Overview

If you have an analytical mindset, exceptional IT skills and the ability to think outside of the box to create innovative solutions, then this could be the career choice for you – and it is a growing trend! With the continual growth of IT solutions, many businesses are turning to experts to provide information on business trends, finances, work flow and much more. The successful Business Analyst will be able to draw up complex reports on a range of software platforms and will have excellent presentation skills to be able to turn those reports into information that is palatable and useful to the business managers.

In this role, you will be helping the business to manage change and to plan for the future. You may find that a part of your responsibility is to analyze past data to provide accurate forecasts for the coming month/year. You will need to have an excellent understanding of the structure of the business, the barriers to success, the financial situation and the sector it operates in, as well as being able to provide suggestions for future growth and improvement. You should be flexible, well organized and proactive and be able to communicate comfortably at all levels of the organization.

Competition for Business Analysts roles is high, so having a degree or equivalent high level qualification would be a distinct advantage. If you are starting out, then your resume will be full of great examples of transferable skills such as strong communication, analytical thinking, team work, technology use and project management. This is a great job with excellent prospects so it is worth taking the time to do your research thoroughly and making sure your resume reflects exactly what you are capable of.

Pay

The median Business Analyst pay in the United States ranges anywhere between $62,000, As cited by the US Bureau of Labor statistics, and upwards of $65,000 a year, as cited by private salary aggregator Payscale.com.

On the low end of the spectrum, Business Analyst can only make around $46,000 per per year, but on the high end of the spectrum, Business Analyst’s  earn closer to $100,000 a year. The employer and location is the biggest determining factor turning average pay business analysts.

The Business Analyst for a large investment firm like J.P. Morgan Chase, will probably earn a lot more than the business analyst for a small, regional credit union. Salaries are usually set on an annual scale; bonuses and profit sharing only make a very small fraction of total remuneration for this industry.

Business Intelligence Analyst Salary Statistics

2016 Median Pay$62,150 per year
$29.88 per hour
Typical Entry-level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of Jobs, 2016495,500
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+19%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+92,300
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale.com

Industry Forecast

Given the growing emphasis for big data, cloud computing, and other ways of processing business intelligence to make more informed business decisions, industry growth rate for Business Analysts is a rosy one. The traditional responsibilities of Business Analysts include analyzing competitors, extrapolating and making sense of computer data, and evaluating past trends to predict future occurrences within the business, and the industry as a whole.

As the world is becoming evermore connected and wireless, the ability for Business Analysts to process large amounts of data, to utilize specialist software tools, to embrace technology fully an effort to better provide knowledge for the business act upon is imperative. Business analysts need to be competitive.

If you are able to embrace change, continuously learn new software and data-mining techniques, and you are able to make sense of the information derived from technological sources, then you will only be a more valuable asset to companies in the future who depend upon highly informed, disinclined, analysts to help them grow their businesses.

Knowledge, whether obtained through the course of study in a university, or on-the-job experience, will always be valuable in this industry. However, even more crucial is the growth of your knowledge of technology, as emphasized above. The ability to adapt and embrace technology and integrate it into the position of business intelligence is critical for applicants to remain competitive and exhibit growth.

Types of Business Intelligence Analysts

In terms of education, most Business Analysts earn degrees in either management, some type of accounting, finance, business administration, or even IT. These degrees are taken into internships and entry-level positions where more industry-specific experiences are gained.

Much of a Business Analyst’s career development is  determined by the company they are working for and the specific industry they are in.

For example, a Business Analyst generalist with a background in information technology, working for a tech company, could easily transition into a Business Intelligence Developer role. This person could say they are a developer with a focus on business intelligence, or they can say they are a Business Analyst who codes; either would work.

Likewise, a general Business Intelligence Analyst, with a background or education in management, could easily transition into a Business Intelligence Manager position. From here, the sky is the limit, with titles such as Business Intelligence Architect, Business Intelligence Consultant, or Business Intelligence Director. The opportunities for specialization and growth in different roles within the intelligence sector are nearly unlimited.

To stand out, you want to be specialized. You want to marry your education with specific experiences in business intelligence. Specialization is key within this industry. The more specialized you become, the less competition you have, and the higher salary you can demand.

Sample Resume Download

Below, is an example of the professionally crafted Business Analyst resume that you can model your own resume from. Be sure not to copy this resume, specifically, as this was written for very different person. You can use the formatting, the verbiage, and the styling; but at the end of the day, your resume needs to reflect your specific experiences and qualifications.

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How To Write Your Own

Data is king in the Business Analyst industry, and thus, data should also be king on your resume. Does this mean you should have all sorts of charts and line graphs on your resume? Of course not! However, just like making any claim to a board room full of investors, you need data back up on your proposal. Think of your resume and your application as a whole, including the interview, as one giant proposal to a company or board. Prepare for yourself just like you prepare for any business proposal.

How do you include data in your resume? It is quite simple; just numerically quantify your achievements in percentage or dollar terms. Showing  actual dollar figures is much more illustrative than just saying  “I helped the company make more money.”

