Business analysis is an essential part of any organization, regardless of its size. At one point or more, companies use the expertise of a business analyst to facilitate business intelligence and ensure smooth operations. This has led to an increase in demand for business analysts in various industries.
From the business idea to day-to-day operations, a business analyst carries out a variety of tasks that require a combination of technical and non-technical skills. Therefore, this article highlights ten in-demand skills you must possess to be an exceptional business analyst. Let’s get straight to that.
1. Financial analysis and planning
Finance is one of the pillars of any successful business. Likewise, every business analyst must know how to conduct financial analysis and planning. This skill helps you perform tasks like budgeting and revenue allocation, and make decisions that promote the financial health of any business.
You can become proficient in organizational finance by enrolling in professional training programs and learning to use high-end financial software and tools. Proper personal financial habits will also give you an edge in financial analysis and planning for your business. In the meantime, while gaining this skill, you can also learn to become a financial analyst, which will be an added benefit in your career.
2. Communication and interpersonal skills
Effective communication is a two-way process that involves you and your audience. As a business analyst, you need to know how to communicate technical information to and allow input from non-technical audiences. Be it in written, verbal, non-verbal or visual form, formal or informal.
Additionally, you need to know how to interact and relate to people in your workplace, whether you’re working remotely or onsite. It is important to maintain good interpersonal relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and customers. This helps you ensure a smooth workflow across different departments in the organization.
How to use your communication and interpersonal skills:
- Learn to listen to other conversation partners and pay attention to their body language and tone of voice.
- Process your thoughts properly before disclosing them.
- Most importantly, you maintain a friendly yet professional demeanor when interacting.
3. Decision Making
Despite rigorous planning, business development is often unpredictable. Consequently, as a business analyst, you may be called in at odd and fair times to make spontaneous or planned decisions. These decisions can directly and indirectly affect all aspects of the business, including finance, human resources and infrastructure.
Therefore, it is necessary to have decision-making skills in your arsenal. To develop or improve your decision-making skills, start by building a source of information in different areas. Read books, articles, and magazines about different aspects of life, your career, and your industry. This helps you gain insights that could be useful to make informed decisions.
4. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is not only one of the most important soft skills in demand today, it is also the basis for decision-making and problem-solving. It helps you evaluate multiple options before deciding on an area of a business. To be an effective business analyst, you also need to know how to identify and interpret problems, apply logic, generate ideas, and develop solutions.
Although acquiring critical thinking skills is a lifelong process, there are a number of ways you can kickstart the process. One way is to ask questions. Learn to question and evaluate the parameters (potential outcomes and requirements) of any idea or thought before acting on it.
Also, think broadly. This might sound counter-intuitive, but exercising your brain and your mind – whether there’s a challenge ahead or not – is a great way to hone this skill. Also, be open and eliminate all your prejudices. This also helps you to encourage objectivity in business analysis.
5. Technology-savvy skills
Technology is an indispensable factor in the modern business world. Therefore, knowing how to integrate and use technology in business analysis is a great asset for your career. Also, to improve business operations in a fast-moving world like ours, you need knowledge of specific business tech tools, applications, software and principles.
Some business analytical tools, software, and principles include:
- Microsoft Vision
- data extraction and analysis
- SQL databases and languages
- business architecture
- SWOT analysis
6. Documentation and organization
Documentation is a subset of non-verbal communication that helps you explain complex concepts in the simplest form, using elements such as text and images. As a business analyst, you often have access to and prepare documents related to various business processes.
Therefore, it is imperative to have documentation and organizational skills to help you present information clearly and concisely. Additionally, having documentation organized allows you to create a database that may come in handy in the future.
One of the easiest ways to develop documentation and organizational skills is to pay attention to every little detail in your workspace. Curate reports on projects from conception to execution, highlighting challenges, solutions and all accompanying activities. You can also create a file naming system to ensure proper organization.
7. Commercial Awareness
Commercial awareness involves a deep understanding of the nooks and crannies of a particular company and industry, including trends and policies. It’s a sought-after business analyst skill that helps you know how best to pivot a company without losing its relevance in its niche industry.
They can generate ideas, identify opportunities, mitigate business threats, and give the organization a competitive advantage. To be commercially aware, you need to become familiar with industry-related materials, events, platforms, and top players. This will help you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry.
One of the many reasons effective teamwork is important to all organizations is to increase productivity in the workplace. You can achieve more when you work with a team of capable people. Likewise, collaborating with different people in different entities—remotely or on-site—is essential to success as a business analyst.
You can leverage your teamwork skills by prioritizing collaboration over working in silos wherever you are: at work, at home, or at social gatherings. Seek and appreciate the input of others, because nobody has a monopoly on knowledge. Also, learn to communicate effectively and respect other people’s differences.
Business analysts are like pacemakers; They set and keep the ball rolling in every deal. In most cases, your responsibility will enable you to oversee business operations and drive organizational change. Therefore, possessing leadership qualities is essential.
Whether you have innate leadership skills or not, as a business analyst you can develop deep leadership skills. You can begin by taking on roles that allow you to interact with and lead a group of people in your neighborhood, worship center, or peer group.
This will help you to develop and improve core leadership qualities such as empathy, charisma, delegation and management. Additionally, you can take online leadership courses to improve your management skills.
In order to hold the fort as a business analyst for any company, you need to orchestrate certain transactions and agreements to keep the business running. This is where your negotiation skills come into play. You must be an excellent negotiator to close deals and build short- or long-term partnerships that benefit the company and third parties.
To be a good negotiator, you must be familiar with industry tactics and learn to negotiate explicitly under pressure. They should also learn to listen carefully and remain objective while keeping company priorities in mind. In the meantime, remember that negotiation skills are acquired over time through constant practice.
You can practice negotiation by role-playing with friends and family in your neighborhood, or by pricing outside of a corporate setting, such as a tournament. B. in marketplaces, haggle. You can also read the best negotiation books to better understand the art of negotiation.
Be a business analyst in demand
Economic analysts earn well in a variety of sectors. And with these skills listed above, you will join the cadre of high earners and sought-after business experts.
To remain an in-demand business analyst, you must constantly improve the skills required, as building a successful career requires continuous effort. In addition to your skills, you can leverage multiple Business Analyst certifications to advance your career.