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Business Analytics

Data Analyst vs Business Analyst: What’s the difference?

Data analytics is all about analysing information to identify trends and insights that can then be used to make informed organisational decisions. Business analytics aims to evaluate numerous types of data to make realistic, data-driven business decisions and implement those decisions.

Before understanding business analytics vs data analytics better, let’s first understand the basic concepts. 

What is a business analyst?

Business Analysts (BAs) implement data analytics to join the gap between business and IT by establishing requirements, reviewing processes, and delivering data-driven suggestions and reports to executives and stakeholders.

BAs work with firm executives and users to discover data-driven modifications to processes, goods, services, software, and hardware that will save time and money. They must express these concepts while keeping in mind what is technologically, economically, and operationally feasible. Depending on your role, you might use data sets to improve products, technology, equipment, software, services, or processes.

What is a data analyst?

A data analyst collects, cleans, and assesses data sets in order to answer a question or solve a problem. They work in a variety of disciplines, including business, finance, criminal justice, science, medicine, and government.

Analytics brings together theory and practice to identify and share data-driven insights that assist managers, stakeholders, and other executives make better decisions in their businesses. Data analysts who have worked for a while consider their work in a broader context, both within their firm and in light of external factors.

Business analyst responsibilities and skills

To understand how to become a business analyst in India, we need to have business analyst and data analyst skills and responsibilities. 

  • Analysing and evaluating a company’s current business practices to identify possibilities for improvement.
  • Research and evaluate current company practices as well as new IT advances to make systems more modern.
  • Attending meetings and presenting ideas and conclusions.
  • Staff members are educated and coached.
  • Creating initiatives based on the company’s needs and requirements
  • Creating projects and keeping track of their development is a must.
  • User and stakeholder participation
  • Working with partners, clients, senior management, and technicians.

The skills of a business analyst include the following:

  • Understand Business Objectives. 
  • Critical and analytical thinking abilities. 
  • Interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Cost-benefit and negotiation.
  • Decision-making skills. 
  • Programming Languages. 
  • Dashboard and creation of dashboards. 

ALSO READ: 15 key skills and tools business analysts needs to succeed

Data analyst responsibilities and skills

  • Statistical techniques are used to analyse and report data.
  • Development and implementation of databases and data collection systems
  • Data management and retrieval from primary and secondary sources
  • Patterns or trends in huge data sets can be detected, analysed, and understood.
  • Cleaning and filtering of data
  • engaging with management in order to identify and prioritise business and information needs
  • Identifying and detailing new process improvement opportunities

Scope of business analyst in India

Business analysts have played a critical part in reshaping the corporate environment for the better. To keep up with technological changes and stimulate business growth, they deal with problem-solving activities and provide data-driven insights for businesses.

Business analysts are in high demand among organisations, small businesses, and enterprises. According to study findings, the job market for business analytics would rise at a CAGR of 14.3% by 2026. Companies are willing to pay analysts, particularly certified expert-level workers, larger remuneration.

Scope of data analyst in India

Due to the rapid growth of internet users in India, the data analyst scope in India has exploded in the last decade. According to the World Bank, internet penetration increased from 20% in 2018 to 41% in 2019, with over 900 million new users predicted by 2025.

Are business analysts and data analysts the same?

Both data analysts and business analysts contribute to their firms’ data-driven decision-making. Business analysts are more active in addressing business issues and recommending solutions, whereas data analysts work more directly with the data itself.

What is the distinction between business analytics and data analytics?

Differences between data analyst and business analyst are varied according to their respective roles, skills, responsibilities, and career paths. Let’s look at them now! 

Business analyst vs data analyst: Job role

A business analyst’s job is to assist in the facilitation of a solution when a company needs to solve a present or future problem.

Many tasks are included in business analysis, including:

  • Establishing a business case
  • Examining the needs of the company
  • Understanding the needs of the company
  • Management and development of projects
  • Validating your ideas
  • Making well-informed decisions with the help of stakeholders
  • Performing quality assurance tests
  • Examining work practises, connecting with coworkers, and staying current with technology

The majority of a data analyst’s time is spent researching data and developing reports that demonstrate insights. The experts present their results to their respective groups. Individuals work in a more autonomous manner than business analysts.

A data analyst might be doing the following on any given day:

  • Cleaning up data
  • Creating and updating reports for various departments
  • Creating reports for both internal and external clients
  • Let’s look at the distinctions between a business analyst and a data analyst in terms of abilities and prerequisites.

Business analyst vs. data analyst: required skills

Business analysts usually hold a bachelor’s degree in business-related fields such as accounting, finance, or economics.

Business analysts must meet the following requirements:

  • Expertise in data analysis
  • Expert analytic ability and a mathematical mindset
  • The capacity to research and identify important data
  • SAP expertise that has been demonstrated
  • Excel, Word, and PowerPoint skills are essential.
  • SQL knowledge
  • experience in project management
  • Communication abilities that are strong

On the other side, data analysts are more focused on numbers. These individuals typically have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, as well as experience in computer programming, modelling, and predictive analytics. A Master’s degree is advantageous.

