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Business Analysis (BA) Career Path

More organizations are adopting data-driven and technology-focused approaches to business and hence the need for analytics expertise continues to grow. As a result, career opportunities in analytics are around every corner. Due to this identifying analytics talent has become a priority for companies in nearly every industry, from healthcare, finance, and telecommunications to retail, energy, and sports.

In this blog, we will be talking about different career paths and option in the Business Analytics field. Furthermore, we will be discussing the qualifications required for being a business analyst and what are the primary roles a Business Analyst handles at a firm

In this blog, we will be discussing

  1. Who are Business Analyst
  2. Qualifications required for BA role
  3. Career options in BA role
  4. Career growth in BA role
  5. Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
  6. Expected Salary Packages in BA

Who are Business Analyst

Business analysts, also known as management analysts, work for all kinds of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Certainly, job functions can vary depending on the position, the work of business analysts involves studying business processes and operating procedures in search of ways to improve an organization’s operational efficiency and achieve better performance. Simply put, a Business Analyst is someone who works with people within an organization to understand their business problems and needs and then to interpret, translate and document those business needs in terms of specific business requirements for solution providers to implement.

Qualifications required to become a Business Analyst

Most entry-level business analyst positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Therefore beginning Business Analysts need to have either a strong business background or extensive IT knowledge. Likewise, you can start to work as a business analyst with job responsibilities that include collecting, analyzing, communicating and documenting requirements, user-testing and so on. Entry-level jobs may include industry/domain expert, developer, and/or quality assurance.

With sufficient experience and good performance, a young professional can move into a junior business analyst position. In contrast, some choose instead to return to school to get master’s degrees before beginning work as business analysts in large organizations or consultancies.

Skills required to be a Business Analyst

Professional business analysts play a critical role in a company’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Hence, essential skill sets range from communication and interpersonal skills to problem-solving and critical thinking. Let us discuss each in a bit more detail

Communication Skills

First of all, Business analysts spend a significant amount of time interacting with clients, users, management, and developers. Therefore, being an effective communicator is key. You will be expected to facilitate work meetings, ask the right questions, and actively listen to your colleagues to take in new information and build relationships.

Problem-Solving Skills

Every project you work on is, at its core, is around developing a solution to a problem. Business analysts work to build a shared understanding of problems, outline the parameters of the project, and determine potential solutions. Hence, problem-solving skill is a must-have for this job position.

Negotiation Skills

A business analyst is an intermediary between a variety of people with various types of personalities: clients, developers, users, management, and IT. Therefore, you have to be able to achieve a profitable outcome for your company while finding a solution for the client that makes them happy. This balancing act demands the ability to influence a mutual solution and maintaining professional relationships.

Critical Thinking Skills

Business analysts must assess multiple choices before leading the team toward a solution. Effectively doing so requires a critical review of data, documentation, user input surveys, and workflow. They ask probing questions until every issue is evaluated in its entirety to determine the best conflict resolution. Therefore, critical thinking skill is a must have pre-requisite for this job position.

Career options in BA role

A career path of a business analyst usually begins with working at an entry level, and gradually with experience and with acquiring a better understanding of how businesses function, growing up the ladder.

Also, Business Analysts enjoy a seamless transition to different roles according to one’s interest because the profession consists of a set of skills which are highly specialized and can be applied to any industry and to any subject matter area successfully. As a result, this allows for the Business Analyst to move between industry, company and subject matter area with ease which becomes their career progression and a focus of professional development.

Other roles that one can take up after gaining experience as a Business Analyst can be

  1. Operations Manager
  2. Product Owner
  3. Management Consultant
  4. Project Manager
  5. Subject Matter Expert
  6. Business Architect
  7. Program Manager

Career growth in BA role

Once you have several years of experience in the industry, you will finally reach a pivotal turning point where you can choose the next step in your business analyst career. After three to five years, you can be positioned to move up into roles such as IT business analyst, senior/lead business analyst or product manager.

But broadly beyond all the fancy names given to designations, we can consider four levels of professional analytics roles:

Level 1: The Business Analyst

  • Analyzes information for patterns and trends
  • Applies analytics to solve business problems
  • Identifies processes and business areas in need of improvement

Level 2: The Data Scientist

  • Builds analytics models and algorithms
  • Implements technical solutions to solve business problems
  • Extracts meaning from and interprets data

Level 3: The Analytics Decision Maker

  • Leverages data to influence decision-making, strategy, and operations
  • Explores and integrates the use of data to gain competitive advantages
  • Uses analytics to drive growth and create better organizational outcomes

Level 4: The Analytics Leader

  • Leads advanced analytics projects
  • Aligns business and analytics within the organization
  • Oversees data management and data governance

Responsibilities of a Business Analyst

Modern Analyst identifies several characteristics that make up the role of a business analyst as follows:

  • Working with the business to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes
  • Involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems
  • Interacting with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs
  • The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements
  • Solving business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions
  • The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system
  • Interacting with system architects and developers to ensure the system is properly implemented
  • Test the system and create system documentation and user manuals

Expected Salary Packages of BA

The average salary of a business analyst in India is around 6.5 L.P.A. As one continues to gain the experience in this field, the salary gets more lucrative.

The more experience you have as a business analyst, the more likely you are to be assigned larger and/or more complex projects. After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you can advance to chief technology officer or work as a consultant. You can take the business analyst career path as far as you would like, progressing through management levels as far as your expertise, talents, and desires take you.


So with so many interesting, promising and rewarding options available for Business Analysts, they need to first get a firm hold about the basics of data analysis. You can also have a look at this post to know more about what are the different components in data science. It will help you to boost your business analyst career.

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