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What is a business analyst? A key role for business-IT efficiency

Business analyst help guide businesses in improving processes, products, services and software through data analysis. These agile workers straddle the line between IT and the business to help bridge the gap and improve efficiency.

What is a business analyst?
Business analysts bridge the gap between IT and the business side by using analytics to improce processes, determine requirements and deliver data-driven recommendations.
Core business analyst responsibilities
BAs need to engage with business leaders to get a sense for the data they need, what processes can be updated, and which tools will best suit that department’s data needs.
Business analyst skills
These workers need a wide range of soft and hard skills including oral and written communication, interpersonal, facilitation, analytical thinking and problem solving, a detail-oriented mind-set, general business knowledge, cost benefit analysis, process modeling and an understanding of networks, databases and other technology.
Business analyst training and education
There are plenty of certifications for business analysts to help demonstrate your skills in the field. If you’re not already working with data, you might want to opt for a formal degree program or a less formal boot camp or professional development course to learn the latest BA skills.
Business analytics tools and software
BAs need to have experience with Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint and Access as well as SQL, Google Analytics and Tableau. You’ll need to know how to design data visualizations that will help others outside of IT understand your findings.
Role of business analysts in software development
BAs are vital to software development because they can use data to help identify user trends to improve products, services and customer satisfaction. They can help inform the development process to avoid complications, improve features and reduce risks.
Business analysts are becoming vital to organizations as they try to make sense of the data they collect. It’s the perfect position for anyone with the right balance of analytic and interpersonal skills.