Every business analyst will have knowledge of the industry associated with their project. However, it takes more than technical skills to be an analyst. There is an essential business analyst skill set that is required to be successful in this role.
Some of these skills can come naturally. Others will have to be trained. That is the good news in this case. Every skill we will cover in this guide can be learned. If you are willing to put in the work, you can build the resume for becoming a great analyst.
Business Analyst Skill Set
A business analyst needs to be able to make sound judgment often, and quickly. They will have to discuss with clients what they want. From those conversations it is up to the analyst to decide what the requirements are. In some cases, they may be given very specific requests, and the requirements will be clear. Other times it is solely up to the analyst to decide exactly what is needed.
As the project develops, they will also have to make decisions about changes. The team may decide to cut a feature or requirement. Can they allow the project to move forward after these changes? As the business analyst, you must have firm decision-making skills. It is up to you to lead the project to success, and be ready to commit to a decision. Get this skill on FutureLearn »
A business analyst should be a speedy learner because each of his projects will involve different industries, each with their own specifics. Each business has a unique infrastructure and organization structure. A business analyst should be able to quickly learn the business area, customer requirements, financial and technical data. He must not only be able to quickly analyze and absorb new information, but also quickly adapt to new conditions. Get this skill on Coursera »
Over the course of a project the business analyst will have to review various technical information. A variety of documents and data will need careful analyzing. They will be responsible for considering all options. As well as leading the team with thoughtful questions. Once everything is evaluated, only then can the best solution be reached. Get this skill on FutureLearn »
The analyst is responsible for defining the requirements, but that doesn’t mean they don’t assist in the solution. Proper problem-solving skills that allow them to think through issues and identify the remedy will be needed. Any project will have its own share of complications. Being able to problem-solve is important for many careers. It has just as much value in business analysis, if not more, than any other technical leadership role. Get this skill on Coursera »
Communication is always key. Being able to properly execute a plan requires good presentation. Nothing can be accomplished without this skill. Even if you excel in every other area, without effective presentation you can’t hope to lead the team to success. An analyst presents a variety of information to many different types of people. Being able to adapt to the audience accordingly requires effective presentation abilities. Get this skill on Coursera »
Influence & Motivation:
Influence will be needed to lead both the team and investors. An analyst will study the data until they determine the best course of action. The team must then be convinced to implement the recommendations. In critical situations, the analyst may even need to influence a program manager to change course entirely on the project. Or in situations where this is not possible, they must convince a board of investors to change their requirements. Get this skill on Coursera »
The business analyst will have to accommodate two parities. They will want to help provide success and profit for their company. At the same time, they will need to help clients achieve their goals. It is unlikely that both the company and clients will have the same exact vision. It is up to the business analyst to negotiate on behalf of both. The end goal for the analyst is reaching a mutual solution that can be agreed upon by all parties. This requires a great deal of negotiation skills. Get this skill on Coursera »
All the above business analyst skills are important. Studying them individually will shape you into the right kind of analyst. Technical skill is necessary, but soft skills should never be overlooked. Read about technical skills in our business analyst courses review.