Business analysts also identify gaps in a company’s processes or product offerings. For example, a business analyst working for an insurance company may notice that their competitors excel by selling a unique type of insurance policy. By showing the profit differences, the business analyst can then recommend new tactics or offerings to remain competitive.
Business analysts must also understand the needs of customers who might use the products or services offered by their employers and then create solutions based on those needs. Business analysts typically work closely with other team members — like project managers, designers and developers — to ensure that all aspects of a project are managed correctly.
How do you become a business analyst?
Those interested in becoming a business analyst typically need a bachelor’s degree in business or social science. Depending on the company and role, some positions may require an MBA or further certification.
Despite their similar titles, the roles of data analyst and business analyst have several important differences.
First, data analysts generally need more technical skills than business analysts. In addition, data analysts tend to focus on more specific, data-oriented analytical tasks than business analysts (think analyzing a database or creating statistical reports).
Here are some other key differences:
Data analysts are responsible for collecting, organizing and analyzing data to recommend what action should be taken next. They may also employ statistical and mathematical techniques to extract data and interpret useful information.
Data analysts often have an undergraduate degree in data science or a business-related field. They may also have an MBA or other business administration degree. They need strong analytical skills and an understanding of how businesses work.
Data analysts typically work closely with other team members — including IT professionals who help them with technical issues — to ensure that reports are accurate, consistent and easy to understand by all parties. They also frequently provide internal and client-facing reports to help management keep track of progress and spot potential problems early on.
Business analysts are responsible for taking care of the business intelligence side of things by providing insight into where a company is currently and how it can improve its performance. They identify potential opportunities and risks as well as plan strategies for growth.
They help make organizations more efficient and profitable by improving business intelligence processes, validating solutions and, in some companies and roles, making informed decisions for stakeholders.
Although business analysts are often required to have a degree in business or an MBA, gaining additional certifications or experiences can help build valuable skills. Business analysts are skilled at identifying problems and proposing solutions by gathering information from various sources. Solutions can tackle everything from changing an organization’s workflow to altering its entire operations system. Data analysts, on the other hand, may be more focused on technical, data-oriented problems.
Both data analytics and business analysis require you to think critically about your work and use quantifiable proof to make decisions. In addition, they require you to communicate with other people in the company, including upper management, other departments and clients.
Here are some other similarities:
● They collect and analyze data: Data analysts take raw data and turn it into something that can be used to make decisions or support a business case through data visualization. Business analysts are responsible for defining what needs to be collected, how it should be collected, who will analyze it and how they will use it.
● They use their findings to help businesses make better decisions: They work with data to find trends and make recommendations for improving the business. Data analysts focus on collecting and analyzing data, while business analysts focus on using that information to create new products or services that will be profitable for their company.
● They need solid analytical skills: Both are responsible for analyzing data, which means they need to be able to look at a problem from all angles, identify its root causes and possible solutions and then propose those solutions to their supervisors. They must also be able to communicate effectively with their colleagues and supervisors.
● They generally require a certain type of education: Data analysts and business analysts both generally require a bachelor’s degree or MBA. This is one of the most common similarities between the two positions.