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How to Become Business Analyst: Complete Road Map

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22nd May, 2024
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    How to Become Business Analyst: Complete Road Map

    Business analysis has turned into an invaluable asset for different companies. It involves several steps that help identify an organization's business needs and solutions. A person skilled in dealing with this process is referred to as a business analyst. This is a field of work that has immense potential for career growth. No wonder many people are now eager to know how to become a business analyst. You can treat this article as a stepping stone, that will help you understand this industry. The piece also aims to guide you in entering this world.

    The position of a business analyst has been in existence since the 70s. However, the meaning and the working process involving this role have drastically changed. Gone are the days when business analysts were just responsible for the conversation of analog data into a digital format. Presently, they analyze and access any business using innovative tools. In the modern world, professionals are keen on generating meaningful insights that can help a business improve its functioning.

    If you are seriously thinking about how to become a business intelligence analyst, it will prove to be a good career move. The role of a business analyst in a corporate structure is presently considered one of the most important. The professionals in this position often help shorten the gap between a corporation's business and its software teams.

    Who is a Business Analyst, and What Do They Do? 

    The term "business analyst" may sound daunting at first to someone just starting out in the workforce. Well, this position involves a wide range of tasks inside an organization; its inherent flexibility is really very motivating. Surprisingly, depending on the organization, the business analyst position can accommodate both entry-level candidates and seasoned professionals. As a result, business analysts work on a variety of projects, and their job descriptions might differ significantly between companies. 

    Role of business analyst
    Institute of Product LeadershipIn diverse business settings, business analysts may concentrate on activities such as: 

    • Process and Systems Improvement: Enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in organizational processes and systems. 
    • Problem Solving: Addressing and resolving business challenges. 
    • Cost Savings and Efficiencies: Identifying opportunities for cost savings and streamlining operations. 
    • Business Development: Exploring and creating new business opportunities. 
    • Performance Analysis: Evaluating and analyzing the performance of various business aspects. 
    • Competitor Analysis: Studying and assessing the strategies and performance of competitors in the market. 

    This diversity highlights the dynamic nature of the business analyst role, making it adaptable to the unique needs and focus areas of different organizations. Whether delving into process optimization, problem-solving, cost analysis, or exploring growth opportunities, business analysts play a vital role in shaping the strategic direction of a company.  

    How to Become a Business Analyst? 5 Simple Steps 

    Becoming a business analyst requires a strategic approach to acquire the necessary skills and experience. Here are five simple steps I have created to guide you: 

    Step 1: Academic Qualification Requirement

    To start a career in this field, you need to have a bachelor's degree. If you have the opportunity to start your studies again, it is better to choose some field more than that of the others, which can help you forward yourself in this domain. Taking a proper course in these fields may prove more useful than you can imagine. So, what are those fields?

    • Business
    • Accounting
    • Economics
    • Information Systems
    • Human Resources

    If you already have a bachelor's degree other than in these fields, it will be beneficial to get a master's degree in business administration.

    Step 2: Master Skills  

    To become a competent business analyst, you must have specific soft and hard skills. Also, you must choose a learning style and format that suits you. Let us look at each of the steps in detail: 

    Top Skills Needed to Become a Business Analyst 

    In today's competitive professional landscape, acquiring specialized skills and certifications has become a hallmark of career advancement. Embarking on a Business Analyst certification course will help you achieve those skills and thus significantly enhance your career trajectory. 

    To succeed as a business analyst, you need to possess the following key competencies: 

    A. Soft Skills: Successful Business Analysts rely on both technical proficiency and essential soft skills to navigate the world of business processes and stakeholder interactions. Here are key soft skills for a business analyst: 

    • Communication Skills: Strong communication is vital for conveying complex ideas, eliciting requirements, and presenting findings to diverse stakeholders. 
    • Active Listening: Attentively listening to and understanding stakeholders' needs, concerns, and perspectives is vital for a business analyst to gather accurate information. 
    • Facilitation Skills: Strong facilitation skills help in managing group dynamics, encouraging participation, and ensuring productive outcomes. 
    • Negotiation Skills: Business analysts with strong negotiation skills can navigate competing priorities and arrive at mutually beneficial solutions. 
    • Problem-Solving: Business analysts must approach challenges with a solutions-oriented mindset to devise effective strategies and solve problems. 
    • Time Management: Effective time management skills help them prioritize activities, meet deadlines, and ensure project timelines are on track. 
    • Teamwork and Collaboration: Business analysts collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, contributing to a positive team dynamic crucial for project success. 

