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Business Analyst vs Product Manager - What is the difference?

Business Analyst vs Product Manager - What is the difference?

Some of the skills required by Product Managers and Business Analysts can sound similar. The meaning of these titles varies from company to company. A few companies refer to Business Analysts as Product Owners. However, both positions collaborate to create goods that consumers can appreciate. Let’s differentiate between the role of a Business Analyst and a Product Manager.

Before going on with the Business Analyst vs Product Manager discussion, let’s take a look at what exactly business analysis and product management mean.

What is meant by Business Analysis?

Business analysis is a research discipline that focuses on defining business requirements and finding solutions to problems. These solutions may include many changes in software system development components, process changes, organizational changes, changes in strategic planning, changes in policy development, and so on. The one who takes care of all these tasks is called a Business Analyst.

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Who is a Business Analyst?

A Business Analyst evaluates a business model or its integration with technology by analyzing an enterprise or business area and documenting its requirements, processes, or systems. With data analysis, Business Analysts assist companies in developing processes, products, facilities, and applications.

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What is Product Management?

Catering to all stages of the product life cycle, product management is the organizational process within a company that deals with new product creation, strategic goals, preparation, verification, forecasting, and pricing of products, product launch, and the promotion of the products or goods.

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Who is a Product Manager?

A Product Manager is a professional in charge of evaluating market dynamics, determining product features or functions, and managing product development. A Product Manager and the product management process are responsible for optimizing an organization’s impact and benefits.

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Business Analyst vs Product Manager

Now that we have gathered pretty much information regarding who these professionals are and what are the responsibilities they have, let’s now differentiate between Business Analyst and Product Manager job roles in this Business Analyst vs Product Manager blog.

Business Analyst Roles and Responsibilities vs Product Manager Roles and Responsibilities

  • A Business Analyst’s role is to be a middle man responsible for collaborating and initiating discussions between business and technical teams and fulfilling the requirements. This role also involves ensuring that everybody is on the same page when it comes to following guidelines and the latest business process. Whereas, the Product Manager role can be said to the product’s CEO as they just have the ownership of the product. The professionals are the controllers of the plan. They are in charge of the road map. They own the potential concept of what the end product would be.
  • Business Analysts focus on the inside of the company. This means that they concentrate on what is going on within the organization. Internal structures, procedures, and processes are evaluated by Business Analysts to make sure that all these help various teams in the company. Product managers are more focused on the outside of the company. This implies that they engage with consumers and assess prospects in the market so that they can analyze how to improve the products to compete in the market.

In simple terms, the Product Manager role solves problems for outsiders (customers), while the Business Analyst role solves problems for the company’s employees.

Wondering how different Product owners are from Business Analysts? Head to our blog on Product Owner Vs. Business Analyst to explore more!

Business Analyst Skills vs Product Manager Skills

  • A Business Analyst is a bridge between technical and business teams, and the core Business Analyst skills are technical and statistical knowledge and documentation skills. Whereas, a Product Manager can be said as a bridge between customers and the company. So, the Product Manager skills are those that are required to fulfill the role, such as identifying and analyzing industry insights and customer negotiation skills. 
  • Both Business Analysts and Product Managers should have certain soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, negotiating, etc., to make everyone work on the same page.

Therefore, the main difference between the skills of both profiles is that while a Business Analyst’s skill set involves statistics, probability, and documentation skills (technical skills), which are required for business analysis, a Product Manager’s skill set does not involve any of these. Instead, they should have knowledge of product development and the awareness of market trends to create products according to customer requirements.

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How do both professionals work in a company?

First, a Product Manager comes up with a solution or an idea for developing a product or improvising an existing product after analyzing customer needs and the market trends. Then, a Business Analyst does research and uses statistical and documentation skills to implement the solution by collaborating with business and technical teams.

The Product Manager owns the idea, and the Business Analyst owns the implementation process. They make sure that everyone is working on the same page, and both Business Analysts and Product Managers work together to find the best project solutions for the company.

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Steps Followed by Business Analysts and Product Managers in Any Project

A Business Analyst adopts the following steps to complete the project:

  • When a company receives a project, the Business Analyst first understands the business objectives. In this step, the professional focus on the business requirements and finds solutions to the identified problems.
  • Then, the Business Analyst gathers requirements for the project, and based on the budget provided for the project, he/she finalizes the software and tools required, allocates and assigns the resources with tasks, and guides them to accomplish these tasks.
  • The professional also provides suggestions throughout the product development process. For example, in an app development project, a Business Analyst provides suggestions on the app layout for a proper reach in the market. 
  • The Business Analyst collects feedback from the users, evaluates them, and suggests improvements accordingly. Then, he/she makes reports, exploring the performance of the product, and also of the company, using data visualization tools like Tableau.
  • The Business Analyst conducts meetings frequently with developers to make sure that everything is fine and as per the plan. Upon finding any errors, he/she can rectify them quickly in such meetings. 
  • Finally, the Business Analyst prepares documentation and presentations for the project.

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The steps followed by a Product Manager are as follows:

  • The Product Manager mainly concentrates on the user end. The professional works on market intelligence and finds out what the customer requirements are. Based on the facts, he/she designs the product.
  • The Product Manager also works on business strategy.
  • By collaborating with the Business Analyst, the Product Manager decides on the idea for the project.
  • He/she works on the growth of the product development process and makes sure that the product meets users’ expectations.

These are the differences in the steps followed by a Business Analyst and a Product Manager to complete a project.

Become a Business Analyst Master

Let’s now check out how we can differentiate a Business Analyst from a Product Manager in this Product Manager vs Business Analyst debate based on the scope and salary trends of these professionals.

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  • The scope of product management is more as compared to business analysis in India. As of now, there are around 11,564 Business Analyst jobs available on Naukri.com, while Product Manager jobs are around 12,507.
  • According to Glassdoor, the average Business Analyst’s salary is ₹750,000/year in India. Whereas, a Product Manager’s salary is up to ₹1,500,000 per annum on average in the country.

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After going through all the above facts, we can come to the conclusion about the difference between a Business Analyst and a Product Manager. As follows: Product Managers are concerned with the development of products, while Business Analysts are concerned with the development of business capabilities.

The product roadmap is the core responsibility of Product Managers, but Business Analysts need to focus on the growth of the company. The ultimate target for Product Managers is the product, while Business Analysts are in charge of identifying the criteria for bringing out business potential.

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