Many big organizations and even Govt. of India use data analysis to arrive at logical business and policy decisions. Companies using analytics are more likely to outperform the non-data-driven environment. If you have a passion for numbers, love to translate numbers into facts, have a knack for problem-solving, and have business acumen, then Business Analytics Career is just right for you. In this article, we will discuss why and how should you become a business analyst, a rising career option in India.
Who is a Business Analyst?
Business analyst analyzes business processes, services, customer behaviors, market trends, competitor information, software performance, or policies to increase the efficiency of a business and provide recommendations. For example, Business Analysts at a financial institution would be conducting surveys and controlled exercises to get an insight into user behavior, and preferred products such as loans, insurance, etc., and provide strategic decisions to create or improve products and services.
Business analysts could also be defined as someone who use their expertise to provide direction for future action while analyzing the glitches, roadblocks, or successes of the past.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
Business Analyst gathers and uses data in various ways to develop the most efficient solution or suggest improvements to existing systems and processes. They identify the business areas, which require improvement and work with all levels of management to present their findings and implement a solution. Broadly business analyst tasks and responsibilities can be summarized as:
- Identify organizations needs
- Use statistical methods and techniques to analyze data
- Compiling charts, graphs, etc. to visually represent the findings
- Gain business insights
- Provide strategic solutions
- Suggesting financial solutions to implement strategic suggestions.
- Planning, forecasting, and budgeting
Why is the Businesses Analytics Career on a Rise?
Due to the digitalization of businesses, an enormous amount of data is produced continuously, however, it is of no significance unless insights can be drawn from it. Companies need a business analyst to take this data and provide insights from them. These insights could be future business direction, analysis of past achievements or failures, customer preferences, or business plans.
The analysts use various scientific tools to collect and decipher data, which provides visualization and modeling. Analysts present these findings in simple language to the end user, company management, and policymakers. Companies are realizing the importance and advantages of business analysis and it is becoming a highly valued and rewarding profession.
The US bureau of labor statistics has predicted nearly 11% growth in Business Analytics career opportunities between 2021-2031 worldwide with the main focus on healthcare and information technology sectors.
Process of Business Analytics
Business analytics deal with a lot of data to find answers, identify trends, and draw insights. This process is quite complex comprising four main pillars of analysis. A combination of these must be chosen to meet the business objective and output data required. Each analysis type is discussed below for a clear understanding:
This analysis is the first step of the analytics process and is performed to determine business status based on past data. It verifies against the key performance indicators to analyze the state of the business. Key activities involve:
- Identifying business units that will effectively fall in line with the KPIs
- Identifying data important for the current state of business.
- Collecting and sorting data
- Analyzing to map the performance
- Presenting data in non-analytical formats for general understanding
- Highlighting general trends.
In short, the descriptive analysis provides insight into what has happened and what is currently going on in a business. The descriptive analysis could be most basic involving Google analytics tools, social media traffic, customer interaction, demand trends, or complex involving financial statement analysis.
A simple example of descriptive analysis is an e-commerce platform trending product tool based on customer behaviors. This analysis may be used by the business to increase revenue, improve product lines and retain customers.
The diagnostic analysis is a scientific method of analyzing descriptive data and delving deep to find out the cause of the outcome. This analysis focuses on the main question “why”. The key objectives of this analysis are:
- Find the root cause of the outcome using insights from descriptive data.
- Detects patterns of behaviors and the reasoning behind that
- Variables affecting business outcomes
Types of diagnostic analysis involve analyzing market demands, explaining customer behaviors, identifying technological issues, or defining company policies. An example of diagnostic analysis could be HR analyzing employee feedback surveys to improve company culture and policies.
This analysis is used to predict the direction of future inferring insights from historical data. The analysis is meant to answer the question “what will happen in the future”. The success of this analysis is dependent on the accuracy of the descriptive and diagnostic analysis carried out earlier. The key objectives of this analysis are:
- Provide a statistical model for future predictions
- Predicting requirements related to technology and manpower
- Risk evaluations
- Product, sales, and market conditions-related predictions.
