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Although each business analyst career is likely to be quite different depending on the specific country and individual workplace, there are also many common tasks they typically share. Business analysts gather information and apply critical thinking skills before producing an analysis for a project. They may present their analytical results in chart or graph form to present to bosses or clients. Rather than providing information for information's sake, a business analyst career is usually focused on solving a company's problem.
For example, many companies hire a business analyst to help figure out how to recapture their share of the market lost to competitors. In that case, a business analyst career will focus on first investigating the inner functions of the firm to try to discover what is blocking the company's success. The analyst not only pinpoints problem areas, but usually works on helping to create strategic solutions.
Most business analysts are constantly learning new information both through research into theories as well as news stories and via personal interviews. A business analyst career requires an ability to use critical thinking skills rather than jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. Instead, analysts gather facts from many different sources before making any evaluation. They understand how to consider different angles and options as well as how to reflect on business issues and what their impact may be.
In this way, a business analyst career often involves guiding clients into adopting less traditional methods in order to reach company goals including higher profitability. Yet, business analysts don't, or shouldn't, suggest new ways of thinking to their customers merely because the approach is different, but rather because he or she has decided it's the best choice. Qualified analysts spend much of their career studying businesses, comparing strategies and coming up with new, unique solutions when analysis shows it to be the best option.
Many analysts are team leaders responsible for managing and coaching others. Leadership is usually involved in a business analyst career not only in terms of employee management, but also being a leader demonstrating ethics and effective decision making techniques to the team. Business analysts must focus on clear communication, both orally and written, in their careers. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are important for a business analyst, as is being able to relate to subordinates, bosses and clients.