So, what does a business analyst job actually entail? A business analyst actually only does what their name says: they examine all of the systems and processes that create a business (or an entire organization) and figure out what can be done to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of those systems. It sounds simple, but in reality, it can be very complicated. There are many different kinds of business analysts, each with their own specific area of expertise and area of business.
Business analysts are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field and often have additional degrees such as computer science, math, and statistics. However, business analysts need not have a degree in any of these areas in order to excel in the position. Most business analysts can find work in the public or private sector in business consulting firms, governmental agencies, technology companies, hospitals, and accounting firms. They can also find work in the private sector working for themselves such as consultants, freelancers, or in small businesses that need someone to do basic accounting or data entry work.
Some of the most common positions for business analysts are in large organizations such as corporations and government agencies. These positions generally require at least a bachelor’s degree or higher and experience in a relevant field. In smaller organizations, business analysis positions are usually filled by graduate students who are studying mathematics, business, and Statistics. Many times a business analyst will start out as a student and end up going back to school to get a master’s degree, a PhD, or other advanced degrees. While this is common for many positions, some positions might require only a bachelor’s degree or a college degree.
There are several different career paths available to those interested in business analysis. Some of the more common career paths include business analyst/ mathematician, business analyst/computer scientist, and business analyst/data analyst. Each one of these career paths requires at least a bachelor’s degree and experience in relevant fields. Many business analysts begin their careers as computer scientists with several years of research and development in a related field. This allows them to learn the necessary skills to become effective business analysts.
Business analysts often come into contact with a variety of stakeholders within an organization. The role involves coming up with strategies to analyze business issues from a variety of stakeholders. Their goal is to determine what the best course of action is for each situation and how the best solution can fit within budget, timeline, technology constraints, and organizational culture. They often rely on a variety of tools and models that can be developed through a project management process.
In order to succeed as a business analyst, an individual must have excellent analytical and writing skills. Those with strong computer skills and communication skills are usually well-received into the business analyst career. Analysts also must be able to work under short timelines, have strong time management skills, and understand and perform Excel related processes. The average salary for all positions in this field is typically in the higher pay range.
In addition to the salary, business analysts tend to have a good benefits package. This includes paid holidays and vacation time, paid paternity leave, health insurance, paid family leave, paid relocation assistance, paid social security and disability, and many different types of vision, dental, and life insurance. Business analysts also typically get 401K plans, but depending on the specialization they fill, there may also be additional options including self employed retirement plans. The career path generally requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field to start off in, and additional training may be required to achieve promotion into upper level management.
Some of the typical duties of a business analyst are to perform data analysis and reporting, design and test business strategies, evaluate business operations, and provide business advice to management. Many positions require that analysts work with large amounts of information and that they possess computer proficiency. Often, entry-level business analysts will be working under the supervision of senior managers, who will be supervising them on an hourly basis. Although some analysts start their work experience as employees of a larger company, many business analysts start out at a smaller firm that specializes in a particular industry. A number of these smaller businesses specialize in specific fields of expertise, which makes it easier to find work experience to build your business experience.