Business analysts pinpoint issues and areas for improvement within a business and help to define and implement actionable solutions.
Bridging the line between IT and business, they help to increase the overall efficiency of an organisation and streamline workflows, often using information and software systems.
This in-depth guide features a full business analyst job description and discusses everything you need to know about business analysts, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.
- Business analyst job description
- How much do business analysts earn?
- What does a business analyst do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs business analysts?
- Which junior jobs progress to business analyst roles?
Business analyst job description
Business analyst | Midlands Tech Solutions
About Midlands Tech Solutions
We are one of the country’s leading technology and cyber security solutions providers, delivering an innovative portfolio of services and cutting edge security solutions to a wide range of household brands and businesses.
About the role
As a business analyst, you will help to bridge the gap between our IT team and the wider business team, as we strive to improve our security solutions and strategy. Reporting to the Lead Business Analyst, you’ll review our use of technology and advise key stakeholders on how to make our processes and employees more efficient and productive.
- Engaging with the finance, cyber security and business departments and stakeholders to capture and define key requirements.
- Producing written documentation highlighting areas for improvement, risks and opportunities and recommending internal and external solutions.
- Creating and synthesising presentations and reports to present to senior managers and decision-making stakeholders.
- Defining and prioritising company requirements using risk based methods.
- Troubleshooting technical problems and pinpointing opportunities for optimisation of processes and applications.
- Ensuring updates and improvements are implemented with minimal impact on the wider team and end users.
- Collaborating with the data analysis team to collate business insights.
- Consistently adhering to IT methodologies, security regulations and compliance standards.
Location & commitments
- Full-time, permanent role based in our South Birmingham office.
- 35 hours per week with flexi-time between 8am and 6pm.
- Ad-hoc overtime required in line with project deadlines and delivery.
- Prior experience working within a cyber security service provider organisation.
- 2+ years experience in a business analysis role.
- Knowledge of agile methodologies, such as DSDM, SaFE and SCRUM.
- Excellent communication skills, with experience working alongside senior stakeholders, product managers, clients and designers.
- Great organisational and time management skills, with the ability to prioritise tasks in line with project deadlines.
- Flexible, resilient and highly capable whilst working under pressure.
- 2:1 or above degree in a relevant technical or engineering based discipline.
- Relevant security industry qualifications, such as CISSP.
Contact us to apply
Keen to join an industry-leading technology solutions provider that will support you in building your skillset and provide ongoing and unrivalled training? For immediate consideration, please send your CV and cover letter to our recruitment manager, Sue Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much do business analysts earn?
A career as a business analyst can be extremely financially rewarding, with an average UK salary of £38,197.
Business analyst salaries in the UK
- Low: £27,000
- Average: £38,197
- High: £65,000
Business analyst salaries will inevitably vary depending on a range of factors, for example:
- Industry of the employer – For example, the financial services sector typically pays the highest salaries, as specialist skills and knowledge is required
- Size of the business – Small and medium-sized organisations tend to pay lower salaries than large organisations
- General salary factors – Business analyst salaries increase dramatically with experience. Additionally, roles in London typically pay generously in comparison to the rest of the UK
For example, a senior business analyst in a well-funded industry such as banking or finance in London will normally earn significantly more than a junior business analyst working with a start-up technology firm outside of the capital.
However, do consider that these figures are taken from job advert samples and do not factor in extra benefits such as bonuses, overtime and non-financial benefits, like healthcare.
What does a business analyst do?
The job description may vary from role to role, but here are some of the tasks and responsibilities that business analysts will complete during a typical working week:
- Undertaking analysis: Thoroughly analysing and evaluating business structures and processes alongside goals
- Data modelling: Analysing findings using data modelling methods to create suggestions for improvement
- Requirements gathering: Interviewing staff to learn how the business functions and what is required from a new system or system improvement
- Making recommendations: Recommending appropriate solutions and strategies to stakeholders in a bid to gain approval to make changes
- Managing risk: Determining risk and considering potential consequences of the recommended changes and strategies
- Documenting processes: Completing all necessary documentation needed to support business decisions, in a manner that can be easily shared with and understood by all stakeholders
- Mediating with stakeholders: Communicating with numerous departments and stakeholders about their needs and persuading them of the benefits of new technologies and strategies
- Coaching non-technical staff: Discussing technical tools, methods, strategies and jargon to non-technical teams and stakeholders
- Supporting implementation: Supporting and advising colleagues and stakeholders in making the recommended changes and helping them to resolve any technical issues
What do business analysts need?
Competition for business analyst roles is extremely high, so candidates need to gain a wealth of experience, knowledge and qualifications in order to gain a position and carry out the job effectively.
Specific candidate requirements will depend on what industry the job is in, as well as the level of seniority of the position. However, generally speaking, here is what is needed:
Junior business analyst jobs requirements will vary, but most employers do expect candidates to come with some level of tangible work experience — for example, summer internships, volunteering stints or university work placements as a minimum.
While difficult, it’s possible for school leavers and graduates to gain a position without experience if they excel in terms of education and technical prowess. Another popular route into junior business analyst roles is to transfer after a few years experience in a related field, such as project management, engineering or IT.
