Business Analyst: a key figure in organizations

Have you ever wondered who is in charge of identifying business opportunities in companies? The figure of the Business Analyst in organizations is essential for business development.

Behind all the information that we have daily from different sources, there is a business analyst giving recommendations that will make a difference in the success of an organization.

This person is the intermediary between the systems department and the end customer. We can say that he is the voice of the people inside the company. All customer needs will be transferred to the IT department (the department in charge of security and/or stability of the systems).

This is why this profile is considered an important professional within the organizational structure.

Business Analyst position

What does a Business Analyst do?

A Business Analyst is someone who analyzes an organization’s information. They analyze data to evaluate the organization’s processes and/or procedures and provide recommendations to executives and stakeholders.

The Business Analyst is an analytical person with great problem-solving and communication skills. They constantly interact with business leaders and users to understand how data-driven changes in processes, products, services, software, and hardware can improve efficiency and add value.

The 4 main functions of a Business Analyst

Typically the functions of a Business Analyst focused on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of companies to find technical solutions.

Here we identify the 4 main functions:

Macro analysis and research of organizations

The Business Analyst or Business Analyst must have a very clear idea of how and why the organization he/she is working in works.

Understanding the company’s objectives is fundamental to know how to differentiate between the things that are good and the things that need to be improved. This may seem obvious, but often many companies do not fully understand all the processes in the business.

In this sense, it is this person’s job to identify problems by constantly and meticulously analyzing the information generated. This is a constant work because every day the business transforms and has different needs.

Only then can a Business Analyst convey exactly what he/she is capable of doing to improve a company.

Organizations

Define recommendations based on data

After understanding the business in its entirety, the Business Analyst must work as a consultant by giving data-driven recommendations to management and the relevant department heads.

Here the Business Analyst is responsible for preparing reports on efficiencies and deficiencies and communicating that information to those who need it.

Process/Procedure Design

Now, the Business Analyst must plan and define how things will be done and what processes or procedures will be used for that purpose.

This item can include the creation of prototypes of what the required system might look like, being creative and knowing exactly what the customer wants.

Also, it is often recommended to make process flows to understand how the system works. This will help you understand how to arrive at solutions.

Budgeting and market forecasting

In addition to understanding the “now” of the organization, he/she must also predict the “then” of the organization.

This person must know how the market will behave so that the business management can prepare for a decline in revenue.

He or she is also in charge of predicting as accurately as possible the best time to increase production so as to achieve the highest profit or the lowest loss.

And with an eye to the future, he or she must research new technological developments that can contribute to making the company’s systems more effective and efficient.

Differences between professions

Business Intelligence

Business Analyst, Business Data Analyst, Business intelligence analyst or IT Business Analyst, what is the difference?

In principle, there is not much difference between the positions of Business Analyst, Business Data Analyst or IT Business Analyst, as they all revolve around data analysis, having a close relationship with the IT department.

However, there is a big difference between Business Analyst (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI).

In a nutshell, Business Intelligence profiles are interested in the analysis of the data obtained. They seek to answer the questions of the what and the how of things. While Business Analysts are interested in prediction from the data obtained. In other words, they answer the questions of why things happen in order to predict future behaviors or trends.

So, if you are looking for a profession where your goal is to understand internal operations, discover failures in your processes, identify possible indicators, you will probably want to be a Business Intelligence.

If you are interested in predicting future customer and business behaviors in order to adapt quickly to change and continuously improve, you probably want to be a Business Analyst.

Main qualities and skills a Business Analyst should have

The qualities needed to be a successful Business Analyst focus on the ability to identify potential problems, take action on them and collaborate with others in the process.

It is recommended that professionals are expert researchers and have mastered the concept of data analysis, descriptive analysis, diagnosis and predictive and prescriptive analysis.

They should also have a solid background in business management and in-depth knowledge of the business in which they work.

Here are the main technical and soft skills of a Business Analyst:

Technical skills of a Business Analyst

Business Analyst Skills técnicas

Statistics and Probability

The methods of statistics and probability will help business analysts find solutions from data.

