Business analytics today is more data-driven than ever. There are a number of enterprises that have actively merged these two roles. However, business analysts differ from a data analyst in terms of what is at stake. A data analyst can use his or her tools to sift through data and find patterns. Those patterns may or may not yield some insights. It is up to the executive body to make sense of those insights and use them to bring certain changes to the business processes.
A business analyst has to get directly involved in the business processes to find out what is working for the company and what is going against its interest. Now, the business analytics professionals are equipped with analytical tools and they know how to use them thanks to the business analytics courses which have updated themselves according to the need of the hour. These tools aside, there are some apparently insignificant habits that make a huge difference.
- Active Communication
It is one thing to be able to communicate with a person but it requires a completely different set of skills to communicate effectively and efficiently to understand the problems of a person, including those which he is not being able to specify. Listening between the lines is one of the key skills in a business analyst’s arsenal.
- Domain knowledge
As a business analyst, you can be working in the manufacturing industry, at an NGO or a law firm. You need to know the industry inside out in order to make sense of the data. It is also important to know the business in order to serve the businessmen better. It is a good practice to spend some time reading and understanding the industry.
- Updated tool kit
It is an absolute necessity to stay up to date with the state of the art technology. You need to update your skills before your boss asks you too. It builds your reputation as a proactive employee and makes you indispensable.
- Keep in touch with the peer world
How do you know that a tool is working better than the one you are using, Or that a certain practice in data cleaning is more efficient than the other? Simple, you talk to people. You stay in touch with your peers across different industries.
- A keen eye for opportunities
As a business analyst, your primary goal is to improve business processes so as to reduce risk, increase profitability, spot unnecessary expenses, trigger new initiatives, identify obsolete ones. It takes a good understanding of the data at hand as well as a strong foresight which is developed over time as you spend more time in the industry. Finding these points of inefficiency in the business processes can be harder than it sounds. It takes a lot of practice, patience, and experience. You must keep your eyes open to spot inefficiency and make a habit of doing it.
These habits are built over time. Once you have got them, you will feel more confident and equipped with your role as a business analyst.