    B. Hard Skills 

    Business analysts need a blend of technical and analytical skills to effectively analyze data, gather requirements, and contribute to strategic decision-making. Enrolling in business analyst certification programs such as the KnowledgeHut Business Analyst certification course, which includes practical, hands-on components, is a strategic step that can significantly elevate your career prospects.  

    Here are key hard skills crucial for a Business Analyst: 

    • Data Analysis: Proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques, including statistical analysis, data modeling, and interpretation, enables Business Analysts to extract meaningful insights from complex datasets. 
    • Requirements Elicitation: The ability to gather, document, and manage requirements using techniques like interviews, surveys, and workshops is fundamental for understanding stakeholder needs. 
    • Business Process Modeling: Knowledge of business process modeling tools and methodologies, such as BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation), allows Business Analysts to visualize and document business processes. 
    • Database Management: Understanding database concepts, SQL (Structured Query Language), and database management systems is valuable for accessing and manipulating data. 
    • Project Management: Familiarity with project management methodologies, tools, and techniques enables Business Analysts to contribute effectively to project planning, monitoring, and control. 
    • Risk Analysis: Skills in identifying and analyzing risks associated with business processes, systems, and projects contribute to effective risk management. 
    • Business Intelligence Tools: Familiarity with business intelligence tools, such as Tableau or Power BI, allows Business Analysts to create visualizations and reports for data-driven decision-making. 

    C. Other Competencies 

    As a business analyst, you must also excel in various essential areas to effectively contribute to project success and organizational growth. These include the ability to communicate ideas clearly, actively listen to stakeholder needs, and adeptly document requirements and project details. 

    Top Business Analyst CertificationsDegrees 

    Certifications play a vital role in the business analyst's career path. Often, we miss out on understanding the importance of certifications in our journey to grow up the ladder. A lot of institutes offer Business Management training online to help professionals acquire knowledge to obtain certifications. 

    1. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): CBAP certification is Offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA); CBAP is a globally recognized certification that validates advanced-level business analysis skills and experience. 
    2. Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA): Another certification from IIBA, CCBA, is designed for intermediate-level professionals, recognizing their ability to take on larger and more complex projects. 
    3. Certification in Business Data Analysis (CBDA): relatively new certification, the CBDA validates your proficiency in analysis-related work that supports business analytics initiatives. Applications include customer experience management, information security risk management, strategy execution, and change management needs for candidates with real-world expertise. 
    4. PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA): Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), PMI-PBA certifies individuals in business analysis, highlighting their expertise in working with stakeholders and managing requirements. 
    5. Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA): Also, from IIBA, ECBA is an entry-level certification designed for individuals who are new to business analysis. It focuses on foundational skills and knowledge. 
    6. IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC): Specifically focused on Agile methodologies, this certification from IIBA validates a Business Analyst's ability to work effectively in agile environments. 

    Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Timeline  

    Determining your timeline to get certified depends on various factors, like your experience in project management, your learning style and pace, and the type of certification you want to get. 

    Start Learning in a Format That Suits You 

    It is essential that you choose the learning format which meets your criteria. There are a lot of options available for aspiring project directors. Below is a list of learning options available for you to check. 

    1. Online Courses: Online learning platforms like KnowledgeHut, LinkedIn Learning, edX, etc. offer various Business analysis online courses that are highly flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your home. 
    2. University Programs: Many universities offer business analysis courses and degree certifications as part of their executive programs. These courses are targeted at individuals aspiring to gain knowledge on skills required for the project director role. 
    3. Webinars and Workshops: Look for webinars and workshops hosted by project management organizations and industry experts. These short, focused sessions can provide valuable insights and practical tips. 
    4. Case Studies and Research Papers: Reading case studies or research papers on business analysis will help you gain insights into various stages of project management. 

    How Long Does It Take to Become a Business Analyst?   

