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9 Key Skills Every Business Analyst Needs In Order to Excel

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8th Apr, 2024
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9 Key Skills Every Business Analyst Needs In Order to Excel

Doctors, engineers, data scientists and other such professions demand a lot of focus, will-power, learning ability, anticipation and other similar mental faculties. These kinds of jobs might drain an ordinary person and that’s why you won’t find an average Joe doing any of these jobs.

The job of a business analyst falls in the same category as above and hence can be taxing and demanding. This entails not just knowing the core of the job but also being armed with various soft skills such as effective communication, empathy, being able to correctly judge situations and others.

Business analyst skills are a combination of hard skills and soft skills from an abstract point of view. This is to focus upon the fact that these skills are more related to one’s emotional intelligence more so than his/her raw intelligence (which too is, of course, a factor in deciding his/her professional success).

Unlike purely technical skills, the skills required for business analysts are not just acquired through some sort of training, but rather through experience combined with an inherent ability to read people and understand situations. And the career scope of business analytics is so wide and glooming.

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The Ideal Business Analyst: A Cursory Look

Since the term ‘business analyst’ is self-descriptive, we would assume that most of the readers would have understood the meaning of the term. So, to clear any further obscurity about the term, we are going to have a brief look at the role of a business analyst.

The role of a business analyst is to analyze a business/organization and then document its various operations and processes, to assess the business model and how it integrates with technology. The job of a business analyst is to guide a business to improve its operations and processes, products, services as well as software through data analysis. 

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That’s one of the reasons MBA in business analytics is in high demand now. There are certain business analyst skills one need to develop and master in order to become a successful business analyst. 

The technical skills for a business analyst are also known to be a bridge between a company’s business problems and technological solutions for a business. The term ‘business problems’ can mean anything about business systems which may include models, processes and methods. 

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Technological solutions can be making use of technological architecture, software applications and tools. This finally entails using technological entities to solve business problems.

Top 7 Business Analyst Skills that are High in Demand!

Let’s come to the point and take a look at the top 7 business analyst skills that are in demand.

1. Competent Verbal Communication

Communication as a skill is needed in any high-functioning job profile. However, since the job of an analyst is to analyze data, the results have to be communicated to the people in higher authority. Out of all skills required for business analysts, communication holds the biggest ground. 

One should be capable of making the agenda known with extreme clarity. Also, being able to ask insightful questions is required so that the right kind of information is achieved from stakeholders. For example, if your stakeholder does not work in a technical profile, you need to ask the questions in simple and plain language.

2. Good Listening Skills

Listening skills are one of the key cornerstones of becoming a good business analyst. A good business analyst listens to and absorbs information. This helps the analyst to analyze the information thoroughly so that they can specify the requirements. 

Also, it’s important that the listener not only understands what is being said but also the context behind it, such as the objective, the main motivation and the circumstances for which it is being said. The business analyst should ideally observe the voice, the tone and the body language of the speaker to understand the message clearly.

3. Ability to Understand Delegated Objectives

Interpretation is an extension of the above skill. The requirements communicated by the management or technical staff are to be understood both holistically and individually. Sometimes, the communicated information contains a lot of gaps, which the analyst has to understand and fill up. In case there is any problem with understanding the objectives, one should not hesitate and ask again. Overall, ability to understand quickly is one of the top business analyst skills. 

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4. Being able to Run Meetings with Stakeholders

Using email to communicate effectively and professionally with a client has been a standard protocol until now. However, at times, it is not the most effective way. Therefore, discussing issues with the client face to face can work wonders and even help in solving issues pretty quickly. Organizing and running meetings is one of the important skills required for business analysts.

In fact, many times executives will know better about a project or an issue due to a simple reason that people are more open in their interactions with the other party. However, if an audit trail is a necessity, the business analyst can always set up a meeting with the client through a written confirmation.

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5. Knowing the Objectives Well

Understanding one’s objectives is one of the most crucial business analyst skills. At times, the higher and middle management may communicate what has to be done clearly. However, most of the time, they will only give an outline of the requirements that they need to have. This will give you only a faint idea of the requirements. It’s up to the analyst to convert this silhouette of ideas to a solid understanding of what is really needed.

For example, if they talk about having software that will streamline all business processes and optimize their work, the business analyst should know that they are talking about an Enterprise Resource Management System. This is where the technical skills for business analysts come in handy.

6. Being Diligent with Time Management

This is a very crucial one of all the skills required for business analysts. Time management is important since the work schedule of a business analyst is filled with tasks and they have to ensure that their commitment to each one of them has to be fulfilled. Understanding the priorities and then scheduling the day to day tasks as required is the most fundamental step in time management for business analysts. 

Multi-tasking is a major sub-skill under time management as it helps to get multiple jobs done at the same time, thus saving further time for other work commitments. However, it’s not just work commitments that matter, but also being able to balance the work-personal life equation.

