continuing education certification opportunities as a way to remain effective in this increasingly complex career path. There are a range of different industry-relevant credentials for practicing business analysts to consider, depending on their specific career path.

Business analyst salary expectations

Demand for skilled business analysts is undeniably high. The BLS notes that employment is projected to grow 11 percent by 2031. In fact, 24 percent of Fortune 500 companies are currently hiring business analysts across a host of different industries.

Because of the growing need for these professionals, you can expect your business analyst training and education to pay off in the end with good earning potential. According to the BLS, business and management analysts earned a median annual wage of $93,000 in May 2021 — that’s more than double the average of all occupations nationwide.



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