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How to Become a Business Analyst in 2020

By Business Desk

Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Do you have business experience? Do you want to start a promising career with a great pay scale? If so, you may want to consider becoming a business analyst.

Business analysts provide businesses with technical solutions, helping them to streamline their services and reach their goals. They are often seen as the link between the world of business and the world of IT, as they often use modern technology to make life much easier for business owners.

The work is interesting, challenging, and fulfilling—and there is also a huge demand for business analysts. After all, there are over 32 million businesses in the USA, and many of them are looking for ways to improve their business model!

Does this interest you? If so, here is everything you need to know to become a business analyst in 2020.

Get A Degree

The first task you will need to carry out if you want to work as a business analyst is get a relevant degree. A business degree is a great option (in fact, it is currently the most popular degree in America!) but it isn’t the only course you can take; you could also study computer programming, IT, or business solutions. All of these courses will teach you more about IT and business, giving you the foundation you need to start your career.

Get Work Experience

It can also be beneficial to get some work experience while you are studying. This will show future employers that you are passionate about business analysis, which is very useful if you are studying a subject that is slightly different (such as computer programming).

You could start by volunteering with a small local company; many businesses are happy to accept free help, and small measures (such as improving their marketing scheme, or boosting their website load time) can have a huge effect on the day-to-day running of the business. Just make sure to get a reference to include on your résumé if you do this!

You could also apply for summer internships at larger, more reputable companies. This is a great way to make connections, and it will give you the chance to learn the necessary business analyst skills.

Get A Master’s Degree

Finally, you may want to consider getting a Master’s degree. This will take around two years, which may seem a little overwhelming, but there are lots of advantages to getting a Master’s before applying for a job as a business analyst. It will show employees that you are serious about your career choice, it will make you stand out against the competition, and it means you can charge more for entry-level work.

There are lots of Master’s degrees that you can consider, from a straightforward business Master’s to a business analytics Master’s. Some people weigh up business analytics vs data analytics as options, but normally business analytics is the best option if you know you definitely want a career in business analytics.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you can craft the perfect résumé and start applying for business analyst roles.

What You Can Expect To Do As A Business Analyst

You are now ready to start your career as a business analyst; but what exactly does a business analyst do? The answer is, lots of different tasks. There are hundreds of career options for people with analysis skills, but the main jobs involve working with both big and small businesses in order to help them meet their goals.

Most business analysts spend their days evaluating current IT systems and checking them for faults. Once they have done a thorough analysis, they will write a detailed report that allows them to develop a new system that is more effective and efficient.

There are four main types of analysis that business analysts use. These are as follows:

  • System analysis: this involves receiving a list of requirements from the IT team, and then using these requirements to improve the IT systems that are used by the business.

  • Strategic planning: this involves identifying the changing needs of a business, and then helping the business to achieve new goals.

  • Business model analysis: this involves defining clear policies and approaches.

  • Process design: this involves standardizing current workflows.

These analysis methods can be used to develop a range of business solutions, including new data models, new business plans, or new marketing strategies.

It is also worth noting that communication is a big part of the job. Reports need to be explained to a wide range of people, from the business owner, to the employees, to the stockholders. Therefore, effective communication skills are useful for this kind of work!

Generally, it is the business analyst’s job to create positive change within a company. These changes could reduce costs, they could boost sales, or they could improve customer relations; either way, the business analyst is solving a problem for the company.

Day-To-Day Tasks

Day-to-day work for a business analyst can be varied as there are lots of different aspects to the role. To start off with, you will research and gather data, and then you will analyze your findings to look for issues or patterns. Once you have analyzed the data you will come up with effective solutions to the problems, and then you will present your results to the business. If the business is happy with your results, you may then be tasked with overseeing the implementation of the new rules.

Some of the day-to-day tasks for a business analyst include:

  • Communicating with employees to find out more about the specific needs of the company.

  • Speaking to stakeholders and customers to find out more about the product or service provided.

  • Conducting studies, workshops, research, and tests.

  • Analyzing data to discover issues and problems.

  • Coming up with effective, forward-thinking solutions.

  • Inventing new, personalized systems for different businesses.

  • Speaking to senior management about effective ways to implement new measures.

  • Evaluating the changes that are being made to ensure they are operational.

Relevant Skills

A great business analyst will have both soft and hard skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Business knowledge: you must understand the different roles within the company, and how each department interacts with each other. You must understand the goals of the business and their profit margins, and you need to be able to come up with solutions that are tailored to the needs of the business.

  • Communication skills: every day you will need to communicate effectively with people who work for the company. You will need to interview teams to identify problems, you will need to present your ideas clearly to senior management, and you may need to negotiate between departments. This requires speaking skills, listening skills, and written skills.

  • Technical skills: you will also need the technical knowledge that is required to update an online business model. This includes wire framing, data crunching, and diagraming.

Salary Expectations

If you work as a business analyst you can expect a good salary. Research has found that the average business analyst earns around $78,734 a year, and this normally increases over the years.

However, it is worth noting that most business analysts only work in their current roles for five to ten years; then they normally move into higher-paid positions, such as a senior business analyst or project manager. These roles can pay upwards of $100,000 a year, so this is an excellent career option for anyone who wants a big income!

The Future For Business Analysts

The business analyst industry has existed for decades, but it has changed quite a lot in the last few years. Technological advances have completely transformed the world of business; in the past, businesses had to manually write down data to analyze, but now there are hundreds of big data tools and software solutions for businesses to use.

This means it is even easier for business analysts to provide companies with effective, useful solutions that truly improve their business model—but it also means that you will spend a lot of time working with IT. This is great news for some people, but if you don’t like sitting in front of a computer, you might not enjoy working as a business analyst.

Other Career Options

After a few years of working as a business analyst, you may be ready to take the next step in your career. Thankfully there are lots of interesting career options for you to consider. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Senior business analyst: you can charge much more for this work, and you could also hire a team to help you.

  • Financial and business project manager: you will work with businesses to streamline their finances, helping them to spend less in the future.

  • Business adviser: you will consult with different businesses to help them achieve different goals (such as boosting sales, or improving their social media marketing).

  • Systems analyst: you will work with IT programs and systems to resolve internal business issues.

  • Social media manager: you will manage all social media channels for a business, helping to improve online engagement and interaction.

  • Management consultant: you will help organizations and businesses to improve their efficiency.

How to Become a Business Analyst in 2020

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