Analysts are in high demand in today’s world of technology. Analysts help companies improve their efficiency by identifying new opportunities or problems, coming up with new products or solutions, and reviewing business systems to make them more efficient. Analysts play an important role in shaping a company’s future by identifying the future of a company and developing strategies to achieve that future. Analysts may work in various areas in a company such as marketing, finance, supply chain, operations, or research and development. However, analysts with computer science degrees are often the most sought after and have excellent analytical skills and computer systems knowledge.
As an analyst, one works directly with the CEO and/or the CFO. Business analyst positions and responsibilities tend to require excellent technical skills as well as perfecting interpersonal skills in order to develop the most effective solutions for the project teams working under them. The analyst provides advice to the CEO and CFO on the financial aspects of the business model. As an analyst, one works directly with the CEO and/or CFO. Business analyst positions and responsibilities may also entail working with investors and other stakeholders in order to develop and manage business models that are in line with the company’s overall goals and objectives.
Analysts can either leave the company to pursue other positions or stay and work at the company helping to improve existing business models, implementing new business tactics, and looking for new opportunities. In many cases, analysts function as project managers. They assist the CEO in executing the company’s business plans and activities. The chief business analyst (usually the president or a senior manager) carries out the company’s strategy and oversees all other business analysts, reporting directly to the CEO.
Analyzing firms are similar to market research firms in that they are independent third parties hired by businesses to carry out research and determine what type of products, services, and markets are likely to be profitable. The major difference between analyst firms and market research firms is that analyst firms are often only known to offer advice to existing businesses; market research firms are commonly known to provide advice to start-ups and new companies. However, most analyst firms have a website and frequently hold telephone meetings.
Generally speaking, an analyst needs to have some entrepreneurial skills, market knowledge, technical competency, and analytical skill in addition to computer skills. The main difference between an analyst and an accountant is that an analyst must identify the business domain or aspect that needs study, develop a framework to describe the domain, collect relevant data, evaluate the data, and then create a report describing the results of their study to a client. Most business analysts obtain their training from post-secondary institutions (e.g., colleges or trade schools). Most analyst firms hire people who have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting, although associates degrees are also common.
Analysts can specialize in particular areas. One of the most common areas in which analysts perform is technical solutions. Analysts can specialize in particular aspects of a business such as information technology, telecommunications, software, networking, and manufacturing. They may also evaluate the viability of new technologies or help determine whether an existing technology could have more benefits than disadvantages. Many analysts work on a contract basis with specific business needs, although there are some analysts who work on a freelance basis and make a living by solving other people’s business problems.
Some business analysts specialize in a particular aspect of a business such as marketing, information technology, or human resources. Other analysts work on an independent basis. In either case, it is common for an analyst to have vast experience in a particular aspect of the business. For example, if you work in the Information Technology field, you will likely need to possess extensive experience in network installation and maintenance as well as understanding how computer networks work and how they can be optimized for optimal performance. If you are a business analyst specializing in human resources, you will likely have experience in recruiting, hiring, and training employees.
The responsibilities of business analysts need not be daunting or intimidating. While these analysts are required to provide analysis and advice to management, they are not required to go into detail or to make recommendations for every single decision made by management. As long as a business analyst has a wide range of skills and has the intuition necessary to provide sound advice based on thorough research and knowledge of your industry, he or she can be a highly effective part of your company’s strategy. However, business analysts need to remember that their opinions are just that – opinions and their advice should always be formed based on the information they gather and their analysis of that data.