Business Analysis

Business analysis is the practice of understanding business needs, identifying problems, and finding solutions to improve an organization’s overall performance. Business analysts work closely with stakeholders to gather requirements, analyze processes, and recommend changes that help organizations achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.

Job Titles

  • Business Analyst
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Process Analyst
  • Requirements Analyst
  • Functional Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst

Required Skills

Analytical thinking: Ability to analyze complex business problems, identify root causes, and propose effective solutions.

Communication: Strong written and verbal communication skills to convey complex ideas to both technical and nontechnical stakeholders.

Requirements gathering: Proficiency in gathering and documenting business requirements from various sources.

Process modeling: Familiarity with creating process maps and flowcharts to visualize business processes.

Technical knowledge: Understanding of relevant technologies and tools used within the organization or industry.

Data analysis: Ability to analyze and interpret data to support decision-making and identify trends.

Project management: Knowledge of project management methodologies and the ability to manage projects effectively.


While there is no one clear path to breaking into business analysis field, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management information systems, computer science, or a related field maybe helpful to break into business analysis. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a relevant field. Industry certifications, such as the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) or Professional in Business Analysis (PMIPBA), can also be beneficial.

Career Path

A career path for a business analyst can be diverse and offer many opportunities for growth and advancement. Here is a typical progression for a business analyst, with potential roles and responsibilities at each stage:

Entry-Level Business Analyst / Junior Business Analyst:

  • Gain experience in analyzing business processes, requirements gathering, and documentation
  • Learn to work with cross-functional teams and stakeholders
  • Develop skills in relevant tools and methodologies, such as SQL, Excel, and Agile
  • Obtain relevant certifications, such as the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)

Mid-Level Business Analyst / Business Analyst:

  • Take on more complex projects and responsibilities
  • Develop expertise in specific industries or domains
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to define project scope, objectives, and requirements
  • Facilitate workshops and meetings for requirements gathering and validation
  • Obtain additional certifications, such as the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) from IIBA or the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) from

Senior Business Analyst / Lead Business Analyst:

  • Lead projects and mentor junior team members
  • Drive the development of business solutions by working closely with project managers, developers, and other stakeholders
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing processes and recommend improvements
  • Contribute to strategic decision-making by providing data-driven insights and recommendations
  • Obtain advanced certifications, such as the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) from IIBA or the Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) from IIBA

Specialization / Domain Expert:

  • Develop deep expertise in a specific industry, such as finance, healthcare, or retail
  • Become an expert in a specific area of business analysis, such as data analytics, process improvement, or change management
  • Obtain relevant certifications or training in the chosen specialization, such as the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) for data analytics or the Lean Six Sigma Green/Black Belt for process improvement

Management / Leadership Roles:

  • Transition into a management role, such as a Business Analysis Manager or Director of Business Analysis
  • Oversee a team of business analysts, manage projects, and develop business analysis strategies
  • Collaborate with senior leadership and contribute to the overall business strategy
  • Pursue an executive-level role, such as CIO, CTO, or COO, depending on the individual’s background and interests

Consulting / Freelance:

  • Utilize expertise and experience to provide business analysis consulting services to clients across various industries
  • Develop a personal brand and network to establish a successful freelance or consulting practice

Throughout their career, business analysts should continuously focus on building their skills, staying updated with industry trends, and networking with professionals in their field. This will enable them to identify new opportunities and advance their careers in the direction they desire.

Salary Range

$50,000 – $100,000+ (varies based on experience, location, and industry). 

Work Setting

Business analysts typically work in a variety of settings such as:

  • Onsite
  • Remote
  • Hybrid (mix of both)


Business analysis professionals can work in a wide range of industries, as virtually every organization can benefit from the skills and expertise of a business analyst. Some of the industries where business analysts are in demand include:

Finance and Banking: Business analysts in this industry work to optimize financial processes, develop risk management strategies, and implement new financial systems and tools.

Healthcare: In healthcare, business analysts may help improve patient care, optimize hospital operations, implement electronic health records, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

Information Technology (IT): Business analysts in IT work to develop and implement software, hardware, and network solutions that align with organizational goals and meet user needs.

