Business analysts are in high demand, and the job outlook is strong. Business analyst jobs are expected to grow by 18% between now and 2023. This article will explore the top 10 skills business analysts need today and what you can do to prepare for tomorrow’s job market.
1. Good at Communicating
Communication is the key for any business analyst. It’s very important to be a great communicator to become successful as a business analyst. If you want to have good communication skills, here are some tips:
- Focus on the person talking to you rather than the person listening
- Don’t interrupt others when they’re speaking.
- Wait until everyone has finished talking before asking questions about what was said.
- Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements.
Being inquisitive is a very good trait to have. It helps you learn new things, understand problems, and understand your customers. To be a good analyst, being inquisitive is one of the skills you should develop.
Being inquisitive and asking questions are the best ways to learn. Asking questions will help you understand the problem better and develop a more effective solution.
3. A Problem Solver
Being able to solve problems quickly, efficiently, and effectively is an essential skill for business analysts. If you’ve ever had a project manager or client tell you that they want something “done yesterday,” this will be very important.
A good BA will be able to identify the source of the problem and come up with a solution that has been well thought out but is also achievable in the given time frame.
4. An Analytical Person
Being an analytical person is a must for business analysts. Analytical skills will help you evaluate and understand data, make decisions, and develop solutions based on facts rather than gut instinct or feelings.
Business analysts need to think critically about the information they’re given to develop viable solutions for their clients. You can’t just jump into a new project without understanding it first—you need to know where you are now and how far away from the success you currently are (if at all) before making changes that could have unintended consequences later on down the road.
5. Visual Thinker
Visual thinking is a great tool for problem-solving. It can help you break down complex problems into more manageable components and give you a better understanding of the big picture. Visual thinkers tend to be creative and innovative and excel at finding new solutions to old problems.
Visual thinking isn’t a skill everyone is born with, but it can be learned by anyone who wants to put in the time and effort required for mastery. If you want to become a visual thinker (or if you want your BA team members to be visual thinkers), consider taking some classes on graphic design or other visual arts subjects—they teach techniques like color theory and composition that will help you become an effective visual thinker!
6. Both Detail-Oriented and a Big Picture Thinker
The ability to see both the big picture and the small details is a must-have skill for any business analyst. You must understand how your systems work and look at individual processes or problems to solve them.
7. Computer Languages
These are the most popular computer languages that you need to know:
- C# (C Sharp) is a powerful object-oriented programming language. It’s used for desktop applications, mobile games, web apps, and websites.
- Java was developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995 as a simpler version of C++ and has become one of the most important programming languages in use today.
- Python is a general-purpose programming language with a strong intuitive design and dynamic typing features such as automatic memory management or duck typing, which make it easy to write programs quickly while reducing bugs in code. It’s used for web development and scripting software applications like Gmail or Dropbox.
- C++ is another powerful object-oriented programming language similar to Java but more complex because it supports inheritance and other advanced features such as templates.
8. SQL and Databases
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It’s a language used to communicate with databases and perform tasks such as retrieving, inserting, updating, and deleting data from databases.
SQL can also be used for database administration and management, data mining and analysis, reporting, and analytics.
9. Microsoft Excel
As a business analyst, you must know Microsoft Excel. It is the most commonly-used spreadsheet program in the world and can be used for various purposes. You will use it to analyze data and visualize it in charts, graphs, and other visualizations. You will also use Excel for data entry, sorting and filtering data, creating pivot tables, and more.
10. Documentation and Presentation
Documentation is the lifeblood of any business analyst. It provides a record of decisions and actions that can be used as a mention for future projects, as well as helping you avoid repeating mistakes.
Documentation is best written in plain language so anyone can understand it, not just those with an analytical mindset. There are many ways you can write documentation, including:
- A wiki or shared Google Docs folder
- Microsoft Word templates (you can download free ones online)
- Plain text files
This post has given you a better understanding of what it takes to be a good business analyst. We know there’s a lot to learn if you’re new to the field, but with these ten key skills, you should be well on your way. Happy analyzing!
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