Data took the centerstage a long back! Everything runs with the Data. Any changes or improvements are now possible due to the massive amount of data in our hands. We have to analyze it properly using the correct methods and techniques. It is the work of analysts to sift through data to power and support pivotal decisions within an organization or business. There are many types of analysts who currently work in different parts of the business chain. Some work with organizational data, and some work with business data.
Business Analysts are the professionals we will be talking about today in this guide. Here we will discuss the top skills that are required to become a successful Business Analyst.
But before we discuss Business Analysts’ top skills, let’s understand who is Business Analyst first. Business Analysts are the professionals who conduct research and perform analytics on huge volumes of datasets to help organizations or businesses to enhance their processes and systems.
Speaking of the skills, I segregate all the skills into soft and hard (technical) skills. Soft skills are Good communication, interpersonal skills, Good listening skills, capability to understand the objectives, good time management, ability to document and write reports. Take up a Business Analyst certification course from a recognized training partner to upskill and find better opportunities.
Technical skills which help you master the domain are statistical analysis software, knowledge of SQL databases and other database querying languages, programming language knowledge, good working experience in working with Business Intelligence and reporting software, Data Mining, and Visualization.
Now let’s discuss these skills, in brief, to help you get a better understanding.
Communication and interpersonal skills
It is one of the most in-demand skills that a Business Analyst must-have for a successful career in the domain, even though Business Analysts have to extract insights from the large volume of datasets to empower decision-making in a business. These professionals have to translate these technical insights into a common language that higher authority management could understand better.
You have the responsibility to make the program very clear. You have to understand the client or stakeholders’ demands, and that is only possible once you start conversing with the person. Try to extract maximum information from the professional by asking the right questions.
Listen more than you talk!
It is your job to extract maximum information from stakeholders or clients to work upon the problems. It becomes possible and easy if you start developing good listening skills. To understand the crux of the matter, you need to listen more and ask insightful questions to derive more meaningful information about the process and agenda. The business analysts must understand the body language of the stakeholder or client by observing the voice and tone. For all this to happen, good listening skills must be there at your disposal.
Understand the objectives of the work and domain knowledge
Understanding objectives quickly is one of the most essential Business analyst skills that you must instill inside to help you bridge gaps between the communication from stakeholders and management authorities. If you are facing difficulty in understanding something, you mustn’t hesitate to ask for help or to explain the agenda again. Because ultimately, it’s your loss if you didn’t understand properly, and that will hamper your work. So it’s necessary to understand the domain and its objectives. Because only if you understand the requirements of the stakeholder you will be able to convert the insights into solutions. Aspiring Business Analysts must understand the Enterprise Resource Management System and how it works.
It is a crucial skill that every aspiring Business Analyst must have. This skill is crucial because a Business Analyst must conduct too many tasks at hand. And at times, he/she has to rely on multi-tasking too. To complete the task effectively and promptly, they must prioritize different tasks. This skill is essential in managing work-life balance.
For all the analysis, you must be able to write reports, plan, document all the different types of analysis you undertook. You must be able to write effectively too to convey your insights properly, and that requires a strong grip on technical concepts and good written communication skills.
Technical skills that you require to have a good grip are:
Proficient in working with SQL databases and other database querying languages.
Programming Languages like Python or R will help you a lot. R is a lot popular in the Data Science domain because of its powerful Data Visualization capabilities and statistical analysis capabilities. Whereas Python is a general-purpose language that is finding ground in the Data Science domain too with many libraries and packages.
Good working knowledge with Business Intelligence and ERP tools like Modern Requirements, Blueprint, SWOT, MS Visio, Trello, etc.
You must also have working knowledge in CRM tools and other tools to better understand various protocols like XML, SOAP, WSDL, etc.
You must also have good experience with Data Mining methods, Data Visualizations techniques, etc.