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Business Analyst: Skills and Qualifications

If you are planning to work towards a career as a business analyst, you can expect a high level of job satisfaction. Among the most sought-after and fast-rising job profiles, the role of a business analyst is definitely one that you can grow into, but being a business analyst requires certain skills that are an absolute must. Before delving into the particular skills and qualifications needed, it is important to understand who a business analyst is.

Who is a business analyst or BA?

A business analyst is someone who studies past business data and interprets the outcome of the business decisions behind them. They then analyze this data and find ways to improve the ultimate outcome by way of processes, technology, software, services, and more. Their role in any organization is to improve the current business function and efficiency. This is why a business analyst is a highly regarded position in today’s data-driven business world.

What qualifications are needed to be a business analyst?

Being a fairly new position in the market, with an ever increasing demand, the qualifications needed to become a business analyst are not definite. There are multiple ways to grow into the position. But having a degree like the fully accredited Global Master of Science in Business Analytics (Global MS in Business Analytics) from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management will definitely boost your chances of having a running start in your career as a business analyst.

What are the top business analyst skills required?

There are various technical and interpersonal skills a business analyst needs to excel at their job. They are required to work with professionals across departments and across hierarchical levels so they not only need the professional expertise but also the ability to present their solutions to different types of professionals.

Here are some of the key must-have skills a business analyst needs to have;

  • Oral and written communication skills

Much of a business analyst’s role involves brain-storming, collaboration, discussions and analysis with different teams in an organization. They also are required to present their findings and suggestions, as well as train and coach teams to use the new methods and processes. So it is imperative for a successful business analyst to be fluent and confident in both oral and written communication.

  • Analytical thinking and problem solving skills

Some of the main skills a business analyst needs are analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. While reviewing, understanding and working to improve business processes, analysts will use both these skills to do their job efficiently.

  • Training and instructional skills

While much of the job requires a business analyst to find solutions to business problems, a part of their job also needs them to be able to train and teach teams how to incorporate the changes. Without implementing the suggestions adequately, they will not be able to properly measure the success of the changes, which defeats the purpose of having a business analyst try and improve business processes.

  • Being accuracy- and detail-oriented

The biggest changes can evolve from the smallest details. A slight adjustment in a business process or one additional step can make all the difference. This is why a business analyst needs to have the ability to notice and pick up on details. And since their work involves analyzing large amounts of data in order to understand previous business decisions, they also need to be accuracy-oriented.

  • Observation and inference skills

A business analyst has to be able to observe past data and find patterns and sequences to understand which decisions led to which outcomes. That is primarily what their work entails. So having keen observation and inference skills is an absolute must.

Apart from these essential skills, a business analyst also needs to have a vast knowledge of business processes and organizational structure, cost benefit analysis, stakeholder analysis knowledge and more.

Why should you become a business analyst?

The business analyst is a vast rising position with an increasing number of companies hiring for this position. This job profile also commands a competitive salary making it a lucrative career with high job satisfaction, since it involves improving business processes to ultimately make the organization more effective and efficient.

According to PayScale, the average base salary for a business analyst in the US is $80,000 per year, while a senior business analyst can command approximately $88,000.

The above business analyst skills and qualifications will give you a fair idea of the requirements of the role in the event that you are preparing to build a career as a business analyst.

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