Business analysts guide organizations towards success by studying data about companies and their consumers. These highly skilled professionals know how to gather, process, and analyze valuable information about a company’s products and systems, as well as the people that use them. Then they create data-driven solutions that can boost the company’s performance and sales.

After all, a wise leader learns from their success and their failures, and business analysts can help them do just that by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a company. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, then these are the skills and steps that you need to know.

What are the core competencies of business analysts?

As one of the top careers in business administration, business analysts are seeing far greater growth than the average business role at 27%. More and more leaders are seeing the value of business analysts in ensuring corporate success, and schools have responded to the rising demand by offering more business analytics programs to train the next generation of professionals that can lead organizations towards more informed data-driven decisions. To perform the duties expected from business analysts, you must acquire the following competencies:

Business Administration Skills

Business administration skills are foundational in this field. Your knowledge on business trends, conventions, and practices will help you in identifying problem spots and in creating solutions for your organization. Furthermore, your understanding of the dynamics within the company will guide you as you implement your projects.

Computer Skills

Proficiency in various computer applications is necessary in this field, because business analysts collect and present a lot of data. You will need to be proficient in simple programs, such as Excel, and even in advanced ones, such as Python, which will be necessary in accessing and analyzing data.

Communication Skills

Business analysts need to communicate a lot. Having good communication skills will help you in all kinds of tasks — from gathering data to offering solutions. These skills will also shape your success in convincing, explaining, and negotiating with various individuals in the company.

Stakeholder Management

Analysts will have to work with stakeholders, which are individuals that can either be affected or have an influence over your project. They have a key role in your company, so stakeholders can affect its success. As a business analyst, you should be able to identify all the stakeholders, their authority over your project, and how to best manage them.

How can you become a business analyst?

It takes a lot of hard work and effort to provide data-based solutions that can ensure a company’s success — and this starts with honing the skills above through both education and experience. Here are the steps you need to take to become a part of this profession:

Get an undergraduate degree in business

This field requires a wide range of skills and knowledge that you could acquire from an undergraduate degree, especially one in business administration. Getting a degree related to business helps analysts understand the processes and structures that are pivotal in every organization. While business analysts can come from different educational backgrounds, a good foundation in business administration will help in making well-rounded decisions that are rooted both in research data and business theory.

Build up your work experience

You can develop your skills by taking advantage of internship programs or by volunteering in organizations. If you’re in a different role in a company, you may also try doing tasks or projects that business analysts usually undertake so that you can improve your communication skills, research skills, computer skills, and critical thinking skills. You should also learn advanced skills that can increase your salary as a business analyst, such as data management, product support, and SAP quality management.

Author Bio

Jerah Boyles is an EV contributor and a business consultant with a passion for helping individuals do and be more. When she’s not at her desk or chatting with clients, Jerah enjoys urban gardening