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Business Analyst Career


What Does a Business Analyst Do? 


Business analysts help organizations optimize processes, systems, services, and products. They’re experts in gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to provide actionable improvement plans. As an essential figure in organizational strategy, a business analyst delivers data-driven insights that help organizations achieve their objectives. Some business analysts work directly for organizations as employees, while others are freelance consultants serving multiple clients. The analyst role is typically a mid-level position within a company. 

Many business analysts have bachelor’s degrees, but those aspiring to senior-level positions may need master’s degrees, various professional certifications, and several years of experience. If you’ve got an analytical mind, strong critical thinking abilities, and a passion for tackling complex problems and finding innovative solutions, then a career as a business analyst may be right for you.  


Business Analyst Job Description 

Business analysts know how to gather and interpret details about operations, procedures, worker productivity, customer satisfaction, and market trends. Leveraging this information, they play a pivotal role in helping organizations implement strategies and systems that drive continued success. A business analyst's job responsibilities can vary depending on the organization’s specific needs and goals. On any given day, a business analyst may engage in a variety of tasks, including: 

  • Researching business processes and systems. 
  • Collecting and analyzing data to discover patterns, identify resource waste, and increase operational efficiency. 
  • Using information from internal and external stakeholders to overcome obstacles and devise innovative solutions. 
  • Providing recommendations about enhancing operational effectiveness, reducing expenses, and troubleshooting problems.
  • Developing change management plans to help employees implement new procedures.
  • Visualizing workflows and processes using diagrams, reports, and models. 
  • Presenting fact-based insights and suggested changes to company leaders. 
  • Serving as a liaison between various stakeholders and employees.

Where Do Business Analysts Work?

Business analysts aren’t limited to working in a specific industry. Businesses in nearly every sector rely on data to make informed decisions and can benefit from hiring a business analyst. Some of the most common areas for business analysts include: 

  • Healthcare 
  • Information technology (IT) 
  • Financial Institutions
  • Retail 
  • Government Agencies 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Consulting Firms


How Do I Become a Business Analyst?

The journey to becoming a business analyst can vary, but most secure their roles through a combination of formal education, real-world experience, and professional certifications. 

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A career as a business analyst usually requires a business analyst degree or bachelor’s degree in a related field. Earning a degree in business management will equip you with essential knowledge and skills in organizational behavior, change management, finance, accounting, operations, supply chain management, marketing, and business communication. You may also be able to enter the business analyst career with a bachelor’s degree in data analytics, finance, or accounting

Step 2: Gain Experience 

While a college education can establish solid foundational knowledge, you’ll want to spend some time working in a business environment and gaining practical experience to prepare for a business analyst career. Being involved in daily operations will allow you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios and better understand how businesses work. 

Step 3: Earn a Master’s Degree

Individuals with graduate degrees often qualify for advanced positions and higher salaries. A master’s degree in business administration will help you gain proficiency in operations management, leadership, communication, and business intelligence. A master’s degree in data analytics can help you expand your understanding of data management, data mining, data science, and advanced data analysis.

Step 4: Acquire the Relevant Certifications  

Professional certifications can demonstrate your expertise to prospective employers and allow you to qualify for higher-paying positions. Although not always required, having one or more of the following certifications can help your résumé stand out from the competition: 

  • Academic Business Analysis Certificate (ABAC)
  • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) 
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
  • Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
  • Google Analytics Certification 
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications 
  • Oracle Database SQL Certification
  • Microsoft’s Azure Database Administrator Certificate

Best Degrees for a Business Analyst Officer


Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 19 months
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 40 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé this program will teach you include: 

  • Business communication
  • Product development
  • Decision making models
  • Project management strategies
  • Budgeting for business

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.


Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish similar programs within 24 months
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Spreadsheets
  • Financial Analysis
  • Problem Solving

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.


Data Analytics – M.S.

Lead businesses with strong analysis skills:...

Lead businesses with strong analysis skills:

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish within 20 months.
  • Tuition: $4,055 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Data Analytics Lifecycle 
  • Data Science and Advanced Analytics Applications
  • Data Mining Techniques
  • Machine Learning 
  • Data Management

Master data mining, visualization, and SQL—and lead analytics at the business of your choice.