Intermediate to senior business analyst jobs will require candidates to have several years of experience of taking the lead for business analysis on projects or programmes. Depending on the specific employer, candidates will need around 5-8+ years experience to step into a senior business analyst role.
As well as the industry specific skills mentioned above (such as analysis and data modelling), business analysts need to possess the following soft skills in order to succeed in the role:
- Communication: Communicating and presenting ideas confidently across a wide range of audiences, including colleagues, stakeholders and clients
- Leadership: Managing and directing large teams of staff and external providers
- Analytical & problem solving: Naturally analytical and capable of creating effective, evidence-based solutions for problems
- Research: Investigating, probing and researching in order to thoroughly understand business problems
- Negotiation and persuasion: Persuading and managing the expectations of numerous parties in order to implement changes and achieve business goals
- IT: Understanding of information technology and systems, in order to explain technical jargon to non-tech professionals
Business analyst qualifications
It’s possible to enter the business analyst profession through an apprenticeship without any prior relevant qualifications. However, while it’s not a formal requirement, those wishing to enter the profession directly will be at a significant advantage with a university degree or recognised industry qualification, such as:
Although not essential, many business analysts are educated to degree level.
A relevant degree will put candidates at a distinct advantage, such as those surrounding the topics of:
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Software engineering
- Business information systems
- Business management
- Business administration
However, many successful business analysts have degrees in unrelated disciplines; and gained their roles by taking an appropriate postgraduate course or by demonstrating technical prowess and strong analytical skills.
Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) certifications
The BCS offers several business analysis certifications, ranging from foundation to expert level. Teaching students the skills required to support successful business change programmes, these are internationally recognised certifications and make a valuable addition to any business analyst’s CV.
International Institute of Business Analysis certifications
Another popular way to get qualified is with an IIBA certification. These professional certifications help students to build their expertise and key competencies within business analysis and are well-known for improving employability and earning potential within the field.
Agile, ITIL and PRINCE2 qualifications
As business analysts progress in their career, most employers will expect them to have significant experience and, ideally, qualifications in ITIL, PRINCE2 and other agile frameworks. While not essential to entering the profession, these will land candidates in great stead for moving into mid-level and senior roles.
What is expected of business analysts?
Typically, business analysts will be expected to commit the following;
- Full-time hours – Business analyst roles are generally very demanding, meaning full-time (35 – 40 hours per week) hours are the norm, with flexibility and overtime required when the need arises
- Occasional evening or weekend work – When deadlines near or an office is under high pressure, business analysts may need to work outside of the employer’s core business hours. This is especially common in contract, project-based work
- Location – Normally based at the employer’s office
- Occasional travel – Travel may be required to visit internal and external clients and stakeholders
Business analyst benefits
Business analysts who are employed on a permanent basis will generally receive a good benefits package, including things like:
- Bonuses – Based on project performance.
- Pension scheme
- Private healthcare
- Car allowance or company car
- Corporate discounts
Who employs business analysts?
During the past four years, there has been a 150% demand increase for roles within technology, while the demand for tech professionals has grown almost 3x as much as the financial services industry. For this reason, a career as business analyst offers strong job security and fantastic opportunities for progression throughout the tech sector.
Business analysts are in demand across the public and private sector, as well as in large, medium and small independent businesses. While employment is often available on a permanent basis, there’s also a growing market for fixed-term project and consultancy work.
As the need for business analysts is so widespread, candidates can generally look for employment within an area that appeals to them. With that said, most roles are available within larger companies where change management is needed on an ongoing basis, such as businesses within:
- Financial services
- Utility services
Which junior jobs progress to business analyst roles?
Aside from junior and apprenticeship business analyst roles, there are a number of jobs which see employees naturally progress or sidestep into the industry. These include:
Software engineering, IT & programming
One of the most popular routes into business analysis is to transition from a job in another technical field. This is because professionals within technology, such as software engineering, programming and development, gain a host of transferable skills that are applicable to a job as a business analyst, even at entry-level.
While a fantastic career in its own right, many project managers sidestep into business analyst roles after gaining a few years of experience. Since project management naturally overlaps with business analysis, with both requiring a deep understanding of operational processes and the ability to build strong stakeholder relationships, it makes for a natural leap.
Which senior jobs do business analysts progress to?
Even though many professionals stay within business analysis for their entire career, experience can open doors to senior roles and highly lucrative opportunities in other fields.
Due to the in-demand skills gained in the profession, the possible career path for a business analyst is broad. However, common routes of progression include:
Senior or lead business analyst
Some business analysts move into senior and then lead business analyst roles, resulting in a significant salary increase. These jobs normally involve taking the lead on business analysis projects and programmes, owning the overall project delivery and leading a team of trainee, junior and mid-level business analysts.
After several years of experience, many business analysts choose to ‘go it alone’ and take the route of advising companies on business process on a freelance or contractor basis
Chief technology officer
A job as a chief technology officer is the holy grail of all IT roles, but is well in reach for highly experienced and successful business analysts. It is the highest technology position within a large company and requires the post holder to manage and direct an organisation’s entire technology operations.
Business analyst job description – conclusion
A career in business analysis is highly skilled, well-paying and offers a diverse range of opportunities across countless industries and employers.
With demand for IT and technology professionals growing by the day, business analyst roles offer enviable job security and incredible opportunities for progression.
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