How to Become a Business Analyst?

A business analyst uses data analytics and other tools to assist companies in evaluating and improving business processes for more efficient operational activities. Learn the meaning, examples, and how to become a business analyst in this article.

Jobs in the business field are comprehensive. It’s no wonder that many people still find it difficult to distinguish one role from another.

To understand the differences between the various roles that handle business intelligence, business analytics, and data analytics, you can visit the article What is Business Intelligence?.

However, this article will focus on discussing what a business analyst is and how you can get into that career.

Who is Business Analyst

A business analyst is a job that assists businesses in improving processes, services, products, and software through data analysis. They use data to present business insights/information as well as recommend changes in that business.

Suppose the company tries to improve efficiency and reduce costs. In that case, business analysts will be one of the important people behind it.

This role acts as a mediator/bridge between IT and business to increase efficiency, from work processes, products, and services, to the software/tools used.

The scope of work for business analysts is included in one of the specializations in data analytics, specifically for business operations.

Several other jobs are relevant to the job of a business analyst. They will work together, or even several companies may replace the title of business analyst with the title below, including:

  • IT business analyst.
  • Business intelligence analyst.
  • Business systems analyst.
  • Operations research analyst.
  • Management analyst.
  • Quality assurance engineer.

Does a Business Analyst have to be an IT expert?

To become a Business Analyst, you don’t have to be an IT expert. Still, your chances of working as a Business Analyst will be more significant when you have a general understanding of IT systems, products, and tools.

In addition, the job of a Business Analyst requires one to have special skills or abilities, both soft skills and hard skills, in the field of Business Analysis.

1. Product Development

In product development, a Business Analyst should have 3 aspects of knowledge regarding product requirements, product analysis, and engineering requirements.

These three things are basic knowledge that will make making decisions related to product development and product and marketing functions easier.

2. Analytical and Critical Thinking

A business analyst must accurately and clearly analyze and translate the needs of an organization or a client. Critical thinking helps a business analyst assess several options before arriving at the desired solution. Business Analysts focus on gathering and understanding client needs.

In addition, critical thinking allows a business analyst to prioritize business needs.

An excellent analytical point of view will help a business analyst achieve the goals set, even when some limited resources or conditions are not ideal.

3. Communication and Interpersonal Skills (Communication and Interpersonal Skills)

As a Business Analyst, you must have the ability to communicate briefly, both verbally and in writing, with clients to convey ideas, facts and opinions.

A Business Analyst uses communication and interpersonal skills at different phases, for example, when launching a project, gathering requirements, collaborating with clients, and validating the final solution.

Good communication and interpersonal skills will give a business analyst confidence when facilitating a business meeting.

4. Programming Language

Business analysts with direct programming knowledge can perform data analysis more quickly, precisely, and well.

Knowledge of R and Python goes a long way, as complex problems can be solved by writing efficient coding. R and Python have several libraries and packages for data wrangling, data manipulation, visualization, and analytics.

With the help of programming languages, big data can be analyzed and visualized correctly. Thus, a business model can be made to make business predictions.

5. Database/Data Base and SQL

Business Analyst most often works with structured data. You need to store and process heavy data.

A Business Analyst must have a good understanding of relational databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL database, Oracle DB, and NoSQL databases. This will assist the Business Analyst in accessing, retrieving, manipulating, and analyzing data.

How to Become A Business Analyst?

Becoming a business analyst requires skills and abilities appropriate to the job and industry of interest. Courses, certifications, or degrees can each help your path to a job as a business analyst.

To make it easier to achieve your desire to work in the field of business analysis, the following information can be prepared for you:

1. Sharpen your business analysis skills

Basically, a business analyst must at least have skills in the following:

Analytics (collect, track and interpret performance metrics with the help of Tableau, Excel, BI tools, and SQL),
Communication (can communicate with various characters and present ideas both orally and in writing),
Business Process and Planning (understanding specific methodologies, such as Agile Business Analysis, Six Sigma, or Rational Unified Process),
Technical Knowledge (Knowledge of finance, accounting, and business principles).

2. Consider a degree

Apart from skills and experience, some companies consider the degree on your CV.

This is because the company assumes that with the title you have, you already have sufficient basic Knowledge.

For those of you who have not attended college and are interested in the field of Business Analyst, you can continue your studies in these majors:

  • economics
  • finance
  • computer science
  • data science
  • statistic
  • information management

3. Take a course

Suppose you don’t have a degree in a field related to Business Analyst. In that case, there’s nothing wrong with taking a course, either in person or online, in business analytics.

Besides gaining an understanding of data or business analysis, you can also master the tools (Tableau, Excel, or MySQL) used in business analysis through courses.

4. Business Analyst Certification

Having a Business Analyst certification can expand your skills, increase your potential to get a job, and increase your income.

Most popular recommended Business Analyst Certification:

  • IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA).
  • IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).
  • IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA).
  • PMI Professional in Business Analytics (PMI-PBA).

As a beginner, ECBA certification is quite reassuring for companies because it can provide several hours of training and learn business analysis basics.

Meanwhile, for a more in-depth experience in business analytics, you can take CBAP, CCBA, and PMI-PBA certifications.

5. Seek Experience and Run Projects

Every industry has different business needs and challenges. For example, developing business solutions for the fashion industry may look different than for the food industry.

You can join several business research projects for lecturers and government analysts to improve your skills.

In addition, internship experience in an industry can provide superiority and attractiveness when applying for a Business Analyst job.

Participating in internships and research projects will develop excellent and attractive analytical, visualization, and presentation skills in public.

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