What Is a Business Analyst? Definition and Career Advice

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 2 October 2022

Published 12 June 2021

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.

Business analysts help companies improve their processes, products, services and software with the help of data analysis. They aim to improve the efficiency of a business and work as a bridge between the information technology (IT) and business sides of the organisation. In this article, we will discuss what a business analyst is, what they do and how you can start your career as one.

What Is A Business Analyst?

A business analyst is a person who analyses the existing products, services and systems of a company and presents the organisation's higher management with a clear picture of its business operations. They also advise the company on how to improve various processes, how to increase efficiency and how to boost revenues. Business analysts use data analytics to assess different processes, gather requirements and deliver reports with recommendations and insights to the senior executives and stakeholders. With these reports, they hope to improve a company's decision-making process.

Business Analyst Responsibilities

Business analysts collaborate with the senior executives of an organisation to meet key goals and solve complex business problems. They gather and analyse data to derive key information which is then communicated to the leaders as recommendations for improved efficiency. Some other key responsibilities of a business analyst include:

  • Researching and documenting information about a company or its processes

  • Analysing data to get trends and insights on the areas that need improvement

  • Helping the senior management team determine the company's needs and goals

  • Presenting data and giving recommendations to the company's senior leaders

  • Bridging the communication gap between the organisation's IT and business teams to ensure a smooth flow of information

  • Designing, developing and overseeing key projects

  • Monitoring results, making sure everything goes as planned and checking in the event of a deviation

  • Defining business requirements and communicating them to relevant stakeholders

  • Making reports for better decision-making

Average Salary Of A Business Analyst

Companies continuously look for suitable candidates to fill business analyst positions. Because of the high demand, successful business analysts can earn high salaries. Business analysts make an average base salary of ₹ 5,64,080 per year. However, your salary as a business analyst depends on your qualifications and years of relevant experience.

Related: What is a Salary Slip? Importance, Components and Format

Requirements To Become A Business Analyst

To become a business analyst, you need to meet certain job requirements. Some of these requirements include:

Education

To pursue a career as a business analyst, you need at least a bachelor's degree in a related field such as engineering, science, accounting, finance, business or economics. Quantitative courses in subjects like mathematics, statistics and computer science can provide you with useful skills and knowledge for this profession.

You can also pursue a master's degree or doctoral degree. Master's degrees in subject areas like business administration, finance, information management or accounting may present you with more career opportunities. These programs provide more advanced training in fields like financial decision-making, strategic operations, investment management and mathematical modelling. Though less common, you can also consider enrolling in a doctoral program if you want to work in research or academic fields.

Training

Business analysts typically get much of their training on the job. You can look for options like interning in a company as a business analyst to gain relevant experience. Most of the training happens during the job and you will get promoted to higher-level positions as you gain more and more experience.

Certifications and courses

While getting certifications and doing online courses is not necessary, you can benefit from getting certified through one of many professional organisations. Doing these certifications can show potential employers that you are motivated and dedicated to this career option, which will increase your chances of getting entry into the business analysis field. some of the acclaimed institutions that offer certification courses include:

  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

  • Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

  • Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata

  • Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

  • Praxis Business School

  • Great Lake Institute of Management

Skills

Business analysts should be highly analytical, logical and curious. You should have good quantitative aptitude, strong computer skills and a genuine interest in solving complex business problems if you wish to become a business analyst. Some of the key skills required to become a business analyst include:

  • Communication: As a business analyst, you should be able to clearly articulate your findings and recommendations both verbally and in writing. Business analysts interact and deal with multiple stakeholders, from business leaders to IT professionals, and to do this effectively, they should have excellent communication skills. Business analysts should be able to make their documents and reports in such a way that they are easy to understand and implement.

  • Problem-solving: One of the main jobs of a business analyst is to identify and solve business problems. Strong problem-solving skills can help you find solutions that will benefit the entire company. You can improve your problem-solving skills by practising and solving business case studies, which are readily available on the internet.

  • Computer skills: As a business analyst, you will often need to analyse a lot of data and operate various software and tools on a computer. Computer skills like working on MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint and many other tools are necessary to create reports. Business analysts use these tools in their day-to-day work, and having knowledge of these will help you succeed in your career.

  • Critical thinking skills: Business analysts are required to assess and evaluate every possible option when trying to solve business problems. This requires critical thinking skills, which might help in being creative and open-minded when presenting ideas.

  • Organisation skills: As a business analyst, you will need to gather and look at large amounts of data and documents. Having strong organisational skills will help you keep this information organised and pay attention to every detail.

  • Analytical skills: Strong analytical skills will help you visualise a problem's complexity and will provide a process to structure it and solve it. Analytical thinking involves using existing information to accurately assess situations and understand how different factors interact. As a result, analytical skills are highly focused on cause and effect and on predicting the impact of possible solutions.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips and Examples

Business Analyst Work Environment

Business analysts work in a variety of industries such as banks or finance companies, technology companies, insurance agencies, nonprofit organisations or government agencies. They often move between companies and industries as needed. Some business analysts work for one company at a time, while some consult for several companies simultaneously. This might require business analysts to travel between locations depending on their job role.

Types Of Business Analyst Jobs

There are different types of job profiles that a business analyst can get. Some of them include:

Finance controller

As a finance controller, you will be responsible for managing various finance functions and operations of the organisation. A finance controller should have a strong understanding of how to develop financial statements and how to analyse business operations and revenues. You should have a master's degree in fields like accounting, business administration or commerce to qualify for a role of a finance controller.

Business development manager

The main objective of a business development manager is to develop and execute strategies that lead to business growth. As a business development manager, you will be responsible for negotiating with various stakeholders and building relationships with clients to fuel business growth. You will be required to expand the client base and bring more business to the organisation. You should have knowledge and skills in business development, strategy, marketing and finance to succeed in your role as a business development manager.

Business analyst

Business analysts are people who identify business problems, analyse them and provide solutions to overcome those problems. These professionals should have a strong quantitative aptitude, interpersonal skills and effective communication skills to succeed in their role. You should have a bachelor's degree in any field to qualify for this role.

Business Analyst Job Description Example

Onkar Tech Solutions is looking for a methodical and tech-savvy business analyst to join our team of consultants. The business analyst will work with a variety of information technology companies and clients on a contract basis. This individual will be responsible for analysing company processes and data and presenting software solutions to meet each client's needs. The business analyst will work closely with IT staff and developers to implement plans and monitor their success. The ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience, exceptional computer skills and clear written and verbal communication.

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

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