How to Become a Business Analyst – A Complete Guide

The global population has reached an all-time high in data generation. Everywhere we go, in every task we do, we generate data. Businesses too heavily rely on such data and need qualified professionals to process, organize and analyze the data to grow their business. It has become an essential requirement for businesses. That’s why those who like data & business decision-making want to become a Business Analyst.

In a time like this, Individuals who work in analytics are responsible for taking such unstructured information/data generated online and processing it into a format comprehensible to the human brains of the business. The job of a Business Analyst is therefore a technical one.

How to Become A Business Analyst

Following is a guide to help you achieve your dream:

Research of the Job Profile

The first and foremost step before beginning your career as a business analyst is to read and research the field. It is essential to find out the opportunities the field offers, the difficulties and challenges it poses, and the prerequisites that need to be fulfilled before taking on this course of a career. Only after conducting thorough research about the field, can one understand and learn about the actual job profile of a business analyst and prepare themselves in accordance with it. Following are some important aspects to conduct research upon before deciding o enter the field:

  1. Salary of Business Analyst
  2. Job/Career Outlook
  3. Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
  4. Skills/Qualifications
  5. Working hours

Talking to Professionals

After conducting thorough research on the job profile, we suggest you speak to some professionals who are currently working in the field. You can clarify your doubts and seek internal information.  It will give you an insight into the actual functioning of the field and the real-time challenges that come along with it. The on-ground situation of any career opportunities or job profile can only be completely understood after speaking to someone who engages in the work every day and therefore we highly recommend speaking to a professional business analyst before jumping into the field. This will help you be better prepared.

Self-Study and Preparation

As an individual aspiring to become a business analyst, you should begin practicing/sharpening certain skills on your own. You can build a self-study regime to work on these skills. Following are some of the business analyst skills that you should try to work on:

  1. Business acumen – Possessing real knowledge and understanding of the subjects such as finance, accounting, business principles, and data analysis will help build your business acumen. It will help you understand what operational issues exist and how to best address them.
  2. Communication – A business analyst has the responsibility of communicating with many individuals and therefore has to be precise and good with communication.
  3. Industry study – It is important to jot down and study the varied patterns of functioning of the industry as it gives you an edge whilst preparing to be a business analyst.
  4. Technical skills – certain technical skills such as data analysis, learning about business analysis methodologies, etc. can only be acquired by sitting down and studying them in an organized manner.

Business Analyst Certification/Degree

Formal training and education are always beneficial and increase your rate of being hired as well. There are various courses that you can complete in order to earn some basic qualifications in the field and give your career a kick start to become a business analyst with no experience.

  1. Online Certifications and Diplomas – they are a good way to begin as they are readily available and easily accessible from the convenience of your home.
  2. Formal Degree – A bachelor’s or Master’s degree is definitely an option to consider are many employers prefer individuals qualified with a formal bachelor’s or master’s degree. Therefore, pursuing a degree in quantitative fields like economics, computer science, data science, information management, etc. can not only prepare you well but also give you an advantage for the job of a business analyst. You can also look for an online MBA Program if you are a working professional

Internships

The next obvious and important step is getting some on-the-ground, hands-on, real-life experience with the job. Internships are the best way to explore, learn, apply and test yourself in a new job. They allow you to experiment and learn the trade better. Internships provide great exposure in any field. Thus, the natural step for you after the above would be to find and pursue an internship under a business analyst or a firm pursuing such work in the relevant field.

Networking

Finally, the essential step after conducting research, undergoing training, acquiring skills, and gaining exposure and experience through internships, is networking. It is very important for a business analyst to build a network of her own. This will bring forth various opportunities for work and will truly help you grow in the field as a business analyst. Attending various conferences and seminars, signing up for collaborative projects, and engaging in such events and activities are some examples of networking that you can practice.

If you are someone with a penchant for business analysis then inculcating such practices in your everyday life will greatly help you become a Business Analyst and a successful one at that!

Editor

Editorial Team of Mera Xaam.

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