Through great strides in technology and an increase in available data, making use of the power of analytics in business is easier than ever. As more companies look to data for solutions, Business Analysts professionals fill the growing need for data expertise. But there are few particular hard and soft skills you need to learn to have a successful analytics career and thrive in the world of big data.
Business Analyst has less to do with data and instead focuses on analyzing and optimizing the processes and functions that make up a business. They analyze and comprehend what a business needs to function optimally and improve, and then work to implement solutions. This may involve improving processes, shifting policies, or establishing new technology. They may also act as a technical project manager and collaborate with stakeholders to design and implement the service or product and ensure that it’s solving the client’s needs and problems.
Now we’ll explore the top technical and non-technical skills required for a Business Analyst professional.
Stage 1: Learn the Fundamentals
This part of your journey is all about understanding the basics of Business Analysis. These initial concepts will build the foundation for you to put all of your future knowledge effectively. Some of the basic fundamentals you need to learn as a Business Analyst are:
- Tasks of a Business Analyst
- SMART requirements
- Elicitation techniques
- Requirements specification
- Identifying and managing project stakeholders
- Uncovering and documenting business rules
- Visual modeling concepts
- Gaining business approval
- Conducting a project review
Stage 2: Learn Core Business Analytical Skills
The big data landscape has transformed significantly, making it challenging for professionals to know where to emphasize their growth. Nevertheless, despite this changing field, there is are various core business analytical skill that forms the foundation of any solid business analytics career.
A great business analytics expert can be defined as:
- A good communicator
- A problem solver
- A critical thinker
- A visualizer
- Detailed oriented and a big picture thinker
Stage 3: Learn Technical Skills
Both theoretical and practical understanding of tools and programming languages is essential to translate data sources into concrete solutions. Below are some of the top tools for Business Analysts:
SQL is the coding language of databases and one of the vital tools in an analytics professional’s toolkit. BA writes queries to extract and analyze data from the transactions database and develop visualizations to present to stakeholders.
- Statistical Languages
R programming language for statistical analysis and Python for general programming are the two most common programming languages. Expertise in either of these languages can be advantageous when analyzing big data sets.
- Statistical Software
Apart from the above languages, statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and Excel can be useful for analyzing data.
Stage 4: Enhance your Knowledge
Now that you know the basics, it is time to dig deeper into some extremely important topics. Some of the important concepts are:
- Critical Business Analyst Knowledge
- Identify and Define the Problem
- Conduct a Strategy Analysis
- Plan the Project
- Understand and Elicit Requirements
- Visual Modelling
- Additional Business Analyst Duties
- Software Testing
- Project Management
As company leaders come to realize the potential impact of data on business strategy, the number of jobs involving data analytics grows, creating a strong demand for people with these talents.
Regardless of your analytics work format, being able to put forward the above hard and soft skills makes business analytics professional an instrumental part of any business.
Check out the below videos to know more about the Business Analyst profession.