    Becoming a business analyst typically involves a timeline of 4 to 8 years, depending on individual circumstances. Starting with a relevant bachelor's degree, which takes around four years, individuals often spend 1 to 2 years in entry-level positions gaining foundational skills. Pursuing additional education or certifications may take varying amounts of time. Gaining hands-on experience, a crucial aspect of proficiency can take approximately 1 to 3 years. The transition into a dedicated Business Analyst role usually occurs over 2 to 3 years. Ongoing professional development, marked by continuous learning, is essential throughout one's career in this dynamic field. The timeline is flexible and may be influenced by factors such as educational pace, available opportunities, and personal commitment to growth. 

    Step 3: Begin Building Your Portfolio / Resume 

    A resume serves as your initial introduction to employers. Having a solid and impressive resume will make you noticed and lead you to more opportunities. 

    Business analyst resume
    BeamJobsBelow is a template for your reference to get an idea of how a business analyst's resume looks. 

    Step 4: Where and how to find a job 

    To begin your journey as a business analyst, you must first have a fair idea of the job description. This will ensure that your skills and experience match the job role. Also, look at various options for job searches. Let us look at them in detail: 

    • Online job boards: Online job boards are a great way to find a job. There are many different job boards available, so you can search for jobs that match your skills and interests. Some popular job boards include Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. 
    • Company websites: Many companies list their open jobs on their websites. This is an excellent way to find jobs that are not advertised on job boards. 
    • Networking: Networking is a great way to find jobs. Talk to your friends, family, and former colleagues to see if they know of any open positions. You can also attend industry events and meetups to meet new people and learn about job opportunities. 
    • Recruiters: Recruiters can help you find jobs. They have access to a wide range of job openings and can help you match your skills and experience with the right opportunities. 
    • Social media: Social media can also be an excellent way to find jobs. Many companies post open positions on their social media pages. You can also join relevant groups and forums to connect with people in your industry and learn about job opportunities. 

    Top Companies Hiring Business Analyst 

    • Amazon 
    • Microsoft 
    • Google 
    • JPMorgan Chase 
    • IBM 
    • Accenture 
    • Deloitte 
    • Oracle 

    Job Outlook for Business Analyst 

    The demand for business analysts has witnessed a notable upswing in recent years, and this trend is expected to persist. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for related roles is projected to range from 7% for computer systems analysts to an impressive 25% for operations research analysts between 2020 and 2030. Beyond the specific title of business analyst, other roles, such as management analyst and operations analyst, share similar responsibilities. These professionals contribute to organizational success by leveraging analytical skills to assess and enhance business processes. As businesses increasingly recognize the value of data-driven decision-making, the demand for individuals with the expertise of business analysts is likely to remain on an upward trajectory. 

    Step 5: Ace the Interview 

    One of the most essential steps in landing your ideal job as a business analyst is to start your interview preparation. Being able to nail the interview is crucial for demonstrating your abilities, experiences, and distinctive qualities in today's cutthroat employment market. 

    Brief overview of the interview process + Tips   

    In the interview for the business analyst role, you will be assessed on various parameters. You will be tested on your technical skills like data analysis, business process modeling, database management, etc. You will be given case studies to check your problem-solving skills and ability to get quick and effective solutions. You will also be gauged on your communication skills, your confidence, your problem-solving skills, etc. 

    Some tips to ace the interview: 

    • Always answer the questions with examples of your work. Use data as a relevant source to clarify complex project deliveries and solutions. 
    • Be confident and positive during the interview process. Being underconfident or low in energy will only work against you. 
    • Practice by preparing a list of questions to ask the employer during a job interview. 

    How to Land Your First Job as Business Analyst?

    You are now aware of your qualifications to start in this field. Now, the question that you may ask is how you can land your first job. Here are some of the basic things that you should do.

    1. Update your resume

    A resume is the first point of contact to capture a potential employer's attention. So, it would help if you made sure that it is prepared in the best way possible. Here are some tips that can help you.

    People who have an academic background in the business or software field are preferred over others, so highlight your education if it is in these fields.

