A business analyst’s job is both taxing and demanding. It involves not just knowing what the job requires but also the ability to see what is not there and fill gaps. A business analyst, in order to be effective, must have a combination of both hard and soft skills. A business analyst’s skills are acquired through both traditional learning methods and experience on the job.
Communication and Listening Skills
Although effective communication is essential for all jobs, a business analyst must have stellar communication skills. Since their job involves analyzing data, they must be able to communicate their results to other people in a way that is easy to understand.
Listening is a key cornerstone for any successful business analytics career. A competent business analyst listens to the information presented to them, absorbs it, and then analyzes it. Listening properly ensures they understand everything presented to them, which makes analyzing it a lot easier.
Listening is not only important to understand the data or information presented, but it is also vital for understanding the context within which the data is presented.
Every project a business analyst handles is geared towards providing a solution to a problem. They, therefore, have to have very strong problem-solving skills. Business analysts who excel in their field are able to understand problems, find possible solutions, and determine which of the solutions they have come up with will work best for the problem at hand. Business analysts must also be able to determine and understand a project’s scope so they can find solutions that do not go too far outside the scope of the problem they are trying to solve.
At the highest levels, business analysts are also responsible for coordinating different teams so they can work together to come up with viable solutions to technical challenges. Such situations arise when there needs to be communication between different parties or multiple businesses.
Ability to Formulate Project Requirements
In many cases, business analysts are handed projects with incomplete information. The businesses they work for will hand them objectives and it is up to the business analyst to fill in the gaps and come up with a list of requirements that would be satisfactory for the project. One of the lessons taught when you are studying for a Business Analytics degree from Merrimack College is that you need to involve the right stakeholders if you want to come up with the right requirements as well as expand your way of thinking so you do not overlook certain areas of your projects.
Time management is a key skill because business analysts usually have so much to do and they have to ensure each task is completed satisfactorily and on time. Understanding what to prioritize, and the order in which to handle all the tasks they are responsible for, allows business analysts to be much more effective.
Business analysts can also be required to multitask, so they should also be able to juggle different projects and tasks at the same time.
A successful business analyst uses a combination of their soft and hard skills to achieve their objectives. If you want to be a successful business analyst, therefore, you have to work on your people and technical skills and know when and where to apply each of these skills.