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Business Analyst

What does a Business Analyst do?

Business Analyst roles tend to involve helping businesses to manage, change and plan for the future in line with their goals. This could be for one specific project or as a permanent feature of an organisation. An excellent understanding of the way an organisation works and the sector it operates in is key to help the business to develop its functions, services and products to meet goals with internal and external stakeholders.

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Types of business analyst roles

There are three types of business analyst:

  • Process analysis business analyst - focuses on internal processes
  • Product development business analyst - focuses on developing new products
  • Project management business analyst - focuses on managing one of the above processes

Each type of business analyst brings unique value to an organisation. 

Process analysis business analyst

This role is all about internal procedures. It includes collecting information, outlining steps the company uses to achieve their business goals, and making suggestions on how to improve current functions. You will need to collect data from stakeholders in the workflow and then propose changes.

Product development business analyst

These analysts often work in digital companies. They work with stakeholders from the organisation to outline functional and nonfunctional requirements. Functional requirements involves checking if a new product performs certain processes, e.g. the website needs to be accessible. Non functional requirements for new products are measurable, e.g. the website needs to get at least 10,000 visitors per month.

Project management business analyst

People in this role focus on identifying the end user and putting steps in place to fulfil the user needs. These analysts need to have excellent communication skills and understand all points of view, ensuring they can convince each stakeholder to align on priorities. These types of analysts often become leaders in the organisation.

What skills does a Business Analyst need?

  • The ability to motivate others and lead change
  • An interest in business development
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to present to a range of stakeholders and colleagues
  • The ability to work under pressure on multiple projects within tight timeframes
  • The desire to create solutions and a positive attitude to change
  • Analytical skills and an evidence-based approach to working
  • An understanding of emerging technologies that are used to support businesses
  • Team working skills are need to achieve change and success
  • Research skills are needed when conducting fact finding tasks regarding business processes
  • Attention to detail – the ability to oversee staff making changes and reporting any issues.

What are the main responsibilties?

Business analysts are responsible for assessing business processes, determining requirements and delivering data-driven recommendations and reports to all stakeholders. They need to understand how data-driven changes to processes, services, products, software and hardware can improve efficiencies and add value to an organisation. These ideas need to be reasonably balanced with what is technologically feasible and financially and functionally reasonable. 

How to become a business analyst?

It’s not necessary to have a qualification to become a business analyst. However, if you would like to have more career options in the field it’s recommended to have some qualifications specific to the industry.

Recommended courses

It would be advantageous to gain some work experience during your studies. At The University of Law we can help you to find various business work experience opportunities, including work placements, summer internships and graduate roles.

How much do business analysts earn a year?

Entry-level business analysts can earn between £21,000 and £31,000 a year. Graduate schemes in larger companies offer a higher starting salary of between £25,000 and £30,000. With experience the salary can rise up to £65,000. Experienced and high-level consulting jobs can lead to £80,000 and more.

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