Business Analyst Skills

Business Analysis

A business analyst, with the right business analyst skills, can have a strong influence on a company's success. Business analysts are tasked to analyze and interpret data within a business, so that management can make informed decisions. They play a critical role in identifying business problems and solving them.

What are the skills required to be a successful business analyst? In this article, we will explore the key skills that are necessary for anyone interested in pursuing a career in business analysis.

A business analyst, with the right business analyst skills, can have a strong influence on a company's success. Business analysts are tasked to analyze and interpret data within a business, so that management can make informed decisions. They play a critical role in identifying business problems and solving them.

What are the skills required to be a successful business analyst? In this article, we will explore the key skills that are necessary for anyone interested in pursuing a career in business analysis.

Analytical Skills

At the core of the business analyst role are analytical skills. A business analyst must be able to gather and analyze data to make informed decisions. They must be able to identify trends, patterns, and relationships in data, and use this information to make recommendations to improve business processes.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are also essential for a business analyst. They must be able to communicate complex data and analysis to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. They must be able to translate technical jargon into layman's terms, and explain their findings in a clear and concise manner.

Technical Writing

A part of communications skills is technical writing.  A project to be implemented must be described clearly.  A business analyst that can write and communicate effectively with his writing can provide the grease that makes a project implementation go smoothly.

Negotiation Skills

When a new idea comes along, it is likely that not everyone in the organization is in agreement to its implementation.  A business analyst can be the middle man in finding common ground with management and those affected by the change.

Business Analyst

Project Management Skills

The ability to shepherd a project all the way from the planning stage to completion is an essential business analyst skill.  When a new and better approach to a business practice is discovered, it is often necessary to have a project to implement it.  Project management can guide the project to an efficient conclusion.

Requirements Analysis

The first step in any business analysis is to understand the business requirements.  If you don't understand the problem, it is very difficult to solve it.  

Problem-Solving Skills

A business analyst must be able to discern problems and develop solutions to those problems. She must be creative in finding solutions that solve real world problems.

Technical Skills

Business analysts must have a solid knowledge of technology and how it applies to business. Data analysis tools such as SAS or R can be very important.

Obviously spreadsheets and how to manipulate them with pivot tables is vital.

Statistical Analysis

Many operations within a company can best be understood with statistical analysis.  When large amounts of data needs to be understood, statistical analysis can lend that understanding to a business analyst.

Financial Analysis Skills

A business analyst must know how to follow the money.  A change in procedure may look good on paper, but it also must make financial sense.  If it can not pay for it self and make a profit for the company, then it is not a project to consider further.

Time Management Skills

Time management is critical for a business analyst, who often work on multiple projects at once. She must be able to manage her time effectively and prioritize tasks to ensure that deadlines are met.

Organizational Skills

A business analyst must be highly organized and detail-oriented. She must be able to manage large amounts of data , and be accountable for the accuracy of all reports delivered to management.

Business Ability

Understanding business is essential for a business analyst. Every business has its own peculiarities.  Understanding how the organization works and who is responsible for the key aspects of the business is essential.  Recognizing opportunities to improve a business process makes the business analyst a very valuable member of the business team.

Interpersonal Skills

Knowing who is who in the organization is very important.  Working relationships must be developed with managers, peers, technical providers and clerical staff.   Developing strong relationships with all levels within a company can pay big dividends for a business analyst.

Attention to Detail

A business analyst should be able to resolve errors in data and reports. A keen eye for detail and the ability to spot inconsistencies and discrepancies will prevent a lot of crises from happening.


A successful business analyst must be able to embrace change.  Learning is part of the job.  New technologies and business methods are always appearing.  New business analyst skills must be learned and applied to keep the firm's business practices up to date.

Business Analyst Skills - Summary

The role of a business analyst can be a rewarding career. To succeed, it is essential to have hard technical skills as well as soft interpersonal skills. By developing these skills, business analysts can have an immense impact on a company's success.

On this page you can ask questions about any of the business analyst skills found on this website.

The way that you can improve your business analyst skills is to ask questions about the things you don't understand.

If you know what to do next, then skill is knowing how to do it.

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