We are in the last quarter of another year which has seen the overwhelming importance of data in the field of business. Yes, the field of business is an extensively inclusive term and I have made the usage quite consciously. This is because there is hardly any field left that does not depend on data. Good data and bad data both contribute to the shaping of our economy, our personal being and the well being of the nation as a whole. And this data is what gives the position of a business analyst utmost priority in both a corporate setting and a bootstrapping startup.
Who is a business analyst?
Well, these are rather basic concepts but that does not mean that it cannot be complicated. I would argue that the true role of a business analyst in a business is misunderstood more often than not. Let us try and define it. A business analyst is a person who
- Has access to the company’s data – internal and outsourced, structured and unstructured.
- Possesses the business acumen to understand what inquiries have to be made of the data.
- Possesses the skills to process the data in a way that it yields insights.
- Is responsible for conveying the insights to the management in a meaningful way.
What a business analyst is not
A business analyst is not a business Intelligence professional, he or she is that and more. A business intelligence expert deals with the current state of affairs whereas a business analyst can also poke into the future of the business.
The tools they use
The various roles in the field of analytics are merging. The startup environment enables companies to make more of an employee. It is not a very good idea to limit your skill set to the tools you are using for a certain job. As mentioned earlier, business analytics professionals deal with a lot of data consequently they are required to use tools that can manage data. You can start with the advanced features of MS Excel. It will help you look at a considerably large data set with perspective and let you draw insights.
Tableau can be your best friend. It is basically a visualization tool. Data visualization is the representation of the data in a meaningful way. You work as a bridge between the operational units and the executive unit. Tableau does not only help you create sheets and tables it also allows the stakeholders to interact with the visualization.
Get a business analytics certification
Apart from the tool-specific skills you need some general skills that help you succeed as a business analyst. Getting a business analytics certification helps you get recognized as a BA professional and of course you develop the required skills in the process. It can be a great investment in terms of both money and time given the current state of international as well as national market.
With the growing dependency on data and the growing number of companies that take a data-centric approach towards their goals the position of a business analyst has grown in importance and will continue to do so. It is high time you considered your possibilities in this area of work.