The role of a Business Analyst is growing in prominence as companies are becoming more and more forward thinking. Thanks to rapid digitalization, there is currently a surfeit of data available to businesses on each and every aspect of their operations. In order to make sense of those numbers, a business needs someone who can crunch the data to provide actionable insights.
This is exactly the part that a Business Analyst plays in the company. They present the higher management of the company with a clear picture of their operations and advise them on how to improve processes, efficiency, and revenue. The core objective of a Business Analyst is to help the company achieve its operational objectives within its realistic operational framework by suggesting the best ways to improve it.
In the present day, Business Analytics (BA) is also tapping into a variety of cutting-edge technology and tools to become more precise and result-oriented. Some of the highly acclaimed analytics tools in the market today include R Programming, Tableau, Python, RapidMiner, Apache Spark and everybody’s favorite – Microsoft Excel.
According to Gartner:
Business analytics (BA) is comprised of solutions used to build analysis models and simulations to create scenarios, understand realities and predict future states.
Business analytics including data mining, predictive analytics, applied analytics and statistics, and is delivered as an application suitable for a business user. These analytics solutions often come with pre-built industry content that is targeted at an industry business process (for example, claims, underwriting or a specific regulatory requirement).
What Is the Scope of a Career in Business Analytics?
There are a variety of positions available in the field of Business Analytics.
Top tier companies usually hire full-time business analysts, while small to mid-level companies may opt to employ them as business advisors or business consultants due to budgetary constraints.
LinkedIn data shows that the top companies hiring business analysts in India are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Accenture, Cognizant, Deloitte, American Express, Evalueserve, Ernst & Young, Amazon and Flipkart. This data also shows that the major industries hiring analysts include Information Technology and services, Financial Services, Computer Software, Management Consulting, Banking, Marketing and Advertising, Internet, Retail, Market Research and Human Resources.
As far as remuneration is concerned, Business Analysts are some of the highest paid professionals in the corporate ecosystem. According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a business analyst in India is INR 6,44,857 per year. However, this is just an entry level estimate, with most analysts earning up to INR 12,00,000 per year, especially those who are adept at the latest BA software and tools. When it comes to the higher end of the spectrum, established analysts with the right professional experience can take home something between INR 25,00,000 to INR 40,00,000 annually.
Business Analytics represents a golden opportunity for young professionals to switch to the strategic side of the business. While this does involve a lot of hard work and meeting manager/client expectations, it is also a highly paid and well-reputed job that carries with it a lot of responsibility and ownership.
This holds especially true in a developing country like India, where businesses are quickly scaling up to establish themselves at the international level. In order to do this, they need to rely heavily on Business Analysts to help the company pave the right path to future success.
How do I Become a Business Analyst in India?
By now you probably have a clear idea of the perks and benefits of being a Business Analyst, but the road to getting there requires good planning and academic perseverance. It is important to understand that the various qualifications required for a career in Business Analytics are not totally linear in nature. One can switch from other fields to Analytics, something which is happening a lot with tech professionals with academic certifications being the key factors to determine one’s position and salary.
Let’s take a look at the various requirements that one would need to fulfill in order to become a qualified and highly employable business analyst.
At the graduation level, a relevant degree in Business Administration or Finance will hold you in good stead, as both these fields sharpen your analytical skills and give you a good idea about business operations and objectives.
Many companies also prefer people with a background in IT and Engineering. This is because Business Analytics is becoming more and more reliant on technology and software. There is a widespread perception that technical personnel will be better equipped to administer dedicated BA software and tools, but this is not a hard and fast rule throughout the market.
After your graduation, you have the choice of getting straight into Business Analytics through a certification course. However, for many high-level jobs, which include board positions and higher advisory roles, companies prefer employees who have an MBA (Masters in Business Administration). Although this degree will not guide you directly into the field of Business Analytics, it has the potential to catapult your base position and salary to a higher level than those without an MBA.
If you want to move directly to Business Analytics, then a number of deemed universities in India offer various PG Diploma courses in BA. Some of the universities that offer such a course are the Indian School of Business, IIM- Bangalore, Praxis Business School, IBM-Aegis School of Business, and Great Lakes Institute of Management. These courses are either 12 or 24 months long and the fees range from INR 6 to 20 lakhs.
Pro Tip: A PG course can get you in quicker, but an MBA ensures faster growth.
If time and monetary investments make post-graduation difficult to pursue, then a short term professional certification can offer job-relevant skills and at better ROI in a short span of time. A Business Analytics Certification is now the primary requirement of most companies looking to hire a BA resource. This is a demand that has been recognized by most top universities in the world as well, many of whom offer paid online courses that are widely acclaimed and recognized by some of the top companies globally.
Some of the notable universities offering such a course include Harvard University, Colombia University and the University of Massachusetts. For those interested in getting certified in India, do check out the courses offered by AnalytixLabs.
Pro Tip: Certification in BA is a key requirement in order to become a business analyst, we would suggest a course that is associated with a reputed university.
The above are the three main academic criteria required to embark on a career in Business Analytics.
The best combination of the three would, of course, be an undergraduate degree, if possible followed by an MBA and then a certified course in BA. This would ensure your access to the upper echelons of BA jobs. However, the combination of an undergraduate degree plus post graduation in BA or certification in BA is also good enough to make you an attractive prospect in the job market. Needless to say, a good academic record right from school will boost your profile, and studying in the right colleges plays a huge part as well.
However, one should also keep in mind that there are many other soft skills that are required in order to become a competent analyst. In a highly competitive job market, there are many soft skills that can help differentiate you from others who have similar academic qualifications.
Some of the important skills that a top-notch Business Analyst ought to have included, but are not restricted to:
- Communication skills
- Technical skills
- Conceptual modeling skills
- Explanatory ability
- Mentoring and coaching skills
- Ability to recognize risks quickly
- Change management
- Impromptu whiteboard drawing
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Decision-making skills
- Negotiation and persuasion skills
- Managerial skills
For a Great Career Ahead…
The combination of your academic qualifications and the skills stated above will be enough to put you on the fast track to a successful career as a BA in India. The country is experiencing a dramatic upsurge in the corporate sector, as more Indian companies are leaving a global footprint. Many of the most skilled professionals in the country today want to be a part of this evolution, and by choosing a career path in Business Analytics, you can be at the forefront of this movement.