10 Key Business Analyst Skills Required to Excel in 2021

A Business Analyst's job is to bridge the divide between IT and business and ensure that an organization's outcomes are as effective as possible. To become a Business Analyst, you need a solid grasp of analyzing and reporting business needs, combined with an understanding of key performance methodologies. So, a selection of skills is needed for Business Analysts to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. In this blog, Let's discuss the skills a Business Analyst must have to excel in the field.

10 Key Business Analyst Skills Required to Excel in 2021
Updated on 02nd Jun, 21 26 Views

The job of a Business Analyst is to analyze data and provide solutions that help in the development and growth of a company. This blog will go through a list of Business Analysts’ skills and expertise. For better understanding, we have split the required Business Analyst skills into technical skills and soft skills. Let’s get started!

Watch this online YouTube video on Business Analyst skills for better understanding:

Technical Skills

Let’s begin with the technical Business Analyst skills. 

Business Analyst Technical Skills

Statistics and Probability

Statistics and probability are the basic Business Analyst technical skills. As the role of a Business Analyst is to find solutions from the data at hand, methods of statistics and probability will help them connect the dots to reach the solutions. The two subjects, statistics and probability, are key skills for Business Analysts that will help them better understand the vast amount of data and come up with efficient predictions.

The field of statistics helps Business Analysts analyze past outcomes and predict future performance. Whereas, probability helps in decision-making based on patterns present in the collected data. 

The following are the topics that are the most essential for these professionals to master:

  • Permutations and combinations
  • Probability distributions
  • The Bayes theorem
  • Regression analysis
  • Sampling techniques
  • Hypothesis testing
  • T-distribution testing
  • ANOVA (analysis of variance)

Programming Skills

Business Analysts usually deal with data and relevant coding. So, learning a programming language is essential for becoming a Business Analyst. Languages such as R and Python help them deal with analyzing big data. They should also be able to work on database management systems. For this, languages like SQL help them extract data from databases and also create and modify the data. 

Programming languages and databases required for a Business Analyst are:

Data Visualisation

Data visualization is a required skill for transforming raw data into actionable digital representations. Data visualization skills help Business Analysts assist clients in understanding the data and making strategic choices to meet their needs.

There are various types of data visualization techniques used by Business Analysts, including scatter plots, time series sequences, polar area diagrams, timelines, line graphs, and more. A Business Analyst must have the expertise to leverage all these techniques to come up with elegant and comprehensive visualizations. 

The following are the visualization tools you need to work on to become a Business Analyst. Mastering these tools will add more value to your Business Analyst skillset.

Preparing for an interview? Check out our Business Analyst Interview Questions.

Microsoft Excel

Excel is one of the oldest and most powerful analytics and reporting tools. Analysts use it to conduct a variety of calculations, make reports, and carry out budget analyses to uncover business trends. 

It is a spreadsheet that is very helpful to handle and analyze data easily. With just adding the appropriate formula, you can calculate the required parameters in a matter of seconds. Microsoft Excel is quite easy to learn and work with as well. It also helps Business Analysts prepare documentation and even to make decisions. Therefore, Excel is also one of the most important Business Analyst skills.

Documentation

The last in the list of the technical Business Analyst skills you can find documentation. Documentation is needed because Business Analysts analyze data, make a report, and create documentation on the basis of the data. This helps them in client and team meetings where these presentations will be used to make their point precise and clear. The combination of detailed documentation and Business Analyst presentation skills can impress the clients. Expertise in simple tools such as MS PowerPoint and MS Excel can help professionals make wonders.

Become a Business Analyst Master

These are the technical skills required for Business Analysts to thrive. However, a Business Analyst who plays a crucial part in various business processes must possess technical as well as soft skills to excel in their careers. So, now, let’s take a look at some of the most important soft skills included in the list of Business Analyst skills.

Soft Skills

In this section, all the must-have soft skills for a Business Analyst are explained. Let’s have a look at them.

Soft Skills for a Business Analyst

Communication Skills

Let’s start with the most important one on the list, i.e., communication skills. Communication is the most significant of all the skills required for Business Analysts. The main role of Business Analysts is to provide solutions for business development. They should be capable of sharing their ideas and views with their team in such a way that they are able to make their point clear and precise. This job role also involves meeting with clients and stakeholders on a daily basis. The professionals have to make sure that the clients understand their point, and excellent communication skills are needed to make that happen.

