What does a business analyst do, and how does a business analyst get certified?
Collaboration is the future! In the digital era, cooperation between IT and business has become a vital factor influencing the success of companies. A business analyst works at the cutting edge of this exciting interface. The role is a relatively new one – but is all the more important as a result.
Business analysts are strategists, problem-solvers, and process optimisers. They convert business requirements into technologies and manage IT projects with a keen eye on the business.
Innovative business models today are primarily data-driven. In other words, IT is transforming from a marginal topic into a core area – in virtually every industry. As a business analyst, you’re right at the heart of the great transformation of our time. It’s an appealing profession, but there’s also a lot of confusion surrounding it.
That’s why we want to tackle some fundamental questions:
What tasks does the job involve?
What salary can you expect?
And how can you get certified as a business analyst?
Discover the answers to these questions below:
What tasks does a business analyst in a company perform?
Digital strategies are fantastic. In order for them to be effective, however, they also have to be implemented successfully. Working as a kind of internal consultant, business analysts are responsible for making sure this happens in forward-looking companies. Together with business experts, they analyse business processes and the needs on the business side. Based on this, they can derive specific requirements for IT and model processes. Business analysts manage technical concept development and design the respective business solutions.
Performing this role as an intermediary between business departments and IT requires just as much business know-how as technological understanding. It goes without saying business analysts also need the ability to communicate effectively with the various departments and foster interaction between them. Business analysts will also roll up their sleeves and take responsibility for project work and requirements management. They oversee the implementation and optimise the technologies used. Software testing and quality control are also part and parcel of the role.
As a versatile, responsible and forward-looking career, becoming a business analyst is a fascinating option for suitable candidates. They can look forward to challenging jobs, working in a strategic capacity, and overcoming the challenges of operational project responsibility. And they are well paid, too!
What salary can a business analyst expect?
First of all, it’s fair to say business analysts are currently in high demand in the job market, and this will remain the case for the foreseeable future. After all, the integration of business and IT is a far-reaching, long-term trend. Against this backdrop, business analysts will enjoy excellent opportunities over the long term, with great prospects for career progression.
However, the role is not clearly defined, which is why you should analyse job postings very carefully. Similar jobs are also advertised under other titles, such as systems analyst. There are also overlaps with related positions.
At consulting firms, for example, IT consultants perform similar tasks to business analysts. There are also similarities with the work of IT project managers. The same applies to requirements engineers, who analyse, document, and manage technology requirements. Unlike the latter, however, as a business analyst, you also take on a strategic role and apply business management approaches.
Typical starting salaries begin at £44,000. With increasing experience, you can achieve a salary of up to £71,000 – depending on the company, of course.
What certification does a business analyst require?
The reason there are various designations of ‘business analyst’ out there is probably due to the fact there is no specific degree programme for it. Although, we should say a degree is a requirement for the job, preferably one in business informatics. A degree in computer science would also equip you for the technology-intensive day-to-day work. In some cases, a background in business administration may also be considered. Alongside excellent English skills and analytical capabilities, soft skills, such as effective communication, a resilient personality and strong organisational skills, are also required.
The best way to become a business analyst is to get a qualifying certification – ideally from a renowned and widely recognised institution. Although having a certification is not required for all positions, it is generally recommended for beginners. The targeted courses help you to acquire knowledge and provide a structured overview of the field. Well-known international providers include:
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)
IIBA offers a whole range of qualifications. They are arranged in different levels that you can climb during your career. You can start with the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA), followed by the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) and Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP). Professional experience is required at levels two and three. Certain quotas of training units must be completed, which are organised by external providers. There are costs incurred for this, as well as for registering and taking exams. Certification is based on the IIBA Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK).
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
This certification is offered by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). A relevant master’s degree, plus three years of professional experience is required. Alternatively, you could have a bachelor’s degree with five years of professional experience. Although courses don’t need to be taken per se, INFORMS does offer a preparatory course.
BCS The Chartered Institute for IT
This British provider’s certification is also divided into several levels – from Foundation to Expert. There are no requirements for the Foundation Certificate.
Working as a business analyst: exciting, challenging and future-proof
As experts in demand to help with digitalising business processes, no one can deny that business analysts are excellently positioned in the current job market. With versatile tasks ranging from process analysis to stakeholder communication, you can make a decisive contribution to your company’s success and are also remunerated accordingly. This is a very appealing option, especially for business IT specialists, and one which you can pursue wholeheartedly with the right certification. Find out what’s required for specific roles in our list of current job vacancies here.
You can look for business analyst roles through the Experis Career Accelerator. If you are interested in IT services, then get in touch with us today.
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