Business analysts work with companies and organisations to help improve the way they do things.

What does a business analyst do?

Business analysts work in many industries, from IT and financial services to telecommunications and retail. They work with senior managers and other professionals to support changes to the way an organisation works. This can include changes across a whole business or it may be limited to one part of it. For example, a company might want to improve their decision-making processes, support the introduction of a new IT system or help to develop a marketing and sales strategy.

What do I need to do to become a business analyst?

You’ll need to be good at solving problems and analysing data. You’ll also need to have excellent communication skills.

There are different ways to become a business analyst. The route you take will depend on your qualifications and experience. Many analysts have a technical background, such as in software development or programming. This is helpful, as new IT systems and digital technologies often form a major part of an organisation's development plans.

Employers may also look for recognised certification of your skills from a professional body, such as the International Institute of Business Analysis UK (IIBA) or The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

The Chartered Institute for IT offers a Foundation Certificate in business analysis for people new to the role, or those who may be thinking about working in this field and want to learn more. 

Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Desirable qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in subjects such as computer science, business information systems, computing and systems development, and business management
  • Postgraduate qualification

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Lots of organisations and companies employ business analysts. You might be contracted to work on a particular project or be employed directly by a larger firm, moving between departments.

Many of the skills you use for this job overlap with other management duties, such as project management and consulting. This flexibility can allow you to move between different industries and jobs.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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