Career Spotlight: Business Analyst
Do you like making important decisions that affect the way things are run? Do you like having an influence on others? Do you like working for companies, big and small? Maybe becoming a business analyst is the right job for you. A business analyst is important to many businesses because they help with budgeting and identifying problems in the market. As a business analyst, you would have a key role in ensuring businesses run well and anticipating and solving any problems that arise.
Let’s explore this job more.
What Is a Business Analyst?
Business analysts help organizations assess their business models, contribute to budgeting, analyze processes, and assist staff members with making profitable decisions. As a business analyst, it’s important to have knowledge of both business strategies and trends in the industry you work. Many business analysts also work with IT departments to make sure the technology supports a business’ needs.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
Now that you know what a business analyst is, let’s find out more about what they do. The primary job of a business analyst is to identify a business’ needs and help the business evolve. They coordinate with all departments in a business and help increase productivity among staff. In the next section, we’ll break down the day-to-day duties of a business analyst.
Business Analyst Responsibilities
Depending on what kind of business they work for, a business analyst can have many different duties and responsibilities. Generally, they research and present solutions, and then help implement these solutions. In an average day, business analysts may do any of the following:
- Communicate with staff to understand the needs of the business
- Conduct surveys, workshops, and tests
- Assist with project management for selected projects
- Collaborate with the product manager in planning and prioritization
- Write clear and well-structured business requirements
- Test business processes and recommend improvements
- Create suggestions and solutions for strategic and operational changes
- Identify automation opportunities
- Invent systems or processes necessary to implement changes
- Create reports for business performance
- Support staff as solutions are implemented
- Evaluate impact of changes made
How to Become a Business Analyst
According to Indeed.com, business analysts earn an average of $75,165 per year and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this career and careers like it will grow 25 percent between 2020 and 2030. Doesn’t it sound like a great opportunity? Wait a second, though. If you are interested in becoming a business analyst, you should be aware that you need a certain level of education and work experience to enter this field. Let’s take a closer look.
Business Analyst Education Requirements
Many employers require you have at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position as a business analyst. Advanced positions may require a master’s degree or higher. Many graduates have backgrounds in business, engineering, marketing, and statistics. Excelsior University’s Bachelor of Science in Business program will give you a broad foundation in liberal arts and sciences, as well as the knowledge you need to create effective business strategies and achieve measurable results for your employer. The Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Business and Management program includes coursework in accounting, financial management, marketing, project management, employee relations, leadership, management practice, business communication, and global commerce. Both are good choices if you want to pursue a career as a business analyst.
It’s also highly recommended that you earn a certification to expand your skill set. An IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) is a wise move if you’re just starting out. The other three certifications you should be aware of are:
- IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)
- PMI Professional in Business Analytics (PMI-PBA)
Business Analyst Work Experience
As an entry-level business analyst, you will probably start by working under a senior analyst. After a few years, you may be able work independently and be able to work directly with senior management and stakeholders. You may also obtain other positions such as a functional analyst, systems analyst, or financial analyst. Your career can only go higher; if you stay on your career path, you may see yourself as a senior business analyst, business manager, business architect, or in VP-level positions.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. So, what are you waiting for? Contact an Excelsior admissions counselor today and get started on your path to becoming a business analyst!