Telecommunications: In this industry, business analysts help design, develop, and implement new products and services, improve network efficiency, and optimize customer experience.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Business analysts in this field work to optimize production processes, reduce costs, improve product quality, and enhance supply chain efficiency.

Retail and E-commerce: In the retail and e-commerce space, business analysts may focus on optimizing sales and inventory management processes, improving customer experience, and implementing new technologies to enhance business performance.

Energy and Utilities: Business analysts in this sector work on projects related to energy efficiency, infrastructure modernization, and regulatory compliance.

Insurance: In the insurance industry, business analysts may work on projects related to policy development, claims processing, underwriting, and risk management.

Government and Public Sector: Business analysts in this field help government agencies and public organizations improve their processes, implement new technologies, and optimize resource allocation.

Consulting: Many business analysts work for consulting firms, providing their expertise to clients across various industries on a project basis.

Employment  Outlook

While specific projections for business analysts are not available, the demand for professionals in management, scientific, and technical consulting services is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. This growth is driven by the need for organizations to improve their operations and adapt to changing market conditions.

Helpful Personality Traits

Individuals who are well-suited for business analysis careers typically display the following characteristics:

Problem-solving: Aptitude for identifying and resolving complex business problems.

Analytical thinking: Ability to analyze information and data to make well-informed decisions.

Detail-oriented: Precision and attention to detail when documenting requirements and analyzing processes.

Communication: Strong communication skills and the ability to work effectively with stakeholders at various levels of the organization.

Adaptability: Willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies, tools, and methodologies.

Key Concepts & Terminologies

A business analyst should be familiar with various key concepts and terminologies to effectively communicate with stakeholders and successfully execute their role. Here is a list of some important terms and concepts:

  1. Business Process: A sequence of tasks or activities performed by an organization to achieve a specific goal or produce a specific output.
  2. Business Process Modeling (BPM): A visual representation of an organization’s business processes, typically created using flowcharts or diagrams, to facilitate understanding and analysis.
  3. Requirements: The documented needs and expectations of stakeholders that a solution or system must fulfill to achieve its desired outcome.
  4. Functional Requirements: Specifications that describe the features, functions, and capabilities a system or solution must have to meet its intended purpose.
  5. Non-Functional Requirements: Specifications that describe the performance, usability, security, and other quality attributes of a system or solution.
  6. Stakeholders: Individuals, groups, or organizations that are impacted by, have an interest in, or can influence a project or initiative.
  7. Use Case: A description of how a user interacts with a system or solution to accomplish a specific task or achieve a particular goal.
  8. User Story: A brief, informal description of a specific requirement or feature from the perspective of an end-user, typically used in Agile development methodologies.
  9. Agile: A flexible, iterative approach to software development and project management that emphasizes collaboration, customer feedback, and incremental improvement.
  10. Scrum: An Agile framework for managing complex projects, with a focus on iterative progress, collaboration, and adaptability.
  11. SWOT Analysis: A strategic planning tool used to evaluate an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
  12. Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively an organization is achieving its key objectives.
  13. Gap Analysis: A method for comparing the current state of a system or process with a desired future state, identifying the gaps or differences between them.
  14. Change Management: The process of planning, implementing, and managing change within an organization, with a focus on minimizing disruption and maximizing the benefits of the change.
  15. Data Analytics: The process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to uncover patterns, trends, and insights that can inform decision-making.
  16. Business Intelligence (BI): A set of tools, technologies, and processes used to collect, analyze, and present actionable information to help organizations make informed decisions.
  17. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): A software system that integrates and manages an organization’s core business processes, such as finance, human resources, and inventory management.
  18. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A software system that helps organizations manage interactions and relationships with their customers, with a focus on improving sales, customer service, and marketing efforts.

These concepts and terminologies are fundamental for business analysts to understand and apply in their day-to-day work, helping them effectively analyze business problems, communicate with stakeholders, and contribute to the development of successful solutions.

