What Does a Business Analyst Do & How to Become Successful (2023)

Today, data drives the market. Business analysts use this data to facilitate business decisions. However, the relative newness of this career option gives rise to several questions, the most important being: what does a business analyst do?

Despite performing functions similar to a data analyst, these are two distinct roles with distinct responsibilities. Data analytics has analysis at its core, whereas business analytics is more contextual. A traditional data analytics approach refers to the process of analyzing massive amounts of data to provide a foundation for the future. Business analytics look to the past too. They identify patterns using prebuilt business tools, and historically available data to inform the present business strategy. They provide a narrower focus on charting the growth of a business and are now in demand across industries and businesses as the amount of data available continues to grow and evolve.

What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics further follow three methods to gain data-driven insights and make efficient business decisions. These methods are:

  1. Descriptive Analytics: This method informs businesses about what has already happened
  2. Predictive Analytics: This method helps businesses with possible solutions for the future
  3. Prescriptive Analytics: This method tells businesses the right path to surviving the future

Business analysts combine these methods to create a comprehensive structure for decision-making and acting upon available information and resources. Learn more about business analytics.

Simultaneous to limitless data production, businesses are also anxious to employ this data for maximum business advantage. This means a greater demand for business analysts – occupations associated with business and financial operations is expected to grow 8.4% by 2024. Simply put, business analysts are drivers of growth and efficiency in an organization. A quick study and even quicker response to changing market conditions are the most crucial responsibilities shouldered by business analysts.

Business Analysts are pivotal for the success of an organization, and they perform multiple key functions.

(Video) What Does a Business Analyst Do Day to Day

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

In weathering the storm of constant disruptions, business analysts help businesses remain rooted in their path to maximum effectiveness. This may seem like a straightforward process, but it is far more nuanced. As business patterns emerge, they respond to available data. Business analysts further this process by deriving meaningful insights, identifying data that improve business performance, and introducing practices to maximize value for all stakeholders.

What Does a Business Analyst Do & How to Become Successful (2)

Business analysts also ease the process of digital transformation for many businesses. They navigate through the complexities of the transformations by creating a strategic path for digital growth. In addition, they bridge the gap between business and IT by evaluating technological requirements and inviting tech-led, data-driven solutions.

Do Small Companies Need Business Analysts?

To survive and succeed in an economy ruled by digital disruptions, businesses must equip themselves to leverage data for the most effective business solutions. Business analysts provide guidance and direction, track and test changing market conditions, and use resources to best realize business goals.

Business analysts are also the glue that holds businesses of all sizes together. They inspire change within organizations to keep them at par with the disruptions taking place rapidly all around them. Agility in handling data, interpretation, and analysis, combined with excellent business acumen are necessities for business analysts. Business analysts are solution-oriented, focus on cost reduction, and optimize consistent business growth. The growing dependence on business analysts by numerous organizations across the world today is no surprise, nor is it a practice that could diminish any time soon.

Key Responsibilities of a Business Analyst

What does a business analyst do? Here’s a checklist of some responsibilities they have in their day-to-day:

  • Identifying the business needs and requirements and offering lucrative solutions that can benefit the business as a whole
  • Collaborating with developmental teams to design specific solutions to a business concern
  • Analyzing present data models
  • Consistently work to deliver value for all stakeholders
  • Build data visualizations to track all project findings
  • Undertaking a wide range of responsibilities that contribute to better decision making

Top 5 Business Analyst Skills

While responsibilities of business analysts vary from business to business and are deeply affected by changing market conditions. As the business landscape evolves, as will the role of a business analyst. However, some skills will provide a steady foundation for business analysts. Below are a few skills all business analysts must have to capably perform in roles.

(Video) How to Become a Business Analyst

1. Data Collection

Collecting and managing data carefully is the crux of business analysis. Strong knowledge of various data collection methods is essential.

2. Data Visualization

Once the data is collected and processed, it must be broken down into numbers and patterns for easy interpretation to help everyone in the organization uncover insights.

3. Technical skills

To inform business decisions and practices, business analysts must possess technical and technological expertise. Awareness of technical developments along with the ability to learn them and gauge their utility for the business is a crucial skill for business analysts.

4. Analytical skills

Keeping abreast of changing needs of the stakeholders and consistently analyzing available data is an important prerequisite for business analysts.

5. Managerial skills

While data is at the core of business analysts’ work, directing and managing various teams within a business, communicating common goals, monitoring market trends, and keeping track of progress are necessary managerial skills.

Business Analysts vs Data AnalystsWhat Does a Business Analyst Do & How to Become Successful (3)

Both business analysts and data analysts work closely with data. Their goals within an organization are also quite similar – to help improve business decisions. However, their approach to data as well as their treatment of it is distinct from one another.

