Being a business analyst (BA) for a company can be a rewarding experience. You get to interact with individuals from all levels of the business and help develop and deliver solution-oriented information to key departments and leadership within the company. Undoubtedly, the opportunities for business analyst jobs are vast.
What is a business analyst?
Business analysts are the bridge between information technology (IT) and business. Frequently, they help analyse business needs and resources and find matching IT solutions based on the goals and objectives of the business. A company which has current and anticipated future IT needs will usually work with a business analyst to find the best solution to their problems. In particular, a business analyst helps facilitate solutions for key stakeholders within the organization by understanding the goals and needs of the business. From there, an audit of the business’s capabilities and resources will determine the kind of solutions available to them. Naturally, you will likely be responsible for working with various types of models in order to accurately illustrate the needs and requirements of the business. Ultimately, the essential fact is that you will be advising the business on how to overcome its challenges and make it more efficient and effective.
What does a business analyst do?
Aside from the common responsibilities of a business analyst, what else do they do? BAs can take up a variety of different roles and responsibilities depending on the needs of the client. Some examples include:
- Analysis of business requirements and reporting them to stakeholders
- Project development
- Project management
- Variance analysis
You will often be tasked with bridging the gap between IT and your stakeholders. Indeed, you are interpreting IT requirements and information. Subsequently, you are then explaining that to your stakeholders in a way that they will understand it.
In order to be a business analyst, it is recommended that you have some level of college education. A master’s degree will help you develop the skills work at the highest levels of the corporate world. Particularly, an MBA with a specialization in finance, accounting, IT or management will go a long way in preparing you for this role. Of course, you will also need some experience and professional knowledge in IT systems and technology. Understandably, a big part of being a business analyst is data and IT analysis.
Certainly, you will enjoy a career as a business analyst if you:
- Focus on solutions
- Can work with ambiguity
- Have exceptional communication skills
- Have fantastic problem solving skills
What are some business analyst jobs available to me?
Business analyst jobs are growing at an exceptional rate. Notably, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 9% increase in job employment over the next 10 years, a faster than average pace. In this case, this means there will be an additional 56,000 jobs created for business analysts in the same time period. On top of that, the average business systems analyst salary is around $103,000 in most states. You can expect to make more if you have a business degree or professional certification. Additionally, employment is well distributed as well with women making up around 52% of the workforce and men making up the rest.
Some jobs available include:
- IT BA
- IT project manager
- Business system analyst
- Computer systems analyst
- Data analysis scientist
- BA manager
- Quantitative analyst
- Data BA
Of course, you can find jobs in the private sector as well as the government/public sector.
BA jobs are not susceptible to automation as some jobs are in other industries. While the development of more advanced technologies can assist businesses in making decisions, there will always be a need to translate IT to business which is a great sign for job stability and growth.
Following the career path of a business analyst is a great career choice with great compensation from most companies. Additionally, with an increasingly globalized world the opportunities for BA jobs will grow significantly all over the world. While a business degree is not required to work as a business analyst, it is highly recommended as it will provide you with a very solid base of business knowledge which is required in order to ensure you can meet the needs of the consumer. Joining a professional organization such as the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) can also be a great way to get your foot in the door.