- Cash flow predictions
The natural progression from the predictive analysis is to provide a prescriptive analysis. This is an expensive analysis to guide businesses regarding the course of action that must be taken for the desired outcome. This data-driven analysis tool is used to provide the:
- Strategic analysis –provide a strategy based on where the business needs to head.
- Cognitive analysis –using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze and prescribe.
A lot of algorithm-based analytical tools may be required for this analysis and the key objective for this is:
- Provide investment decisions
- Sales pipeline scores to identify the most probable
- Product developments and improvements
- Fraud detection
- Algorithm recommendations
Predictive and prescriptive analyses are more exhaustive and expensive, hence are employed mostly by big businesses. Business Analysts would be more in demand if they have expertise specialty in these analysis types. Business analysts use much software to retrieve and analyze data. The main software required are;
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – to gather and manage data provided by many companies like Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, etc.
- CRM- (Customer Relationship Management)- to manage customer data. Provided by Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, etc.
- ELT (Extract, load transform) – it’s a data integration platform. Provided by Integrate.io
- Project management tools.
Skills Needed for a Successful Business Analytics Career.
Business analysis is the key link between IT and management. To succeed in this profession besides technical skills many soft skills are also essential.
Key Soft Skills:
- Communication Skill:
Clear communication is extremely vital for this role, as business analysts are required to communicate with management, clients, developers, and users. Ambiguity in understanding and communication can be detrimental to the business. Also in the post-pandemic world due to virtual interaction in many situations, verbal communication has become equally important as written.
Technical knowledge may provide the tools for performing the task successfully, however, it is more than imperative to be able to communicate the findings and solutions to all levels of management, client, and other stakeholders.
- Problem-solving Skills
Analytical and problem-solving aptitude is a must for this job.
- Decision-making, Critical thinking, and negotiation skills
Predictive and prescriptive analysis requires decision-making, critical thinking, and strong negotiation skills to communicate and convince the management of the findings.
- Presentation skills
The analyst must have decent presentation skills and convincing power. They should not hesitate to communicate with senior management if the finding and solutions are beneficial for the business even though they may seem tough.
- Time Management
- Team building
A business analyst cannot work in silos and is required to be a key team player and may be required to even lead a team at some point.
- Basic understanding of Data analytical tools –SQL, Python, Oracle BD
- Analytical skill-data review, gap analysis, forecast
- Methodology skills- Six sigma, business process modeling
- Industry-related – healthcare, fiancé, etc.
Generic business knowledge is acceptable for an entry-level analyst but to command authority, one must continually update themselves with the specific business stream, competition, latest research, and developments.
- Data Insights
Although it is not mandatory for a business analyst to have coding skills, however for a sound understanding of useful data extraction alongside programmers and coders is important. It is highly recommended that business analysts gain a fair understanding of the business sector they are meant to represent and be updated with the latest market trends.
They are usually the main flag bearer of all changes or amendments. These changes could be as small as policy changes or big changes like cost cutting, reducing manpower, or changing the product line and services altogether. BA would need to streamline processes and liaisons between various departments.
A business analyst’s job is very critical. While they are responsible to identify growth factors, the essence of the business must not be lost.
Educational Qualifications Required to Begin a Business Analyst Career?
Unlike other professions like doctors and engineers, a clear study path to becoming a business analyst is not defined. Since the skills required for this profession are very versatile following study path could be summarized in three simple steps:
- Undergraduate degree in BBA / Finance / Accounting.
- Gain some work experience in data analytics through affiliations and internships
- Proceed for Masters in data management/Business analytics or Business management with a focus on data analytics.
Besides the degree, obtaining Competency Certification in Business Analysis (CCBA) and Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) Certificate can enhance job prospects tremendously. The International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA) is the main governing body providing these certificates.
