What is a Business Analyst?

        Business analysts use the data created by IT departments to assess processes and functionality within the business. They advise senior management in how to improve many areas of the business by creating recommendations and reports for improvement they then deliver to stakeholders and executive-level people.  Data can be about products, systems, software, processes, or services and a business analyst finds ways to streamline financial investment and find feasible solutions and improvements. It is a role that requires both an avid eye for detail and an analytical mind coupled with the vision and drive to imagine how to instate improvements.

        What Skills do Business Analysts Need?

        Due to the level of detail needed in order to be able to suggest improvements based on data alone, business analysts require many soft skills as well as hard skills. There are even several business analyst qualifications and certifications that employers find very attractive in candidates.

        Hard Skills For Business Analysts:

        • Ideally a BA in business analysis, computer science, economics or a related degree, but employers are increasingly more interested in your commercial experience as a business analyst
        • Understanding of MS Office suite
        • Basic knowledge of operating systems like iOS or Windows
        • Testing skills and knowledge of different testing methods
        • Familiarity with different databases
        • Basic understanding of programming languages
        • Practical understanding of Agile Software Development, or the Waterfall Model

        Certifications:

        • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
        • Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)
        • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
        • Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader (CBATL)
        • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

        Soft Skills For Business Analysts:

        • Time management
        • Attention to detail
        • Research skills
        • Strong written and verbal communication skills
        • Industry knowledge
        • Elicitation skills – the ability to extract information from data
        • Analytical skills

        Different Types of Business Analyst Jobs:

        There are varying levels of experienced business analyst roles covering junior or apprentice business analysts up to senior business analyst. Having any of the above qualifications will fast track a business analyst’s career path.

        What Industries Do Business Analysts Work In?

        • Telecoms
        • Real estate
        • Pharmaceuticals
        • Retail
        • Utilities
        • Healthcare
        • Government

        Salary Expectations for Business Analysts:

        A business analyst can typically expect to earn between £35,000 – £80,000. However, a business analyst with a qualification like ECBA will get them positions that could offer in excess of this.

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