The world of analytics has become more complicated over time. Earlier, business analytics was an all entailing term that required a person not only to understand numbers, but interpret and make business decisions as well. However, with the advent of platforms that are increasing the amount of data generated, and Big Data bringing to light new trends in human behaviour, data analysis has become a specialised field in itself. Let’s look at the various aspects of what data analyst jobs entail, along with that of a business analyst, and how one complements the other. This can be your go-to guide of you are looking to make a career in data analytics.

Data Analyst Jobs

As per IBM research, the demand for data analysts will climb over 2.72 million by 2020. The report also concluded that in a single day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and that the Data Science and Analytics (DSA) market is expected to grow to more than $187 billion. Data analysts with the right skills are still less in number compared to the demand, hence the popularity of data analyst jobs. A basic level data analyst is an interpreter of chaos. With training in information technology, coding, and statistics, a data analyst is expected to have the project management skills required, to derive sense from patterns that imply consumer potential to marketers and producers. 

A senior-level data analyst is more of a puzzle solver who needs to have a disparate and multi-functional view of a data set. He/she must be able to read the context of a market in question, its economy, and have product knowledge as well. Marketing insights derived from the analysis of data provide for a wealth of information, and training for such a role takes years. 

Data Analyst Job Role

A data analyst needs to first collect data, inspect and clean it for a specific investigation, and then sort it as per its different categories, to run various tests. Statistical tools like Microsoft Excel, SPSS, SAS, SQL, among others, are required for these tests. To create specific commands, and to perform in-depth drilling, knowledge of coding languages like Python, R, and other languages is an added advantage. Post running the tests, interpretation in the backgrounds of additional available information like source of data, audiences, demographics, and cultural aspects are required to interpret and draw conclusions. 

Finally, using various reporting packages like Business Objects, Tableau, a data analyst might have to represent their findings so presentation skills are essential. Data Analytics requires a deep understanding of patterns, finding hidden trends, and revealing new insights. Learn how to become a Data Analyst here.

Business Analyst Job Role

A business analyst’s job is far more multi-disciplinary and stakeholder-oriented than data analytics. A business analyst is expected to understand the intricacies of a business and what it does at the information technology level. There are various business analyst job tiles, such as:
– Process Analyst
– Business Process Analyst
– IT Business Analyst
– System Analyst
– Functional Architect, among others. 

Along with technical knowledge, business process understanding is equally essential for a business analyst. Analysing where the issues lie in due course of the scope of a project, implementing requirements of the project, and identifying useful and appropriate resources, ensure that the business plan is in place. This must be done along with stakeholder approval and documentation. As a business analyst, you are not expected to be technically adept at specific information technology modules. A good, working overview of the hardware in question, operating systems, network, SDLC methods, and other aspects is essential, though. 

Data Analyst Vs Business Analyst

In short, data analysis is a part of the overall business analysis spectrum; business analyst jobs comprises a summation of the two entities.

While both roles require a different detailing of the data analytics business spectrum, you will see commonalities in the skills necessary to perform data analyst jobs and business analyst jobs. Critical reasoning, healthy and bright communication skills, Mathematical skills, and technical skills to uncover patterns and aid decision making are required for both. 

Use of Data Analysis and Business Analysis in Various Industries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is going to be an 11% rise in the data-related jobs between 2014 and 2024. This is a higher average than any other industry. Various industries, such as professional service providers, the financial sector, and insurance and manufacturing, among others, are the most significant users of data sciences. Information and retail marketing carefully follow this. Apart from insights, data has been helping industries all over the world reduce business expenses

In summary, data analyst jobs and business analyst jobs complement each other and differ slightly in the skills required and the roles they perform. Both are rewarding careers paths and skilled professionals can expect to be in demand and enjoy lucrative careers.

If you are interested in becoming a Data Analyst, check out Springboard’s Data Analytics career track which can be your doorway to acquire in-demand data analyst skill sets and make a career transition through 1:1 mentoring. Once you have the necessary intermediate data analysis skills to further your business, machine learning is the next logical step.