Business Analyst Skills (With Examples and a Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A business analyst plays an important role in an organisation's profitability and productivity. Being a professional business analyst requires learning some crucial technical and personal skills needed to perform your duties effectively. Understanding the rudiments of business analysis can improve your technical analyst skills and your interpersonal skills in the workplace. In this article, we discuss ideal business analyst skills, explore business analysis operations and analyse how to optimise your job performance in this role.

Technical business analyst skills

There are many skills, certifications and personal tools that distinguish a professional business analyst from other business professionals. These skills can help you carry out your duties to the company with ease and flexibility. Technical skills are mainly about the operational and computer-aided tools a business analyst needs to function effectively. Computer literacy is crucial to the job of a business analyst as it involves the ability to handle computers, perform enquiries, review data and plan budgets. Below are some critical technical skills you can develop:

Technological skills

Business analysts often know how to use a variety of technological tools and equipment. You may use adequate knowledge in the information technology industry. Before becoming a professional business analyst, consider learning about software design and business processing.

Research skills

Researching is the first step and one of the most important technical skills you may use when trying to solve an issue, as it's imperative to do adequate research before commencing a new job. Researching is the process of sourcing for information data to carry out a particular function. You may use research skills to:

  • learn how to source correct information

  • learn how to analyse the lead when necessary

  • provide top-notch answers and responses to team members when asked

  • improve your investigative skills and develop expertise in extensive research

  • discover the best solution to issues

Read more: What Is a Research Analyst? (Plus Skills, Tips and Types)

Statistical review skills

After developing your technical and research skills, you also require the ability to analyse and review data accurately. You can build your confidence in data reviewing skills and assist in the financial planning processes of a business. Carrying out a proper data review and statistical analysis requires you to develop skills in the following:

  • Gathering data and information

  • Reviewing the sourced data

  • Interpreting and processing the data

  • Understanding gap analysis and how to assess risk

  • Making financial forecasts with statistical information provided

  • Analysing the gathered statistics on a general basis

  • Conducting researches on issues discovered

  • Proffering a considerable business solution

Financial planning

Financial planning involves taking the numbers from the research conducted and deciphering the cost of everything needed to fix the problem. Financial planning is another essential technical skill for planning how businesses can afford what they need to implement their aims and objectives. Typically, financial planning begins after the company sets their goals. Here are some crucial questions to ask yourself when handling the financial planning processes of the business if you want to develop an adequate solution:

  • How much would it cost the company?

  • What is the cost of each approach?

  • Is your answer helpful to all affected people?

  • How much can the company or business benefit from such financial prospects?

Read more: Career Prospects for Financial Planning and Analysis

Documenting and sorting skills

Documentation is a job skill that involves sorting and recording all the processes involved in creating and implementing your business solution, making it easier for technical and non-technical team members to understand the operations of the project and your perspective. It's an organised method of explaining to colleagues and others all the steps and activities you took to determine the solution. This can help you ensure that your employer and co-workers understand your course of action on what exactly has happened since you began the project.

Interpersonal skills for business analysts

Personal skills refer to all the individual and non-technical skills you can use to efficiently perform your business analyst duties. This includes skills that involve your character, attributes, interaction, and behaviour in the workplace. It also helps you develop necessary assertive tools such as team-spirit building, leadership qualities, and job motivation to carry out projects effectively and efficiently. Some of the personal skills you require to be an outstanding business analyst are:

Problem-solving skills

Your job duty as a business analyst is to come up with solutions to whatever problems the company faces, so it's essential to expect usual changes and rotations while developing your solution. Being flexible and adaptable at the office is a critical skill that helps you identify problems quickly and proffer potential solutions. It enables you to help colleagues resolve issues of any sort.

Decision-making skills

Seeking a solution to the company's problem requires you to make decisions affecting the project throughout the process. It's crucial to develop decision-making skills that can help differentiate between an assertive swift conclusion and a hasty one. Here are some tips to making good decisions as your employer depends on your consultations and advice to provide a remedy to the problems affecting the future of the business:

  • List out all potential alternative treatments.

  • Ensure you probe all remedies and their processes.

  • Always take care of the issue with all ramifications.

  • Identify the shortlisted available treatments after proper scrutiny.

  • Choose the best remedy that can solve the problem most efficiently.

Managerial skills

As long as you're the key player in deciding on plans, identifying the issues involved, proffering remedies to the case, you're the supervisor of that project. Being a team leader requires you to interact efficiently with co-workers, take responsibility for the actions of your team members and make sure the project goes according to plan. Managerial skills can help you lead and motivate your team members.

Communication skills

This is another essential personal skill to have as a business analyst. You may spend a lot of time interacting with your employer, clients, team members, managers and others whilst implementing your project. A professional business analyst requires exceptional oral and written communication skills, with the top-notch capability to adequately and professionally share thoughts and ideas with other parties in the company.

Developing the art of communication in the workplace is crucial because fulfilling a task depends on how you communicate essential details to team members. Some of this information includes the task requirement, financial and budget plans and changes in objectives or manner of implementation. After developing a solution, it's important to discuss it with relevant people. For example, you may present information to stakeholders to discuss a new business procedure. Alternatively, you may collaborate with an IT department to discuss a new software program.

Read more: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

Negotiation skills

A business analyst also serves as an intermediary between clients and managers, colleagues, and other parties involved. Securing a positive result for the company and a long-lasting remedy for the users requires negotiating. This skill can help you interact with all affected parties, develop a cooperative relationship with them and convince them to see your position as the most effective to solve problems.

What does a business analyst do?

A Business analyst is a professional who analyses the processes and rudiments of departments and systems to proffer solutions so the operations of the business continue swiftly. Business analysts use their skills to make accurate business forecasts, analysing data, budget and planning, preparing business reports, and many other services to improve the respective business processes. They might design or select new products, systems and procedures to improve efficiency in the organisation.

Related: What Is a Business Analyst (With Duties and Skills)

Business analysis skills in the workplace

The following are tips you can use to improve your business analyst skills in the workplace:

  • Practise your communication skills: Business analysts regularly interact with several individuals, from employees to clients, so practising good communication is crucial. For instance, rather than announcing project updates in mass company emails, consider each stakeholder's preferred method of communication and try to accommodate that preference in your communication efforts.

  • Actively listen: Before a business analyst can solve a problem, they first ascertain what the problem is and what type of solution is adequate. This frequently entails speaking with and listening to various stakeholder groups, team members and management and critically considering their feedback.

  • Review regularly: Take time to review your skills and develop them as necessary. For example, you might perform a self-assessment each month to evaluate your progress.

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