Business Analyst giving a presentation

Career Spotlight: Business Analyst

Do you enjoy solving business problems? Have you considered a career as a Business Analyst?

Business Analysts use their analytical skills to help organizations improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase revenues, and meet their organizational goals.

What does a Business Analyst do?

Business Analysts help organizations become more effective by using data to solve problems, drive growth and make better, data-informed decisions.

For example, at a retail company, a Business Analyst might analyze customer feedback data to identify opportunities for improvement in the company's products or processes. Or they might analyze customer purchase data to identify new revenue opportunities.

An Information Technology (IT) Business Analyst might interview stakeholders across the organization to understand and document their requirements for a new system or software package, research and compare potential solutions, and make strategic recommendations for solutions that would meet the requirements. They may also test the new system, develop processes and reports to monitor system performance, or create training and documentation for system users.

Is there demand for Business Analysts?

Yes. According to Burning Glass, there were over 300,000 Business Analyst job openings in the U.S. in the past year. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of business analyst jobs will grow about 14%, almost twice as fast as the average for all roles in the next 10 years.

Business analysts are in demand in almost every industry, from finance and insurance to manufacturing to retail to health care, and many other industries.

In Arizona, the top employers hiring business analysts include Wells Fargo, USAA, Deloitte, Accenture, Bank of America and UnitedHealth Group.

What skills or training does a Business Analyst need?

Most business analyst jobs require a bachelor's degree. The most commonly-requested program of study in Business Analyst job postings is Business Administration/Management, although not all job postings specify a program of study.

Business Analyst job postings more often list specific business analysis skills, rather than a specific degree program.

So, what skills do employers look for in a Business Analyst?

  • Data skills: Business Analysts use a variety of data analysis and visualization tools, such as Excel, SQL and Tableau to gather, analyze and visualize data.
  • Business and industry knowledge: Business Analysts need to understand the industry and the organization they work in. For example, the business goals, opportunities and challenges at a healthcare organization are very different than they would be at an insurance company or a manufacturing company.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Business Analysts work with a wide variety of individuals and teams to gather data. They must also be able to communicate their findings clearly and effectively to different audiences, including leadership.

How much is a Business Analyst salary?

As of May 2022, the median salary for a U.S. business analyst was over $79,000. In Arizona, the median salary is over $76,000.

Ready to add business analytics skills to your resume?

The University of Arizona Business Analytics Certificate program teaches you the fundamental data and business analytics skills that employers need.

Learn Business Analytics