How To Become A Business Analyst in 2023

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two men looking at data

Business analysts have become a necessity for all businesses since the advent of technology that allowed businesses to convert paper-based processes into automated, electronic ones in the 1970s and 1980s. Once this technology hit the scene, businesses needed to create a dedicated role for someone to sort through the data and identify inconsistencies, opportunities for improvement, and system inefficiencies.

While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t list business analyst as a job, it does track management analysts, which is a similar role. There’s a projected growth rate of 11% for management analysts, so it stands to reason that jobs for business analysts will grow at a similar or even faster rate.

Becoming a business analyst takes proper education and training, but it can be a rewarding career. You’ll be able to help businesses solve problems, operate better, and meet their goals. In exchange, you’ll have a rewarding career with financial and job security. So, if you’re interested in becoming a business analyst, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn how to break into this career.

What Is a Business Analyst?

A business analyst works together with organizations and shareholders to set targets, guidelines, and relevant procedures for gathering and analyzing data as it relates to the business. Their role is extremely important because business analysts give the higher-ups of organizations their recommendations for how the business can improve.

Their recommendations often revolve around financial or operational improvements. A business analyst is also responsible for evaluating businesses’ current processes and systems. They then develop strategic plans to help them meet their goals. 

Essentially, a business analyst reviews every aspect of the way a business operates develops and operates computer systems, and reviews related data to 

What Are The Responsibilities of a Business Analyst?

a woman looking at business projections

Business analysts have several key responsibilities. In this role, they’re generally tasked with four main types of analysis. This includes:

– Strategic Planning

– Analysis of Business Models

– Process Design

– Analysis of Systems

Through these categories, a business analyst will help their business identify changing needs, define policies and market approaches, standardize and optimize workflows, and interpret requirements necessary for the IT department.

Each of these categories contains multiple responsibilities, so the role of a business analyst is a very busy one. Here are some of the tasks a business analyst is expected to take on:

– Understand the processes businesses use to complete their work and meet their goals

– Evaluate those processes for efficiency, cost, and performance

– Manage projects, develop project plans, and implement projects to ensure quality and reliable deliverables or performance

– Communicate procedures, changes, and plans to the business team

– Recommend new procedures, technology, or practices to business leadership and shareholders

Everything a business analyst is expected to do isn’t contained within this list, but this covers the basics of their position. Business analysts are entrusted with finding ways to help businesses cope with rapidly changing technology and remain profitable.

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What Skills Does A Business Analyst Need

Considering the amount of data a business analyst works with and the fact that their job is about communicating their findings to others, a business analyst needs a variety of solid skills. 

Communication skills are essential for this role. You must be able to share your findings with businesses and shareholders clearly. It’s also vital for business analysts to be able to share key information with a business team, IT workers, and other employees.

Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills are imperative for this role. A business analyst’s job is all about reviewing data and solving problems, so they need to be able to find nuances in data and information and turn their reviews into actionable plans for change.

Along with those skills, a business analyst should understand the business structure, be detail-oriented, understand various forms of analysis, and understand networks, databases, and other technology. You will need some data science skills in order to be a successful business analyst. 

How To Become A Business Analyst

Now that you have a firm grasp on what a business analyst is, their responsibilities, and the skills necessary to succeed in this role, it’s time to look into how you can become a business analyst. 

This profession requires high levels of knowledge and a certain personality. If you feel you have what it takes to become a business analyst, then keep reading to learn how to break into this career.

Get A Degree

You’ll first need to get a degree in business administration, finance, or accounting. This will help you understand the business structure, costs and losses, and how to keep a business profitable. 

Having a financial education background is essential for this position. You may also want to get a degree in computer sciences or information systems. You do need some technical knowledge for this position, so if you decide not to get a degree in this field, then you may want to do a data science bootcamp to understand the ins and outs of this aspect of the job.

Related: How to Become a Data Analyst Without a Degree?

Get Certified In Business Analytics

For those who don’t want to spend a decade in higher education, you can choose to get certified in business analytics instead. Getting certified through the International Institute of Business Analysis will help you launch your career in this field without having to pursue an additional degree. This can be especially helpful for someone whose previous jobs don’t fully align with the type of work a business analyst does.

Find Your First Job

Finding your first job as a business analyst can be challenging. Depending on your background and whether you’re still in school, you may want to consider taking on some summer internships to get started. You can shadow a fully certified business analyst for a while and get some on-the-job experience that will serve you well when you begin looking for your first paid position.

Potential Earnings For Business Analysts

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Business analysts are highly-skilled experts in their field and are usually compensated appropriately. There is a wide range in salary for business analysts, as your salary will typically depend on your experience level, educational background, and the region you’re working in.

In the US, the average salary for business analysts is $80,678. Entry-level positions often start closer to $70,000, and a senior position might pay as much as $170,000.

Again, your location will also determine how much you’re making. A senior business analyst in California is likely to reach of salary of $170,000, while someone working in the same role in Utah may only make $100,000 annually.

Regardless of where you live, the role of a business analyst is essential for businesses. You can expect to have financial and job security when you take on this role.

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Begin Your Career With Data Science Bootcamp

The path to becoming a business analyst will never look the same when comparing different people. Each person can choose a variety of different ways to make their way into this position. One of the best ways to get your technical skills up to par for this position is through a data science bootcamp. You’ll save time and money by going through a bootcamp while still learning everything you need to know.