You’ve taken that first step of thinking about the switch. What next?  Are you wondering how, when, and where? And if it’s easy or even the right move for you? Well, the answer may be simpler than you think.  

Why a business analyst?

Given that most of the companies are providing services on the cloud, the need of the hour is to tackle tons of data, make sense out of it, and provide business solutions. Therefore, business analysts are in great demand, which makes your move a smart one! 

According to LinkedIn, India is expected to have the highest number of business analysts by 2020.  Not to mention the pay, which is cool and ranges from Rs. 4.23 lakhs to Rs. 1.7 million per year, depending on the seniority. 

So, what does the job entail?

A business analyst gathers and analyses business requirements, provides business insights, implements cost-effective solutions, and communicates with stakeholders regularly. A business analyst helps in decision making and provides real-time analysis. 

A business analyst ‘s responsibilities include:

  • Understanding business requirements and gathering inputs from various sources 
  • Analyzing data and extracting information
  • Identifying trends, opportunities, and problems
  • Communicating with stakeholders
  • Documenting and presenting findings
  • Implementing the best solution

Are you now ready to take the plunge to the business side?

Take stock and identify gaps

You already have an engineering degree, perhaps in computer science, information science, or other related disciplines. That’s a good start. However, are these technical skills enough for a business analyst role?  If you’re eyeing the business analyst job, then you must have good analytical and communication skills along with an engineering and math background. 

As a software developer, you have a limited role or exposure to the business side of things. A business analyst role requires you to be at the business end and be a part of the big picture. 

Check out the required skills of a business analyst:

  • Programming skills, especially, Python, R, or SAS
  • RDBMS skills like SQL and query languages
  • Knowledge of Hadoop 
  • Statistical or mathematical skills, experimental design skills
  • Knowledge of business intelligence tools such as Qlik, Tableau, etc
  • Data mapping and visualization skills
  • Analytical skills and project management experience

An MBA degree is a big plus, which can help you transition to the role of a business analyst smoothly. 

I don’t have the above skills, what do I do?

You already have solid technical and coding skills, which is great. But the biggest challenges for software developers pursuing business analyst roles are the lack of good business and communication skills. These skills are very important to a business analyst as they need to communicate their findings regularly. 

To transition, you need to:

  • Learn business basics through process classification
  • Hone behavioral and communication skills as the role requires a lot of interaction
  • Learn the process of business analysis
  • Learn modeling and management tools
  • Understand the business domain
  • Participate in conferences and peer groups

If this appears too intimidating, there’s no need to despair. You can acquire the necessary skills through short courses available online that can help you close the knowledge gap. 

 A short-term data analytics or a business analytics course can help you put your career on track and can address most of the stuff that we talked about. 

How does data analytics help me in my business analyst career?

Data analytics is a vast subject that involves scrutinizing lots of data, processing it to extract information, and drawing conclusions with the aid of specialized technologies such as business intelligence, machine learning, reporting, statistical modeling, etc. 

The use of data analytics helps businesses enhance revenues, improve operations, optimize business processes/marketing campaigns, gather market insights, understand business trends, and help in quick business actions.  And therefore, data analytics has wide-ranging applications across industries. 

Business analytics is derived from data analytics; therefore, if you understand data analytics tools and techniques well enough, you’re pretty much on the business analyst career path. 

What will I learn in a data analytics course?

A well-structured data analytics course offers you the following:

  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving – this has been identified as the biggest gap
  • Communication skills, which software developers lack
  • Hands-on experience using case studies
  • Analyzing business problems
  • Using SQL
  • Data visualization through Python
  • Other tools

This comprehensive curriculum maps to the required learning for a business analyst such as business basics, communication skills, business analysis, modeling, and visualization tools, etc. For example, you can learn data analysis by learning Python and you can learn to communicate using visualization tools such as Tableau. 

Some courses offer mentoring, resume building, and career placement assistance- make sure to check out such courses. 

What courses can I take?

Many data analytics courses are available in the market. Check out Springboard’s Data Analytics Career Track, a comprehensive and unique course covering key aspects of data analysis such as SQL, MS Excel, Python, Microsoft Power BI, and other advanced analysis techniques. This is provided in partnership with Microsoft.  We also offer career guidance and mentoring, which is extremely useful when you are just starting your career or jumping ship. 

You can also sign up for Machine Learning Career Track by Springboard or consider related courses in Data Science or Business Analytics.

To conclude

In short, switching from a software developer role to a business analyst role is not impossible. A simple data analytics or a business analytics course that effectively addresses the gaps in your knowledge or skill set can set you up for a rewarding career in business analytics. 

So, go ahead, make that jump!