As more organizations and businesses move towards digital transformation, there is also an increase in the demand for business analysts across many industries – and the demand is only likely to increase in the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of business or management analysts is projected to grow 11% from 2021 to 2031. This is faster than the 5% average growth rate of other occupations. If you are aspiring to become a business analyst, we have prepared a list of top business analyst skills you need to succeed. We will talk about the following:
A business analyst is someone who evaluates the current processes of an organization or a department and introduces ways to improve their efficiency. Business analysts are described as “agents of change” by the International Institute of Business Analysis. Business analysts drive organizations to stay abreast in a highly competitive market. They aim to find solutions to various business problems. They often use their facilitating skills to mediate between the technical team and the business to ensure that technical solutions are in line with business requirements.
Let us take a deeper look at the value that business analysts bring to the company by understanding their roles and responsibilities. The duties of a business analyst include:
Now that you know what business analysts do, here are the top 10 business analyst skills you need to succeed in the role:
As a business analyst, it is helpful to have a good working knowledge of databases, statistical programming languages, and networks to manage and understand the data provided to you. These can include Python, R, and SQL. In addition, you should be able to maintain your technical capabilities by keeping up with new industry trends. Having a strong technical aptitude will also help you gain confidence and credibility when working with technical teams.
Business analysts gather large amounts of data from the organization. Therefore, it is crucial to have strong analytical skills to make sense of the data and the statistics you have on hand. In connection with strong analytical skills, business analysts should thoroughly understand what the business needs and translate it into technical and functional requirements to come up with the best options to solve problems.
Skills in financial planning are important in understanding what the costs that the business would take towards implementing the solutions you are proposing. This gives you a clear pathway to how to achieve your desired outcome from the current operations of the business. A cost-benefit analysis is a way to determine if the projects are worth it overall.
Business analysts coordinate with many teams within the organization and often lead meetings, so it is important to have excellent communication skills. Having strong written and verbal communication skills will help you convey complex ideas clearly and effectively as you speak with clients, stakeholders, project managers, and the IT team.
As a business analyst, working with a lot of data and with different teams can easily get overwhelming. So, being detail-oriented and organized can help protect the integrity and accuracy of your work.
Since most businesses and organizations have an agreed methodology they follow, it is helpful to have knowledge and experience on business analysis methodologies such as Six Sigma, Waterfall, and Agile methodology. Although it is not always required, gaining the relevant certifications gives your career a competitive advantage.
Another important business analyst skill is the ability to negotiate. Business analysts act as mediators between the technical team and the business. Negotiating also comes with every phase of a project. Therefore, you must be good at negotiating many aspects of the requirements that both teams can agree in doing. You must be able to express your ideas convincingly to persuade others of your solutions. This takes practice and patience. Moreover, paired with excellent communication, business analysts stive to provide a cordial environment for all teams involved in implementing business solutions.
There are different business needs depending on the industry you are involved in. A business analyst with the right industry experience and expertise has a clear internal model of how different businesses and organizations work. You should have a solid understanding of the issues your clients have so you will know what practical solutions are best to address them
Business analysts make calculated decisions with good judgement because they know that these decisions affect the organization. Business analysts often work as a consultant or an advisor to management, so it is important that they can assess a situation and make good decisions to solve them.
Gathering and analyzing data is central to your job as a business analyst. Another is creating various reports and presentations for clients and business leaders. With data analysis, it is important to be proficient in analytics and reporting tools such as Microsoft Excel. Additionally, using business intelligence tools such as Tableau, Microsoft PowerBI and others help create data visualizations and interactive reports. Hence, making it easier for you and your clients to analyze data and make strategic decisions based on the data presented.
With combined technical and personal skills gained through years of experience and training, business analysts are a valuable resource to many organizations today. Companies rely on them to help improve their internal processes and services. If you are interested in becoming a business analyst, honing these top business analyst skills makes a great foundation towards building a fulfilling career.
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