Consulting & Strategy
Business analysts work closely with companies and organisations to help them change and improve the way they do things.
What does a Business Analyst do?
Business analysts work closely with companies and organisations to help them change and improve the way they do things. They work in many industries from IT and financial services to telecommunications and retail.
As a business analyst, you would work with senior managers and other professionals to support changes to the way an organisation works. This could include changes across a whole business or may be limited to one part of it. For example, you might help to improve a company's decision-making processes, support the introduction of a new IT system or help to develop a marketing and sales strategy.
Depending on the particular project, you might typically:
- speak to managers about their development strategy to find out what they want the business to achieve
- carry out fact finding tasks into the business's processes to see what they do and how they do it
- analyse your findings and use data modelling methods to come up with recommendations for changes and improvements
- look at the potential impact and risks of your recommendations
- explain the benefits of your recommendations to the business
- keep a written record of requirements and recommendations, and how they were arrived at
- agree with the management team the best way to put recommended changes into place
- oversee testing and quality checks of recommendations
- support the staff who are responsible for making the changes and report any issues.
In some cases, you may also be responsible for managing the project all the way through to completion.
Key skills and interests
To become a business analyst, you would need:
- the ability to see problems from different angles and to solve them
- excellent analytical skills
- the ability to pay close attention to detail
- excellent communication skills
- excellent teamwork skills and the ability to work with people at all levels.
Working hours and conditions
You will usually work normal office hours, Monday to Friday.
There may be some overtime necessary when project deadlines are close.
Business analysts are usually office-based, although you may spend time travelling between sites if you work for a larger organisation.
You may work directly for a corporate, or for a consulting company that works in business process re-engineering or general consulting.
How to become an Business Analyst?
Entry Level Education
To become a business analyst you usually have to complete a degree in information technology, information systems or business/commerce. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of business analysts is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for consulting services is expected to grow as organisations seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs.
As markets become more competitive, firms will need to use resources more efficiently.
Growth will be particularly strong in smaller consulting companies that specialise in specific industries or types of business function, such as information technology or human resources. Government agencies will also seek the services of business analysts as they look for ways to reduce spending and improve efficiency.