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Business analyst

Business analysts work with organisations to help them change and improve.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £30,000 to £70,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but previous project management experience and a working knowledge of project development methods like Waterfall or Agile will be helpful. A technical background, like in software development or programming, can also help.

It may be useful to have a first or higher degree in subjects like:

  • business information systems
  • business management
  • computing and systems development
  • computer science

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

You could get into this career through a degree apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent analytical skills
  • the ability to work with people at all levels
  • the ability to lead and motivate a team
  • the ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines
  • the ability to anticipate issues and respond to unforeseen changes

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with senior managers and other professionals to support changes to the way an organisation works, like:

  • improving decision-making processes
  • supporting the introduction of a new IT system
  • developing a marketing and sales strategy

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • speaking to managers to find out what they want to achieve
  • carrying out fact finding tasks into business processes to see what they do and how they do it
  • analysing findings and using data modelling methods to help recommend changes and improvements
  • explaining the benefits of your recommendations and looking at the potential impact and risks
  • agreeing the best way to put recommended changes into place with management
  • overseeing testing and quality checks of recommendations
  • supporting staff making changes and reporting any issues

In some cases, you may be responsible for managing a project through to completion.

4. Salary

Starter: £30,000 to £40,000

Experienced: £45,000 to £65,000

Highly Experienced: £70,000 or more

Salaries vary depending on experience, the industry and the size and complexity of project you're working on.

There may be bonuses for meeting deadlines and an extra benefits package.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Overtime may be available when project deadlines are close.

You'll be office-based but may spend time travelling between sites if you work for a larger organisation.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into project management, consulting, or work in different industries.

You could set up your own company and work freelance.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017