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- Requires excellent analytical skills and the ability to work with people at all levels
- With experience, option to move into project management, consulting, or work in different industries
- Option to set up your own company and work freelance
You'll work with senior managers and other professionals to support changes to the way an organisation works, like improving decision-making processes, supporting the introduction of a new IT system, or developing a marketing and sales strategy.
This work could be for one specific project, or as a permanent feature of the organisation. You'll need to understand the current organisational situation, identify future needs and create solutions to help meet those needs, usually (but not always) in relation to information and software systems.
- Speak to managers to find out what they want to achieve
- Carry out fact finding tasks into business processes to see what they do and how they do it
- Analyse findings and use data modelling methods to help recommend changes and improvements
- Explain the benefits of your recommendations and look at the potential impact and risks
- Agree the best way to put recommended changes into place with management
- Oversee testing and quality checks of recommendations
- Support staff with changes and report any issues
In some cases, you may be responsible for managing a project through to completion. Salaries vary depending on experience, the industry and the size and complexity of project you're working on. There may be bonuses for meeting deadlines and an extra benefits package. Overtime may be available when project deadlines are close and will likely involve evening and weekend work. You'll be office-based but may spend time travelling between sites if you work for a larger organisation.
This role is ideal for someone with excellent analytical skills and the ability to work well with people at all levels.
There are no set requirements to become a business analyst, but previous project management experience and a working knowledge of project development methods like Waterfall or Agile will be helpful. A technical background, like in software development or programming, can also help.
You can apply directly for jobs if you've got several years' experience in project management, consulting or IT.
You could start by completing a business analyst higher apprenticeship, or a degree apprenticeship in project management, software engineering or cyber security.
It may be useful to have a first or higher degree in subjects like business information systems, business management, computing and systems development, or computer science.
With experience, you could move into project management, consulting, or work in different industries. Successful business analysts with considerable experience and a proven track record can progress to working at director and executive level.
You could also set up your own company and work freelance.