This series explores the wide range of marketing career paths available to help you decide your best fit. Next, let’s explore the role and importance of a business analyst and the future career path this could lead to.
What is a business analyst?
A business (or data) analyst is an agent of change, responsible for reviewing and interpreting data sets to understand critical insights into a business’s customers. They then use this data to help colleagues make essential business decisions by turning numbers into actionable insights. This role is critical within an industry, highly sought-after and can help make a massive difference within the organisation in terms of success and growth. Without having this knowledge and skill set, companies will be operating blind.
What are the primary responsibilities of a business analyst?
A business analyst’s primary responsibilities are to compile, manage, interpret and present data and insights to team members to help them make decisions around the business. This includes;
- Building solid relationships with multiple stakeholders around the business
- Planning business analysis using trend tools
- Conducting gap analysis
- Setting up data models
- Using data visualisation tools to report back on findings
- Using data to tell stories
- Creating action plans based on data
- Optimising business and marketing processes
- Suggesting change plans to improve the success of the organisation
What skills do I require to be successful?
A business analyst role is highly analytical and requires heavy number crunching and understanding data sets. Alongside the technical skills (which can be learned), some soft, core skills make a successful analyst, including;
- Being able to communicate effectively with different stakeholders at all levels
- Organisational skills and switching between tasks
- Being detail-oriented to ensure you are sharing accurate information
- Strategic thinking means you can understand the broader business objectives and the impact of your contribution
- An eagerness to learn as technology moves on so quickly
- Curiosity and having the mind to question data sets as they come in will add value to your work.
This type of role is perfect for individuals who enjoy working with technology and tools to translate data into stories with impact.
What career opportunities are available to me?
Business analysts are a sought-after skill in today’s business environment, and the demand is high, which provides good job prospects for anyone looking for a new role in this arena. But, again, there are ample options to join larger or smaller companies depending on personal preference or go into more of an agency role working across different clients to gain experience.
Where could this role lead in the future?
Individuals holding a data analyst qualification and progressing within their career can enter several different roles, including but not limited to; business performance analyst, marketing analyst, data scientist and data assurance lead. Today data plays a huge role in business, and it is still growing, so we’re excited to see how this career path evolves – significant changes are coming even in the next 5 – 10 years, so it’s an exciting option for someone who loves numbers!
How do I become a Business Analyst?
Both school levers and graduates can enter a career in data – it isn’t essential to have a degree to succeed in this area. As a school leaver, you could enrol in an apprenticeship course to learn on the job while earning a qualification. Graduates entering data analyst roles typically study statistics, economics, or data science. Explore our Level 4 Business Analyst apprenticeship programme for more information.