(Video) 5 Mistakes that I made as a Business Analyst when I started off my career (feat.impostor syndrome)

Data analysts gather, curate, analyze, visualize and utilize existing data to inform business decisions. Data analysts empower the decisions an organization makes.

Business analysts use the data to identify the business’ concerns, address them, and offer solutions for them. Also, they look for growth opportunities and develop business strategies using the available data.

Business and data analysts also differ in skillsets. Data analysts require skills like statistical analysis, knowledge of data structures, and statistical programming. Whereas business analysts utilize skills like prototyping, problem-solving, understanding business structures, SQL, and also software design tools.

Career Outlook for Business Analysts

According to the BLS, opportunities for management analysts are expected to grow by 14% by 2030. Business analysts are the need of the hour. To leverage the massive digital transformation, businesses must seek help from business analysts to help them navigate the market. Additionally, this is the case for all industries. Therefore, the demand for business analysts seems to be steadily growing. A strong educational background, combined with relevant skills can present a host of opportunities to business analysts. Along with the great potential for growth and stability in their careers, business analysts can also expect highly competitive salaries.

The field of business analysis is evolving rapidly. Businesses are striving to get ahead of the competition. However, when digital disruptions are taking place, it can lead to some instability. To avoid this, and to continue to function progressively, businesses in all industries are relying heavily on business analysts.

Related Content: How to Become a Business Analyst

(Video) Who Is A Business Analyst?| What Does A Business Analyst Do? - Roles & Responsibilities |Simplilearn

What Tools Does a Business Analyst Use?

Business analysis tools help analysts better collect, interpret, and analyze data. These tools also help business analysts collaborate with various stakeholders and teams in the organization, as well as keep track of their progress. Tools for project management, business analysis, and business modeling can assist business analysts greatly.

To know more about business analysis tools and gain the right skills for a data analyst, you can explore business analytics courses on Emeritus.

By Juilee Kamble

Write to us at content@emeritus.org


What are the three main roles of a business analyst? ›

Business analyst job description

Creating a detailed business analysis, outlining problems, opportunities and solutions for a business. Budgeting and forecasting. Planning and monitoring. Variance analysis.

What is the main role of a business analyst? ›

What does a business analyst do? Business analysts identify business areas that can be improved to increase efficiency and strengthen business processes. They often work closely with others throughout the business hierarchy to communicate their findings and help implement changes.

What are good skills for a business analyst? ›

Top Business Analyst Skills
  • Understanding the Business Objective. ...
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Negotiation and Cost-Benefit Analysis. ...
  • Decision-Making Skills. ...
  • Programming Languages. ...
  • Creation of Reports and Dashboards. ...
  • Database and SQL.
29 Nov 2022

What is the most difficult part of being a business analyst? ›

One of the biggest challenges that business analysts face is knowing the project scope. The project scope is the “what” and “why” of a project. It is the foundation of a business analyst's job. Answering the “what” and “why” gives us a clear picture of our role in the project and how we will be involved.

What does a business analyst do daily? ›

A business analyst's daily job duties include identifying business issues, collecting and recording data, analyzing data, and evaluating and presenting data solutions. They work with several groups including customer service management, product development, business operations, and business clients.

Is business analyst a stressful job? ›

Is Business Analyst Job Stressful? . According to Forbes, a business analyst job is “typically less stressful than high-demand finance jobs” and can provide great flexible work options. A lot will depend on the industry and sector in which you work and perhaps where you are on your career journey.

Does business analyst do coding? ›

While the ability to program is helpful for a career in analytics, being able to write code isn't necessarily required to work as an analytics professional. Apart from the above languages, statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and even Excel can be used when managing and analyzing data.

What are the top 5 business skills? ›

Essential business skills
  • Financial management. Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. ...
  • Marketing, sales and customer service. ...
  • Communication and negotiation. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Project management and planning. ...
  • Delegation and time management. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Networking.

What are the do's and don'ts of a business analyst? ›

Listen very carefully and completely to the client as well as to the end user and then ask question, don't interrupt them in between. 7. Maximum try to extract the leads to solution from the client itself. 8.

Is SQL required for business analyst? ›

With big data and relational databases being the new norm for most companies, SQL knowledge is a prerequisite for almost any business analyst job.

Is business analyst a 9 5 job? ›

Business Analysis is Not a 9 to 5 Job.

What is the highest position in business analyst? ›

After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you could advance to chief technology officer, chief operating officer, project management office director, or work as a consultant.

Is business analyst an IT job? ›

In simple terms, a Business Analyst bridges the role of IT and business while improving the company's overall efficiency.

