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Business Analyst vs. Data Scientist: A Comprehensive Differentiation

Business Analyst vs. Data Scientist: A Comprehensive Differentiation

Business analysts bridge the gap between Information Technology and the business using data analytics to assess processes and make data-driven recommendations to executives and stakeholders. 

Data scientists use scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract valuable information from raw data and derive actionable insights from that.

We are covering the following topics in this blog

Watch our introductory videos on Business Analysts here!

Who are Business Analysts and Data Scientists?

Business Analysts and Data Scientists both play a major role in a company’s growth. Both of these roles are required to deal with data. In any business environment, they work closely to understand and implement strategies in an organization. Let’s look into their definitions.

Business Analyst

Business analysts are responsible for understanding business requirements, laying out plans for the company and developing actionable insights. This role combines skills like analytics and business knowledge. Business analysts look into client and business requirements and communicate with clients to understand their business perspectives. 

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Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for analysing, preparing, formatting, and maintaining information from the data. They combine various skills ranging from Statistics, Python to even Hadoop to bring out a solution. Their role is to primarily model and analyse data. They delve into business generated data to extract meaningful insights. 

Let us now discuss the difference between a data scientist and a business analyst.

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What are the differences between a Data Scientist and a Business Analyst?

Now let us do a side by side comparison on Business analysts vs Data scientists – 

Difference between Business Analyst and Data Scientist

Apart from these differences, both these roles as a business analyst or data scientist are similar in many ways, since both involve data gathering and data modelling. The scope of data science and business analytics often overlap and some of the skill sets are required in both fields. Now, let’s define each of these fields in-depth and check their job description, roles and salary. Starting with Business Analyst.

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Complete overview of Business Analyst

In this section we will go through detailed descriptions of Business Analyst roles and responsibilities, we will then see the skill requirements for the role, and the final salary and trends.

Also, learn about How to Become a Business Analyst.

Responsibilities of a Business Analyst

Given below is the list of roles and responsibilities of a Business Analyst:-

  • They engage with existing and prospective customers and help them to understand products and solutions to meet their business requirements.
  • They ensure consistent growth in awareness, adoption and usage of products.
  • They understand the client’s business objectives and application needs.
  • They design the solution that best meets the client’s requirements
  • They promote products and solutions using presentations, demos, and effective documentation
  • They create documentary artefacts like business cases, usage scenarios, FAQs and meeting notes.
  • They lead or work with other customer success teams to ensure the successful completion of project milestones for production.
  • They lead client training sessions and support clients and play a key role in promoting solution adoption and usage
  • They Provide end-user feedback to the product team

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Skill Requirements for a Business Analyst

Given below is a list of Business Analyst skills:-

  • A technical degree for example:- engineering or MC, or business degree for example- MBA or BBA from a reputed institute with a minimum of 4-5 years of experience in software or consulting industry
  • Certification in the knowledge areas related to information security, business – process management or IT infrastructure
  • Knowledge of information security procedures and practices
  • Experience working for leading technology consulting companies
  • Enterprise-level business project experience with strong process analysis, design, delivery and documentation skills
  • Skills to manage, plan and organize multiple projects.
  • Presentation skills to demonstrate solution concepts
  • Ability to influence and build effective customer relationships
  • Experienced with general consultation skills that include team facilitation, business case development, strong business analysis skills.
  • Systems implementation skills: conceptual and detailed design, configuration, testing, training, change management, and support
Skill requirement for a Business Analyst

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Business Analyst Salary

The average salary for a Business Analyst, IT is ₹606,350 in India and $69,674 in the U.S according to the payscale website.

According to “zippia” website:- 

  • Entry Level Business Analyst salary:- The average starting salary is $56,043 for an entry Level Business Analyst with 0-2 years of experience.
  • Intermediate Level Business Analyst salary:-  The average starting salary is $71,865 for an Intermediate Level Business Analyst with 4-6 years of experience.
  • Senior BA salary:- The average starting salary is $86,635 for a Senior Business Analyst with 6-8 years of experience.
  • Expert BA salary:-  The average starting salary is $100,312 for an expert Business Analyst with 8+years of experience.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the field of Data Science.

Preparing for Business Analyst job interviews? Have a look at our blog on Business Analyst Interview Questions for Freshers!

Complete Overview of Data Scientist

In this section we will go through detailed descriptions of Data Scientist roles and responsibilities, we will then see the skill requirements for the role and finally salary trends.

Responsibilities of a Data Scientist

Given below is a list of roles and responsibilities of a Data Scientist:-

  • They demonstrate deep technical expertise in solving real-world business problems through the application of machine learning
  • They collaborate with other team members both within and outside the data science team to create data science products
  • They partner with the product team to create key performance indicators and new methodologies for the measurement of data
  • They prepare monthly sprint plans and prioritise requests from partner product teams
  • They Translate data into actionable insights for the stakeholders
  • They Automate reporting for weekly business metrics, identify areas of opportunity to automate analyses.

Check out the Data Science Course video to learn more about its core concepts:

Skill Requirements for a Data Scientist

Given below is a list of Data Scientist skills:-

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Data Science/Data Analytics, Maths/Statistics or related discipline.
  • Advanced degree in Data Science/Data Analytics or Maths/Statistics.
  • Experience in Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing, building and deploying Machine Learning models in production systems
  • Strong analytical skills such as the ability to infer knowledge/sense out of a variety of data and its applicability to the business problem
  • Knowledge of AWS and Data Warehousing
  • Strong programming skills: comfortable with Python – pandas, NumPy, scipy, matplotlib; Databases – SQL and NoSQL.
  • Comfortable with data-visualisation tools and techniques
  • Strong communication skills: the ability to both formulate and understand the business problem as well as the ability to discuss with non-data-science background stakeholders.
  • Comfortable dealing with ambiguity and competing objectives
Skill Requirement for a Data Scientist

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Data Scientist Salary

According to Glassdoor, The average Data Scientist salary in the United States is $71,883 as of May 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $65,201 and $76,436.

A 2020 Burtch-Works study of data science salaries reported the latest salary trends based on experience: 

  • The Entry-level data scientist salary:- The average starting salary for a data scientist remains high at $95,000. 
  • The Mid-level data scientist salary:- The average salary is $130,000. If this data scientist is also in a managerial role, the median salary rises to $195,000. 
  • The Experienced data scientists salary:-  The average salary for experienced data science professionals is $165,000—while the median salary for experienced manager-level professionals is considerably higher at $250,000.

In this blog, we looked into business analysts vs data scientists. Hope this blog helps you gain insight into the difference between the two careers. You can check out more videos on our youtube channel, or you can visit our website, to know more about the courses.

In case of any further questions, you can post them to our Business Analyst community!

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About the Author

Senior Research Analyst

As a Senior Research Analyst, Arya Karn brings expertise in crafting compelling technical content in Data Science and Machine Learning. With extensive knowledge in AI/ML, NLP, DBMS, and Generative AI, his works get lakhs of views across social platforms that benefit both technical and business spheres.