If you’re a recent grad looking for a job in the business world, or maybe you just need a change from your current job, you might be looking into a job as a business analyst. One way to ensure your success throughout the job application process is to use the business analyst job description to guide you. We show you just how to do that, and explain more about the business analyst job description, salary, and more.
The Business Analyst Job Description
The business analyst job description typically consists of several parts. There is a written portion about the company and its mission where the organization explains what it is they strive for as a whole. This is followed by sections on what they are looking for, such as education, experience, and knowledge. Next, there is a section on what you will be expected to do on the job. Finally, there may be a section on why you should work there which includes health and other benefits, and in some cases compensation rates.
Next, there is a section on objectives for the role as a whole. Afterwards, there should be a list of specific duties and responsibilities the new hire will be expected to perform on the job. This is followed by sections on what they are looking for, such as education, experience, and knowledge, which is separated by required qualifications and preferred qualifications.
Finally, there may be a section on why you should work there which includes health and other benefits, and in some cases compensation rates.
Most business analyst jobs, including entry-level positions, require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum educational requirement. If you are looking for a management or senior-level position, you may need to further your education and seek a master’s degree.
2. Top Skills of a Business Analyst
In addition to your education, a business analyst job description usually lists other required knowledge and soft skills. In order to be considered for a job as a business analyst, you must have experience such as working with top professionals, soft skills such as strong communication abilities, and proficiency in Excel and other business software.
The most important skills you must have to become a business analyst are excellent written and verbal communication, including experience with technical writing, understanding of engineering concepts, experience with analyzing costs and benefits, leadership, and modeling techniques and methods.
Finally and most importantly, you must be able to demonstrate proven analytical abilities. This can be done by sharing a portfolio of analyses projects, through work experience or test scores. Some interviews may even ask you to perform analytical tasks to test your abilities so make sure to refresh your knowledge and skills before you head in.
Responsibilities and Duties
Of course, each company will have its own way of operating and assigning tasks. What you’ll do will vary by position, but generally, business analysts may be asked to do:
- Budgeting & Forecasting
- Creating Detailed Analysis of Business, including opportunities and solutions
- Price & Financial Modeling
- Speaking with Stakeholders
- Budget Monitoring and Planning
FAQ on Business Analysts
What is a Business Analyst?
Business analysts bridge the gap between end users and project managers. Job responsibilities vary between organizations, but business analysts can expect to be asked to analyze, evaluate, and improve on processes.
Is Business Analyst an IT job?
Business analyst roles do require a lot of technical skills, especially in data analysis. Business analysts should also be well versed in technology, the latest trends, and know the ins and outs of the field. There are specific positions for IT business analysts as well, which require even more technical knowledge and skill.
Can I customize the Business Analyst job description to suit my company’s needs?
If you are an employer, then yes, you should absolutely customize the business analyst job description to portray exactly what your company needs! Make sure to include the qualities and skills you want in your next business analysts, and make it as clear as possible what you are looking for. Make sure to specify if you are looking for an IT business analyst, junior business analyst, or senior business analyst in your job description post.
Employers of Business Analysts
Business analysts are needed in any industry and in any company, but common employers of business analysts include specialty business analyst firms, consulting and professional service firms, the public sector, technology companies, research firms, and organizations that need in-house analysts such as banks or international retailers.
Business Analyst Salary
A business analyst can expect to make a yearly salary of around $88,000. Specialty analysts can pay more, such as Business Systems Analysts and IT Business Analysts. Your salary offer and potential for increase all depend on your years of experience and degree level. Some other opportunities in business can pay slightly higher, but a business analyst salary remains one of the highest salaries in business.
The Business Analyst Salary- Entry Level
An entry-level business analyst will be required to have a degree, likely in business. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree, such as from tuition-free, US accredited University of the People will suffice. You will be asked to show your knowledge and skills in the interview, as well as provide examples of past experience. An entry-level business analyst can expect to make an average of a $64,000 yearly salary.
The Business Analyst Salary- Senior Level
Senior-level business analysts will be expected to have more experience, and potentially managerial experience. These job descriptions might require higher education, such as a master’s degree in business, as well as over five years of relevant work experience. If that seems like a lot to get to the next stage, it doesn’t have to be — the MBA at UoPeople can be done completely online at your own pace while you are working at your current job.
While the road to becoming a senior-level business analyst might be longer, they are well compensated for it. Senior-level business analysts make an average salary of $88,000 — over $20,000 more than entry-level jobs.
Using Job Descriptions to Your Advantage
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Read the job description and know it in and out before your interview. Even before the interview, you should always be referring back to the business analyst job description when creating your customized resume, cover letter, and introduction email.
Check the job description for key words and include them in your writing, without overdoing it or sounding like a copy + paste of the job description.
Look at the experience they require, and highlight that in a special section in your resume and in tangible examples in your cover letter. Finally, when you are at the interview stage, take notes from the job description and make sure to bring up how you accomplish what they are looking for in your answers. Using the job description is just one way to land your dream role — here are some other tips and tricks.
At the Interview for Business Analyst Jobs
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So you’ve been invited for an interview — good for you! Now the real work begins. Show the interviewer just how perfect you are for the job using the job description. Remember to review the business analyst job description beforehand and to come prepared to your interview having practiced your answers.
Make sure to bring your resume, the job description, and a pre-written thank-you note to leave with the interviewer. If your interview is over Skype or another online, video format, print your resume and the job description out prior, so that you don’t appear distracted on the screen.
Examples of Business Analyst Interview Questions
Prepare yourself with the following questions you may be asked in a business analyst interview:
1. Have you ever personally dealt with stakeholders or top professionals? Can you tell us about a time you dealt with a difficult stakeholder?
2. How familiar are you with SQL?
3. What is the most important aspect of business analysis and reporting?
4. Tell us about a time when you had to change a client’s mind towards a course of action they did not want to take.
5. What tools or software have you used? What diagrams or charts are most helpful for analysis?
You may also be given potential business scenarios and asked what you would do in these instances. Don’t be tempted to jump in and start answering. Take a moment to pause, think about your answer in your mind for a moment, take a breath, and answer. Remember to connect this back to you — make it clear that you should be hired by telling them briefly about a time when you solved a similar scenario to the one they painted.
The Expansion of the IT Business Analyst Job Description
The business world and technology world are becoming one, and as such it is not a surprise that there is a large need for IT Business Analysts. IT Business Analysts are much more than just information technology experts. Here’s why:
IT Business Analysts Work on Multiple Systems
Companies are no longer working on a single server with one system. IT business analysts need to be able to work with and integrate multiple systems and understand how they may affect the company as a whole.
IT Business Analysts Evaluate the Business Process
The IT business analyst no longer needs to spend time making sure companies are meeting business requirements due to the new tools and software companies are implementing. Instead, IT business analysts can look at the processes that are driving software, and which aspects of the business process are impacted by technology.
IT Business Analysts Support Multiple Stakeholders
Now more than ever, multiple teams and departments are using software and technology within a company. This means that the IT business analyst needs to satisfy the competing needs of multiple stakeholders within the company, and find a process that works for everyone.
IT Business Analysts Work on More Than One Project
IT business analysts aren’t working on one large project like they used to. With so many new tools and technologies that work on specific tasks, the IT business analyst must keep multiple projects open at once.
With all these tips and your business analyst job description in hand, you’ll be sure to have that interview in the bag!
Good luck in your interview, and remember to stay focused, be positive, and clearly demonstrate why you are perfect for the role!