What is a Business Analyst and is it the right career for you?

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Contents

  1. What does a Business Analyst do?
  2. Why pursue a Business Analyst career?
  3. Business Analyst salary
  4. Typical job responsibilities
  5. What skills do Business Analysts need?
  6. Business Analyst qualifications and training
  7. How to get a Business Analyst job
  8. Become a Business Analyst with Multiverse

A career as a Business Analyst might suit you if you're a natural problem solver and want to work in tech, but how do you know it’s right for you? To help you decide, we'll answer key questions like:

We'll also guide you through the relevant qualifications you could pursue and how to get a Business Analyst job without college and student debt.

What does a Business Analyst do?

Business Analysts identify business needs and turn them into opportunities for growth. They also help organisations improve their processes, set goals and plan for change.

A Business Analyst might work on improving the entire organisation's processes or on a more specific project like a product launch. To be successful in their role, Business Analysts must be savvy researchers with strong problem-solving skills.

Other job titles that may fall under the Business Analyst umbrella include:

  1. Business Process Analyst
  2. Product Owner
  3. Business Systems Analyst
  4. Management Consultant

Some companies may also refer to Business Analysts as Data Analysts. While both professionals rely on data, their roles differ. Business Analysts use data to help companies improve business operations and create change. Whereas Data Analysts usually make raw data more accessible to other professionals (like Business Analysts).

Why pursue a Business Analyst career?

A Business Analyst career is worth pursuing if you like technology, solving problems and working with others. The job outlook for Business Analysts in the UK is healthy too. A quick search for "Business Analyst" jobs on LinkedIn shows nearly 33,000 openings.

It’s also a well-paying career. Salary for Business Analysts ranges from £46,000 to £77,000. The average salary is £57,000 a year, about £24,000 higher(opens new window) than the average pay for full-time employees in the UK (Reed). That said, you can make over £100,000 annually as a Business Analyst, depending on the industry.

Business Analyst salary

According to Talent, the average salary for entry-level Business Analysts in the UK is £30,000 per year. As a Junior Business Analyst, you can earn up to £42,500 annually. Senior Business Analysts earn around £52,500 to £70,000 annually.

Where you live in the UK affects what you earn too. Totaljobs data shows Business Analysts in London earn £67,500, while professionals in Leeds earn £52,500 a year on average. Also, some industries pay Business Analysts more. For example, Business Analysts in finance can earn over £100,000 a year.

Typical job responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a Business Analyst depend on company priorities, available resources and the industry. A typical Business Analyst job description may include the following responsibilities:

  1. Understand the business structure and model
  2. Analyse company problems and find data-informed opportunities for growth
  3. Conduct risk and impact analysis for system or process changes
  4. Recommend key business objectives based on data
  5. Work with internal and external stakeholders to solve business problems
  6. Create reports and presentations with visuals so leadership understands the data
  7. Prioritise the delivery of approved changes against business needs
  8. Test, analyse and report on any system or process changes
  9. Keep up with industry-specific training needs for yourself and the team
  10. Guide and train relevant teams throughout the planning, testing and implementation stages

What skills do Business Analysts need?

From good communication to data modelling, you'll need various skills as a Business Analyst. If this role interests you, focus on developing these functional and durable skills in your career:

  1. Analytical skills: You use data analytics to identify high-impact opportunities for change.
  2. Communication: You communicate your recommendations to different target audiences, including leadership.
  3. Data modelling: You analyse data a company collects and understand how it ties together.
  4. Data visualisation: You create charts and visuals to help stakeholders understand your interpretation
  5. Project management: You have experience implementing different approaches to project planning, including agile. You can oversee a project from start to finish and report its findings.
  6. Budgeting: You prioritise high-value business changes and deliver them within budget.
  7. Forecasting: You analyse cost, duration and available resources to keep projects on track.
  8. Technical knowledge: You’re familiar with common analytics tools like Tableau, Google Analytics and Microsoft Power BI.
  9. Problem-solving: You find data-informed solutions to business problems.