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7. Documenting and Writing Reports

This is a good example of technical skills required for business analysts. It involves writing reports, plans, documentation and various types of analysis details. The responsibility of a business analyst will require one to write on a wide array of topics.

One of the main keys to writing reports effectively is to understand the instances where the language has to be technical and where it needs to be in plain easy English. In brief, this skill is a combination of writing skills and the ability to understand the communication parameters such as the target readers and the message you are trying to convey. Written communication is one of the important skills required for business analyst.

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Business Analysts Salary Insights

Business Analyst Salary in India

Source

CityAverage Salary
Bangalore₹6.77 Lakhs
New Delhi₹9.7 Lakhs
Mumbai₹10.2 Lakhs
Hyderabad₹10.1 Lakhs
Pune₹10.2 Lakhs
Gurgaon₹9.9 Lakhs
Ahmedabad₹8.5 Lakhs
Chennai₹10.1 Lakhs

Source

Salaries in different departments

Source

Business Analyst Salary with exp. in India

ExperienceSalary
1 Year₹6.3 Lakhs
2 Year₹6.9 Lakhs
3 Year₹7.6 Lakhs
5 Year₹9.4 Lakhs
7 Year₹9.4 Lakhs
9 Year₹13.2 Lakhs

Source

Source

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What is the Difference Between Business Analysts and Business Analytics Professionals?

AspectBusiness AnalystsBusiness Analytics Professionals
RoleFocus on understanding skills required for business analyst and processes, and translating them into requirements for technology solutions.Concentrate on analyzing data to derive actionable insights and make data-driven decisions to optimize business performance.
Primary TasksConducting interviews and workshops to gather requirements from stakeholders.Analyzing data using statistical methods, machine learning algorithms, and data visualization techniques.
Skills RequiredStrong communication, problem-solving, and documentation skills. Familiarity with business processes and requirements gathering techniques.Proficiency in data analysis tools such as SQL, Python, R, and data visualization tools like Tableau or Power BI. Knowledge of statistics, predictive modeling, and machine learning techniques.
OutputRequirements documents, process models, and system prototypes.Insights, reports, dashboards, and predictive models.
GoalTo ensure that technology solutions meet the needs of the business and its stakeholders.To help organizations leverage data to improve decision-making, drive strategy, and gain a competitive advantage.
Impact on BusinessFacilitates the implementation of effective technology solutions to enhance business processes and operations.Empowers organizations to make informed decisions, optimize processes, and innovate based on data-driven insights.

How to Develop Business Analyst or BA Skills?

Becoming a proficient business analyst skills required a blend of technical expertise, analytical thinking, and communication skills. Let’s explore how you can develop the skills: –

  • Understand Business Fundamentals

To begin with your skills for business analyst, grasp the basic concepts of business operations. This includes comprehending how companies function, their goals, and the significance of different departments like sales, marketing, and finance. A solid foundation in business fundamentals will provide context for your analysis.

  • Learn Analytical Tools and Techniques

Acquire proficiency in analytical tools and techniques such as data analysis, statistical methods, and visualization tools like Excel, SQL, and Tableau for the skills of business analyst. These tools will help you dissect complex data sets, identify patterns, and derive valuable insights crucial for decision-making.

  • Enhance Problem-Solving Skills

If you’re wondering about the skills needed for business analyst, you should know that they  often encounter intricate problems that require innovative solutions. Sharpen your problem-solving skills by practicing logical reasoning, critical thinking, and structured problem-solving methodologies like root cause analysis and SWOT analysis with business analyst required skills.

  • Improve Communication Skills

Effective communication is paramount for a business analyst and skills required for business analyst fresher. Develop your ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing. This involves active listening, asking insightful questions, and presenting information in a coherent manner that resonates with diverse stakeholders.

  • Build Domain Knowledge

To know business analyst key skills, gain knowledge domain-specific knowledge related to the industries you’re interested in, such as finance, healthcare, or technology for business analyst technical skills. Understanding industry trends, regulations, and terminologies will enable you to contextualize your analysis and provide valuable insights tailored to specific business needs for business analytics skills.

  • Collaborate and Network

Collaboration is key in the business world. Engage with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals to exchange ideas, seek guidance, and broaden your perspective. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and expose you to different approaches and best practices in business analysis.

  • Embrace Continuous Learning

The field of business analysis is dynamic, with evolving technologies and methodologies. Stay updated with the latest trends, attend workshops, webinars, and pursue relevant certifications like CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) or CCBA (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis). Continuously seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skill set.

  • Seek Feedback and Iterate

Feedback is essential for growth. So, take feedback from peers, managers, and stakeholders on your analyses and presentations. Use constructive criticism to refine your approach and iterate on your strategies to improve continuously.

How to Become a Business Analyst?

