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Business Analyst Job: Types and Functions

Business analysts research, calculate, plan, and structure. They do almost everything from project launch to business optimization. We will give you more details about this job and the role of a business analyst in the company.  A business analyst is an economist who understands business processes, economics, finance, and organizational development and helps a company solve strategic problems, for instance, to optimize business processes, develop an organizational strategy, or start a new business abroad. Depending on the needs and goals of the company, the type, and scope of the analyst’s tasks can vary significantly. The roles of analysts also vary.

Here is a list of types of an analyst

  • Business analyst. Business analysts drive optimization of the client’s business processes by analyzing the current state of the business and suggesting specific tactical steps for improvement.
  • Systems analyst. Systems analysts know computer programming, work with BI tools, data storage, and processing organization.
  • Data scientist. Like system analysts, data scientists are good at programming, data storage, and BI tools.
  • Marketing specialist. Marketing specialists work with BI and optimize marketing campaigns and sales economics.
  • Financial analyst. Financial analysts work with financial instruments, investments, loans and borrowings, financing conditions.
  • Product analyst. Product analysts have a better understanding of product-specific metrics and tools to analyze product performance.

Let’s see in which business organization departments the business analysts are involved and what is their role in each of them:

Consulting

Business analysts oftentimes work in a consulting department. This is an internal department or a consulting company that offers management and business consulting. The most famous examples are McKinsey, PWC, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young. Consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance as well as providing professional advice in a particular field of business. This is definitely a key facet of consulting by companies like icreateproductions.com. This means changing business processes, for instance, purchasing, hiring and onboarding, creating, and implementing new projects.

The horizontal team

Business analysts often work in a horizontal team. As a rule, these are system analysts or consultants. They are included in the cross-functional specialists like product specialists, financiers, IT for joint work on a project, and report to one leader. The comfortable environment of “horizontal” teams allows exchanging opinions and experiences.

Strategic block

This is the department of the company that deals with long-term planning and business development, for example, analysts decide whether a company will acquire new assets, launch new lines of business.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the division of a company that implements digital technologies to optimize business processes, increase customer value, drive innovation, and improve organizational results. The use of data exchange tools allows to receive metrics from large production machines, combine them into a single ecosystem and minimize losses, for example, metal, as well as optimize labor costs.

Business intelligence reporting

This is a team that creates tools to collect data and to run the company based on data. These tools can include the Share point data collection tool for employees or automatic data collection. BI is a set of processes and technologies that allows analyzing and converting raw data into meaningful information to improve the effectiveness of the company and support better business decision making.

Operations team

Analysts in operational teams usually calculate the financial model of the project: how much money is needed to implement the project, where it is advisable to buy an existing company to enter the market.

Planning

Planning is a function that’s similar to reporting and strategy. Planning teams create KPI systems, support OKRs (planning tools), bonuses, calculation of performance indicators, bonuses – quantitative indicators that large companies use to remain competitive and develop.

Functions of a business analyst

The scope and specificity of a business analyst’s responsibilities may vary depending on the needs of a particular company. Analysts can work for a company as a full-time or contract employee. Business analysts are usually required to develop a strategy that the company can implement to streamline processes and reduce costs. Here are the main functions of a business analyst job:

AD-hoc analysis

The AD-hoc analysis is a business intelligence process that involves collecting information on the effectiveness of the company and preparing a report for the management. Analysts calculate market size for launching a product in a new region, asset margin, and minimum product cost to reduce costs.

Market research

Market research is the process of determining the viability of a new service or product through the collection and analysis of information about customers, competitors, partners. It allows a company to explore the target market and get opinions and other feedback from consumers about their interest in the product or service.

Strategy

The strategy includes the planning of strategic initiatives and analysis of economic benefits. Analysts often short-circuit the ideas of management, owners, or clients. Business analysts collect information about the company and the external environment, research best practices in the industry, and formulate a development plan in close connection with functional teams and leaders of business units. It’s important to know what lies at the heart of the company’s current business model, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s also essential to process and structure a large amount of information about the market and the company, and conduct internal interviews.

Process optimization

Analysts optimize the processes and structure of the company management system and suggest improvements to increase profits and accelerate growth. They need to structure and decompose indicators and objectives and visualize the processes in Excel, Miro, Visio, BPMN, or PowerPoint. The main goals are minimizing cost and maximizing throughput and efficiency.

Plan Communication

A business analyst needs to communicate a developed plan for the organization’s management. This might be done through several meetings or workshops that the analyst hosts. The analyst also has to explain how much the changes will cost or save the company, what the changes mean for the company, and what repercussions, if any, the company’s management can expect. The business analyst oftentimes works with the company during the implementation process and helps to solve any issues that can occur and adjust the plan if necessary.

Amelia Grant
Amelia Grant
I am Amelia Grant, a journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness, and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone. Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.

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