In an ever-changing world — especially in the tech community — every business needs to have a well-researched strategy for success. When it comes to the background research and analysis, the responsibility is on the business analyst. Although the name might evoke images of a suit, tie, and briefcase, business analysts are often tech wizards, experts at coding programs and statistics that can help them get a sense of the current market as well as effective business processes.
This is an exciting career with many opening opportunities for those with a passion for software and a head for business. What does it take to be an ideal job candidate as a business analyst? We’ll break that down in today’s blog.
Types of Business Analysts
There are many different aspects to business analysis. Business analysts must research the market environment and trends, both by looking at the competition as well as current customer data. They may have to research different business processes in order to fit the best ones to their business. They may also be involved in finding the right software systems for their business.
Because there are so many different aspects of business analysis, there are naturally different types of business analysts. Learn Business Analysis breaks down three different types of business analysts:
- Business Process Analyst. A business process analyst is more of a businessperson than a techie. They focus on the strategies and processes that will best suit the business. These are often social people with a skill for negotiation and organizing. They use the skills of the people around them to come up with the best processes for the business.
- Business Systems Analyst. A BSA focuses more on the IT side of things. They may look for software that can better the business, or might use data and statistics for their business analysis research. Many developers and engineers who have an interest in business eventually transition into this career.
- Business Generalist Analyst. A BGA is something of a jack of all trades when it comes to business analysis. They often start as a BPA or a BSA and then transition into a job where they need to learn the other side of things. Smaller companies may have one BGA who handles both the business and the tech aspects of the job.
For business-minded people with a passion for software, BSA tends to be the most popular choice — not least of all because it’s the type of business analyst that often makes the most money.
Tech Skills Needed To Land a Business Analyst Career
Work as a business analyst, especially a business systems analyst, can be as intense as it is exciting. But having the right tech skills can certainly help to ensure your success. Some of those tech skills include:
- Statistical Analysis Software. A major part of work as a business analyst will be statistical analysis. Statistics will give a clear sense of the market, target demographics, and general environment in which the business exists. If a business analyst cannot navigate the software, they will struggle in this position. The main statistical analysis softwares include: R, SAS, SPSS, and STATA.
- SQL Databases and Database Querying Languages. Where is all of this analysis stored? In a database. Business analysts should be familiar with SQL (Structured Querying Language) databases as well as various database querying languages in order to best analyze their findings.
- Programming Skills Such as Python and R. A business analyst may need to program as part of their job, or they may need to read coding languages. Python and R are two of the most common ones that might be seen. Whether it’s in the job description or not, these programming skills could be handy and could help you land the job.
- Survey/Query Software. Sometimes surveys need to be taken in order to get a sense of the market and the target audience. Business analysts should be familiar with user friendly survey and query software so as to take these surveys and analyze the results.
- Business Intelligence and Reporting Software. BI tools can be a business analyst’s best friend. These offer reports of how the business is doing, the strengths and weaknesses of the business, and where they might need to improve. The right BI and reporting software can make your job easier, so it’s important to know your way around these.
- Data Mining. Mining and collecting data is one sure way to get feedback from customers, simply by looking at their interactions with their business. This offers a goldmine of material for business analysis, and it’s becoming increasingly more common. Data mining will likely be a crucial part of your job.
- Data Visualization. Data visualization involves taking the information mined from data and presenting it in the form of graphs, charts, or other easy-to-understand visuals. Data visualization is an important skill for business analysts who have to not only analyze but show the results of their analysis to business executives.
- Database Design. But where is that information stored once it’s collected? In a database. Again, this often falls under the purview of the business analyst, or — if not — it’s at least important for the business analyst to understand how databases work.
How Coding Bootcamps Can Help
For a business systems analyst, much of the job is tied up in software: finding the right software for your business and sometimes even cobbling together a software that would best suit your business’s needs. But even BPAs can benefit from understanding the tech side of things. It can help them transition into a position as a BGA with more opportunities, for instance.
Coding bootcamps help by training potential business analysts in all of the above skills, familiarizing them with coding languages, common software programs, and databases. Through intense 12-week coding bootcamps offered by The Software Guild, you can go deep in honing your coding skills, and take those skills with you into your business analyst career. This will not only help you prepare for your career, but will help to make you a more attractive candidate who can move up in the world of business analysis.
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