Day In The Life of A Business Analyst

A day in the life of a business analyst can vary depending on the organization, industry, and specific project they are working on. However, here is a general outline of what a typical day might involve:


  1. Review schedule and prioritize tasks: Start the day by reviewing the calendar, checking emails, and prioritizing tasks to ensure the most critical items are addressed first.
  2. Attend team meetings or stand-ups: Participate in daily team meetings, Agile stand-ups, or project status meetings to share updates, discuss progress, and address any issues or roadblocks.
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders: Communicate with stakeholders, such as project managers, developers, and end-users, to gather feedback, clarify requirements, or provide updates on project status.

Mid-Morning to Early Afternoon:

  1. Analyze data and processes: Spend time analyzing data or evaluating business processes to identify areas of improvement, potential risks, or opportunities for growth.
  2. Document requirements and create artifacts: Document business requirements, create user stories or use cases, and develop visual representations of processes (e.g., flowcharts or BPMN diagrams) to facilitate understanding and collaboration among team members.
  3. Validate requirements: Review requirements with stakeholders to ensure they are accurate, complete, and aligned with business objectives. Make adjustments as needed based on feedback.


  1. Participate in workshops or meetings: Attend workshops, brainstorming sessions, or meetings to discuss project requirements, identify potential solutions, or review progress with team members and stakeholders.
  2. Test and review solutions: Work with the team to test and review proposed solutions, ensuring that they meet business requirements and align with stakeholder expectations.
  3. Monitor project progress: Track progress against project milestones, identify potential risks or issues, and collaborate with the project manager to develop mitigation strategies or adjust plans as needed.

Late Afternoon to Evening:

  1. Prepare for upcoming meetings or presentations: Review meeting agendas, prepare materials or presentations, and gather any necessary data or artifacts to ensure productive discussions and decision-making.
  2. Update project documentation: Update project documentation, such as status reports, requirements documents, or process maps, to reflect any changes or updates that have occurred during the day.
  3. Wrap up and plan for the next day: Review the day’s accomplishments, update the task list, and prioritize activities for the next day to ensure a smooth transition and continued progress.

Throughout the day, a business analyst may also engage in professional development activities, such as reading industry articles, attending webinars or training sessions, or networking with colleagues, to stay informed and enhance their skills. Keep in mind that the specific activities and schedule of a business analyst can vary greatly depending on factors like their role, industry, and the projects they are working on.

Use Case for A Business Analyst

In tech, a business analyst can be instrumental in improving existing software applications or developing new ones. Here’s a use case outlining the role of a business analyst in a tech company that wants to create a new mobile app for its customers:

Project: Develop a Mobile App for an E-commerce Company

  1. Identify the problem: The business analyst works with stakeholders to understand the company’s objectives and identify the problem they want to solve. In this case, the company aims to improve the shopping experience for its customers by launching a user-friendly mobile app.
  2. Gather requirements: The business analyst collaborates with stakeholders, such as product managers, marketing teams, and customer support representatives, to gather functional and non-functional requirements for the app. This may involve conducting workshops, interviews, or surveys to understand user needs, expectations, and preferences.
  3. Analyze and prioritize requirements: The business analyst analyzes the requirements to identify dependencies, risks, and opportunities, and prioritizes them based on factors like business value, user impact, and technical feasibility.
  4. Document requirements and create artifacts: The business analyst documents the requirements and creates artifacts, such as user stories or use cases, to facilitate understanding and collaboration among the development team. They may also create wireframes or mockups to visually represent the app’s user interface and functionality.
  5. Collaborate with the development team: The business analyst works closely with the development team throughout the software development process, clarifying requirements, answering questions, and providing feedback on the app’s design and functionality.
  6. Validate the solution: Once the development team has built a prototype or an initial version of the app, the business analyst reviews it to ensure that it meets the requirements and stakeholders’ expectations. They may conduct user acceptance testing (UAT) with agroup of end-users to gather feedback and identify any issues or areas for improvement.
  7. Facilitate communication: The business analyst acts as a bridge between the development team, stakeholders, and end-users, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. They may attend status meetings, provide project updates, or facilitate discussions to address any concerns or roadblocks that arise during the project.
  8. Support implementation and change management: When the mobile app is ready for launch, the business analyst may assist in the implementation process, such as training end-users, creating user guides, or developing communication materials to inform customers about the new app. They may also help manage any organizational changes that result from the app’s implementation, such as updates to internal processes or workflows.
  9. Monitor and evaluate the app’s performance: After the app has been launched, the business analyst continues to monitor its performance by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as user engagement, app downloads, or average transaction value. They may analyze this data to identify trends, opportunities, or issues that need to be addressed, and provide recommendations for future app updates or enhancements.

