online course in business analytics

There is so much data out there, and we can get overwhelmed by the amount of information. It’s difficult to decide what business analytics tools we should be using, or learn more about them. For those of us who have no idea what business analytics is all about, this course has been designed to help you.

Business analytics is a skill that will give you the ability to interpret data, which can be applied to marketing campaigns, product development and other areas. The good news is, there are many tools available for analyzing data for both Microsoft and Apple computers.

Which Course Is Best for Business Analysts?

BrainStation’s Business Analyst career guide can help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in analysis. Find out which course is best for Business Analysts.

Become a Business Analyst

Speak to a Learning Advisor to learn more about how our bootcamps and courses can help you become a Business Analyst.

If you’re thinking of transitioning into business analysis from another field, there are some fundamental competencies you’ll need to pick up first. Even if you’re working in a field closely related to business analysis, there are likely gaps in your skillset – if you’re working in tech, for instance, you may need to brush up on business concepts, and if you’re working in business, you might need to strengthen your IT skills.

For that matter, expanding your skills as a Business Analyst doesn’t stop with the fundamentals. As the field of business analysis grows, it’s also getting more diverse; it now comprises more individual areas of concentration than ever before. For some Business Analysts, this is opening up new niches where they can apply more specialized skills.

Depending on your background and where you are in your career journey, one of the following three courses could be a great way to kick your Business Analyst aspirations into a higher gear.

Business Management

If you’re a skilled IT person who can code in half a dozen languages but you don’t know the difference between revenue and income, a business management bootcamp will help you complete the other side of your Business Analyst equation. You might also see these types of courses (or closely related courses) called entrepreneurship bootcamps. Quite often, business management bootcamps are geared toward small-business owners, but they can be quite comprehensive in overviewing general business concepts, including different organizational structures, market research, financial principles and their terminology, hiring, managing inventory and supply chains, marketing and advertising, the sales cycle, and so on.

If you’re already comfortable with the basics, you might also look at higher-ed institutions’ more narrowly focused business courses, which can cover specific topics like how to use a Bloomberg Terminal like a pro, discounted cash flow, financial modeling, or capital markets – often over a period of just a few days.

Data Analytics

On the other hand, if you’re an experienced accountant, financier, or other economics-minded person but you’re at sea trying to turn raw business data into information you can use, you’ll need to grow your data analytics skills before you can truly call yourself a Business Analyst. In a data analytics bootcamp, you’ll learn about the programming languages Business Analysts and Data Analysts use to clean, manipulate, model, and interpret data, including massive and unwieldy data sets – such as SQL, Python and R, Spark, and Hadoop. You’ll also get an introduction to how to manage data and carry out data analysis operations, including complex statistical functions like regression analysis, linear and nonlinear modeling, statistical tests, and time-series analysis, among others.

Data analytics courses and bootcamps often include training with data visualization as well, showing you how to use tools like Tableau, PowerBI, Bokeh, Plotly, or Infogram to turn data-based insights into easy-to-use dashboards and beautiful interactive maps, growth charts, dual-axis or stacked area plots, sparklines, bubble plots, and much more – a powerful addition to a Business Analyst’s tools of persuasion.

Python

With a strong background in data and a firm grasp of business concepts, the next logical step for many Business Analysts is to master Python.

A Python course will leave you with essential Python concepts like object-oriented programming, basic syntax, semantics, data types, arithmetic operators, and a few of the most common Python Frameworks – skills a Business Analyst can use to connect and manage databases, describe and categorize data, and perform complex mathematical operations on large data sets, all of which can be incredibly useful when performing business analysis.

Along with R, Python is one of the most widely used tools for data analysis. Unlike R, however, Python is a more general-purpose programming language; it also happens to be easier to learn. A Python course will leave you with essential Python concepts like object-oriented programming, basic syntax, semantics, data types, arithmetic operators, and a few of the most common Python Frameworks – skills a Business Analyst can use to connect and manage databases, describe and categorize data, and perform complex mathematical operations on large datasets, all of which can be incredibly useful when performing business analysis.

What Is a Business Analyst? 2022 Career Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on Dec 14, 2021

Business analysts help maximize a business’s effectiveness through data-driven decisions. Learn about what business analysts do and what it takes to become one.

Business analyst prepares for a meeting

Business analysts use data to form business insights and recommend changes in businesses and other organizations. Business analysts can identify issues in virtually any part of an organization, including IT processes, organizational structures, or staff development.

As businesses seek to increase efficiency and reduce costs, business analytics has become an important component of their operations. Let’s take a closer look at what business analysts do and what it takes to get a job in business analysis. 

What does a business analyst do?

Business analysts identify business areas that can be improved to increase efficiency and strengthen business processes. They often work closely with others throughout the business hierarchy to communicate their findings and help implement changes.

