10 Business Analyst Skills That Every Great Analyst Must Have

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Business analyst skills are crucially important for your success in the business world. As a business analyst, you will need to use a plethora of different abilities during your day to day work. Many individuals believe that focusing on building your strengths is a waste of time.

10 Business Analyst Skills That Every Great Analyst Must Have

It could take time and cause frustration. However, building your business analysis skills does not have to be a difficult process. In fact, there are some easy ways to do this which are accessible to nearly anyone.

In this article, we will discuss what business analyst skills are, why they are beneficial, and how you can build them.

What are Business Analyst Skills?

Business analysts have a plethora of different skills. In general, a trait counts as a business analyst skill if it helps you work more productively and feel more passionate as a business analyst. There are a wide variety of skills that fall under this broad category.

Business analyst skills can be both soft or hard. For instance, business analysts need to thoroughly understand their business model, which requires memorization.

They must also have some education, use reporting tools, and have tech skill, which are all technical. On the other hand, soft skills are anything from decision making to communication.

Why Is it Important To Recognize Business Analyst Skills & Their Benefits?

As a general rule, recognizing and improving upon your strengths will provide you with a plethora of benefits. The same is true for business analysts. If you take the time to build your business analysis skills now, you will reap the benefits in the long-run.

Nearly every aspect of your work will be improved if you do this. More specifically, those who recognize their analyst skills in business often get the following benefits:

  • Helps you increase your efficiency and productivity, which leads to your firm getting greater revenue as well as profit.
  • Building your satisfaction for your job and helping you become more positive.
  • Allows you to better communicate with both fellow employees, bosses, and customers.
  • Gives you the skills necessary to land your dream job, further your career, and impress interviewers.
  • Empowers you to create more lofty goals, then meet and exceed them.
  • Allow you to better weigh your options before making decisions, while still being efficient and taking logical risks.
  • Boosts your confidence helps you better present yourself.
  • Increases your ability to navigate a fast-paced and constantly changing environment.
  • Helps you build long-lasting and meaningful connections with partners and coworkers.
  • Improves your business leadership and entrepreneurial abilities, thus giving you more autonomy and control over your future.

List with 10 Examples of Business Analyst Skills

Now that you are aware of the many benefits you could get from business analyst skills, you might begin to get interested in building these strengths.

List with 10 Examples of Business Analyst Skills

There are a plethora of different skills included within the broad category of business analyst skills. If you want to become a fantastic business analyst, it is crucial to build up all of these skills and stay confident. To be more specific, these are the top business analysis skills:

1. Decision making skills

Analysts will need to make business decisions on a near daily basis. As such, you must build up these skills to ensure you are confident and accurate when you make choices.

This will help you become a more successful analyst. Try to think of all the different options you have before committing to one decision. Weigh and reflect on your decisions as you make them.

2. Negotiation

As a business analyst, you need to know how to negotiate. Often, this will come from dealing with customers. You will sometimes not get everything you want from a deal.

To not lose your customer or create immense conflict, you will need to use negotiation skills. These negotiation abilities will also help you seem more professional and acquire more customers.

3. Communication skills

Effective communication is a skill that is highly beneficial to nearly any employee. This is absolutely true with analysts as well. Excellent communication skills can allow you to land clients, build better bonds with your coworkers, network effectively, and much more.

Communication is about more than just talking, though. It also includes active listening, asking questions, understanding body language, and more.

4. Critical thinking

The greatest analysts know how to use analytical thinking. You will have to solve problems and look for solutions outside of the box at times. This is when critical thinking becomes extremely helpful.

Whether it be your boss asking you to write a report or analyzing your client’s recent performance, a strong understanding for critical thinking will be one of the top skills necessary to succeed for you.

5. Being professional

Professionalism is a major aspect of being a businessperson. Antsy still need to recognize their particular business’s strengths and the current revenue, profit, and other factors that are related to business operations.

Professionalism also includes being on time and dressing in an appropriate way. Making sure you give the right first impression is great when meeting new clients.

6. Software skills

Knowing how to use commonly utilized softwares is necessary for a business analyst’s success, too. This is one of the top technical skills required for this job. You will likely need to know how Microsoft Excel or a Google Spreadsheets operate.

In general, become familiar with the most commonly used Adobe, Microsoft, and Google business products for your industry. Ask your coworkers for help when you need it, and you will eventually master this skill.

7. Confidence and presentation skills

If you decide to become a business analyst, you will be expect to propose business solutions and data reports to groups of people. You have to be a great speaker and confident to do this convincingly. By practicing your public speaking and commuting to staying confident no matter what, you can land many more clients. It will also help you stay in a positive mindset.

8. Organization and planning

These are another two skills that are applicable to nearly any job in any industry. Staying organized will save you both time, money, and frustration. It increases your efficacy as well as focus. Planning ahead helps you stay ahead of the crowd. While your competitors may be disoriented and stumble when giving reports, you will be prepared and calm, a much better alternative to the latter.

9. Statistical analysis 

Another necessary hard skill, statistical analysis is one of the key job duties for someone in the business analytics industry. A successful business analyst knows how to quickly and accurately acquire and analyze data. They know how to simply explain their findings to their clients and formulate plans based on this data, too.

10. Adaptability

Anyone who works with clients who own businesses, particularly startups, needs to be adaptable. Today’s entrepreneurial climate is constantly changing, and new innovations and appearing seemingly out of nowhere on a daily basis. You must be able to adapt your strategies so you stay up to date with the trends in your industry. This will also make you appear more informed to your clients.

