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Become A Business & Data Analyst

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Working As A Business & Data Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $68,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Business & Data Analyst Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become A Business & Data Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Business & Data Analyst jobs

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Business & Data Analyst Career Paths

Business & Data Analyst
Business Analyst/Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Business Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Data Modeler Data Architect Enterprise Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Data Analyst- Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst/Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Project Management Office
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Business Analyst Senior Consultant Director Of Information
Director, Applications
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Data Analyst Senior Data Analyst- Senior Consultant
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Business Analyst Business Analyst-Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst-Consultant Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Business Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst-Consultant Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Project Leader Quality Assurance Manager
Senior Quality Assurance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Database Administrator
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Data Analyst- Senior Business Analyst Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Lead Data Analyst 2.7 years
Automation Analyst 2.7 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Data Analyst 2.3 years
Data Modeler 2.2 years
Top Employers Before
Data Analyst 17.4%
Consultant 2.8%
Analyst 2.2%
Developer 2.0%
Top Employers After
Data Analyst 14.6%
Consultant 2.0%
Analyst 1.9%

Business & Data Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

53.0%

Female

42.1%

Unknown

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

56.5%

Asian

30.2%

Hispanic or Latino

7.2%

Unknown

5.0%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

20.8%

Mandarin

12.5%

Chinese

12.5%

Hindi

8.3%

French

8.3%

Japanese

6.9%

Cantonese

5.6%

Russian

4.2%

Serer

4.2%

Greek

2.8%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Marathi

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%

Dutch

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Indonesian

1.4%

Hungarian

1.4%

Tahitian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%

Hokkien

1.4%
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Business & Data Analyst Education

Schools

University of Texas at Dallas

12.0%

University of Phoenix

11.5%

Northeastern University

7.8%

Stevens Institute of Technology

6.0%

University of Washington

5.5%

New York University

4.6%

Villanova University

4.6%

George Washington University

4.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.1%

Webster University

4.1%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.1%

Northern Illinois University

4.1%

Arizona State University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

University of South Florida

3.2%

Michigan State University

3.2%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.2%

Texas Tech University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

22.2%

Computer Science

12.5%

Finance

8.3%

Computer Information Systems

7.6%

Information Technology

6.6%

Information Systems

5.0%

Management Information Systems

4.4%

Project Management

3.4%

Management

3.3%

Economics

3.2%

Management Science

3.0%

Engineering

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.6%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Mathematics

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.8%

Statistics

1.8%

Psychology

1.6%
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Degrees

Masters

42.4%

Bachelors

37.8%

Other

9.8%

Certificate

3.9%

Associate

3.8%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.1%
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Temporary

Real Business & Data Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Business Data Analyst Diversant LLC Jersey City, NJ Oct 08, 2016 $187,830 -
$208,700
Staff Business Data Analyst Intuit Mountain View, CA Sep 03, 2016 $161,200
Staff Business Data Analyst Intuit Inc. Mountain View, CA Nov 28, 2016 $143,000 -
$181,000
Staff Business Data Analyst Intuit Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 26, 2015 $138,819 -
$170,000
Business/Data Analyst Knowledgent Group Inc. Washington, DC Apr 18, 2016 $130,000
Business Intel & Data Analyst Bank of The West San Ramon, CA Nov 14, 2016 $129,163
Principal Business Data Analyst Itson Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 10, 2016 $127,150 -
$145,000
Principal Business Data Analyst Symantec Corporation Culver City, CA Jan 25, 2016 $125,000
Business Data Analyst Diversant LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 21, 2015 $125,000 -
$135,000
Business/Data Analyst IBM Corporation Seattle, WA Feb 13, 2015 $81,099 -
$142,537
Business/Data Analyst ABAL Technologies Inc. New York, NY Jan 01, 2015 $80,995
Business Data Analyst Intuit Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 21, 2016 $80,933 -
$115,000
Business Data Analyst International Solution Sources LLC Mountain View, CA Jan 08, 2016 $80,933
Business Data Analyst Intuit Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 27, 2016 $80,933 -
$115,000
Business Data Analyst Intuit Inc. Mountain View, CA May 07, 2016 $80,933 -
$115,000
Business Data Analyst BMO Harris Bank, N.A. Chicago, IL Apr 20, 2015 $67,808 -
$87,100
Business/Data Analyst MMC Systems Inc. New York, NY Mar 23, 2015 $67,700
Business Data Analyst Squaretrade, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 08, 2016 $67,683 -
$87,500
Business/Data Analyst ULAB Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 10, 2015 $67,000 -
$100,000
Business Data Analyst Canvas Infotech, Inc. Hartford, CT May 29, 2015 $66,784
Business Data Analyst PVR America, Inc. Baton Rouge, LA Jun 14, 2016 $66,000
Business Data Analyst PVR America Inc. Piscataway, NJ Sep 08, 2015 $66,000

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Top Skills for A Business & Data Analyst

BusinessRequirementDocumentExtractDataBusinessProcessDataAnalysisVisioProceduresDataWarehouseFinancialUATETLTestCasesJADDataModelsUMLWindowsXPQASMEWebUserAcceptanceSharepoint

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Top Business & Data Analyst Skills

  1. Business Requirement Document
  2. Extract Data
  3. Business Process
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped collect functional requirements and prepared business requirement documents.
  • Designed and developed complex mappings to extract data from diverse sources including flat files, RDBMS tables, legacy system files.
  • Prepared Business Process Models that includes modeling of all the activities of the business from the conceptual to procedural level.
  • Performed validation & Data Analysis on converted data according to target functionality through validating scripts in Oracle/DB2.
  • Subject matter expert for division projects.

Top Business & Data Analyst Employers

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Business & Data Analyst Videos

Business Data Modeling: Getting Informational Requirements for IT

Philip Evans: How data will transform business

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