A business analyst is someone who helps business leaders make better decisions by gathering as much information as possible and then analyzing that information with them. They also help these senior leadership teams develop effective project management strategies.
Business analysts are in high demand because companies can’t seem to find enough of them. This isn’t surprising, considering there are over 1.7 million people working as business analysts right now!1
Becoming a business analyst may not be easy, however. While most employers don’t require any formal training for this position, some do offer certification programs. And even if they aren’t certified, you can still learn important skills by attending educational events and reading relevant materials.
In this article, we will talk about what it takes to become a business analyst and some ways to get started.
- 1 Have a good working knowledge of software programs
- 2 Be familiar with different types of projects
- 3 Be familiar with different types of companies
- 4 Be familiar with different types of processes
- 5 Be familiar with different types of tasks
- 6 Become a quick reader
- 7 Understand the business process
- 8 Develop your organization and networking skills
Have a good working knowledge of software programs
A business analyst is someone who helps other people in an organization achieve their organizational goals. He or she works with different departments within an organization, ensuring that they are all on the same page and supporting each other’s work.
As technology continues to play an increasingly important part in how most businesses operate, there has been a growing need for individuals with these skills. This is particularly true now that more and more companies are moving towards offering online services and/or mobile applications as well as traditional desktop apps.
Business analysts not only have to be knowledgeable about computer-use concepts like windows, files, folders and menus, but also about the specific applications used by individual departments. They have to know what features make each app unique so that they can emphasize those qualities in interviews.
It is very common for business analysts to collaborate with both senior level managers and staff members, giving them responsibility to help them use their apps effectively.
Be familiar with different types of projects
As mentioned before, business analysts are usually assigned project-based work. This is what most BA positions require you to be doing, so make sure to prepare for this.
Projects can vary in length depending on the size of the company and the stage the organization is at when they need someone with your skill set.
Some projects may only last a few days or weeks while others can drag on for months or even years!
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t reward in the latter case, though — just like any other career field, being a business analyst comes with new opportunities and rewards.
One of these is having an opportunity to learn more about an area and how it functions. By learning from past mistakes and successes, you will always be one step ahead as a person who knows their stuff well.
Another is earning enough money to meet your monthly obligations since people hire BAs because they believe in our skills and we get good paychecks. A third is feeling accomplished by achieving success within your job; knowing that you contributed something to help the team succeed and achieve its goals.
Business analysis is a smart choice if you want to pursue the career path that fits you best.
Be familiar with different types of companies
As a business analyst, you will be working for various departments in an organization. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of which type of company each department works for so that you can apply as many skills as possible.
For example, if a marketing department was hiring someone, it would be helpful to know some basic computer software such as Photoshop or Illustrator so that you could draw up some mock advertisements.
Similarly, a human resources (HR) department may ask about your experience within similar positions so that they can determine whether you are a fit for their team.
You should also be familiar with how different types of businesses operate.
Be familiar with different types of processes
As mentioned before, business analysts are professionals who work within various process models. They are also trained in specific software that is used for analysis purposes, such as Microsoft Office or other common applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
Business analyst job prospects will be best if you are proficient in these applications, along with similar ones. You can test your knowledge by taking some practice tests available online at no cost!
Another important role of a business analyst is managing change. This includes changes related to people, procedures, and technology.
Since most businesses experience constant growth and change, being able to manage it is an essential skill for any business analyst.
Be familiar with different types of tasks
As mentioned before, business analysts are usually given various assignments that vary in nature. These assignments can be for software systems, internal processes, or external companies you work with.
Some of these assignments require formal training as a business analyst while others do not. Some employers expect at least one year’s experience under your belt, but most don’t!
Whatever kind of assignment an employer gives you, remember that what matters is whether you achieve your goals and if you feel comfortable doing the job. You should always try to take things from normal – even if they aren’t necessarily business analysis related.
That way you will know how to deal with similar situations in the future.
Become a quick reader
Being able as you are now, to read simple things is a great way to prepare for business analyst courses. Many students find that by reading easy material first, they feel more prepared when it comes time to study harder materials.
This hard material could be like concepts in business analysis or an easier test to brush up on. Both of these would be good ways to refresh your knowledge!
Reading over the basics and practicing them will help you feel more prepared when the course gets into detail. There’s no need to worry about what else we don’t know, because you have done some already!
Making yourself aware of the basic terms and theories in business analysis can only boost your confidence.
Understand the business process
A business analyst is an integral part of any organization’s success because they help ensure that the company operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. They look at the internal processes in your workplace and see how well designed and efficient they are, then make recommendations to improve upon them.
Business analysts also evaluate whether these changes will have a positive impact on the work being done by others. If there are not enough resources or someone with appropriate skills has to take over a new task, then a BA can determine if that person needs training or more guidance from another professional.
They may even suggest creating a new job position so that people have the resources they need. When this happens, BAs play a crucial role in helping achieve the goal of employee efficiency and productivity.
Their reports often include suggestions for changing jobs or departments, which can sometimes be difficult. But professionals who are trained in business analysis know what it takes to be successful, and can help you find employment somewhere else.
Develop your organization and networking skills
Being able as a business analyst is not just about having a degree, but also being able to organize yourself, manage your time, and develop relationships in the workplace. You will be spending lots of time interacting with people so you need to make sure that you are like someone people can count on to have their back.
Business analysts in particular must be good at organizing and managing others, since it’s often times they who get assigned to work with another team or individual for an extended period of time. This could mean helping them push through a difficult day, or giving them some needed motivation, or even leading a group meeting to discuss recent project updates.
Interpersonal skills are key to becoming a business analyst, which is why many employers require at least a bachelor’s degree along with two years experience. However, without these interpersonal skills, working as a business analyst may be impossible.