A day in the life of a Business Analyst
If you have a business oriented mind and a drive for achievement, business analyst jobs might be perfect for you. Today we take a closer look at not only what a business analyst is, but we delve a little deeper into the business analyst job description and unpack their daily tasks and responsibilities.
What is a business analyst?
So exactly what is a business analyst and what do these professionals do? To understand what a business analyst is, it is important to understand business analysis and the function of it in an overall business sense.
Business analysis is the process of bringing about, and moving towards change in any organisation and business. This is done by understanding and looking at the business context, needs and finding solutions that deliver on value and growth for the various stakeholders.
Business analysts, also known as management consultants, process analysts and many more titles, are those who undertake this analysis and have the skills to help introduce change in organisations and businesses, they help structure and manage change, and they can be found in a host of industries and sectors, from small, medium and large businesses and corporations to non-profits and government.
What role does a business analyst play?
Business analyst jobs involves identifying and facilitating change across a range of organisations and structures; they work across the business and get to understand the various levels and processes within the business. They can be involved in strategy discussions, goals, technological, or general, improvements and overall processes to help with overall efficiency and values.
As a business analyst, you will have a specialised knowledge to help in leading, guiding and helping with change in the business space. Your value comes in the ability to help understand and identify new opportunities and work for change and bring about change to help the business grow and achieve its full potential. Thanks to the use of a range of business analysis and your unique skill set, you are equipped to deal with, and help manage change and implement benefits across the organisation.
There are many career prospects to becoming a project or operations manager, as well as director. This is due to the fact that business analyst vacancies appear across a host of industries and with small, medium and large organisations, as well as working around a host of different and unique scenarios and business goals.
The South African job market is an exciting one for business analysts as there is a range of possibilities, all across the country, to help bring about change in businesses and processes. It is a valuable position, with high earning potential, and you can heavily impact on businesses’ successes in certain areas.
The Business Analyst Job Description
Because a business analyst faces many different challenges and scenarios, you will find that the business analyst job description includes a variety of responsibilities and tasks.
As a business analyst, your job is to work within a business and to understand and identify various processes, systems and areas that need improvement or updating. You’ll also be vital to finding solutions to various problems; all of this is done through research and analysis of the business and industry trends.
You’ll also be responsible for investing and understanding the business’s activities, in order to help improve efficiency with new solutions. This can be done in a range of ways, from testing systems, thinking of and implementing new ones or revamping existing areas.
Business analyst jobs will also see you being responsible for task and process analysis, evaluation research and results, as well as offering guidance on solutions. With this, you’ll find yourself working with a range of IT resources, to improve systems and processes for all.
A common finding when it comes to the business analyst job description is that you will work closely with senior management and staff, helping all with the new systems, processes, by training and managing the change within the organisation.
Business analyst vacancies will see you based in the business’s main office but may need to travel, depending on the situation or matters. You’ll generally work office hours but may need to work overtime depending on new systems or processes. The deadlines may shift and change depending on the company and matters at hand, but implementing new processes can help streamline functionality.
Skills needed to be successful as a business analyst
As with the responsibilities, while the job may vary, the skills needed can be similar, no matter the industry. You’ll need a proficiency in logic, IT, maths, as well as having leadership skills. You’ll also need to be objective and reasonable in a host of situations.
You should have a good understanding of consumers, the market, as well as the various needs of each, specific to each business.
A business analyst also needs a high level of communication, as being able to communicate with a range of business leaders, managers, employers and workers is key to your job. You’ll also need to break down complicated business processes and descriptions into easy-to-understand processes.
You’ll also need to be able to work extremely well under pressure, handle change and fluctuating situations, and work well either on your own on a job, or as a part of a large or small team on different projects.
Business Analyst Salary
According to PayScale, the average business analyst salary is around R335 386 a year and a valuable skill or training for this career is Business Process Engineering and an understanding surrounding that.
Experience as a business analyst, where possible, is also useful, although each business has its own set of unique requirements and each situation will come with its own set of challenges.
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Education and training in business analysis
There is a specific kind of training that is required for business analysts and you can receive the required training in various ways across South Africa. That said, there is a variety of ways to get there. You can choose between a diploma, degree or short course to cement your knowledge.
A useful institute to belong to is the International Institute of Business Analysis. The non-profit association connects various members and partners around the world with each other, and provides a great structure for business analysts looking to broaden their scope. You can either complete a certified course or can join after completing various other courses at institutes and universities across the country.
If you have experience in the area and are looking to brush up or add to your qualifications, you can complete the Business Systems Analysis online short course through the University of Cape Town.
The 10-week course combines practical IT, technical and conceptual knowledge to help you model businesses, system architectures, analysis, organisational change and various system requirements for a range of businesses.
The International Institute of Business Analysis endorses the short course.
If you are looking to get started, you can complete the Programme in Business Analysis at the University of Pretoria. You’ll need a matric, a bachelor’s degree or diploma pass or National Senior Certificate, as well as a pass in accounting or maths.
The course offers a strong grounding in all aspects and serves as a great foundation.
Whichever option you choose will help solidify and improve your skills for a range of jobs and opportunities.
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