You want to very clearly show the impact you made on the company’s bottom line through your individual contributions. This does not mean you can not include teamwork; it is just you have to tie that teamwork back to your own specific skills and achievements. A resume full of numerically quantified supporting evidence is a bulletproof resume.

Once you have the meat of your resume compiled, you will want to package it up nicely to make the largest possible impact on the reader. This means choosing to standardize fonts, something simple like Times, New Roman, or Helvetica. Choosing a font for a resume is much like choosing a tux for wedding; they should all look much the same, with only the tiniest discrepancies in styling to differentiate one from the other.

Font size should be anywhere between 11 and 12; you can adjusted to the first decimal point if you are really trying to squeeze your resume onto one page, but if not, just take 12 point. Do not add any extra stylizations or unnecessary borders as these all just scream “I don’t have enough substance, so I need to be over-stylized”.

Overall key, it is key to have the mindset of the reader when writing your own resume. Literally, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes, pretending that you work for X company; you are the manager of this company and you need this position filled. What would you want to see on your applicant’s resume that would make you feel comfortable adding them to your staff.

Composing a good resume is all about the ability to see a position through the eyes of the person who is hiring.

Sample Bullet Points

Below is a large selection of usable bullet points that a Business Analyst could sprinkle in their own resume. Of course, you want to make these bullet point your own, meaning you have to customize them for the job that you are applying for, the company, the industry, and the achievements you had at your previous place of employment.

Sample Business Intelligence Analyst Bullet Points

Task
Analyze competitive market strategies through analysis of related product, market, or share trends.
Synthesize current business intelligence or trend data to support recommendations for action.
Communicate with customers, competitors, suppliers, professional organizations, or others to stay abreast of industry or business trends.
Manage timely flow of business intelligence information to users.
Collect business intelligence data from available industry reports, public information, field reports, or purchased sources.
Identify and analyze industry or geographic trends with business strategy implications.
Analyze technology trends to identify markets for future product development or to improve sales of existing products.
Generate standard or custom reports summarizing business, financial, or economic data for review by executives, managers, clients, and other stakeholders.
Identify or monitor current and potential customers, using business intelligence tools.
Maintain or update business intelligence tools, databases, dashboards, systems, or methods.
Maintain library of model documents, templates, or other reusable knowledge assets.
Create business intelligence tools or systems, including design of related databases, spreadsheets, or outputs.
Conduct or coordinate tests to ensure that intelligence is consistent with defined needs.
Disseminate information regarding tools, reports, or metadata enhancements.
Document specifications for business intelligence or information technology (IT) reports, dashboards, or other outputs.
Create or review technical design documentation to ensure the accurate development of reporting solutions.
Provide technical support for existing reports, dashboards, or other tools.

Career Objectives and Professional Summaries

If you are an entry-level candidate, or mid-level candidate, you will probably want to use a career objective to start your resume. Career objectives are pretty simple things; the correct items include duties you have held and what makes you a unique candidate for the position. You want to be direct and descriptive in your objective. Think “military precision” in language.

Writing a really good career objective is simply reflecting the desired qualities, in your own objective, that the employer has written in the job description. So in a way, you are kind of regurgitating back what the employer wants in your own career objective. This makes you appear to be the exact matching puzzle piece to fit the company’s equation.

If you are a more senior level candidate, that is someone with more than 10 years of experience,  you can start off with a professional summary. This is where you list key milestones and achievements from your varied work history that best summarize your greatest strengths as a senior level Business Analyst.

Additional Skills & Certifications

Credibility depends on certifications and honed skills in the Business Analyst industry. Of course, you provide this in your professional experience sections, with bullet points highlighting achievements, but adding a solid additional skill section, and/or certification section really adds authority to your resume.

There are few particular skill sets that are critical in terms of writing a winning Business Analyst resume. For example, communication skills are critical.  To be an effective analyst,  you need to not only be able to process data, but to clearly communicate that data to people who make decisions. If you lack communication skills, then you are probably not good at working in a team, doing business presentations, or communicating with your direct supervisor.

Problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills are two other very highly sought after skills for Business Analysts because part of being an analyst is actually solving problems. In fact, problem-solving skills are probably the most applicable to Business Analysts than almost any other profession out there. Similarly, critical thinking is also the key attribute of a good analyst, as it is the critical thinking ability that bridges the gap between raw data and actionable “Intelligence”.

Certifications are also quite important and should be added to the resume whenever possible. One good certification for a Business Analyst is the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis or CCBA. This is a trademark course, from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), and can be acquired online. There is also the Certified Business Analysis Professional Certification (CBAP) , also offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. If you have a computer, and have some time after work, it is highly desirable to pursue acquiring at least one of the certifications if you want to advance your career to a manager level.

While industry specific certifications are definitely attractive, if you have experience in making positive impacts for companies, and can clearly communicate this on your resume, such certifications are less necessary. This is not to say you should not pursue them; it is just to say, do not count yourself out if you do not have a certification but you have a very solid professional track record.

Useful Skills to Include

Below are a large selection of other useful skills that you can include in your additional skills section of your resume. Just as all the other provided professional bullet points, these are simply samples and they should be customize dto reflect your own unique skills as an individual.

Useful Business Intelligence Analyst Skills

SkillSkill Description
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Additional Resources