Here are a few tips to improve your communication skills:

  • Although you are good at the verbal language that is used in your office space, it gets complex when you deal with clients who are from different geographical areas. Listening will help you understand the different accents people generally use. While conversing, listening to how your friends and colleagues from different parts of the world talk, or even watching movies, can help you with improving your communications skills. So, first, listen carefully!
  • Then, start speaking. When you listen to some new words or sentences, get their meaning and try to use them. Talking with people who correct you when you get wrong will be helpful. You can also record your voice and listen to the accent you are using so that you can figure out where it is going wrong.
  • Prepare yourself before speaking. It is okay to take a few seconds while replying in any conversation. Take time to prepare well and then go on.
  • For people who struggle to speak with strangers, the only solution is to maintain a positive attitude. Start with a smile and a greeting. Then carefully, start your conversation. Try collaborating with more people even if it is tiring for you. You will eventually be able to overcome your fear.

Be proficient in speaking languages. Improve your communication skills. Learn from your errors!

Enroll in our Business Analyst course now to become a skillful Business analyst!

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills come next on the list of Business Analyst skills. Negotiation skills are required for a Business Analyst as the professional has to act as a bridge between IT and business teams in the organization.

To implement any business solution or idea, the business team and the tech team must agree on the requirement and the solutions that are put forward. To do that, the Business Analyst should have the skills to negotiate with both teams on various terms and conditions.

To negotiate with the team members, you will need the following qualities:

  • Patience is required to explain your point clearly and make your fellow mates convinced of your suggestions.
  • Interacting with your coworkers or clients in a friendly manner allows you to create an appropriate atmosphere. If you have positive vibes that can attract them to listen to your point, then it will be easy to convince them too. 
  • Being practical is necessary. People will only agree with you if you have practical and feasible solutions.
  • Being bossy is sometimes required. At times, you have to lead the team if it is your idea that they are working on. In such cases, you might have to divide the responsibilities among the team members and lead them.

As you can see, negotiation skills are as important as any other skills to become a Business Analyst.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is one of the core Business Analyst skills. Business Analysts must have the ability to think critically because this is a job where they need to meet the client’s expectations with their data analysis. So, they have to analyze the data in the light of different aspects and prioritize business requirements.

Here, they should also concentrate on the data they are collecting and the methods used for it because only perfect data can give perfect results. Thus, to fulfill various business demands, Business Analysts should inculcate critical-thinking skills as well. 

The steps you can follow to think critically are as follows:

  • Write the question down and understand it thoroughly.
  • Assemble all the required information.
  • Use what you have learned from the available information.
  • Consider the consequences.
  • Consider alternative viewpoints.

Decision-making

A Business Analyst is expected to provide solutions that are beneficial to the company’s growth. As a Business Analyst, your decision has a lot of impact on the company. So, you should make decisions that can overpower competitors and take your business to a new level.

That’s why you need to think more than twice before making any decision. The mindset to think from different aspects and predicting the possible results will help you make the perfect decision.

For better decision-making, you need to take note of the following points:

  • Recognize the main aspects that will influence the outcome of a decision.
  • Make an accurate measurement of your choices and set goals.
  • Consider the possible outcomes and their logical implications.
  • Identify danger and dissolve any confusion.
  • In situations that require economic evaluation, consider effective methods.
  • Always make the best decision possible.

Want to learn more about business analysis? Enroll in our Business Analyst course in Bangalore now!

Problem Solving

Last but not least, expertise in problem-solving helps Business Analysts succeed in their careers. The role of a Business Analyst is challenging in every step. To overcome the challenges, they should have the ability to solve them. Thinking vigorously about the source of a problem and the reason for it will lead them to find the appropriate solution to it. 

To solve any business problem, as a Business Analyst, you can follow these steps:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Determine the root cause of the problem.
  • Try examining the problem from different perspectives.
  • Find out the possible solution.
  • Identify the consequences of the solution.
  • Implement the solution.
  • Always review the result to improve the solution further.

After reading this blog, you would have understood what are the required technical and soft skills for you to become a Business Analyst. Today, to develop business operations, there is always a need for experts with key Business Analyst expertise. Therefore, skilled and certified Business Analysts are in high demand in all industry verticals. Enroll in Business Analytics online course offered by Intellipaat to become an expert in Business Analytics.

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