In a tough economic environment like the one we are currently mired in, there is nothing more important to businesses than cutting out the waste and becoming more efficient. That is why many companies have taken it upon themselves to hire a business analyst. As you might have already guessed, the jobs of an analyst to examine the business needs of his clients in order to locate any present or potential problems and then pose practical solutions. A business analyst is also often known as a systems analyst or a functional analyst and there are some promising careers available.
The simple truth is that no matter how well any one company is run, there is always room for improvement. With the rapidly changing technological environment and nearly daily computer upgrades, greater efficiency can be achieved if you know where to look. And that is where a business analyst comes in. It is their job to keep abreast of all the new techniques and products that can help companies improve their efficiency.
How does one become an analyst?
There is no set path that one can take to get involved in business analyst careers. Many times they have technical experience, either as a programmer or in engineer jobs. Analysts who specialize in computers often have a Computer Science degree or experience with IT solutions. While others come from a business background and have firsthand experience with many of the problems that they encounter.
The unique experiences and responsibilities of business analyst careers also make them qualified to perform some of the tasks of project managers and consultants. In fact, when many analysts retire, they often offer their services as high paid, part time consultants.
But an analyst does not only work on computer-related project, their skills are also utilized on marketing and financial projects. Though it is true that many analysts will stick to their own particular area of expertise, some analysts are truly jacks-of-all-trades and they customarily work on projects in different industries. The most popular job industries for analysts include: finance, insurance, banking, utilities, telecoms, computer and software services.
Just as the path to becoming a business analyst is not set in stone, neither are the roles or responsibilities of the analyst. Yes, of course, ultimately they are hired to improve efficiency. But they may also be asked to focus on only one department or division in the business. For example, an analyst may be asked to help improve sales planning, scaling, or even business strategies.
Why would someone want to become a business analyst?
For one thing, experience. As we mentioned, because of the various demands of the business, it is not uncommon that an analyst will work on different types of projects and encounter different problems and challenges every time out. This means that the analyst will quickly acquire a wealth of experience that he can call on in all future endeavors. If, for example, he wants to become a consultant or start his own consulting firm, he will have the background to handle nearly any problem that comes down the pike.
Another great reason to get involved in business analyst careers is market demand. The truth is that business analysis is a relatively new field and it is growing by leaps and bounds. There are still not enough of them to go around, which means that a good analyst can always find work. He can also become a project manager or consultant if he ever has problems finding a job.
The likelihood is that a good business analyst will never want for work. And even as the field expands and more managers graduate from colleges, the fact is that businesses will always need experienced individuals to help them cut costs, take advantage of available resources and improve overall business functions. Unlike many other businesses that are content to enroll new employees in training programs to help them learn the ropes, business analysts have on the job training. Their fees are almost entirely dependent on their experience and their reputation in the field. They are also only as good as their last project.
That is one of the reasons why business analysis is not for everyone. It is a highly stressful job that requires an individual to take charge and communicate with people from many different disciplines. And at the end of the day, if the client is unhappy with the results, the blame falls on the head of the analyst. This can not only hurt his reputation but also his paycheck for all upcoming projects.