Business Analyst qualifications and training

To become a Junior or entry-level Business Analyst, you'll need:

  1. At least a grade of 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English
  2. Enthusiasm to learn and an interest in business

The following could also strengthen your application and improve your chances of landing a role:

  1. A relevant higher level qualification in Business Studies, Economics or Computing. An example could be an A level or BTEC in business.
  2. Any work experience or extracurriculars where you achieved relevant soft skills like presentation or communication skills
  3. An online course or qualification certificate like a Business Analyst certification from LinkedIn Learning

More senior roles may require additional education, but you don’t need a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. If you don't want to spend three to four years in a lecture hall, consider a university alternative like Multiverse’s degree apprenticeships. You'll earn a recognised qualification in Business, but unlike university, you'll gain real-world experience at a Fortune 500 company.

How to get a Business Analyst job

Barclays, Accenture and Amazon are a few companies that often hire Business Analysts in the UK. But smaller companies outside the banking, business consulting, and web services industries employ them too. Here are four ways to get a Business Analyst job.

Sharpen your data analytics skills

Data analysis underpins everything you'll do as a Business Analyst. Employers will look for candidates with solid skills in data analytics (or a willingness to improve them). If you want to sharpen your data analytics skills, try the following:

  1. Practice problem-solving with games, brain teasers and puzzles: Sudoku, logic puzzles and board games help you connect the dots between data and predict outcomes.
  2. Engage with mock datasets: Mock data sets are available online. They're a low-risk way to experiment with data, learn from mistakes and try new formulas. You can also practice making decisions based on data.

Get paid to learn business analytics with an apprenticeship

You don't need a university degree to become a Business Analyst. Many employers are happy to pay you to train on-the-job. With a relevant apprenticeship programme, you'll get paid for your regular working hours and time spent studying towards your apprenticeship qualification with industry experts.

With Multiverse, you can earn from £18,000 to £25,000 yearly while completing your programme. To top it off, you'll get real-world experience in the following areas:

  1. Using data to find high-impact opportunities for change
  2. Defining key business objectives and requirements
  3. Modelling proposed business changes
  4. Presenting a business case with data visualisation
  5. Communicating with different stakeholders, including leadership

To be eligible for a Multiverse Business Analyst apprenticeship, you must demonstrate an interest in the subject area and relevant skills (or a commitment to learning them). You’ll also need at least a grade of 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English.

Visualise data and practice your presentation

As a Business Analyst, your role isn't just about analysing and understanding data. You must also communicate data in a way that others understand too. If stakeholders (especially leadership) can't understand the data behind your suggestions, it's hard to get the approval to execute them.

So, improving your data visualisation and presentation skills can set you apart in this competitive field.

You can start by reading up on the different data visualisation techniques. If you're working with mock data sets, try using techniques to visualise the information in other formats. You might already know pie and bar charts, but network diagrams are also worth exploring.

Once you have engaging and easy-to-understand tables, charts and diagrams, try adding them to a presentation format. Then, practice presenting your data to family, friends or mentors.

Apply to jobs and prep your interview skills

To find the right opportunity, start applying to roles sooner rather than later. Applying for Business Analyst jobs might feel daunting, especially if you're a college or Sixth Form leaver.

The Multiverse application process serves to alleviate that feeling. Once you’re ready to apply for jobs, our team is dedicated to helping you prepare for interviews. Plus, if you’re accepted to an apprenticeship, you’ll receive personalized coaching from a mentor, who will help you develop your professional development skills for your future.

Become a Business Analyst with Multiverse

If you decide business analytics is the right career path for you, consider a Business Analyst apprenticeship. To get started, create a Multiverse profile(opens new window)—it'll take roughly 10 minutes to complete.

Our team can then double-check your eligibility and discuss apprenticeship options. If you're eligible, you'll have access to opportunities with top employers like Morgan Stanley, Capita and the NHS.

Team Multiverse

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