Analyst, Business Management
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A business analyst is someone who analyzes an organization (real or hypothetical) and designs its processes and systems, assessing the business model and its integration with technology.
The International Institute of Business Analysis describes the role as "a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals."
The role of a business analyst can also be defined as a bridge between the business problems and the technology solutions. Here business problems can be anything about business systems, for example the model, process, or method. The technology solutions can be the use of technology architecture, tools, or software application. So Business Analysts are required to analyze, transform and ultimately resolve the business problems with the help of technology.
- Determines operational objectives by studying business functions; gathering information; evaluating output requirements and formats;
- Designs new computer programs by analyzing requirements; constructing workflow charts and diagrams; studying system capabilities; writing specifications;
- Improves systems by studying current practices; designing modifications;
- Recommends controls by identifying problems; writing improved procedures;
- Defines project requirements by identifying project milestones, phases, and elements; forming project team; establishing project budget;
- Monitors project progress by tracking activity; resolving problems; publishing progress reports; recommending actions;
- Maintains system protocols by writing and updating procedures;
- Provides references for users by writing and maintaining user documentation; providing help desk support; training users;
- Maintains user confidence and protects operations by keeping information confidential;
- Prepares technical reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends;
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; participating in professional societies;
- Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
Key skills for business analyst :
- Written and verbal communication, including technical writing skills.
- Understanding of systems engineering concepts.
- The ability to conduct cost/benefit analysis.
- Business case development.
- Modeling techniques and methods.
Average salary (2013):
The United Kingdom: £37,017 per year
The United States of America: $76,000 per year
Australia: AU$78,614 per year
Qualifications and training required:
Most business analyst positions require candidates to have a bachelor's degree in business administration or related degree for entry-level positions. A typical bachelor's degree program in business administration includes coursework in communication, accounting, business, law and other specialized classes. Many schools offer various specialization options, such as accounting, management or marketing that can help prepare future business analysts for a career in their chosen field.
Graduates can look for entry-level positions in business management, human resources, information technology or related fields to gain the work experience necessary for a business analyst position. Once the experience is attained, candidates can look for entry-level positions as a business analyst. They'll usually work under the direction of a senior analyst or with a team of consultants until they've gained enough experience to work independently.
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