The role of a business analyst is super important in an organization. With the help of data, business analysts analyze the problems of a business, and provide solutions for them.
The job of a business analyst is a highly-competitive one. If you are aspiring to be a successful business analyst, technical knowledge alone can’t help you achieve that goal.
In order to successfully implement the knowledge and training, a business analyst needs a few more skills and qualities. These skills can be divided into Hard Skills and Soft Skills.
Hard Skills of a Business Analyst
The term ‘Hard Skills’ is used to denote job-specific skills that are primarily related to the theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject. In case of a business analyst, they can be:
Knowledge of the industry: apart from the bookish knowledge, a business analyst should have a thorough understanding of his industry. The trends of business keep changing rapidly. A business analyst must keep up with the current trends.
Analytical skills: Analysis is the primary function of a business analyst. The analysis requirements can be of various level viz. the business-level, the software level, and the information level.
Collaborating with stakeholders: To successfully function as a business analyst, one might need to frequently collaborate with stakeholders. This is a key step in finding out the requirements of a business, and also discovering the problems (of a business) as well as the reasons behind them. After discovering the requirements, a business analyst should also be able to validate their importance, and propose actions accordingly.
Soft Skills of a Business Analyst
Soft skills are those skills that are necessary for functioning well in workplace. They are not specific to any job or field of work, however, your job description is a contributing factor in deciding the must-have soft skills for you. For a business analyst, they are:
Communication skills: Business analysts must have great communication skills. Both verbal and written communication skills are important for them. As they take part in critical meetings regarding the present and future of a business, a business analyst should pay attention to listening, understanding, reflecting, and then conveying their thoughts in a clear and direct way to the team. A business analyst also needs to maintain documentations, plans and analysis reports etc. To present their ideas in front of the board, they also need good presentation skills. These are all parts of written and non-verbal communication.
Problem-solving skills: The core functionality of a business analyst is problem solving. Whatever a business analyst does, it’s some kind of problem solving or the other. To successfully solve a major problem, a business analyst needs to think out-of-the-box, critically analyze the situation, discover the reasons for the problem, comparing all the possible solutions and coming up with the best one.
Decision-making skills: Another important skill of a business analyst is to take decisions. While working in collaboration with others, conflicts may occur easily. In a confusing situation, taking the best decision for your business is a critical responsibility. A good business analyst should consider every aspect of the problem, talk to the stakeholders if needed, find out about the priorities of the business from the business heads, and then select a plan or a course of action.
Negotiation skills: A business analyst often acts as a bridge between the customers and the developers. That’s why they need excellent persuasion and negotiation skills to manage both the demands of the clients and customers, as well as looking after the needs of the business. Negotiation skills are also necessary while bagging a deal with clients and beat the competitors.
Time management skills: Multi-tasking is a part of the job of a business analyst. That’s why time management skills are very important for them. In order to efficiently manage all the tasks in hand, a business analyst must be able to sort the tasks according to their priorities and stick to the schedule.
Leadership skills: Since business analysts work on a managerial level, leadership skills are also a must for them.
So, these are the most essential skills of a business analyst. If you are looking forward to a successful career in this field, you must learn all of them as soon as possible.