How to become a Business Analyst (with Levels & Requirements explained)

There are many reasons why business improvement projects fail. But communication and poor planning are the main culprits why projects fail to finish under budget or on time. More and more companies are realizing that they need to fix their outdated processes and take on new challenges for staying competitive. This has increased the demand for Business Analysts. This is a very lucrative and rewarding career path for people who are analytical thinkers and have a knack for solving problems. You will be playing an important role in the company and will get endless opportunities to grow in your career. 

Who is a Business Analyst? 

A Business Analyst is a link between the capabilities of IT and business objectives. They are also responsible for facilitating communication between the developers and stakeholders for executing projects, improving quality, and cutting costs. It is the job of a Business Analyst to define, prioritize, and get approval and feedback on business requirements. Then, they create a strategy for transforming these requirements into a plan that the team members and IT staff can execute. They are also involved in different issues, depending on the company they are working for. This is why the job of a Business Analyst is fast-paced and ever-evolving. 

What does a Business Analyst do? 

Business Analysts evaluate the organizational structure, goals, and processes for identifying the performance gaps and determining information-based solutions. A successful business analyst offers support and direction to make a positive impact on the business.  

They play an important role in the business. They understand the requirements of the technical side and the business side and serve as ‘translators’ between IT and management. Team members depend on the Business Analysts for interpreting their tasks. They can also convert technical jargon into user-friendly terms for non-technical stakeholders and management. 

What are the requirements to become a Business Analyst? 

  1. Technical Skills 
  • SQL database 
  • Database querying language 
  • Statistical analysis software like R, STATA, SPSS, or SAS 
  • Programming skills 
  • Business intelligence & reporting software 
  • Survey/query software 
  • Data mining 
  • Database design 
  • Data visualization 
  1. Business skills 
  • Analytic problem-solving – For analyzing large volumes of data while providing attention to detail. 
  • Effective communication – Using presentations and reports for explaining complex ideas and methods. 
  • Creative thinking – Questioning business practices and discussing new data analysis methods. 
  • Industry knowledge – Understanding how data can help in contributing to the success of the organization. 

What are the steps to becoming a Business Analyst? 

  1. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the right field 

Almost all Business Analysts have an undergraduate degree. However, some of them go for a Master’s degree or other advanced education. Most of the graduates are from academic backgrounds including undergraduate degrees in finance, accounting, or business administration. 

  1. Get certified 

For any supplementary knowledge that can make your resume shine, you can get an industry-recognized certification.  

  1. Gain real-world experience 

There is no alternative for real-world experience. To do this, you can take an internship in a related field while you are still in college. If you are already working in a company, you can always ask your managers and supervisors to consider you for a project that involves business analysis or put you in a team with a business analyst. 

  1. Continue to educate yourself while working 

When you are already working as a Business Analyst, you will have a better grasp of the field, niche, environment, and the industry that you are working in. Now, this is the time for pursuing a Master’s degree, getting an advanced certificate, or both. You have to specifically focus on the career path you want to pursue. Once you are done with this step, you will become a highly-qualified candidate with advanced education as well as real-world experience. 

Even when you have your desired role as a Business Analyst, it is important that you continue learning. You can get a CBAP certification for validating your new skills. This Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) training will help you learn the skills required to be an effective and result-oriented Business Analyst. Most companies these days encourage learning, so learn and have a great time!  

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