As telecommuting and remote work rise in popularity, many organizations use complex technology to do business across great distances, stay in touch with the consumer, and even communicate internally. Technology and business, especially in industries like finance and telecommunications, have become so intertwined that it’s hard to imagine one without the other. But how do organizations determine what software to use? Even once they determine that, who do they turn to for implementation? And how do they ensure they are using that technology in the most effective way? One role that can answer all those questions? The Business Analyst.
What is a Business Analyst?
Perhaps the best way to picture a Business Analyst is as the intermediary between an organization’s business side and its IT services, a professional liaison who makes everything flow smoothly and efficiently. A Business Analyst is someone who critically reviews an organization, its processes, and its systems to determine problems and offer improvements to the business model or the organization’s use of technology. Since Business Analysts can specialize in certain structures, you might also know them by other job titles, like Systems Analyst, Computer Systems Analyst, IT Business Analyst, or even Operations Research Analyst. Most often, Business Analysts work with IT to improve the quality of an organization’s services, as well as help integrate new technology, training materials, and post-implementation support into a company’s workflow. Business Analysts work in many industries, including but not limited to finance, banking, insurance, telecoms, utilities, software services, and the government. Due to the work’s high level of abstraction, however, Business Analysts also have the freedom to switch between industries with relative ease.
Business Analyst Salary and Job Prospects
The median salary for a Business Analyst is almost $59K a year, but that median salary can vary greatly depending on the industry. For certain specialists, like Computer Systems Analysts, job growth is booming, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating 21% growth over the next 10 years. While jobs for Business Analyst in IT fields are growing exponentially, even Business Analysts that focus more on the business side, like Management Analysts, are looking at an estimated 14% growth. That’s double the expected growth for many other jobs. A Business Analyst’s median salary also varies by location. In certain cities, like San Francisco, Business Analysts can make almost 22% more than the national average. After gaining on-the-job experience, many Business Analysts have opportunities to move up into management positions, such as: Senior Business Analyst, Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, or Management Consultant.
Valuable Skills for Business Analysts to Have
Different Business Models
Process Design and Improvement
Statistics and Data Modelling
Critical Thinking Skills
Education for Aspiring Business Analysts
Companies typically prefer Business Analyst to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, economics, or finance. To help them gain more experience or even move up into management, Business Analysts might consider gaining additional knowledge through Marketing Bootcamps, MOOCs, or Certificates, many of which focus on new technological innovations, which Business Analysts can implement at their own organizations, like Enterprise Resources Planning Software and Development Environment Software.