In this use case, the business analyst plays a crucial role in ensuring that the e-commerce company’s mobile app meets the needs of its customers and aligns with the organization’s goals. By effectively gathering and managing requirements, collaborating with the development team, and facilitating communication among stakeholders, the business analyst helps the company create a successful app that provides a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for its users.


Business analysts use a variety of tools to help them gather, analyze, and document information, as well as communicate with stakeholders and manage projects. Here is a list of some common tools used by business analysts:

Microsoft Office Suite:

  • Microsoft Word: for creating and editing documents, such as requirements specifications or reports
  • Microsoft Excel: for data analysis, calculations, and creating charts and graphs
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: for creating presentations to communicate project updates, findings, or recommendations
  • Microsoft Visio: for creating process flowcharts, diagrams, and other visual representations of business processes

Project Management Tools:

  • Trello: a visual project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organize tasks and track progress
  • Asana: a task and project management tool that helps teams plan, organize, and track work
  • Microsoft Project: a project management software that enables planning, scheduling, and monitoring of projects

Collaboration and Communication Tools:

  • Slack: a messaging platform that facilitates team communication and collaboration
  • Microsoft Teams: a communication and collaboration platform that integrates with Office 365 and other Microsoft applications
  • Zoom: a video conferencing tool that enables virtual meetings and webinars

Requirements Management Tools:

  • Jira: a popular issue and project tracking tool, commonly used in Agile software development environments
  • Confluence: a collaborative content management platform that integrates with Jira, allowing teams to create, share, and manage project documentation
  • Blueprint: a requirements management tool that helps business analysts define, validate, and manage requirements

Process Modeling and Diagramming Tools:

  • Lucidchart: a web-based diagramming tool that allows users to create flowcharts, process maps, and other visualizations
  • (also known as a free, open-source diagramming tool that supports a wide range of diagram types, including flowcharts, UML diagrams, and BPMN models
  • Balsamiq Wireframes: a wireframing tool that enables business analysts to create low-fidelity mockups of user interfaces

Data Analysis and Business Intelligence Tools:

  • Tableau: a data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive and shareable dashboards
  • Power BI: a business analytics tool that enables users to visualize and analyze data, create reports, and share insights with stakeholders
  • SQL (Structured Query Language): a programming language used to manage and query relational databases, helping business analysts retrieve and analyze data

Customer Feedback and Survey Tools:

  • SurveyMonkey: an online survey platform that enables business analysts to create, distribute, and analyze surveys to gather user feedback
  • Google Forms: a free, easy-to-use tool for creating and distributing surveys and collecting responses

These tools can help business analysts streamline their work, improve collaboration with stakeholders, and enhance their ability to analyze and present information. It’s important for business analysts to familiarize themselves with these tools and select the ones that best fit their needs and the requirements of their projects.

FREE Resources

International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA): Offers free resources, articles, and webinars on various business analysis topics and best practices.

BA Times: Provides free articles, podcasts, and resources on business analysis, covering tools, techniques, and trends.

Coursera: Features free online courses in business analysis, data analysis, and other related topics from top universities and institutions.

LinkedIn Learning: Offers a range of free courses on business analysis, project management, and other relevant skills (free trial available).

Modern Analyst : Provides free articles, forums, and resources for business analysts, covering various tools, techniques, and best practices.