As the world around us evolves, businesses have a growing need to adapt to what’s going on around them. Additionally, there is a greater urgency for rapid change to keep up with the speed at which technology advances. Therefore a Business Analyst’s role is becoming increasingly more necessary to businesses, particularly in IT.
Do you have an analytical brain and enjoy finding better ways to do things? If the answer is yes, then the role of the IT Business Analyst might be a good option for you. But what is it like to work as someone with this job title?
What Does A Business Analyst Do?
Business Analysts analyse data and use their findings from data analytics to solve business problems. They are always on the lookout for changes a business needs to make. Furthermore, they understand when the best time is to make those changes. Generally speaking, they are responsible for ensuring that their company is always moving in the right direction.
To work this out, analysts take into consideration more than just the current situation of the business in question. They will also need to consider the wider industry and global trends. They are also responsible for communicating required improvements to board members and other stakeholders.
Business analysts don’t necessarily need to have a technical background. That is of course unless their job specifically involves working on IT projects. In which case, it helps to have a good general knowledge of IT, computer systems, servers, databases and software.
Getting The Job
If you’re leaving school or college and considering university courses, you needn’t commit yourself to one career path. The most common academic routes into this profession begin with a BSc in Business Administration, Computer Science or Accounting & Finance. Any of these subjects can open the doors to a wide range of career options upon graduating.
If you think you might enjoy being a Business Analyst but don’t have a degree, there is good news. You don’t necessarily need any specific qualifications to land an entry-level Business Analyst Position. Many people do, indeed become business analysts with no formal qualifications. Although if it’s something you’re considering, an alternative is a Certificate in Business Analysis. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offers entry-level online courses.
Becoming a Business Analyst Without Qualifications
Without qualifications, previous work experience involving troubleshooting, process improvement or change management would help. People often sidestep into this role from Project Management, Software Engineering, Computer Programming or from working as a Systems Analyst.
There are seemingly unrelated job descriptions which can provide you with the necessary transferable skills to become a Business Analyst. A potential employer will expect you to demonstrate a sound mind for analysis and a good understanding of business operations.
The Skills Of A Business Analyst
A successful Business Analyst needs an analytical mind, of course, but also an appreciation of business values and goals. The Business Analyst’s work also involves plenty of talking. Therefore, if you possess excellent communication skills, you will likely enjoy the job and do well. Confidence is also necessary for communicating with stakeholders of the business and assertively expressing changes in direction.
Astute organisational skills are also essential to document findings, record changes in a legibly and clearly. More than anything, you will find that you spend a lot of time asking questions and delegating tasks to others.
A Day In The Life Of A Business Analyst
There are many fascinating tasks for a Business Analyst to carry out and two days are rarely the same. One of your primary responsibilities is to obtain information about the business. Armed with this information, you must work out what tasks to carry out to achieve business goals.
But it’s not all about conducting interviews. Reading and observing what is going on throughout the business are alternative ways to absorb this information. The more creative you can be in gathering the details you need, the better you will be at your job.
A Typical Day For A BA
You will often find yourself quizzing colleagues in the morning about their work, and analysing your findings in the afternoon. You may go through this back and forth process, many times a day with different people. This constant information gathering is how to gain the most reliable picture of the company and its direction. After making assessments, it will be your job to implement actions, so there is a lot of responsibility involved.
A typical day might see you in an early morning team meeting, discussing their needs and objectives. Later on, working out what is required for them to achieve their goals. All the while, you will be accurately documenting your findings and tracking the progress of recommended implementations. You will find that more or less everyone in the company knows you or at least knows about you!
BA’s shouldn’t expect to work incredibly long hours unless a specific implementation is taking a while to put into place. In scenarios like this, working a few extra hours in the evening can make your life easier the next day. The more hard work a BA puts in, the more complex projects they will gain exposure to in future. This puts them in an ideal position for advancing their career.
Salary Expectations and Career Prospects
Business Analyst is an excellent career choice offering above-average salaries and a prosperous future. The average salary range of a Business Analyst in the UK in 2020 ranges from between £24,000 to £50,000. Alternatively, with experience, you might find work as a contractor earning roughly £450 per day.
The skillset acquired by BA’s makes them highly employable. Opportunities for progression might be a Senior Business Analyst. Although, with considerable experience, you could find yourself working at Director or CE level.
For specific information on the current BA roles we have available, please check out our jobs page.
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