Business analysts, also known as business intelligence (BI) professionals, can work with many different types of organizations to improve their day-to-day operations, processes, and systems. They gather data, suggest solutions to problems, and help business owners make informed decisions to increase productivity and profitability.
Some focus on how the business has performed in the past, while others use predictive models to determine what changes will happen in the future and decide whether a project or product will be successful.
Becoming a business analyst is a great way to help companies in many different industries determine the correct strategies to achieve their goals, develop new products, and increase efficiency and profits.
Here are some tips to help you start a successful career as a business analyst:
1. Pursue a Higher Education Degree
Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required to become a business analyst, although the focus of your degree doesn’t have to be specific to your role. For example, those with a background in biology or chemistry often work for the health care or pharmaceutical industries.
No matter what industry you want to enter, it’s a good idea to take some computer science, statistics, and programming courses to help you create effective models and interpret data accurately. To make your skills as a business analyst more transferable, seem more attractive to potential employers, and to earn more, consider earning an advanced degree.
In particular, pursuing an online master’s of business administration with a specialization in analytics management and BI can teach you more about business analysis tools. You’ll also learn how to help companies streamline operations, how to use advanced software to create business intelligence models, and how to collaborate with team members and executives to solve problems.
2. Expand Your Professional Network
The importance of networking and, more importantly, forming strong and meaningful relationships with your instructors, as well as your co-workers and supervisors at your current job, cannot be overstated. In the future, one or more of these people could be willing to recommend you for a job as a business analyst. It’s also a good idea to find a mentor who can give you sage advice about how to advance your career. Many companies offer internships that can help you learn more about the industry you want to specialize in and form relationships that could help further your career. These jobs can also help you get a position as a business analyst.
3. Apply for Jobs and Prepare for Interviews
When you apply for jobs as a business analyst, mention your skills, education background, and work experience. If possible, use the same words or phrases listed in the job description, as most hiring managers use keyword search software to help choose who to interview. Employers often look for business analysts with a variety of skills, including:
- Critical thinking
After landing an interview, prepare to talk about your experience as a business analyst and your career goals. If you’re just starting out, discuss some of the projects you completed in school or during an internship. You should also be ready for questions about how you keep up with industry trends, approach a project, or what you think is most important about business intelligence and analytics.
Take the Next Steps to Begin a Career in Business Analysis
If a career in business analysis sounds interesting, start by exploring the ways you can bolster your skill set. From taking courses in business analytics and business systems to landing internships and expanding your professional network, you can quickly become well-positioned to enter and succeed in this burgeoning career path. Moreover, you’ll be able to start or continue your career in several different fields, from technology to entertainment to investments.