Guide: How To Change Your Career To Be A Business Analyst

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Changing to a career in business analysis can be an excellent opportunity to improve your job prospects and increase your salary. Your current job may already be providing you with experience you can use in this role. If you are considering changing your career to become a business analyst, it may benefit you to explore what these professionals do. In this article, we define business analytics, discuss how to change your career to be a business analyst and outline the benefits of making this change.

What is a business analyst?

A business analyst is a person who understands and analyses the company's business operations, procedures and objectives. As part of their role, they engage with both management and shareholders. They also examine and evaluate the company's requirements and objectives so they can develop solutions and strategies to improve efficiencies and profit margins. These analysts are in demand in many industries, and a career in this field can be both challenging and rewarding. It can also offer opportunities for career progression into an executive role.

Related: What Is A Business Analyst? (Definition And Career Advice)

How to change your career to be a business analyst

Follow these steps if you are not sure how to change your career to be a business analyst:

1. Familiarise yourself with the role

Conduct some research into the responsibilities and objectives of a business analyst. You might join an online forum, discussion group or networking site populated by professionals in this field. If your current role does not focus on business analysis, you may wish to enrol in a recognised certification programme or look for free online training.

Related: 11 In-Demand Certifications For Business Analysts To Consider

2. Evaluate your work experience

Examine your work history to see if your skills and experience are relevant to any fundamental business analysis tasks. This might be customer relationship management, problem-solving or negotiation. Your transition may be easier if you can show that you have some transferrable skills. You may have developed useful transferrable skills during your career, including analytical skills, communication skills (both written and verbal) and the ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues at all levels, from administrators to executives.

Related: Business Analyst Skills: Definitions And Examples

3. Explore your industry sector

Although you may not have analyst experience, you may still have extensive experience in a specific industry. For instance, if you have worked in the healthcare sector, you may have an advantage over an applicant who does not have a background in this field. In this case, it would be a good idea to begin your job search within that sector.

4. Ask professionals for advice

Your professional contacts may be able to help you find vacancies. They may also provide testimonials and character references for you. You might ask a mentor for advice about your career-change decision, and they may help you formulate a transition plan.

Alternatively, you can employ a careers coach to guide you through the entire transition process. A coach takes your experience and skills into consideration and helps with your search for the most appropriate roles. They can also assist with job applications and prepare you for interviews.

5. Acquaint yourself with modelling and management tools

Business analysts use tools in the course of their work. These include business-process modelling and analysis. Analysts typically use modelling tools to understand the current state of a business and design future scenarios. There are several free web-based modelling tools you can use if you want to become acquainted with them and develop confidence in using them.

6. Further your education

Adding a recognised certification to your CV may increase your chances of securing the job you want and can show your commitment to the role. There are several online certification programmes that cover business analysis. These include the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) family of certifications: IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis, IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis, IIBA Certified Business Analyst Professional and IIBA Agile Analysis Certification.

Other programmes include:

  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): Simplilearn offers this self-paced learning programme.

  • Business Analyst Certification: ExcelR offers this 160-hour programme. You can join their live virtual classroom course or their self-paced learning course.

  • Certified Business Analytics Practitioner: The Henry Harvin Institute offers this programme that involves 32 hours of training plus 24 hours of revision sessions and 50 hours of e-learning access.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics: Chitkara University offers this three-year course.

7. Update your CV

Update your CV to ensure it includes any relevant experience, training or certifications, using business analyst terminology where possible. Be creative but be honest. For instance, you might say your experience includes customer relationship management instead of customer service. It is a good idea to compose a unique cover letter to accompany each job application.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways To Start A Cover Letter (With Examples)

Benefits of becoming a business analyst

There can be many benefits to changing your career to become a business analyst, including:

  • Salary increase: Depending on your current job, your salary may increase. The average base salary for a business analyst is ₹50,972 per month.

  • Expanded network: A career change enables you to add new professionals to your network of contacts. This can increase your scope for future career opportunities.

  • Job satisfaction: Completing challenging tasks and projects can be satisfying for critical thinkers who enjoy problem-solving.

  • Skills development: You may perform management duties, which can help you to further develop your leadership skills.

  • Career prospects: There are many career progression opportunities to pursue. These include leadership and senior management roles.

  • Future job opportunities: Since companies in many industry sectors employ business analysts, this can expand your scope for future job searches. You may seek employment in various industries, either with a company or a consultancy that offers business analysis services to clients.

Additional tips for changing careers to business analysis

Depending on your present job, you may already be a few steps into your career transition. Many role responsibilities can be similar to those of a business analyst. If you currently fulfil any role with a job title that includes the word 'analyst', this may simplify your transition. Such roles include sales or marketing analyst, operations analyst and systems analyst. Other roles involving analytics are project coordinators, project managers, administrative assistants to the chief information officer, chief technology officer, chief financial officer or other executives.

These roles involve analysing the effectiveness of procedures and activities. But if you feel you need more relevant experience or skills, it may be a good idea to consider an intermediate role first. Once you have made your decision to become a business analyst, set yourself a goal with a specific timeline. Now you can allocate your time to enable you to accomplish each step to meet this goal.

What is business analytics?

Business analytics uses statistical methodologies and technology to analyse data. There are three types of business analytics:

  • Descriptive analytics: This examines past data to discover trends and patterns and track key performance indicators. This can be particularly useful for revenue and sales and marketing reports.

  • Predictive analytics: This analyses historical trend data to predict the probability of future outcomes. It also uses statistical modelling and machine-learning algorithms.

  • Prescriptive analytics: This analyses past performance data and uses various statistical methods to generate recommendations for managing similar future situations. It evaluates the consequences of a decision and recommends the best course of action to achieve the company's desired objective.

Differences between business analytics, business intelligence, data analytics and data science

Business analytics closely relates to the fields of business intelligence, data analytics and data science. It may be possible to transition into one of these roles. Although some people consider these job titles interchangeable, there are a few key differences:

  • Business intelligence: This uses descriptive analytics to analyse business operations to identify any opportunities for improvement, whereas business analytics uses predictive analytics. Companies typically conduct business intelligence prior to business analytics, as it provides the foundation for business analysis.

  • Data analytics: This uses tools to draw conclusions from information that a company has gathered. In comparison, business analytics uses data analytics tools to seek business insights and solutions.

  • Data science: This uses analytics, advanced statistical methodology and custom coding to examine answers to open-ended questions. In contrast, business analytics' purpose is to answer specific questions or solve specific issues.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and the candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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