Is business analyst a hard career? ›

Being a business analyst can be tough. Being a business analyst can be tough because, at one point in your career, you'll have to deliver inputs or outputs for a project despite encountering many problems and roadblocks that make being a business analyst a tough job.

How many hours a week do business analysts work? ›

Business analysts typically work a standard a 40-hour week, but flexible hours and overtime may be sometimes be required.

What are the risks of business analyst? ›

The challenges facing Business Analysts
  • Misconception of BA's scope of work.
  • Created specifications do not satisfy the needs of the development team.
  • Possible solution.
  • Changing requirements or business needs.
  • Conflicts with stakeholders.
  • Undocumented processes.

Which is better QA or BA? ›

Testing and validation: In the end, QA verify all requirements of the application. And a BA verifies all requirements from user perspective. A QA is more expert in this domain as compared to BA which again strengthens the point that a QA can become a good BA.

Is business analyst a lot of math? ›

Contrary to popular belief, business analytics does not involve extensive coding, math, or knowledge of computer science. It's a great career fit for those who enjoy solving complex problems and offering practical conclusions based on real business data.

Do business analysts work from home? ›

They can work full-time, part-time, freelance, or as independent contractors across a variety of career fields. And, because much of the business analyst role includes data analysis and visualization (think: crunching numbers and creating graphs and pie charts), in many cases, their work can be done remotely.

Can a non IT person learn business analytics? ›

These skills are not related to programming, but take a bit of time to acquire. So, it is completely feasible and possible for a non-IT professional to become a business analyst.

How do I become a business analyst with no experience? ›

What Are the Best Ways To Prepare To Become a Business Analyst?
  1. Take a course.
  2. Build a portfolio.
  3. Consider a lateral move from another position.
  4. Work on projects that support your career goals.
  5. Grow your network.
8 Oct 2021

What are the 3 A's in business? ›

The three A's are for when you mess up—and that's why they're so hard for most businesses to swallow, because business people tend to like to avoid the hard part: apologizing. But here's where you get the magic formula, and it goes like this: acknowledge, apologize, act.

What are the 3 B's of business? ›

The 3 B's: Business Process, Business Rules and Business Intelligence.

What are the different types of business analyst roles? ›

The three broad types of analysts include business process analysts, business systems analysts, and generalist business analysts. Other business analysts include business architects, UX analysts, functional architects, etc.

What are the 3 C's of a business Plan? ›

These three C's include: (1) having a concept of what your business is all about; (2) identifying who your customer or client will be; and (3) figuring out how the cash flow in your business will actually work.

What are the 4 stages of business? ›

Every business, whether it's big or small, goes through the 4 stages of business growth:
  • Startup.
  • Growth.
  • Maturity.
  • Renewal or decline.

What are the 4 key elements of business? ›

4 key elements of a successful business
  • Product. A product should be simple, concise and honest. ...
  • Market. To be successful, a business needs to know their market and cater towards it. ...
  • Money. Money is always an issue when starting any new business. ...
  • People. It is the people who make a business work.
3 Sept 2022

What are the 5 elements of business? ›

At the core, every business is fundamentally a collection of five Interdependent processes, each of which flows into the next:
  • Value-Creation. Discovering what people need, want, or could be encouraged to want, then creating it.
  • Marketing. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Value-Delivery. ...
  • Finance.

What are the 9 classes of business? ›

Below is a list of the various Class of Business categories available.
  • Short Term Insurance: Personal Lines. Personal Lines: Accident and Health Policy. ...
  • Short Term Insurance: Commercial Lines. ...
  • Long Term Insurance. ...
  • Pension Fund Benefits.
  • Short Term and Long Term Deposits.
  • Structured Deposits.
  • Investments. ...
  • Forex Investments.

What is b2 b2 business? ›

B2B (business-to-business), a type of electronic commerce (e-commerce), is the exchange of products, services or information between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers (B2C).

What does a business analyst do on a daily basis? ›

A business analyst's daily job duties include identifying business issues, collecting and recording data, analyzing data, and evaluating and presenting data solutions. They work with several groups including customer service management, product development, business operations, and business clients.

What is another name for business analyst? ›

On the one hand, «business analyst» is an umbrella term for all roles in this list and many more (like “data analyst,” “enterprise analyst,” “process analyst,” “system analyst”).

What is another job title for business analyst? ›

What are job titles that can be used to describe a Business Analyst? Jobs related to a Business Analyst are Information Technology Business Analyst, Technical Business Analyst, Business Process Analyst, Business System Analyst, Business Consultant and Business Intelligence Analyst.


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4. McKinsey Careers: what do business analysts go on to achieve?
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5. How To Become A Business Analyst In 2021 | Business Analyst Skills & Certifications | Simplilearn
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