A business analyst is a professional who bridges the gap between business objectives and technical implementations, analyzing and interpreting data to provide insights, recommendations, and solutions that drive the growth of the organization.
A business analyst guides the organization to improve its product, operation, processes or software. They play a key role in every life cycle of the project. A business analyst should be adept in data analysis and reporting. Business analytics is one of the growing career options in the coming years.
Whether you are considering a career in business analytics or looking to enhance your existing skill set, this blog will provide valuable insights and guidance on the essential skills business analyst skills. The business analyst skills are a combination of both technical and soft skills. According to Ambitionbox, an average business analyst earn around 6.5 LPA. If you are someone who wants to have a bang on start in the field, its mandatory to have these skills.
12 Key Business Analyst Skills You Should Master Today!
Critical thinking is a skill that is undervalued but much needed. It is a basic business analyst skill. By breaking down complex issues into small actionable components, business analysts can identify patterns, and uncover the root causes. By applying various problem-solving techniques, such as root cause analysis, SWOT analysis, and critical thinking, business analysts can devise innovative strategies and make informed recommendations. A solid foundation in analytical thinking empowers analysts to understand business processes, assess risks, and identify areas for improvement, ultimately driving business growth and efficiency.
Communication & Interpersonal Skills
Business analysts should have good communication skills as they have to collaborate with various stakeholders in the organization. A business analyst closely works with project managers, senior executives and developers. A clear, crisp communicator can effectively gather project requirements, facilitate meetings, coordinate with the tech team, and present findings to stakeholders.
Moreover, listening skills are equally important. Active listening skills are needed to understand the needs of stakeholders and ensure that requirements are accurately translated into actionable solutions. Good communication skills play a vital role in empowering business analysts to lead teams and transition into management roles.
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Business Domain Knowledge
To be a successful business analyst, one must have good knowledge of the particular industry they operate in. Having domain knowledge is essential to identify opportunities for improvement, proposing relevant solutions, and anticipate any potential risks that an organization may have to face. Having business domain knowledge and clearly understanding the business goals is a unique ability in itself.
Business domain knowledge can be achieved by doing thorough research, taking up certifications, and collaborating with the subject matter experts within the organization.
Proficiency in programming languages can help a business analyst to do data analysis quickly and efficiently. Knowledge of Python can automate repetitive tasks, and it has powerful tools for data manipulation, visualization, and analysis. SQL helps in retrieving. data, performing calculations, and deriving crucial insights from large chunks of data. Knowledge of R is also good to have as it helps in statistical analysis and data visualization.
Along with programming languages, knowledge of key programming concepts like Data Structures and Object Oriented Programming (OOP) enhances the capability of a business analyst to extract valuable insights and streamline operations. It can also help in creating advanced business modelling. These business models can create business projections. Knowledge of statistical software like SAS and SPSS is also good-to-have.
The decisions taken by business analysts have a direct impact on the business functions of the organization. A business analyst is responsible for identifying the problem and finding ways to solve the problem. A lot of experimentation is done to find the best solution. The final call is taken by the business analysts as to whether a certain technological solution complies with the mentioned business requirements.
By improving their decision-making skills, business analysts can navigate complex situations, alleviate risks and drive the success of the organization.
Microsoft Excel helps business analysts in manipulating and visualizing data. Excel’s functions and formulas allow the business analyst to carry out complex calculations, statistical analysis and financial modelling with ease. Formulas like VLOOKUP and IF statements help perform data comparisons and implement logical conditions. The Pivot table feature helps in summarizing data and different charts can be used to generate dynamic reports.
For example, based on current customer trends, you can use Excel to create a revenue growth plan. There are umpteen ways business analysts can use Excel to extract crucial business insights and improve the decision-making process. It is a must-have job skill for business analysts.
Aspiring business analysts should polish their Excel skills by watching online tutorials and getting hands-on experience in Excel. The business analytics training course by IMS Proschool provides extensive training in Excel.
