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Data Analyst vs Business Analyst

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Most organizations handle an enormous volume of data that they leverage for decisions and a competitive edge. They want to recruit data analysts and business analysts well versed in data analytics and business knowledge. If you wish to pursue either of the two job roles, you must register for a course that makes you job-ready.

Business Analytics courses prepare you for a career in data analytics and business analytics. With this training, you can launch your career in a data-driven business world and later specialize in the job role of your choice and aptitude.  

Who is a Data Analyst

The data analyst is the gatekeeper for an organization’s data who collects, organizes, and interprets statistical information to make it useful for the organization. A data analyst scrutinizes information using data analysis tools. The results pulled from the raw data help the stakeholders make important decisions by identifying trends and patterns in the data.

Data analysts ascertain how to use data to answer questions and solve problems. They are also like detectives, helping to make sense of the data and trying to figure out what happened. The data analyst may not have the advanced skills of a data scientist, but their goals are very similar.

Typical employers of data analysts are banks, software development companies, consultancies, telecommunications companies, public sector organizations, social media specialists, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturers.

Who is a Business Analyst

The business analyst is a strategic role that uses the information which a data analyst uncovers to identify problems and propose solutions. Business analysts are needed within a team to help reduce project costs. 

A business analyst documents the processes or systems of businesses to help them improve their operations, products, and services. Thus they act as a liaison between departments by collecting, distributing, and managing company data. 

Almost every industry employs business analysts, but hirers are in information technology or management consulting firms. Other sectors include accounting, investment banking, finance, and market research.

Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst

Data analysts and business analysts both support data-driven decision-making in their organizations. However, the difference lies in what they do with it. Data analysts work more closely with the data. They are interested in gathering and analyzing data to evaluate and arrive at decisions based on the analysis. In contrast, business analysts are more involved in addressing business problems and recommending solutions. They use data to help organizations make more effective business decisions. 

A good Data Analyst acquires all kinds of data from every available source to help the business take the more logical path.  A good Business Analyst displays a strong business acumen and reviews suggestions for better team productivity and growth. 

Data analysts use programming, statistics, and data processing to draw insights from the data. On the other hand, business analysts implement changes and communicate results that relate to business growth. A business analyst typically focuses more on the people and the practical changes to be made. 

Data analysts are more likely to work independently but business analysts need to work with people as a team.

Data analysts work with data to help their organizations make better business decisions. Using techniques from disciplines such as computer programming, mathematics, and statistics, data analysts draw conclusions from data to describe, predict, and improve business performance. They form the core part of any analytics team and tend to be generalists well-versed in mathematical and statistical analysis.

The Business Analyst enables change in an organization. He identifies technology solutions and guides businesses in improving processes, products, services, and software through data analysis. As an agent of change, the business analyst identifies and executes new opportunities for businesses.

Data analysts work with data in various ways throughout the data pipeline. 

The work of a data analyst may include: 

  • Designing and maintaining data systems 
  • Mining and data cleaning  
  • Preparing reports to communicate findings. 

The business analyst works in multiple roles within the organization. The responsibilities of a business analyst include:

  • Evaluating business processes for efficiency, cost, and other business metrics 
  • Communicating insights 
  • Preparing strategic recommendations.

Data Analyst Skills Include:

  • Statistical methods
  • R, or SAS languages
  • Database design
  • Data mining and visualization 
  • Machine learning 
  • Analytic problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Industry knowledge 

Business Analyst Skills include:

  • Statistical analysis 
  • Software understanding
  • Survey/query software and tools
  • Business Intelligence and reporting
  • Analytic problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Creative thinking

The data analyst is a technical role that requires an undergraduate degree or a master’s degree in analytics, computer modeling, science, or math. On the other hand, the business analyst is a non-technical role and requires a degree in a major such as business administration, economics, or finance.

Data analyst roles remain much the same, depending upon the organization. In smaller firms, they may be synonymous with a data scientist. Business analyst roles can be operations research analyst, market research analyst, or financial analyst. Each of these roles focuses on a niche department within an organization. 

The end goal of data and business analysts is the same. They both work to improve businesses by leveraging data. Both job roles call for an understanding of statistical techniques, data management strategies, and data visualization. Very often, both job roles work together to implement the data-driven business strategies of an organization.

Which role is right for you

If you are wondering between a data analyst and a business analyst, you must examine your educational background? For instance, do you have a degree in Computer Science? Does working with data excite you? Does working independently to share insights sound like your kind of scene? Then you are meant to be in a data analyst role and would like to pursue a course in data analytics.

On the other hand, do you have a BBA or MBA background? Do you like interacting with people? Are you good at summarizing and presenting reports? Do you have good knowledge of the business domain or how the organization works? Are you bold enough to be the change-maker in your company? Then, you can opt for a business analyst role.

Bottomline

Very often, the roles of a Data Analyst and a Business Analyst may be blurred. It depends upon the organization. Smaller firms merge the job roles as it is the norm for jobs to have multiple functions. In large organizations, the two job roles are more distinct with separate responsibilities.

Whatever be your interest or decision, business analytics will prepare you for both roles and help your career path with a better CV and make you job-ready.

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