Business Analyst

Introduction

As a Business Analyst you will be analysing an organisation's processes and systems (how things get done), and suggesting ways of improving them. You will often be providing a link between an organisation's management and its IT structure; a link between business problems and IT solutions.

You will be looking to change and improve how a business works and operates.

Also known as

  • Business Process Analyst
  • Business Change Analyst
  • Process Change Analyst

Video: - Matthew: E-Commerce Business Analyst

Video: - Marcus: Business Analysis Teamleader

Work Activities

As a Business Analyst you will be analysing an organisation's processes and systems (how things get done), and suggesting ways of improving them. You will often be providing a link between an organisation's management and its IT structure; a link between business problems and IT solutions. You will be looking to change and improve how a business works and operates.

You could be working in any area of business, or in the community, including:

  • not for profit organisations, e.g. charities, county councils
  • school, colleges and universities
  • small, medium and large businesses
  • finance based businesses, e.g. insurance
  • retail businesses
  • hospitals

Any organisation or business looking to improve the way it operates could employ a Business Analyst.

The role you play could be very varied. Your duties could include:

  • identifying areas of a business that could be improved
  • developing solutions to any problems identified within a business
  • working closely with Software Developers, Project Managers, Software Testers and Management Teams, to develop new or improved systems
  • producing great documentation, explaining proposed new systems and processes
  • collecting and analysing data regarding the performance of your organisation and its systems
  • producing detailed reports on business processes and systems, and present them to management

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Business Analyst, you will need to:

  • understand how businesses work and operate
  • have great IT skills
  • have good analytical skills
  • be good at solving problems
  • have project management skills
  • be able to work to deadlines
  • pay attention to details and accuracy
  • have great teamworking skills
  • have excellent communication skills, and to be able to explain technical issues, to non-technical people
  • have great negotiation skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £29,000 - £33,000
  • With experience: £36,500 - £45,000
  • Senior Business Analysts earn £50,000 - £57,500

Hours of work

Business Analysts usually work 35 hours from Monday to Friday, but might work some late evenings when deadlines require, or work out of hours if systems fail.

Where could I work?

Employers are in every sector of industry and commerce, including banks, building societies, insurance companies and others in the finance sector, and in public service (for example, local and central government departments).

Opportunities for Business Analysts occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.

This career could involve working for an agency.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on specialist IT and business job boards and employers' websites, in computing magazines and professional journals, in local/national newspapers, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry Routes

If you have completed at least two A levels, including one in a relevant subject, then you might be able to start work as a Business Analyst.

You will need to show that you have good background knowledge of IT and how businesses operate.

Some employers require you to have a degree before you become a Business Analyst. Degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities.

In order to get onto a degree course you will usually need at least two A levels. An A level in an IT or business studies based subject would be a great help.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in digital marketing would be really useful for this career

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

For entry to a relevant degree course, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
  • English and maths at GCSE

Alternatives to A levels include:

However, course requirements vary so check college/university websites very carefully.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Some entrants have developed relevant skills by working, for example, in:

  • IT - in a business context
  • digital marketing
  • business finance

Access courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

The Tech Partnership

Skills for business and information technology

Address: 1 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DR

Tel: 020 7963 8920

Email: info@e-skills.com

Website: www.e-skills.com

Big Ambition

Email: bigambition@e-skills.com

Website: www.bigambition.co.uk

Bring IT On

Irish enquiries

Website: www.bringitonni.info

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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