15 key skills and tools business analysts needs to succeed
In today’s world, business analytics is a rapidly expanding discipline. To work as a business analyst, you must have a specific set of talents. All the necessary abilities will allow you to expand your firm and become a more successful business analyst. This article will clearly explain all of the skills required for business analysts.
Who is a business analyst?
Business analysts (BAs) are responsible for bridging the gap between IT and the business by assessing processes, determining requirements, and delivering data-driven recommendations and reports to executives and stakeholders using data analytics.
What are business analysts’ roles and responsibilities?
A business analyst is an essential member of any business project. Business analyst responsibilities include gathering information, documenting processes, and confirming final documents with users as the primary interaction between users and the project manager.
BAs are responsible for developing new models to assist business decisions by collaborating with financial reporting, and IT teams to develop strategies to improve importing and reduce costs. One needs a deep awareness of regulatory and reporting standards, plenty of experience in forecasting, budgeting, and financial analysis, and an understanding of key performance metrics.
Does business analytics require coding?
While knowing how to programme is beneficial for a career in analytics, knowing how to write code isn’t needed. Statistical software such as SPSS, SAS, Sage, Mathematica, and Excel can be used to manage and analyse data in addition to the above languages.
What business analyst skills are important to succeed?
A business analyst must be able to do various tasks, so they must have a diverse skill set that includes both business analyst technical skills and non-technical skills.
Here, we’ll go through the top fifteen important skills required for business analysts that are a must-have.
- Knowledge of statistics and probability
One of the most basic business analyst technical skills is knowledge of statistics and probability. Since a business analyst’s job is to find solutions from their data, statistics and probability methodologies will aid them in connecting the dots and arriving at solutions. A business analyst can use statistics and probability to better understand data and make more accurate forecasts.
- Programming skills
Business analysts often deal with data and associated coding. As a result, knowing a computer language is required to work as a business analyst. Business analysts can use programming languages like R and Python to assist them in dealing with large amounts of data. Database management systems are something that business analysts should be able to work with. Languages like SQL can enable them to extract, generate, and edit data from databases in this way.
A business analyst must be familiar with the following programming languages and databases:
- MySQL and SQLite
- Data visualisation capabilities
Transforming raw data into actionable digital representations necessitates the use of data visualisation. Business analysts can use data visualisation abilities to help clients understand data and make strategic decisions that match their needs.
Scatter plots, time series sequences, polar area diagrams, timelines, line graphs, and other sorts of data visualisation techniques are utilised by business analysts. A business analyst must be able to use all of these tools to create beautiful and thorough representations.
- Familiarity with database and SQL
The knowledge of databases and SQL is the next ability that every business analyst should possess.
- Business analysts usually work with structured data. They need to be familiar with relational databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and NoSQL databases to store and process this large amount of data.
- Every business analyst should have prior SQL familiarity. This will aid them in gaining access to, retrieving, manipulating, and analysing data.
- They must write data definition and manipulation commands such as create, remove, select, update, and insert, among others.
- Communication skills
The most important of all the abilities required of business analysts is communication. The primary business analyst’s responsibility is to give business growth solutions. They should be able to share their ideas and opinions with their colleagues in such a way that their message is clearly and accurately communicated.
It’s just as vital to be understood as it is to comprehend. You should be able to convey requirements to stakeholders and clients clearly and succinctly.
- Negotiation skills
A business analyst needs negotiation skills to operate as a bridge between an organisation’s IT or tech and business teams. To implement any business solution or idea, the business team and the tech or IT team must agree on the requirements and proposed solutions. To accomplish so, a business analyst must be able to negotiate numerous terms and conditions with both sides.
A business analyst must possess the following qualities to communicate with members of various teams:
- Patience is essential to fully convey your idea and persuade your coworkers to follow your advice.
- Creating a cordial environment by interacting with your coworkers or clients in a kind manner assists you in making them listen to your point and convince them of the same.
- It is vital to be practical. People will only agree with you if you have realistic and attainable suggestions.
- It’s sometimes necessary to be bossy. You may have to take the lead if the team is working on your idea. In such instances, you may be required to divide and lead the team members’ duties.
- As you can see, negotiation skills are just as vital as any other talent when it comes to being a business analyst.
- Critical thinking
Since they must meet the client’s expectations with their data analysis, business analysts must be able to think critically. As a result, business analysts must examine data from many perspectives and prioritise business requirements.
Business analysts should focus on the data they acquire and their procedures to collect it because only flawless data can provide ideal results. As a result, business analysts should develop critical-thinking skills to meet varied business expectations.
The following are some critical thinking steps you can take:
- Write down the question and make sure you understand it completely
- Gather all of the necessary information
- Make use of what you’ve learnt from the information you’ve gathered
- Consider the ramifications
- Consider different perspectives
A business analyst’s job is to come up with solutions that will help the company expand. The results of a business analyst can have a significant impact on an organisation’s decision-making. Decisions based on a business analyst’s conclusions have the potential to outperform competition and catapult your company to new heights.
