If there's one job that has been revolutionized by the Big Data era, it's that of Business Analyst. Exploiting data is now an integral part of the job, and mastering data analysis techniques is now often a necessity. Let's take a closer look at this profession through its missions, skills requirements and recent developments.
What is a Business Analyst?
A Business Analyst is a specialized functional consultant who seeks to harmonize information system (IS) capabilities with a company’s strategic objectives.
Their aim is to optimize the quality of the products and services offered by a company. To do this, the BA uses company and market activity data to monitor the effectiveness of the sales strategy and, if necessary, make adjustments.
The Business Analyst works with qualitative and quantitative data on a daily basis, creating reports on improvements to be communicated to different parts of the company. Their diversified profile enables them to work full time for large companies with multiple subsidiaries, or as consultants for very small businesses.
What skills do you need?
Natural analytical skills are a good predisposition for becoming a Business Analyst, as are the ability to listen and empathize, to understand and take into account everyone’s opinions and demands. Elocution and the ability to speak in front of several people will be essential for communicating with different teams within a company. Negotiation skills will make it easier to take complicated decisions. Business Analysts must also think about the company’s needs and its development, and must not take sides in disputes.
In short, the Business Analyst must be able to :
- Listen to others
- Be comfortable speaking
- have a strong capacity for analysis and an interest in figures
- Know how to negotiate
- Be curious about what’s going on in their sector of activity
- Strong understanding of information systems, databases, etc.
- Ability to exploit these systems: mastery of Python and SQL, data visualization and business intelligence tools.
What is the role of a Business Analyst?
The main task of a BA is to identify all the company’s needs.
This includes human, material, IT and financial needs, which must be matched with the company’s established strategies in order to find compromises.
Another objective is to determine the company’s commercial policy, in order to define short- and long-term objectives.
Moreover, the role of a Business Analyst varies according to the company and sector in which he or she operates.
A bridging role
A Business Analyst acts as a link between the operational and IT branches of a company. When introducing a new strategy, he or she must ensure that all the company’s stakeholders are aware of and understand the issues at stake.
Communication is at the heart of his activity, and he sometimes has to take on the role of mediator to satisfy all the teams.
Become a financial manager
Often in collaboration with the accountant, the BA must monitor, analyze and moderate the company’s expenses and profits, in order to develop new strategies and achieve set objectives. Establishing a financial database and manipulating Business Intelligence tools, the BA sets sales prices with his superiors according to his data analysis.
Become a project manager
When implementing corporate objectives and strategies, the Business Analyst agrees to mobilize the resources needed to carry out his projects.
A BA is not only useful in carrying out studies, but also in setting up the tasks of other teams, knowing the qualities and expertise of each one, and making sure everyone progresses to the final assignment. Attentive to fluctuations, the Business Analyst keeps a close eye on KPIs and performance indicators so as to be able to inform all stakeholders of any disruption.
What does a Business Analyst do?
On a day-to-day basis, the Business Analyst’s tasks are quite varied and depend on the company’s sector of activity:
- Analyze and understand customer needs: to develop their sales offer, Business Analysts will have to carry out customer satisfaction surveys, and monitor the competition to identify gaps in their products.
- Produce data analyses: a Business Analyst must know how to exploit databases and Business Intelligence tools to produce quality data analyses.
- Improve the quality of a company’s services: one of the Business Analyst’s main missions is to improve the quality of a company’s services in order to generate higher revenues. The strategies they implement are essential to the company’s evolution.
- Monitor technology and the competition: Business Analysts must constantly gather and analyze new data in order to develop their products, find out what sells best in their sector, what customers are looking for and what the latest innovations are.
- Prioritize the company’s needs: to develop their offering, Business Analysts need to understand the company’s needs and prioritize them. In this way, he or she can establish a strategy to meet primary needs.
- Leading workshops and managing project progress: the Business Analyst acts as a bridge between teams, managing teams, drawing up specifications, monitoring project progress or the application of strategies. He/she is the person whom the various branches will come to see in the event of anomalies or setbacks, and will have to find solutions by presenting them in front of several people at meetings.
How much does a Business Analyst earn?
In Europe, the salary of a Business Analyst varies between 40 and 50,000 euros gross per year, or 3,300 to 4,200 euros gross per month. Salary scales vary according to sector, company size and experience.
For a junior Business Analyst, the average annual salary is between 30 and 40,000 euros gross, while a senior Business Analyst can expect to earn between 50 and 70,000 euros gross per year.
With the increasing value placed on Data in companies today, the value placed on the Business Analyst is also growing.
How do I become a Business Analyst?
To work as a Business Analyst, you need the skills of a business-oriented Masters Degree.
However, with Data Science becoming an increasingly important part of the Business Analyst’s job, people who have completed a Data Analyst or Data Scientist training course can now apply for this position.
If you’re interested in this profession, DataScientest’s training courses are all certified by the Université Paris-Panthéon Sorbonne, enabling you to reach your goal if your ambition is to become a Business Analyst.
What's in store for a Business Analyst?
A Business Analyst can envisage several career paths. First of all, he or she can progress from Business Analyst to Senior Business Analyst.
But they can also consider a career in finance, as many CFOs have worked as Business Analysts in the course of their careers.
A career in corporate strategy consulting is also conceivable, thanks to the analytical skills acquired during his professional career.
Finally, they can specialize in data-related professions and become Data Engineers, for example. In this case, he or she will benefit from a sought-after, forward-looking profile that will enable him or her to claim higher salaries.
Now you know everything there is to know about the Business Analyst profession! If this is a job you’d like to do, take a look at our certified Data Analyst or Data Scientist training courses, which could be a real plus in your career transition.