The business analyst of the 21st century has come a long way. These days the responsibilities held by the position are multifaceted. A business analyst must be an ambassador, a mediator, a diplomat and a moderator. He or she must be able to work within and across multiple disciplines, such as technology, engineering, finance and organizational operations.
In general, the role of a business analyst is to examine businesses, enterprises or organizations both real and theoretical and to assess the ensuing business model, processes and systems and integrations with technology.
There are a number of specific areas covered by business analysis. These include:
- Strategic planning: the purpose being to recognize a company’s individual business needs.
- Business model analytics: the purpose being to assess and explain the business’s policies and approaches to the target market.
- Process design: the purpose being to standardize the business’s workflow.
- Systems analysis: the purpose being to interpret the rules and requirements of the business with regard to technical systems.
A business analyst is involved in the actual operations of the enterprise and implements information technology to advance the quality of the deliverable services. Sometimes, the business analyst will also help to develop training materials and participate in their implementation.
Training for a Business Analyst Career
So many business analyst training programs exist these days that it can seem a little overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out which is the right one for your career path. Things you need to consider are: your budget, your time frame, how you prefer to learn, and what skill set you need. Even then it can still make your decisions difficult. The best way to get started is to decide exactly what goals you want to achieve from business analysis training.
A good question to ask yourself is where you want to be in two or three years. You may just be embarking on training for a future career as a business analyst, or you may want to create that position within your current company. Once you understand your goal you will be able to break down your options and figure out what training will help you achieve.
Here is a rundown on your training options:
- A university program: A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in business management, business administration, marketing, economics, computer science, statistics, or accounting.
- Online courses: If you already have a degree there are a number of paid and free online courses available. Their length varies from a few webinars to several months. There is also a wide range of specialist business analyst training programs available. For example, this Simplilearn course can help you learn how to combine your business solutions with cloud-based strategies.
- Conferences: This is not only a good way to increase the depth of your understanding of business analytics; conferences also provide a very good opportunity to meet other professionals in the field.
- Study groups: Workplace-oriented study groups allow you to get together with other professionals within the business environment, so you can get hands-on experience.
Career Prospect for Business Analysis
Advances in information technology have expanded the range of employment opportunities for people looking for a career in business analysis. If you are qualified in this field, opportunities also extend to logistics, marketing and human resources. As a business analyst you may be employed within the public or private sector, you can work as an independent consultant or within a large organization, as part of a team of business analysts.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within the field of management analysis is expected to grow rapidly and increase by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is a much faster growth than other occupations. In spite of the fast growth, there is great competition for business analyst positions. The reason for this is that the pool of experienced candidates is large because qualified personnel come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.
Many people are attracted to jobs in business analysis, mainly because they have a high salary potential. The highest incomes in the field are earned by analysts who work within large organizations in major metropolitan areas. In 2011, the median annual salary for a business analyst was $78,490.
If you are thinking of becoming a business analyst, bear in mind that there is no direct route to the position. One of the best ways to consult a Business Consultant in London get started in this career is to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field and then garner experience by working within the industry in which you prefer to consult.
Bailey George writes about career options for a variety of online publications. He is a careers consultant who works mostly with young people stepping out into the working world for the first time.