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Business AnalystBusiness Analyst: Job Description, Salary, and More

March 1, 2019

This is your comprehensive guide to business analyst jobs. Included you’ll find things such as job descriptions and business analyst salary information.

If you’re looking for a new job or career path in the world of business, you’re likely to come across many analyst positions. Unfortunately, business analyst job postings can be vague and ambiguous, making it difficult for potential applicants to understand the various requirements and qualifications needed to apply for the job. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to create this guide to business analyst positions.

What is a Business Analyst?

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According to Villanova University, business analysts serve as the “vital link between a firm’s information technology capabilities and its business objectives.” The role is very technology-oriented, as the role pretty much involves making sure that a company’s technological processes align with its business needs. Business Analyst Training Solutions says that the job involves:

  • Understanding business change needs
  •  Capturing, analyzing, and documenting business requirements
  • Assessing the business impact of changes
  • Supporting communication with stakeholders

Business analysts are often an integral part of a company’s success and can help determine whether a company will profit. This goes for both small and large companies. Although they tend to work behind the scenes, it’s easy to argue that business analysts are just as essential to a company than any other  position within the organization. Villanova University also indicates that analysts typically help:

  • Assist with the business case
  • Eliciting requirements
  •  Planning and monitoring a project
  •  Keeping requirements organized throughout a project
  • Simplifying requirements and delegating to other employees
  • Analysis of business requirements and streamlining the results

One key thing to highlight is the fact that although “business analyst” is a broad term, much of the job focuses around software and relevant software projects. That’s because when a business implements change or seeks to do so, their software processes are going to have to improve as a result. This is especially true as AI and other advanced technology work their way into business strategies.

Similarly, it’s also essential to note that the job description of the role and the day-to-day responsibilities can vary significantly from one company to the other. For instance, one organization may seek to align their business team to the solution, while another organization is in search of technical details that they can implement. Prospective analysts should pay careful attention to job descriptions.

Job Outlook and Salary

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The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information about the industry lookout, including business analysts’ salary. A business analyst salary is roughly $82,000 per year, which equates to about $40 per hour. Considering that the last Census indicated the median wage in the United States wasaround $56,000, a business analyst salary could lead to exceptional career earnings.

The Bureau also provides information about the outlook of the business analyst industry. In 2016, there were approximately 806,000 business analyst jobs in the United States. Between 2016 and 2026, experts expect analyst jobs to grow at a rate of around 14 percent, which is faster than the US average.

Additionally, there will be a turnover of approximately 115,000 between 2016 and 2026.

One of the primary reasons for the expected growth is the fact that businesses will begin to rely more and more on consulting services. This is because experts expect firms to become more cutthroat than ever before, which means organizations are going to find a way to maximize their resources and use them more efficiently. This is one of the things at which a quality business analyst will excel.

Furthermore, cybersecurity will continue to grow more and more critical. Some experts estimate that by 2021, cybercrime will cost companies approximately $6 trillion annually. Companies both small and  large will rely on analysts to identify vulnerabilities, figure out ways best to solve the problem, and how to communicate the information to their shareholders.

Because of how competitive this industry is expected to become, many also believe that business analyst salaries will increase. As companies continue to realize the importance of business analysts, they will become more competitive with one another to secure premium talent. As a result, competition between analysts will increase, as too will the median salary approximation.

Business Analysts Roles are Already Growing

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Within the past few years, it’s evident that the business analyst position is expanding and becoming more critical than ever. There are a couple of essential factors indicative of this. First and foremost is the fact that business analysts have begun working on more than one system. In the past, organizations typically only build and maintained one system for their business.

Now, systems have expanded so that they can meet any business need. This often involves the use of multiple software systems and programming systems. Analysts are no longer required to know how to operate one system. Instead, they must now recognize the ins-and-outs of various methods and the bestway to get these systems to “talk” to one another.

Similarly, today’s business analysts must have strong time-management skills. They could be involved with the completion of one project while simultaneously engaged with the pre-planning of another. Because technology has grown to become such a prominent part of today’s business strategies, more and more projects require an analyst’s input.

However, business analysts are not just the people behind the scenes that help technology run efficiently. Now more than ever, business analysts are responsible for evaluating the business process as well. Many companies expect analysts to figure out what business processes and causing the need for updated software requirements and how they can modify business processes after installing changes. To do so, analysts must connect with others in the company. Again, an analyst role is no longer one that requires employees to sit behind a desk all day while programming code and working through software code. Analysts today are an integral part of a company’s success, which means they must understand the organization, it’s inner-workings, and its’ employees.

Furthermore, analysts must understand that the changes the recommend and implement will have a wide-sweeping impact on the company. For example, if a business analyst were to change a company’s sales system, it could end up changing things such as the company’s marketing strategy, accounting processes, and customer service department.

Analysts today must understand that their job affects stakeholders from various departments. They must keep this in mind when crafting a solution. Analysts today are required to consider many more variables than analysts of the past. They also must have better communication skills. Analysts should be strong leaders who aren’t afraid to prioritize and make tough decisions.

How to Become a Business Analyst

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If you love technology, solving problems, talking to people, and making a difference, a business analyst career could be right for you. If you’re interested in becoming a business analyst, you should take the time to receive the proper education and training before applying for jobs. Because the industry is expected to grow in the coming years, investing in training now could pay long-term dividends.

Most critical is likely the fact that you should have some formal education. Most companies prefer to see that you have, at least, an Associate degree. The more schooling you have, the more your salary will likely increase. However, formal education is not the only way to set yourself apart from competitors. An analyst’s salary can increase by around $20,000 per year with each degree they have.

For instance, there are numerous training programs in which you could participate. Consider choosing the Entry-Level Certificate in Business Analysis from the International Institute of Business Analysis and the Certified Business Analysis Professional certification. The International Institute of Business Analysis offers both.

Because business analyst positions are often broad in scope, don’t feel as though you have only had a limited skill set that you cannot put to good use. The odds are that by browsing various websites, you can find a position that best suits your skill set. For instance, if you have extensive knowledge of one software background, you could join a team that requires your experience.

Business Analyst Reviews

When browsing online, it appears that employee business analyst reviews were all very favorable. Glassdoor provides a breakdown of business analyst reviews for more than 6,000 companies. Most of the reports that we saw were above-average, ranging anywhere from 3.3-stars to 4.9-stars. This is not only indicative of the companies but the position as well.

Additionally, if you are a young student looking to determine if a career as a business analyst is right for you, you may want to look into something like the Rotational Program offered by Boeing. Not only does this program allow you to gain experience as an analyst, but it also affords you the opportunity to compare those experiences against other business experiences.

This can allow you to hone in on your career in business and determine which career path is best. Also, opportunities such as the Rotational Program enable students to make connections in various industries. Even if a student does not end up working for Boeing, they relationships built during their time in theprogram could prove to be invaluable in the long run.

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