You have possibly noticed a rise in the requirement for business analysts at multiple companies in recent years. It is one of the fastest growing careers today. But most people are unsure of what a business analyst does. In order to understand the business analyst job role, it is imperative to first have an answer to the question - what does a business analyst do? Business analyst job role What does a business analyst do? Simply put, business analysts study and evaluate or analyze data to improve organizational performance. They help to improve business productivity and the overall efficacy of the organization so that business success is maximized. Their job involves analyzing past business data to find areas for improvement and make suggestions for how to improve processes, structure, plans and more in order to help the organization achieve goals. Their recommendations can be in any area of the business. Business analyst key skills Considering the job of a business analyst having to work with professionals across departments and across hierarchical levels, they need to excel at hard and soft skills. Their job requires them to truly understand every aspect of business well enough to ascertain the reasons why certain business decisions were made, and what those decisions led to. They also need to be able to devise solutions and communicate those suggestions to professionals from different departments and experience levels. This requires exceptional technical skills as well as interpersonal skills. Here are some of the key skills business analysts must have; \tCommunication and interpersonal skills \tAnalytical thinking skills \tProblem-solving skills \tOrganizational skills \tBeing accuracy- and detail-oriented There are also a host of business analyst technical skills that are absolutely necessary for a business analyst job role. Some of those business analyst technical skills are; \tStakeholder management \tData modeling \tIT knowledge \tResearch skills \tProcesses modeling skills \tTechnological skills \tBusiness skills \tBudgeting skills Business analyst roles and responsibilities Having to provide solutions to business issues across a variety of departments, the business analyst roles and responsibilities are extensive with a focus on accuracy. Some of them are; \tKeeping all business processes and technologies up-to-date \tRegularly analyzing and evaluating current processes \tDeveloping change management projects \tPresenting solutions with reasons to the management \tCollaborating with different departments to understand processes \tTraining teams to incorporate changes Business analyst qualification requirement Becoming a business analyst primarily requires a fair hold on the necessary skills and the experience of a business analyst professional. Much of that comes with time and working in the industry for a while. Having said that, a business analyst degree will definitely boost your career opportunities at the onset. The Global Master of Science in Business Analytics (Global MS in Business Analytics) from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management is one such degree that is a great choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in business analytics. Offered by Northwood University, this program will give you the skills you need to help Fortune 500 companies as well as startups excel in every area of business. Business analyst future scope Currently one of the fastest-growing positions in business, it is projected to become even more rewarding in the future. \tA management analyst is one of the fastest-growing, highest-paying positions in business with projected growth greater than 14% from 2018 to 2028 leading to 118,300 new positions. General managers will also be in high demand with over 150,000 new positions by 2024 at an annual pay of $97,270. \t53% of corporate respondents say they are redesigning competency requirements to include skills such as analytics and artificial intelligence. \t68% of corporate respondents state they are developing new strategies to attract, recruit and retain workers in analytics related positions. \tHiring projections for the Master of Data Analytics degree increased 40% compared to last year, the highest increase among other business master’s program. \tThe demand for Business Analytics professionals is unprecedented, and it is only growing. With greater need, the salary is naturally high. According to a study by IBM, 39% of job postings in Data Science and Advanced Analytics require applicants to possess at least a master’s degree. *Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019 Deloitte Technology in the Mid-Market survey report, GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2019. Read: Business Analyst: Salary and Scope Business analyst tools While the demands on a business analyst keep changing over time, there are some business analyst tools that are currently an absolute necessity for any business analyst. Before knowing what those tools are it is imperative to understand what these business analyst tools will be used for. In order to perform adequately, business analysts need to perform the following; \ttrack the requirements of different departments \tmanage the different process and needs for different departments \tcreate processes and maintain those models diagrammatically \tcollaborate with different teams The business analyst tools a professional in the field will need are; \tMicrosoft Office Suite \tGoogle Docs \tIBM Rational RequisitePro \tBalsamiq \tSWOT \tPencil \tTrello \tSmartDraw \tWrike \tVersionOne With the business analyst job role taking so much precedence in the job market today, the above information will help you not only understand what a business analyst does but also, how you can become one and have a fulfilling career as a business analyst.