As a result, business analysts should consider twice before making any decisions. Business analysts can make great decisions if they have the ability to think about things from numerous perspectives and foresee alternative outcomes.
A business analyst’s decisions, directly and indirectly, impact the company’s operations. As a result, people should consider all factors before making a decision. They also make the final decision on whether or not a technological design meets the established business criteria.
Business analysts with problem-solving skills are more likely to succeed in their careers. A business analyst’s job is difficult at every turn, and they must be able to tackle these problems to succeed. Finding acceptable remedies requires careful consideration of the source and causality of an issue.
As a business analyst, you can use the following stages to address any business problem:
- Determine the issue
- Determine the problem’s root cause
- Consider the problem from different perspectives
- Look for a feasible answer
- Determine the solution’s effects
- Put the plan into action
- Always go through the results to see how you might improve the solution
- Knowledge of Microsoft Excel
Excel is a sophisticated analytics and reporting tool that has been around for a long time. To find company trends, business analysts use Excel to do several computations, create reports, and run budget assessments.
Excel is a spreadsheet that makes it simple to manage and analyse data. You can quickly compute the relevant parameters by simply adding the proper formula. It is a simple programme to learn and operate with and aids business analysts in the preparation of documents and even decision-making.
- Documentation and presentation
Since business analysts analyse data, write reports, and create documentation based on the data, documentation is required. Business analysts might use documentation in client and team meetings to deliver their points properly and effectively. Clients may be impressed by the mix of extensive documentation and presentation skills. Business analysts might benefit from knowing how to use simple programmes like MS PowerPoint and MS Excel to create effective and engaging documentation.
They should confidently convey their project results and conclusions to stakeholders and clients. Business analysts can easily communicate technical concepts to non-technical personnel with well-organised documentation. It is important to write down project lessons so that they can make better decisions in the future.
- Being able to run meetings with stakeholders
Connecting with the customers over an email has been considered to be a professional, and standard procedure. However, it is not always the most effective method. Therefore, discussing problems with the client face to face can be more beneficial and even expedite the resolution of problems. One of the most significant abilities required of business analysts is organising and leading meetings.
CEOs often have a greater understanding of a project or an issue simply because they are more open in their contact with the other party. However, if an audit trail is required, the business analyst can always schedule a meeting with the customer by written confirmation.
- Ability to understand delegated objectives
It is essential to understand the requirements of the management or technical staff on a holistic as well as individual level. When information is received, there are often several gaps that the analyst must understand and fill in. Therefore, one of the most vital business analyst skills is the capacity to understand delegated objectives.
- Good listening skills
One of the most important skills required for becoming a skilled business analyst is the ability to listen. A skilled business analyst pays attention to details and absorbs them. This aids the analyst in thoroughly analysing the data to establish the needs.
It’s also important that the listener knows not just what’s being said but also the context in which it’s being spoken, such as the goal, the major motive, and the circumstances in which it’s being uttered. A business analyst should pay attention to the speaker’s voice, tone, and body language to understand the message clearly.
- Expertise in business and data analytics tools
To flourish, every business analyst must employ specific BA tools. Collaboration, requirement elicitation, project management, use case analysis, workflow management, and prototype creation are all the important areas where business analysts employ these tools. Business analysts employ a variety of application software that collects quantitative and qualitative data from various business systems and stores it in a repository. Analysts will be able to study and analyse the data to make better decisions.
Given below is a data analytics tools list that every business analyst should have expertise in:
- Microsoft Power BI
- Google Data Studio
- Zoho Analytics
- Freshworks CRM
Get skilled in business analytics
To become a successful business analyst, you can pursue the following courses:
M.Sc. in Business Analytics
MSc in Business Analytics will provide students with the methodologies and data analytical tools necessary to comprehend and interact with complex data to improve business performance. This programme is aimed to assist students in gaining the necessary skills and qualifications to pursue a career in business analytics.
PGCP in Business Analytics
This Postgraduate Certificate in Business Analytics is for working professionals who want to build a name for themselves in the fast-growing field of business analytics. The curriculum will teach students how to give consumers accurate, data-driven responses and how to address organisational challenges and develop corporate strategies utilising data.
The bottom line
Organisations rely on business analysts to steer them on the correct path and advise them on best practices to follow. Machine learning, AI, and IoT have the potential to have a huge impact on businesses and generate data patterns. The future is bright, and now is the time to upskill and achieve your professional objectives. Online Manipal offers some of the best courses like MSc in Data Science, MSc in Business Analytics, etc. Check out the website now!
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.
Enroll with us
Interested to join our courses?
Share your details and we'll get back to you.
Become future-ready with our online M.Sc. in Business Analytics programKNOW MORE