How to Become a Business Analyst in BI?
Business analytics refers to the various tools, strategies, and practices used to evaluate organizational capabilities, determine where improvements are needed, and create long-term business plans. Professionals in this field rely on a range of datasets pertaining to different areas of their organization, including finance, sales and marketing, supply chain logistics, and human resources. Global business leaders recognize the important role that analytics play in organizational management, and careers in this field are projected to grow as a result. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that management analyst, financial analyst, and computer systems analyst jobs will increase by at least 12% between 2014 and 2024. However, experts also note a significant lack of qualified employees. The McKinsey Global Institute forecasts that, by 2018, the U.S. corporate sector will face a shortage of 1.5 million trained analysts and managers.
Several educational pathways are suitable for aspiring business analytics professionals. This article explores degrees, certification programs, and other educational options for a career in business analytics.
Abilities Needed To turn into a business investigator, you ought to have considered arithmetic, bookkeeping, money, registering and data innovation, and business the executives. Business investigators ought to likewise have solid using time productively and basic reasoning abilities. The following list represents some of the most important skills and competencies for budding business analysts to master before entering the workforce and competing for jobs.
Math and Technical Skills
Financial planning coordinates monetary funds, assets, and investments for setting long-term goals for businesses and individual households. Analysts study tax records, statements, and other financial data to learn about their organization’s history and set realistic short- and long-term financial goals.
Risk assessment involves determining potential risks based on certain situations and associated threats. Analysts study the magnitude and probability of loss to access risk. The process also includes developing strategies to help organizations mitigate and address risk in the future.
Statistical analysis ― or the use of data samples to predict outcomes for larger populations ― is critical to business analytics. Once statistical data has been collected and evaluated, analytics professionals create summaries (or models) that articulate what the data means and how it can be used to make organizational improvements.
Computer and IT Skills
Among the top skills for business analysts is visual modeling, which is a term for graphic representations of abstract concepts and ideas. Analytics professionals utilize visual modeling to illustrate the data trends they identify, as well as the relationships between data and organizational performance factors. Visual modeling requires up-to-date knowledge of current software tools and platforms.
Analytics professionals use many different tools, most of which are computer-based. Tools include programs that mine, organize, and analyze different types of data, including big data, a term for relatively large data sets that require specialized analysis. Other tools are used to perform functions like creating spreadsheets or generating visual models.
Business Management Skills
In business, the key to problem-solving is to first identify the root cause of the problem and then explore possible solutions in order to mitigate the issue. Analytics often plays a role in the way businesses pinpoint underlying causes behind problems and develop ways to effectively address them.
Elicitation and Facilitation
Elicitation is the process of using organizational needs and capabilities to develop concrete business plans, while facilitation refers to business plans based on feedback from consumers, shareholders, and vendors. Analytics requires a keen understanding of how elicitation and facilitation drive business improvements.
Sales and Marketing
Business analysts should have a strong understanding of sales and marketing. Different datasets are used to determine consumer needs and preferences, attach reasonable prices to goods and services, advertise products to certain segments of the population, and evaluate ways to improve these products in the future.
Time management is emphasized across all areas of business, including analytics. Employees are expected to allocate reasonable amounts of time to different tasks and find a pace that allows them to remain productive and diligent over the course of a workday.
Ability to Handle Change
In the corporate sector, work settings and expectations constantly change, and employees are expected to adapt quickly in order to fulfill the requirements of their job. For analytics professionals, these changes often include software updates and new data collection tools.
Critical thinking is required to identify the implications of different data trends and translate them into workable business strategies. The corporate sector can also be a high-pressure work environment, and analytics professionals are often required to perform critical assessments while working under deadlines.
Business Analytics Certifications
A certification in business analytics provides a pathway for professionals to enter the workforce without completing a formal college program. Many analytics employees earn certifications to bolster their educational credentials and remain competitive in the job market. Certification is linked to job security, higher salaries, and career advancement opportunities. In some cases, employers will pay for their personnel to become certified in areas pertaining to their current position.
A certification program in business analytics can typically be completed in a year or less. In most cases, candidates must study a required curriculum and then pass a comprehensive exam. Students may earn professional (or graduate) certificates through coursework at colleges and universities. Those who are not enrolled at a particular institution may pursue certification through professional organizations. Four leading certifications in business analytics are outlined below:
Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA):
The International Institute of Business Analysis offers this entry-level certification program, which is designed for current students and recent graduates. Candidates must complete at least 21 professional development hours prior to sitting for their comprehensive exam, which features questions based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide, which is considered an industry-standard publication.
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP):
Also offered through the IIBA, the CBAP is designed for analytics professionals with at least 7,500 hours of work experience over the previous decade. No formal coursework is required for the CBAP. Candidates must complete a 120-question exam based on content found in the BABOK Guide.
PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA):
This credential from the Project Management Institute is geared toward high school graduates and undergraduate degree recipients. At least 4,500 professional development and employment hours are required. The certification exam features 200 multiple-choice questions.
Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ):
Available through Google’s Analytics Academy, this certification demonstrates proficiency in different areas of Google analytics, which are used to evaluate how websites perform on internet searches. The certification is awarded to anyone that passes the Google Analytics IQ Exam, which is free for all candidates.
What Degree do I Need to Become a Business Analyst?
A bachelor’s degree in business analytics or a related field (such as business administration or database management) is widely considered the minimal educational level for jobs in business analytics. However, some roles, such as junior data analysts, are available to associate degree holders or certified professionals. Roles for associate-degree holders may be limited in terms of earnings, but top performers often advance to higher positions.
Some roles in analytics may be reserved for master’s degree recipients or students who have supplemented their bachelor’s degree with at least one certification. These include managerial roles, like director of analytics and IT manager. The table below lists average salaries for common positions at each degree level.
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