If you’re interested in a career that involves analyzing data, solving problems, and helping businesses make informed decisions, along with technical skills required for business analyst, becoming a business analyst might be the perfect fit for you. Let’s find out how you can become business analyst: 

  • Understand the Role of a Business Analyst

First things first, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what a business analyst does. A business analyst is responsible for identifying business needs, gathering and analyzing data, and providing actionable insights to stakeholders. They act as a bridge between the technical and business sides of an organization, translating business requirements into technical solutions and vice versa, as these are the ways to have qualification for business analyst

  • Obtain the Necessary Education

While there’s no strict educational requirement to become a business analyst, most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, economics, or a related field. Additionally, gaining knowledge in areas such as data analysis, statistics, and project management can be beneficial.

  • Develop Relevant BA Skills

To excel as a business analyst, you’ll need a diverse set of skills. These include analytical skills to interpret data, communication skills to collaborate with stakeholders, problem-solving skills to address business challenges, and attention to detail to ensure accuracy in your analysis. You can develop these skills through coursework, internships, or hands-on experience in related roles.

  • Gain Practical Experience

While classroom learning is valuable, gaining practical experience is crucial for becoming a successful business analyst. Look for internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities that allow you to apply your skills in a real-world setting. Additionally, consider taking on projects within your current job or participating in extracurricular activities that involve data analysis or problem-solving.

  • Earn Relevant Certifications

While not mandatory, obtaining certifications can enhance your credibility and marketability as a business analyst. Some popular certifications for business analysts include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA). These certifications demonstrate your proficiency in business analysis techniques and tools.

  • Build a Strong Professional Network

Networking is essential in any field, and business analysis is no exception. Attend industry events, join professional organizations such as the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), and connect with other professionals in the field. Networking can open doors to job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable insights into the industry.

  • Prepare for Job Interviews

Once you’ve gained the necessary education, skills, and experience, it’s time to start applying for business analyst positions. Prepare for job interviews by researching the company, practicing common interview questions, and showcasing your relevant experience and skills. Highlight your ability to analyze data, communicate effectively, and drive business value through your work.

Becoming a business analyst requires a combination of education, skills development, practical experience, and networking. By following these steps and staying committed to continuous learning and improvement, you can embark on a rewarding career as a business analyst and make a meaningful impact in the business world with business analyst skill set.

Is Business Analyst in Demand?

Yes, the demand for business analysts is high. As businesses continue to rely on data-driven decision-making, the need for professionals who can interpret data, identify trends, and provide actionable insights has grown significantly.

Companies across various industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, and retail, are seeking skilled business analysts to help them optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and drive growth.

Moreover, as technology continues to evolve, the role of business analysts has become increasingly critical in ensuring that organizations leverage emerging technologies effectively to stay competitive in the market.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation efforts of many businesses, further fueling the demand for professionals who can help navigate complex business challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing landscape.

Overall, the outlook for business analysts remains promising, with ample job opportunities and the potential for career growth in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

Business analyst skills are a combination of hard skills and soft skills. If you want to be a successful business analyst, it will always help you to work on your people skills as well as bettering your technical capabilities.

Companies across both IT and e-commerce sectors pay excellent compensation to deserving candidates who can add value to their organization. We hope you liked the article about skills required for business analysts. Apart from the regular educational qualifications and work experience, having Job-ready Program in Business Analytics also helps in bagging jobs that offer high-level salaries.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is a business analyst an IT job?<br />

If you are an IT Business Analyst, you must be a strategic problem solver who is critical to the success of an IT department. You'll collaborate closely with your colleagues in the business to identify IT solutions for various business functions. You'll assist companies in implementing IT solutions in a cost-effective manner.
A bachelor's degree in information technology and at least three years of expertise with computer programmes are required. You must be a Microsoft Office professional, including Project, with great written and oral communication abilities. You'll need to be an expert in data analysis and have programming skills. You must pass and keep a background check, as well as be willing to go to client locations.

2What are the goals of a business analyst?<br />

Business analysis is intimately linked to IT as a field. In addition to non-IT areas like process improvement, strategy planning, and policy formulation, business analysis goals frequently include a systems development component.
IT business analysts, technology business analysts, and systems analysts are examples of business analysts who specialise in building and upgrading software systems. Most analysts, on the other hand, are accountable for a broader range of deliverables and see IT as only one part of their total business analysis objectives.

3What are the roles or responsibilities of a Business Analyst?

A business analyst's functions and responsibilities are as follows:
1. The BA collaborates with the business to identify possibilities for improving business operations and processes.
2. The Business Analyst is also engaged in the business system's design and modification.
3. Their main responsibility is to collect, document, and analyse a variety of business requirements.
4. They also assist in the resolution of business issues as needed, as well as the development of technical solutions.
5. They also assist in the testing of the system as well as the creation of system documentation including user manuals.

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