Tasks and duties can include:

  • Identifying and prioritizing the organization’s functional and technical needs and requirements
  • Using SQL and Excel to analyze large data sets
  • Compiling charts, tables, and other elements of data visualization 
  • Creating financial models to support business decisions
  • Understanding business strategies, goals, and requirements
  • Planning enterprise architecture (the structure of a business)
  • Forecasting, budgeting, and performing both variance analysis and financial analysis

What’s the difference between a business analyst and a data analyst?

Both data analysts and business analysts support data-driven decisions in their companies. Business analysts tend to focus more on recommending solutions for business needs, while data analysts work more closely with the data itself.

Why pursue a career in business analysis?

As a business analyst, you’ll have the opportunity to support your organization’s success through data-driven insights. It’s a career where every day brings new challenges and new ways to put your skills into practice. If you enjoy helping people, asking questions, solving problems, and working independently, a career as a business analyst could be a good fit.

Business analyst salary

The average salary for business analysts in December 2021 in the United States is $77,218, according to Glassdoor [1]. Your exact salary will vary depending on the company, location, and amount of experience you have.

Job outlook

The demand for business analysts has increased in recent years and is projected to continue. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth between 2020 and 2030 for similar roles to range from seven percent (computer systems analysts) to 25 percent (operations research analysts) [23]. Other related job titles include management analyst and operations analyst—both of which perform duties similar to business analysts.

How to become a business analyst

Becoming a business analyst may require gaining skills and credentials applicable to the work and the industry you’re interested in. Coursework, certifications, or degrees can each aid your path to a job as a business analyst.

1. Sharpen your business analyst skills.

Here are some skills you’ll typically want to have as a business analyst. 

  • Business acumen: A solid understanding of finance, accounting, and business principles will help you surface what operational issues exist, and how best to address them.
  • Communication: A business analyst is often expected to communicate with several different players within an organization, including upper management and other teams. Being able to present your ideas clearly and convincingly—both verbally and in writing—will be a large asset as a business analyst.
  • Data analysisGathering, tracking, and analyzing performance metrics will be central to a business analysis role. Having a good grasp of data analysis and visualization tools like Tableau, Excel, and BI Tools can be useful. Some knowledge of a programming language like SQL may also come in handy.
  • Business analysis methodologies: Depending on your industry, it could help to be familiar with specific methodologies, like Agile Business Analysis, Six Sigma, or Rational Unified Process.
  • Industry expertise: Different industries have different business needs and challenges. Developing business solutions for an IT company might look different than it does for a health care company. Industry experience, even in another role, can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

2. Take a course.

Refreshing your familiarity with skills expected of a business analyst can show employers your knowledge is up to date and adequate. Coursework, either in person or online, can give you the tools needed to get your foot in the door in the field of business analytics.

Gain a holistic understanding of the job with courses in data analytics or business analytics. Or familiarize yourself with the tools used in business analytics through coursework in Tableau or Excel and MySQL.

3. Earn a business analyst certification.

Earning a certification can expand your skill set, and potentially increase your earnings or make you more competitive for jobs. Here are some business analysis certifications to consider:

  • IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
  • IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
  • IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)
  • PMI Professional in Business Analytics (PMI-PBA)

If you’re just starting out as a business analyst, the ECBA can show hiring managers you’ve received several hours of training and know the basics of business analysis. If you have some experience with business analytics, the CBAP, CCBA, and PMI-PBA can show employers your competency and experience.

4. Consider a degree.

Many employers like to see at least a bachelor’s degree on your resume, though some may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor’s degrees are common for entry-level positions in analytical fields, according to the BLS. Getting your bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field like economics, finance, computer science, data science, statistics, information management, or a similar field can prepare you for business analysis jobs.

Master’s degrees and MBAs: Some employers might prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You may also consider getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA); several programs offer specializations in business analytics. Getting your master’s degree in business analytics or business administration could help advance your skills and knowledge, and give you a competitive advantage in the job search arena.

5. Start with an entry-level role.

Internships and entry-level positions in accounting, finance, or business settings can build your experience before you advance to a higher-level position. In your job search, look for titles like junior business analyst or entry-level business analyst. If you’re still in school, making an appointment with a career counselor can help you understand what opportunities are out there.

Next steps

If a career in business analysis sounds interesting, start by exploring the ways you can bolster your skill set. Courses in business analytics or business systems can give you a broad introduction to the profession. Otherwise, sharpen your expertise in data through the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate program.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is business analyst an IT job?‎

Not all business analysts work for a company’s IT department. If you’re interested in both data analysis and IT, consider a role as an IT business analyst. In this job, you’d analyze the needs and pain points of the IT department, and recommend technology and business solutions.‎

Should I become a data analyst or a business analyst?‎

Business analytics might be a better fit if you’re more business minded. If you enjoy working with numbers and excel in mathematics and statistics, then consider data analysis as a career path. Many of the skills overlap, so it’s possible to start as a business analyst and move into a role as a data analyst (or vice versa).‎

What is a business intelligence analyst?‎

business intelligence analyst, or BI analyst, is a hybrid role somewhere between data analyst and business analyst. BI analysts analyze, model, and visualize data on industry trends and the competitive landscape to help businesses drive profits.

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