As businesses are becoming more data-driven, the demand for business analysts is growing. Moreover, it is the right time to choose a career as a business analyst, but you need the right knowledge on how to become a business analyst. As demand is growing, the competition is also increasing at the same time.
If you are interested in this demanding career option, then you are in the right place. This useful guide will take your thorough four-step process on how to become a business analyst. I firmly believe that I am a good fit for writing this guide from my three-year experience of working as a business analyst in a data-driven company.
How to Become a Business Analyst: A Step-Wise Guide
I will be guiding you with the step by step process on how to become a business analyst. The four-step guide will help you to build your career as a business analyst. Here is a quick overview of the step-by-step guide.
Step1: What is the Role of a Business Analyst? And Is it for You?
Step 2: Keep Learning About Different Technical and Business Skills
Step 3: Identify and Apply for the Right Companies
Step 4: Set “Half-yearly” and “Annual” Goals
Now let us go through each and every step thoroughly so that you don’t need further resources to understand how to become a business analyst.
1. What are the Roles of a Business Analyst? And Is it for You?
Before you decide to pursue any career path, it’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of the career opportunity. Next, you need to analyze your interest, skills, and
expertise, whether it’s right for you. As you are looking for how to become a business analyst, so the first step is to know the responsibilities of a business analyst.
It’s a fact that the responsibilities of a business analyst depend on the company or industry you choose. However, business analysts provide the following solutions:
- Data Collection: Every company needs data for various business operations. You need to help the business in the data collection. It can be market data, tools, and strategies, etc. You will work with the data engineers and different teams within the company.
- Analyses: It is one of the most interesting parts of the different responsibilities of a company. Here you need to make the business understand itself by analyzing every aspect.
- Decision Making: One of the crucial parts of the business is decision making; you need to focus on different areas of the business process. As a business analyst, you always need to make decisions based on data.
- Developing Dashboards: Another important aspect of a business analyst is to develop a dashboard. Some of the advanced tools like Tableau and PowerBI can help you to do these jobs.
- Reporting: Finally, another important part of the responsibility is to report different aspects of the business by calculating the key metrics of the business. If you can make it more aspects of the body
In a nutshell, a business analyst is responsible for improving the performance of a company by analyzing the data. More precisely, you will be working as a data-driven consultant for the company.
One of the most challenging part for a business analyst is not to involve your emotions while working for the company. Here you can’t show empathy to an employee even if someone is your friend or you have a good relationship with anyone. You have to focus on the data and report it to the management. With all that in mind, let’s understand whether it is the right fit for you.
Is Business Analyst the Right Future for you?
Now you have understood what the responsibilities of a business analyst are, now you have to analyze your skillsets, whether it is the right fit for you.
- Data Analysis: For a business analyst, the first important thing is data analysis. You need to be strong at data review, manipulation, extraction, etc. Fort that, you may be able to create a pivot table in Excel, strong in Python, SQL for building customer data sets.
- Understanding of Business: As a business analyst, you need to have a basic understanding of business. It’s a vast area that includes various aspects of the business.
- Mathematics: A strong understanding of mathematics is important for business analysts, especially statistics.
- Customer Support: As business analysts provide services, so they may have some people on which they can rely on their services.
These are some of the essential things that you need to have for pursuing a business analyst as a career. A business analyst needs to have good problem solving and technical skills. That doesn’t mean you must have a technical degree to become a business analyst. But it would be great if you have sound technical skills.
Anyway, if you don’t have these skills and qualities, you need to develop them. Here are some of the technical skills that you can develop for becoming a business analyst.
- Programming: HTML, PHP, or CSS
- DB administration
If you have these skills, that’s great, but if you don’t, you need to learn them. Continuous learning is the next crucial thing for a business analyst.
2. Keep Learning About Different Technical and Business Skills
When I started my career, I was also searching for how to become a business analyst. Although there was no particular answer, I knew that consistent learning is important. You need to develop a good understanding of the following subjects. These topics will improve your technical skills.
