Business analysts provide a great value to organizations. These professionals have the capabilities of completing diverse functions that are generally freelanced or outsourced, becoming pillars that are foundational to the global economy. Large organizations reduce costs through hiring external resources tasked with providing the services that were once handled by full-time personnel in a manner that is more efficient and cheaper. Depending on specific organizational requirements, the demand for business analysts will continue to grow worldwide. With the growing competitive economic and globalized climate of the times, businesses will look toward improving business processes while reducing costs, and these types of professionals are indispensable for the successful development of business activities.
Years ago, an analyst exclusively performed an information technology role and generally worked within a specific project. The employee’s functions involved the technical aspects of a project, and such functions were professionally executed as a step toward becoming a project manager. However, during the last decade, the role of a business analyst has grown in importance because of several factors including the incorporation of agile methodologies, the growing need to optimize investments, and the need to adapt to technology. An analyst is closer to the business than the technological solution, thanks to a clearer vision of organizational goals and strategy and without the limitations of being tied to a single project. Therefore, a business analyst is a person with an adaptive role and who can change with the trends while adding knowledge and experience to a perspective that moves beyond technology.
Universities and college curriculum, along with other independent training programs, are providing specializations in areas like Business Planning, Subject Matter Experts, Project Management, Financial Analyst, Systems Analyst, Data Security, among others. Interested individuals can also obtain an online business analytics degree, which provides the flexibility of taking classes while working. Each of these areas is covered to some degree by the tasks and functions performed by an analyst. Therefore, the profession requires individuals who are capable of learning and adapting quickly. Individuals who obtain advanced degrees are better qualified. Furthermore, certification in the areas provides better opportunities to advance to senior level positions within an organization.
To become a business analyst, interested parties should evaluate their current capabilities and level of education. Individuals should have analytical abilities and good communication skills to understand and resolve business problems. Furthermore, prospective business analysts should be organized and business oriented. It may also be beneficial for students to meet with academic advisors to select appropriate coursework that may better prepare students for the job. As part of the curriculum, students should include courses in economics, business, statistics, and marketing. Further coursework should focus on strategic management, finances, and operations management.
For those individuals currently working as a business process analyst and looking for executive-level positions, a master’s degree may be necessary. Finally, interested individuals should study and pass the certification exams provided by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). Among the possible certifications, business analysts should become Certified Business Analysis Professionals (CBAP). However, these certifications require experience in the field and the culmination of courses developed through a professional career.
Today, individuals can take advantage of the vast amounts of information available online. A change in career is possible because of the flexibility in online degree programs where students no longer need to be enrolled in a traditional college and take a set number of courses that impede the ability to work and earn a living. Career changes can occur gradually as interested individuals strategically prepare to shift toward better life opportunities without having to risk income by studying full-time in a classroom environment.