Supply Chain and Operations Management - B.S.

This online supply chain and operations management program will prepare...

This online supply chain and operations management program will prepare you for real-world experiences in business.

  • Time: 61% of graduates finish similar programs within 19 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Detail Oriented
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations:

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management,...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Leadership strategies
  • Talent management
  • Communication
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Financial statements

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.


Data Analytics – B.S.

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:...

Lean into data, and walk away with a cutting-edge online degree:

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,735 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 39 total courses in this program.

Certifications in this program at no additional cost include:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • CompTIA Data+
  • CompTIA Project+
  • Udacity Nanodegree—a unique, highly recognized credential designed to prepare you for a career in data science
  • MSI Change Management (Optional Certification)
  • Certiprof Design Thinking Professional Certificate (Optional Certification)

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Data management
  • Data wrangling
  • Statistical analysis
  • Visualization
  • Leadership and management 
  • Model deployment & storytelling

How Much Does a Business Analyst Make?


On average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business analysts make $95,290 a year. Business analysts typically earn higher wages than the average salary for all occupations in the United States. Annual salaries can range from less than $55,590 to more than $167,650. Business analyst salaries vary across industries, with annual wages influenced by experience, education, and geographic location. Median yearly salaries for the top business analyst industries include: 

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: $101,900

  • Management of companies and enterprises: $96,810

  • Finance and insurance: $93,650

  • Government: $85,280

What Is the Job Outlook for a Business Analyst Officer?


To stay competitive, many companies are harnessing new technologies and placing a greater emphasis on data analysis. These businesses need skilled analysts who can leverage quantitative information to streamline operations and maximize profitability. The BLS estimates that the employment of management analysts, including business analysts, will grow by 10% from 2022 to 2032. This growth rate is higher than the average projected growth rate of all occupations during this period. 


What Skills Does a Business Analyst Need? 

Positioned at the intersection of strategic decision-making and process optimization, business analysis aligns organizational objectives with innovative solutions. Thriving in a dynamic, fast-paced business environment necessitates a spectrum of technical and nontechnical skills. Among the capabilities required are: 

Technical Skills 

Business analysis requires technical proficiency in the following areas: 

  • Structured Query Language (SQL). This programming language allows business analysts to manage and manipulate data to derive valuable insights. 
  • Business intelligence tools. Business analysts create visual representations, dashboards, and reports to present evidence-backed conclusions to stakeholders. 
  • Data analysis and management. Using data from enterprise resource planning systems, customer relationship management systems, internal databases, web analytics, and financial reports, analysts help companies make informed decisions about business strategies.
  • Business fundamentals. Analysts need a holistic understanding of cost-benefit analysis, business strategy, operations, organizational culture, and market analysis. They should know how companies in their industry function and how regulatory and compliance issues influence business decisions. 
  • Stakeholder analysis. To succeed, business analysts must determine how to involve and communicate with stakeholder groups effectively. 

Soft Skills


  • Communication. Business analysts frequently work in partnership with executives and senior managers, IT teams, vendors and suppliers, human resources teams, and finance departments. Skills in verbal and written communication, active listening, and conflict resolution allow business analysts to collaborate with others to achieve their objectives. 
  • Negotiation. Managing conflicting needs and resource limitations is a pivotal aspect of a business analyst’s job. They negotiate project expectations, contract terms, cost reduction strategies, and other crucial matters with stakeholders. 
  • Leadership. Leadership skills enable analysts to facilitate decision-making, influence stakeholders, and execute company initiatives. 
  • Adaptability. Market trends, customer expectations, available technologies, regulatory requirements, and stakeholder needs are constantly evolving. Analysts must be flexible and willing to adapt their plans as needed. 
  • Critical thinking. Business analysts evaluate complicated data to tackle complex problems. 
  • Project management. Effective project management involves skillfully structuring and organizing tasks, prioritizing needs, allocating resources, and budgeting time. 




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Interested in Becoming a Business Analyst?

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