How To Identify & Master Business Analyst Skills

If the previous list of of business analysis skills gets to excited and motivated, identifying your current business analysis abilities is the next step for you.

To most people, this seems daunting at first. Questions may start running through your head: how much do I need to work for these skills? Is there a certain monetary investment required to acquire them?

Luckily, you do not need to spend years in an industry to acquire business analysts skills. Nor do you need to spend hundreds of dollars, either. In fact, you probably already have a few analysis skills that you simply are not aware of.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to find your current business analysis skills is by taking an online test. The best assessment you could take is the HIGH5 strength assessment. HIGH5 gives you a complete overview of your strengths. And, it’s completely free as well!

Another way you could go about discovering your strengths is through analyzing your current and past job performances. Notice if your boss says you did something especially well in any of your projects.

See the type of feedback your clients and coworkers give you, too. And, think about it for yourself: is there a particularly strategy I use to boost my success in this industry? Which strengths does the strategy revolve around?

This will help you determine your business knowledge and current abilities, but not as quickly as the HIGH5 will find your strengths.

How To Improve Business Analyst Skills in The Workplace

Once you take the HIGH5 test or perform a self-reflection on your abilities, the next step in your skill development journey is building upon your strengths.

How To Improve Business Analyst Skills in The Workplace

This is not the way most individuals approach improving their skills, though. Many focus on their weaknesses, asking: how do I turn them into strengths? In truth, this approach is inefficient and often harmful, as it makes you less confident and more negative.

On the other hand, using a strength-based approach helps you develop your skills while still being true to yourself. One of the simplest ways to improve your business analyst skills is by asking for feedback.

Any chance you get, try to get input from a customer, coworker, partner, or boss. Note down what they think you are doing well, and what you may need to do some additional work on.

In addition, a bit of comparison may be beneficial to you as well. See the strategies others (especially more experienced analysts) use to succeed. Try to find people who have similar strengths to mentor and coach you if possible.

Additionally, you also want to maximize your opportunities for using your strengths. Volunteer for networking events, give speeches as well as presentations, help with projects, and generally get involved within your business community.

Finally, learning some technical skills could also be beneficial for you. Try to write down a few softwares you know how to use, but would like some improvement on.

For instance, you may know how to use Microsoft Word, but it always takes you time to import data. Find online tutorials that explain these processes to boost your efficiency and save you frustration.

How To Highlight Business Analyst Skills In Resume & Job Interview

Job interviews and creating resumes are a stressful process for nearly any employee. However, being organized and confident in what you put and say in these moments can calm some of your nerves. Many people are confused about where to put their skills on a resume, or how to properly articulate them in an interview.

First, some advice on what NOT to do: do not just list your skills. You have to remember that the interviewer does not know you, and thus, will not simply trust you.

They are aware most employees will include analyst skills on their resume regardless of whether they truly have them. Instead, you have to support your claims with some evidence.

Related: 30 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

For example, you could cite some data on how your clients saw an improvement of 20% more website visits after helping them create a web development strategy.

Or, you could describe how your communication helped your team land their biggest client in 5 years. Regardless, you should include these facts in both your interview and in the resume (under prior job descriptions). You could should include technical certificates, too.

What Are Differences Between Soft & Hard Business Analyst Skills

As previously mentioned, there are many different types of skills that are useful to business analysts. In general, these skills can be categorized into two distinct groups: hard and soft skills. There are numerous key differences between these skill types.

For one, hard skills are technical abilities. They include certificates, education, being able to use software or hardware, knowing foreign languages, and similar skills. These abilities are typically easier to learn. They are not inherently linked with your personality.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are not technical. They deal with your personality. Some examples of analyst soft skills are communication, decision-making, leadership, confidence, and more. These skills are more difficult to teach and learn, but they are still very possible to acquire. Having skills in both of these categories is necessary for success as an analyst.

Business Analyst Skills FAQs

What skills does a business analyst need?

There a plethora of different skills a business analyst requires to succeed in their line of work. For example, they need to know how to communicate effectively. Individuals will be communicating on a daily basis with clients, partners, bosses, and coworkers as analysts.

They should be adaptable, as the business world is constantly changing. Confidence is key for analysts, as a large portion of their job will likely be presentations and direct customer communication. Another major type of skill analysts need is technical abilities, such as software knowledge.

Organization, preparation, time management, positivity, and similar skills are also all very beneficial to business analysts.

Is SQL required for a business analysis?

While SQL is not technically required for you to be a business analyst, it is one of the best languages you could learn to boost career opportunities. Some companies do require data analysts to understand SQL (especially if you are in the United States or Canada).

Relational databases use SQL as a network to ‘talk’ with one another. Whether your company uses MySQL (which is particularly susceptible to cyber attacks), SQL Server, Oracle, or another platform, a SQL understanding is likely going to be crucial for mining data and using it in your projects.

You should try to learn SQL whenever given the opportunity to work more efficiently and impress interviewers.

What are the basics of a business analyst?

A business analyst is an individual who creates data reports, analyzes data, and communicates to clients about their business performance. The purpose of hiring a business analyst is finding what your company does well and what it needs worked on.

Analysts use the data they collect to judge a company’s strengths and weaknesses. Then, they may create plans to boost the company’s performance based on the data they gathered.

Many business analysts have backgrounds in technology, but having a software-related degree is not always necessary to land a job in this industry. Analysts often focus on improving efficiency and productivity within businesses. The best analysts try to approach the data with a unique and customer-focused perspective.

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