Business analysts help organisations achieve their goals by analysing data, assessing processes and systems, generating solutions, and planning for the future.
As a business analyst, you will work inside an organisation, aiding in management, transformation, and future planning in line with its goals. This might be for a one-time endeavour or as a permanent part of the organisation. Therefore, understanding the current organisational state, determining future requirements, and building solutions to help achieve those needs will be necessary, typically (but not always) concerning information and software systems.
Because you’ll be assisting in developing the organisation’s operations, services, and products to meet the demands of internal and external stakeholders, you’ll need to understand how the organisation works and the industry in which it operates.
You’ll also play an essential role in interacting with internal and external departments, acting as a “translator” when describing how information technology can fulfil the organisation’s needs.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- write down what the business does and how
- analyse your findings to suggest changes and improvements
- explain the possible effects of changes, such as the costs, benefits and risks
- agree the best way to make changes
- organise testing and quality checks
- support staff making changes.
- Apprentice analysts earn in the region of £22,000.
- Business analysts, with a few years’ experience, generally earn between £35,000 and £65,000.
- Experienced business analysts can earn up to £80,000 and in some cases more than £100,000, particularly in the finance sector.
Working hours will vary depending on whether you are a regular employee (in which case you may expect to work full-time, Monday through Friday, 37 to 39 hours a week, with occasional weekend work) or a contractor (where you may work longer hours during the week and sometimes weekends to complete project-based work within a specific timeframe).
You could work in an office or at a client’s business.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice business analyst include:
- Level 4 Business Analyst – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification takes 18 months to complete.
On a business analyst apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- business management skills
- analytical thinking skills
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to use your initiative
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications.
Business analysts are needed in both the public and private sectors, as well as in large multinational enterprises and small independently owned firms. Whatever your interests are, there are opportunities to work in this industry. For example, employers may provide full-time roles or temporary contracts to work on a specific project.
Many industry-experienced business analysts operate for themselves or as consultants.
Individual firms list their business analyst positions, so browse the websites of any organisations that pique your interest.
It is critical in any role to keep your skills and knowledge current with your own interests and changes in your industry. Many organisations offer opportunities for professional development through in-house training and on-the-job training, but it is your responsibility to seek out your own opportunities for advancement.
As a business analyst, you’ll find it useful to participate in training linked to:
- change management
- data analytics
- improved communication
- information systems
- project management.
As an entry-level business analyst, you may progress your career by gaining experience on various projects. You may elect to stay as a general business analyst or specialise in a subject, such as data analytics, as your career progresses.
Progression to senior level business analyst may be a possibility for professional advancement. For example, business analysts with substantial experience and a proven track record may rise to director and executive roles.