What Does A Business Analyst Actually Do?

For the sake of the CHED course on business analytics, lets look a little more closely at business analysts.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) 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.”

With that in mind, the next question often asked is, “What does a business analyst do?”

This is a reasonable question, because the fact is a business analyst is not limited to doing one thing. He or she wears multiple hats. He or she will be skilled in communication, negotiation, listening, and will also need to be a good team leader. They have to be good at solving problems. This means he or she will have the skills necessary to look at data and other relevant information in order to determine where the losses are within a company. They also have to understand the technology used to capture, store and analyze the data used in their company. It takes a lot to be a good business analyst.

This is where things like deep thinking and curiosity really separate good analysts from great analysts. Of the many  essential skills a business analyst will utilize here are my top 3:

(1) – Know the data. They will compare the past facts and figures to the current numbers, this will give the analyst the information to deduce or predict failure within the company.

(2) – Know the business – A business analyst is always an objective listener. They will determine the needs that management want by speaking to shareholders. This requires the analyst to ask questions, to find out what is needed, which will more than likely lead to new discoveries that may have been overlooked previously.

(3) – Know the players – Within a business there are usually different departments. A Business analyst will seek to associate and involve them-self with the various departments. This will help them identify conflicts within the various departments, which can be used to bring departments together.

As you can see it takes a lot to be a business analyst. BAs are truly a rare breed of technology loving people, who can solve problems and work well with others.

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What Kind Of Analyst Do You Want To Be?

“The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

An ANALYST is a person who analyzes and is skilled in analysis. Business Analysts (BA) are required to find, analyze and report business data to support business optimization.

The job functions of an analyst very greatly from business to business and even within each business job functions can vary from analyst to analyst. However at their core, you will find that just about anyone with analyst in the title has several things in common.

Based on the book, the Accidental Analyst, four character traits that most analysts have are:

  • PASSION for helping people solve real problems
  • KNOWLEDGE of the business being analyzed
  • EXPOSURE to thinking analytically and problem solving tools
  • EXPERIENCE using data to solve problems

In addition most analysts have certain personality types:

  • reflective
  • intuitive
  • deep-thinkers
  • and able to make quick judgments

These findings show a consistency across analysts no matter if their focus in on reporting, analysis and/or research, if they are working with small structured data sets or volumes of unstructured big data or if they are actively working to optimize the business or just providing information.

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Per CHED some of the analytics jobs graduates of the program should be ready for:

  • Jr. Business Analyst
  • Operations Assistant
  • (Web) Site Analyst
  • Marketing Officer
  • Jr. Operations Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Human Resources Associate
  • Training Associate
  • Administrative Associate
  • Accounting Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Facilities Associate
  • Planning/Budget Analyst
  • Insurance Analyst
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Finance Analyst
  • Accounts Payable Analyst
  • Travel Analyst
  • Expense Analyst
  • General Accounting Analyst

This list is hardly exhaustive. On a typical day on jobstreet.com you will see hundreds of job titles that includes analyst in the title.

So I guess the next question to ask is, “What kind of analytics and analyst jobs interest you the most? ”

The Fundamental of Business Analytics – Business Analytics is the application of talent, technology and technique on business data for the purpose of extracting insights and discovering opportunities. DMAIPH specializes in empowering organizations, schools, and businesses with a mastery of the fundamentals of business analytics. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out how you can strengthen your business analytics fundamentals.