Data analysts must have the following abilities:

  • Analytical capabilities, intellectual curiosity, and reporting accuracy are all strengths.
  • A thorough understanding of data mining techniques
  • Knowledge of cutting-edge technology, data frameworks, and machine learning
  • Experience with SQL/CQL, R, and Python
  • Agile development methodologies knowledge

Business Analyst vs Data Analyst: Responsibilities

Data analysts assist businesses by evaluating data and presenting actionable insights to business stakeholders. Data analysts can also give competitive analysis or uncover business or market trends using their expertise.

They collaborate with:

  • Departments of information technology
  • Teams in charge of data handling
  • Scientists that work with data

The following are some of the roles of data analysts:

  • Statistical techniques are used to extract information from data.
  • Database administration
  • Increasing the efficiency and quality of statistical analysis
  • Obtaining information from primary and secondary sources
  • Detecting, analysing, and comprehending patterns or trends in large data sets
  • Data filtering, as well as finding and repairing code errors
  • collaborating with management to identify and prioritise business requirements
  • Identifying opportunities for process improvement

Business Analyst vs Data Analyst: Career path

A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required for entry-level data analysts. For senior positions, hiring managers generally prefer individuals with a graduate or master’s degree in analytics.

While both data analysts and business analysts work with data, the main distinction is how they use it. Business analysts study and analyse data in order to make better business decisions. Data analysts, on the other hand, work with information from an organisation’s logistical databases.

How to choose between a data analyst and a business analyst career?

Many business analysts begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a closely related subject. However, once they have their degree — whether it came from a college programme or an online Bootcamp — the next step is to get a foot in the door at a company.

Data analyst vs. business analyst salary in India varies according to their respective career paths. 

Business analysts frequently begin their careers in entry-level positions like quality assurance engineering, IT support, business administration, or junior business analysts. Prospective BAs can acquire exposure to different parts of a business, understand the needs of an organisation, learn how business decisions are made, and discover how data can be utilised to assist a company increase efficiency by working in these types of professions.

Is it better to be a data analyst or a business analyst?

The career path to becoming a business analyst aligns with the difference between data analytics and business analytics. However, the question arises can a business analyst become a data analyst?

The answer would be a big “NO” as they aren’t identical to each other. 

  • Get an undergraduate degree in Business Administration

You’ll need to learn some computer programming in addition to your business bachelor’s degree. Different levels of technical ability are required for different business analyst professions, but the more developed your programming skills are, the better you will appear as a candidate. The IIBA’s Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) reference book is an excellent place to start learning about business analyst tasks and procedures.

  • Get work experience

You might start by volunteering for a small business or taking advantage of summer internship possibilities. Offer to work on the types of projects that business analysts work on if you are already employed by a company in another capacity.

Working as a business analyst requires a wide range of skills, so there are numerous transferable skills. Individuals can enter the area with experiences in a specialised business domain, such as workflow, billing, or customer relations, or with experiences in a broad industry, such as banking, telecommunications, or government. 

Once you’ve been hired as an entry-level business analyst, make sure to get as much experience as possible by working on a variety of projects; later, you’ll be able to specialise in the domain or industry you’re most interested in, and your experience will likely help you figure out what that industry is.

  • Obtain an Advanced Certificate or a master’s degree

Many colleges offer business analytics master’s degrees and graduate certificates, which often involve coursework in business data analytics, operations research, project management, database analytics, and predictive analytics. 

  • Get a foundational education

If you’re new to data analysis, you should start by studying the fundamentals. Gaining a thorough understanding of data analytics can help you decide if this is the right career for you while also providing you with marketable abilities.

A bachelor’s degree was once required for most entry-level data analyst jobs. While a bachelor’s degree is still required for many industries, this is beginning to change. Whereas a doctorate in maths, computer programming, or another related topic would help you build basic skills and boost your Portfolio, you can also learn what you need through professional certificate programmes, boot camps, or self-study courses.

  • Build your technical skills

Examine several job advertisements for occupations you want to apply for, and focus your studies on the programming languages or visualisation tools that are required.

In addition to these hard skills, hiring managers look for soft skills such as strong communication skills—you might be expected to communicate your findings to those who don’t have as much technical expertise as you do—problem-solving ability, and domain knowledge in the field you want to work in.

  • Work on projects with real data

Working with data in real-world contexts is the best approach to learning how to identify value in it. Look for degree programmes or classes that include real-world projects and data sets. You can also develop your own projects using a variety of freely available public data sets.

Investigate climate data from the National Centres for Environmental Information, dig deeper into the news with BuzzFeed data, or use NASA open data to find answers to emerging concerns on Earth and beyond. These are only a few instances of the information available. Choose a topic that interests you and get some data to practise with.

Final thoughts

We hope this post about what is the difference between business analytics and data analytics helpful in clarifying the distinctions between data analysts and business analysts. Because both occupations rely heavily on statistics, you must carefully assess your skill set and the subjective benefits and drawbacks of each job before deciding. However, because the two designations share similar characteristics, switching from one to the other at any time is not difficult.

Before hiring you as a data analyst, most employers would expect you to have prior experience working with data. You don’t have to wait to get hired to start gaining experience, fortunately. We are surrounded by data. 
Online Manipal offers comprehensive programmes that help develop and enhance the necessary skill sets. Choose from MSc in Business Analytics (MSc-BA) or PGCP in Business Analytics and other courses at Online Manipal and enrol in your desired course today!


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Business Analytics
  • online degree
  • online education in India
  • Online MSC Business Analytics

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