There are eligibility and competency guidelines provided under five main areas of knowledge, planning, monitoring, data collection also known as elicitation, and life cycle management. For the aspiring Business Analysts entry-level certification (ECBA – Entry certificate in business analytics) are also available.
For the India region, various chapters of IIBA are located in
- Bangalore – Bangalore IIBA
- Chennai – Chennai IIBA
- Delhi NCR- New Delhi IIBA
- Hyderabad – Hyderabad IIBA
- Mumbai – Mumbai IIBA
Which can provide certifications to business analysts.
Progression Path in Business Analytics Career
Skills needed by business analysts are universal, however, processes differ according to the industry, products, services, or organizations they are applied. This makes the profession very interesting, as one could take the learning from one business type and apply it altogether in a different context on another business type.
Starting out, a junior or trainee analyst with 0-2 years of experience would be required to work under the guidance of senior analysts to extract or collate data as instructed. Focusing mainly on the descriptive analysis process. Between 2-5 years, a progression into senior analyst can happen depending on performance and skills.
The senior analyst’s main focus is diagnostic analysis. Progressing to be a lead analyst in the next 6-8 years is required to then focus on predictive and prescriptive analysis types.
The lead analyst will not only be responsible for making decisions based on the data presented by the analyst and reviewed by the senior analyst but also make recommendations for business choices. A further progression could also be to become a product manager and be responsible for a particular product line.
Common Titles in Business Analytics Career
Broadly known as business analysts, some other titles are also commonly used depending on the responsibilities and combination of business functions. So while looking for an opening it is advisable to also consider the following job titles:
- Business Process Analyst
Business process analysts gather and analyze data to recommend process improvements. They monitor, measure and provide feedback on the performance of business processes.
The average salary of a Business process analyst is 5.7 lakhs per annum
Qualifications & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, and accounting with 5 years of experience.
- System analyst / IT business analyst / Business system analyst
System analyst analyzes data related to software, hardware, and IT system influence on business or their client. System analysts usually work as consultants, supporting experts, or advisors.
The average salary of a System analyst is 7.4 lakhs per annum
Qualifications & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, engineering, or Information systems in business, etc., gain work experience, followed by a master’s in management, data science, etc., or certification through IIBA. The master’s degree however is optional but recommended since certified candidates have 30% higher salaries.
- Business Architect
Also known as Data architects are responsible for defining policies, and procedures by building data models for strategy purposes.
The average salary of the Business architect is 21 lakhs per annum
Qualifications & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in computer science.
- Project consultant/ Business Consultant
These consultants contribute through their technical, strategic, and operational expertise. Their role also requires them to coordinate project management teams, provide guidance to all stakeholders, identify project risks, and provide innovative solutions through their experience of the past.
The average salary of the Business architect is 12 lakhs per annum as a starting salary.
Qualifications & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in management/ economics/engineering /marketing followed by Master’s in Business management. MBA degrees are the most sort after for this role.
- Business Intelligence Analyst
Business intelligence Analysts identify trends and patterns in the data using analysis, visualization techniques, or business intelligence for the management teams to make decisions based on facts.
The average salary of a Business intelligence architect is around 5-7 lakhs per annum as a starting salary.
Qualifications & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in management/ economics/engineering /marketing followed by Master’s in Business management. Besides the degree, the business intelligence analyst also needs to have a work experience in the industry to be able to make valuable contributions.
Most often people get confused between business analyst and data analyst. Data analysts mainly focus on handling data. Business analysts on the other hand take the data gathered by data analysts and provide strategic solutions. They focus on the larger picture related to business operations, investments, product lines, and implications of certain actions.
This role demarcation may not be so obvious in some cases and both may be expected to perform each other’s functions or it may be positioned as one role to perform all duties such as gathering data, analyzing it, and inferring conclusions.
These are the best:
- Business Analytics Courses in India
- Business Analytics Courses in Bangalore
- Business Analytics Courses in Chennai
The Average Salary Earned by a Business Analyst in India.