Statistics help business analysts analyze past results and predict future performance, while probability helps business analysts make decisions based on patterns present in the data collected.

Programming skills

Business analysts are constantly working with data in all its forms. Knowing programming languages and programs that can handle large amounts of data is very helpful in making sense of it and saving a lot of time.

Programming languages, such as R and Python, help business analysts handle big data. Likewise, working in data management systems, such as SQL, helps to extract, create and modify data from databases.

Data Visualization

The ability to process data and convert it into something visually understandable is something Business Analyst must have. Data visualization skills help clients understand the data and make strategic decisions to meet their needs.

There are several techniques that can be used for data visualization such as: scatter plots, time series or time line graphs. The Business Analyst must know with which technique he can visualize the data in the best way.

The following are the visualization tools you need to work on; mastering these tools will add value to your skill set:

  • Power BI
  • Tableau
  • Qlik Sense

Certifications

In some cases, organizations may request as a prerequisite to holding industry-specific certifications, available from various accredited bodies.

This is not a must, but to stand out even more among the applicants to a vacancy in the selection processes, we recommend you to have at least one. These are the most required ones:

Soft skills of a Business Analyst

The ideal candidate for this position will be an effective problem solver with a methodical approach and a strong desire to make a difference. Above all, they should have the following soft skills:

Business Analyst Skills blandas

Problem solving skills

This is a fundamental value that a Business Analyst must have. Among their main functions is to find weaknesses in organizations and to be able to define solutions to those problems.

Business Analysts determine the potential solution to a problem while keeping the scope of the project in mind.

Communication Skills

Efficient communication skills are essential to convey the right message to a team or audience. It includes written and verbal communication skills.

Business Analyst spends a great deal of their time communicating their ideas, knowledge, and findings to their clients, stakeholders, and the business development team.

Good communication skills also ensure the success of the project, as it depends on the business analyst’s ability to share their ideas and negotiate when necessary.

Business Analyst Salary

According to the employment site Indeed, the average salary of a Business Analyst is $79,070 per year in the United States.

On the other hand, in Spain, the average salary of a business analyst is 32,866 euros per year.

It should be clarified that these figures may be subject to the exchange rate and are only references or market estimates. Also, it is important to understand that the salary in this sector as in others is subject to experience and the sector in which you develop.

Tips to get your first position as a Business Analyst

Trabajo en Business Analyst

Find the sector that most appeals to you

Today, Business Analysts are in demand in all types of organizations. From pharmaceuticals to professional services to finance. And often your job will involve understanding the industry very well. So, we advise you to take a look at all the sectors and decide which one has the best affinity with you.

It is important to mention that some industries pay higher salaries to Business Analysts than others. Professional, scientific, and technical services companies usually compensate business analysts with the highest salaries. Financial and insurance companies also tend to pay high salaries to business analysts.

If the monetary issue is an important factor in this regard, you should consider this. Other factors such as how much experience you have in a certain industry rather than another will also serve as a guide to where you fit best.

Academic Preparation

Professionals should ideally have an undergraduate or graduate degree in a discipline related to computer science, systems development, or business management.

However, it is worth noting that some companies are willing to hire less qualified individuals if, instead, they display some specific personality traits and have analytical and analytical experience.

Experience

Having adequate experience in this field will be considered relevant when applying for interesting vacancies that could lead to opportunities for career progression.

Look for opportunities where you can take on new responsibilities to gain more professional experience in different areas. Today, experience is valued more highly by employers in these fields.

So if you don’t have experience yet, we advise you to do internships in companies that can catapult your professional career. In this case, the important thing is that it is in a sector that you are passionate about and in an organization where you see that you can have great professional development.

Look for certifications

As we mentioned before, certifications are in some cases required by companies. When you have already acquired some experience, we recommend you acquire the ones that best fit your functions.

In addition to the ones shown above, these are other certifications that may be useful to you:


As you can see there are many opportunities in this field, take into account the tips we give you in this article and we assure you that you will have a secure future in this field as a Business Analyst. What are you waiting for?

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