Data analysis and visualization is another core skill that a business analyst must possess. A typical BA should extract insights from a large database, In identify trends and generate dynamic reports. Brownie points if that aspiring business analyst can learn data visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau. The business analytics course by Proschool will give you hands-on experience with tools like Tableau.
They should be able to employ statistical analysis methods, data modelling, and data mining techniques to uncover patterns and relationships that can contribute to strategic planning and operational improvements. Additionally, skills in data visualization enable analysts to present complex information in a visually appealing and easily understandable way.
Knowledge of Statistics & Probability
Since the role of a business analyst involves finding solutions from the available data, applying knowledge of statistics and probability is good to have skill. Understanding statistics allows analysts to summarize and interpret data and conduct hypothesis testing. Probability concepts enable them to assess the likelihood of outcomes and make predictions based on data. With a solid foundation in statistics and probability, business analysts can confidently analyze trends, conduct statistical modelling, perform risk assessments, ultimately contributing to effective decision-making.
Excellent Research Skills
Good research skills allow business analysts to understand the current landscape, assess risks and opportunities, and make data-driven recommendations to stakeholders. Business analysts must have answers to all the questions that stakeholders have. For this, they must research a variety of sources like industry reports, market surveys, and recent customer trends and feedback. They should be skilled in data collection, data analysis, and data validation techniques. Business analysts will be heard if their research skills are on top.
Become a Certified Business Analyst in just 4 Months
Business analysts must possess the ability to document information in a clear, concise, and structured manner. It is an indispensable part of their job. This includes creating comprehensive requirement documents, process flows, use cases, user stories, and other project artefacts. They should be skilled in organizing information logically, using appropriate formats, and ensuring that documentation is easily understandable by both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
Accurate documentation can go a long way. It can be useful in knowledge transfer, serves as a reference for future decision-making, and supports effective communication amongst team members.
By utilizing their managerial skills, business analysts can assign responsibilities among team members, forecast and manage budgets, keep everyone aligned with project objectives, and monitor progress to ensure the timely completion of each project milestone. Effective managerial skills enable business analysts to provide guidance, support, and direction to team members, ensuring that tasks are executed efficiently and that the project stays on track.
A business analyst works closely with the tech team and business team in the organization.
They act as a liaison, ensuring both these teams are on the same page and work towards a common goal.
Business analysts work with the business team to understand their vision and identify pain points. These business goals are then translated into technical specifications such that the IT team has a clear understanding of the desired outcomes.
With good negotiation skills, business analysts can bridge the gap between the IT team and other stakeholders in the company. They can encourage open communication, resolve conflicts and smoothly execute technological solutions that are perfectly aligned with the business needs.
How Can IMS Proschool Help You Build a Career in Business Analytics?
IMS Proschool provides a course in business analytics that offers theoretical knowledge as well as hands-on experience with tools like Tableau, R, SQL, Power BI, and Python. The course is taught by industry professionals who have worked as business analysts and have a combined experience of 30+ years.
It’s not just about teaching, but also the opportunities our students get after completing the course. We provide placement assistance and help students create their profiles and prepare for interviews. It comes with an optional certification from NSE and an industry project to enhance one’s knowledge.
Is coding a part of a business analyst’s job?
No. Coding is not a mandatory required skill if you’re applying for a job as a business analyst. However, if you can code, it’s definitely an added benefit. However, even if you cannot write code, you should have good knowledge of Python, SQL and other statistical software like SPSS and SAS.
What are the core responsibilities of a business analyst?
The points below sum up the core responsibilities of a business analyst:
- Understanding business requirements from various stakeholders
- Collating and analyzing data to derive insights and make informed decisions
- Collaborate with the technical team to design technological solutions that perfectly cater to business requirements.
How can an undergraduate fresher become a business analyst?
Yes. By enrolling in exclusive certification courses in Business Analytics, freshers can develop analytical skills, get hands-on experience with tools like Excel and Tableau and stand a chance of also getting placed in Business Analytics.