Based on data from Glassdoor, the average salary range for junior business analysts can be between 5 lacks to 7 Lacks per annum. Additional bonuses or lower salary ranges could also be expected depending on individual company policy or business sector.
A senior business analyst may earn between 7 Lakhs and 20 Lakhs and the lead Business analyst range may be going up to 30 Lakhs. The progression of the lead analyst to product manager will have a drastic salary jump along with many other benefits.
Final Thoughts on Why Should You Choose Business Analytics Career in India
The business analytics career path is highly promising and will be in high demand in 2023. It is relatively new and has great growth potential. Some of the key factors which make this a great career choice:
- The skills are interchangeable between business sectors and experience gained in one field can be applied to another.
- A very versatile job. Although the job comes under a broad umbrella of business analysis but focuses on various aspects of the business. Some analysts may only be required to focus on the technical side such as gathering and analyzing data, while others may be working on the business and management aspects of it.
- Salaries are good.
- With experience one can gain master the skills and be considered a subject matter expert.
- The job provides independence and flexibility.
- It has a low entry barrier as the career is still in its nascent stage in India.
- Exposure as a business analyst can springboard the career to many other senior management positions later.
The high demand for a business analytics career or job can be validated by the number of job opportunities available on various job portals.
- com has more than 12679 job openings of all skill levels including 0-2 years, 1-5 years, and 7-5 years with big companies like Accenture, Tech Mahindra, IBM, and many others.
- More than 11000 jobs on LinkedIn
- 7397 jobs on com
Apart from the top companies hiring their own business analyst, there are also consulting firms, which provide these services on a project basis to other companies. Some of the top business analytics companies to work for in India:
- Mu Sigma
- Tiger analytics
- Fractal Analytics
FAQs About Business Analytics Career
1. Who can pursue a Business Analytics Career?
Anybody who has an analytical and problem-solving mindset can become a business analyst. People who can analyze numbers, market trends, and a lot of other business data to provide meaningful insights can have a successful Business Analytics Career.
2. Is it necessary to have IT skills for a successful business analytics career?
It is absolutely not necessary to be an IT-skilled person to become a successful business analyst. Some IT personnel may choose to specialize as business system analysts, however, most of the other analysts have an education background in business management, finance, accounting, data analysis, statistics, project management, or marketing.
3. How good are the prospects of a business analytics career in India?
A business analyst is a good upcoming career option in India. Post-pandemic most companies are requiring some plan to sustain and enhance their business prospects. Business analysts do the job of analyzing the market trends and providing guidelines and suggestions to increase the market share. For example, post-pandemic online education has gained tremendous momentum as people realized they do not need to go to formal schools to upgrade, learn new skills, or be based in certain parts of the world. This has given Edtech business analysts a new phenomenon to study and provide new business ideas to companies involved in providing online education.
4. Is Business analytics a high-stress job?
Being a business analyst is a stressful job, as it requires exploring and sorting, huge data values, generating trends, and advising companies to make decisions. These decisions can have huge impacts on the success of a business.
5. What are the most essential skills needed to be successful in Business Analytics Career?
Critical analysis, Problem-solving, and decision-making are the three most important skills needed to be successful in a business analytics career. A great business analyst is someone who can analyze the data, provide the solution and convince the management of the benefits of the solution.
6. What are the key challenges of a Business Analytics Career?
Unclear requirements – Many times the management is not clear about their objectives and the business analyst is not briefed on clear goals. The analyst has to navigate through these unclear requirements. Changing standards and market conditions: market conditions and working standards may change more frequently than expected. The analyst is expected to keep a cushion on their estimates and budgets to absorb these changes.
The requirement to continually update Knowledge and skills: Business analysts may not work in the same industry or business sector all the time and they are expected to update their knowledge and keep themselves updated with the latest advancements and skills.
Stakeholder conflicts: Stakeholders may have conflicting requirements but the Business analyst is expected to work as a bridge among all of them and arrive at the most appropriate solution.