- Industrial Engineering
- Computer Science
- Information Systems
These are the essential skills that you will need to have for becoming a business analyst. The minimum criteria are you need to have an undergraduate degree. If you are not good at the topics, you have to do a lot of work to learn these skills and focus on continuous learning.
Develop a Self-Learning Mindset
Well, many people are stuck in a thought process that they will learn everything after they get their degree. But remember, you need to develop a self-learning mindset and start learning from the day when you think of becoming a business analyst.
Next, try to get the first-hand experience before you apply for a job as a business analyst. Apply for internships or do a part-time job in any startups or anywhere you want to work on. If you don’t get such internships, you can at least connect with business analysts who are sharing their experience in different platforms.
Another thing you can do is to start learning from different platforms such as Udemy, blogs, etc. YouTube is a great platform where you can learn about different courses mentioned above. Here are some of the critical skills you need for becoming a business analyst are SQL, Tableau, etc.
3. Identify and Apply to the Right Companies
Once you get all the above requirements, you can now start applying to different companies for a business analyst position. Here you have to choose the right companies before sending your resumes. Keep the following factors in mind before you apply for a job.
- Don’t apply for as many companies as possible; you may tend to take up the first job offer. So start applying for the right companies and search until you get the right one. Now you might be thinking about how to choose the right company.
- You need to be strategic while applying for a job. Make a list of those companies which are data-driven and give a challenging environment for your growth. Once you collect data from different companies, you can decide which companies are best to apply. Don’t make the mistake of applying such companies that don’t give challenges on the career path.
Try to make a list of at least 20- 30 companies across three or four different industries. Read the reviews and speak to your friends about the list of companies. Now here are some steps on how to know whether a company is data-driven or not.
- In general, good companies have a data team.
- Check the company profile on LinkedIn whether they have some analysts on staff.
- Visit their official website and find whether they hire data scientists or engineers. If they have positions for data analysts, then these companies are data-driven organizations.
- You can use your contacts and network to find data-driven companies. When you have a connection from these companies, it’s a great start, and you increase the chances of getting the job.
- You can also visit their official websites and see whether the content numbers and data.
After choosing the right companies, it’s time to prepare for the interview. Once you get a job, that is not the end step of how to become a business analyst; you need to set clear goals for the next six months and one year as it will help you an incredible career in this field.
4. Set Half-Yearly and Annual Goals
Once you get a job as a business analyst, you need to set half-yearly and annual goals to move in a specific direction. No, you know how to become a business analyst but if you don’t set specific goals, you may be stuck in your career in the future. So here is how you can set goals for the next six months and one year after getting a job.
It’s a natural tendency of everyone that they get into celebrating their success and forget about the responsibilities. You need to have a growth mindset for staying competitive in the job. As a business analyst is a very challenging job, you need to be set goals and determined to achieve them.
- Learn about the business model of the company
- Build confidence to adopt the new data and develop the knowledge so that you can train a new analyst.
- Learn about a tool or technology
- Prepare work ethics and stick to it
The half-yearly goals will build confidence in you, and if you reach your goals, then you can plan for big things.
Now here I recommend goals for one year. It may look very hard, but once you start setting these goals and work towards it regularly, things will become easier.
- Become an expert at least two systems or tools.
- Take more responsibilities to become a leader in your team.
- Gain trust among the team as well as with the clients of the company.
I hope the information has helped you to understand how to become a business analyst. Now let me share some important notes before I wrap up this article.
- As I have mentioned, a business analyst is a challenging job; you need years of hard and focused work to become a successful business analyst.
- Along with learning new technical and business skills, you need to provide value and a solution-oriented mindset.
- Planning is crucial, and you need to be strategic while taking a new step in the career path.
If you are genuinely interested in becoming a business analyst, then follow the above steps. First of all, you need to understand the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst. Second, you need to develop the skills and mindset required for that. Next, you have to choose the right companies. Finally, you have to set specific goals for becoming an expert in this field.
In this article, we have tried to answer important career questions, which many of you are asking- how to become a Business Analyst. Hopefully, the article has helped you. Now, if you have any queries, please feel free to ask and share your opinion in the comment box.