    • List the courses and classes you have taken related to business analysis
    • Emphasize on the self-taught business analysis projects
    • Create a portfolio to give the employers an idea of your skillset

    2. Networking matters

    Professional social networking sites like LinkedIn have made networking in the business world easier. So, use that opportunity and reach out to hiring managers to connect with them virtually. In addition, many use online platforms to search for potential candidates. Staying in touch or connecting with the hiring managers can help you stay on their radar and increase your chances of getting a job.

    3. Search for a related job

    When wondering how to get into a business analyst job, it is important to remember that, at times, it may take time for you to land your dream job. In the meantime, you can start working on other roles related to this profession. In addition, since this is a field related to both business and software, you can search for jobs in those fields and wait for the right opportunity to knock on the doors.

    Top Business Analyst Job Roles

    Here are the career opportunities that a business analyst can explore. If you are thinking about becoming an IT (Information Technology) business analyst or a position in another sector, explore this section.

    • IT Business Analyst: They focus on improving all IT operations within a company. From analyzing all the software and hardware to IT operations within the company, they are responsible for everything. On average, an IT business analyst earns about ₹611,846 in India.
    • Data Analysis Scientist: The job of a data analysis scientist is to gather required information through surveys on a specific topic, interpret them, and present a report based on them. The average salary in this role in India is ₹860,316.
    • Business Analyst Manager: With an average salary of ₹800,000 in India, the job in this role is to manage a team that can develop, implement, and gathers data.
    • Quantitative Analyst: They use mathematical models to support all the financial decisions on risk management. They also deal with the investments and pricing structures of the company. Their goal is to reduce business risk while also maximizing profits. The average salary in India for this role is ₹1,018,422.
    • Data Business Analyst: A Data Business Analyst, on average, earns ₹833,165 in India. This role requires a person to identify trends and create charts and visual representations using huge data sets. Their analysis helps with business decisions.

    Salary details for the top 5 countries: 

    CountryAverage Salary
    USA$84,440 per year
    UK£45,184 per year
    SingaporeS$46,082 per year
    Canada$74,637 per year
    Australia$105,320 per year
    India₹9,70,000 per year

    Unlock the power of data with captivating Data Visualisation courses. Dive into the world of data visualization and enhance your skills.

    Conclusion

    To wrap up, a business analyst's work is not a one-size-fits-all role; instead, it is a dynamic and adaptable profession that can be used for a wide range of activities in various industries. The title, which may sound general, conceals the breadth and complexity of duties that fall under the purview of business analysis. Business analysts play a critical role in guiding organizations towards efficiency, cost-effectiveness, problem-solving, business development, performance analysis, and competition knowledge, whether they work in entry-level positions or as seasoned experts. 

    Companies in modern times have huge data, increasing the demand for business analyst. With proper academic background, training, and hands-on experience, one can not only thrive but do wonders in this ever-growing field of work. So, these are some aspects that hopefully can answer your question on how to get into business analytics. You can enroll yourself in Business Management online courses at KnowledgeHut to upskill yourself.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What qualifications do you need to be a business analyst?

    When answering how to start a career as a business analyst, you can be sure that you can do so with any bachelor's degree. However, getting a master's in business administration can help. Also, it would help if you opted for the related certification courses.

    2Can a fresher become a business analyst?

    Yes, a fresher can become a business analyst. However, you must start as an intern or a junior analyst.

    3Does a business analyst have a future?

    This is a booming professional field that has a lot of opportunities. You need to develop your skills and stay updated to make a mark in this profession.

    4Which course is best for a business analyst?

    The KnowledgeHut’s business management courses are the best ones to take when becoming a business analyst.

    Profile

    Mansoor Mohammed

    Business Agility Expert

    Mansoor Mohammed is a dynamic and energetic Enterprise Agile Coach, P3M & PMO Consultant, Trainer, Mentor, and Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in Strategy Execution and Business Agility. With a background in Avionics, Financial Services, Banking, Telecommunications, Retail, and Digital, Mansoor has led global infrastructure and software development teams, launched innovative products, and enabled Organizational Change Management. As a results-driven leader, he excels in collaborating, adapting, and driving partnerships with stakeholders at all levels. With expertise in Change Management, Transformation, Lean, Agile, and Organizational Design, Mansoor is passionate about aligning strategic goals and delivering creative solutions for successful business outcomes. Connect with him to explore change, Agile Governance, implementation delivery, and the future of work.

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