It is often considered that only candidates with IT or engineering background can shift career into analytics. There is a belief that analytics is only for people with IT background but various domains in analytics call for more than just for programming knowledge — business analytics is one such area.
With a rise in popularity in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and more, professionals from across technical as well as non-technical backgrounds are now opening up to job roles in these areas. Given the high likability for the field, we are often posed with questions on how a non-tech graduate can transition into a career in business analytics. In this article, we will try to cover aspects of non-tech graduates such as Bachelor’s in commerce or marketing that makes them a suitable candidate for the role and how they can transition into one.
In an earlier article we presented a non-technical person’s guide to entering the machine learning industry, which essentially gave a lowdown on key pointers for people who want to enter the ML field, highlighting books and free resources and blogs that could help in the transition journey.
Typical Job Description Of Business Analysts
Business analysts are typically expected to be well versed with data mining, statistical analysis, predictive modelling and multivariate test. It also requires to support the decision making roles with real-time analysis. They have to work closely with senior management and support in data-driven decision making that impacts matters related to product development to marketing. In a nutshell, business analysts are expected to:
- Gather information from multiple sources
- Identify key areas of improvement, evaluate problems and opportunities within the business
- Use modelling and analysis of the scenario to evaluate the feasibility of a solution and possible outcomes
- Analyse activity diagrams, use cases, business scenarios, document analysis, workflow analysis
- Analysing information from surveys and workshops
- Task analysis and requirement analysis
- Communicating and collaborating with external and internal customers
- Interpreting business needs of customers and translate them into applications and operational requirement with the help of strong analytical and product management skills
- Serve as a channel between internal and external customers, software development teams to ensure requirement flow
- Establishing a technical vision and analysing trade-offs between usability and performance needs by teaming up with developers and subject matter experts
The key skills that are expected from a business analyst are understanding of the system engineering concepts, ability to conduct cost and benefit analysis, grip on modelling techniques and methods, ability to develop a business case, leadership skills, ability to communicate between the teams, among others.
How Can A Non-Tech Graduate Fit Into This Role
A non-tech graduate such as commerce student’s approach to analytics may be quite unique. Having understood the concepts of finance and management as a part of their course makes it easy for them to have an understanding of the business and helps them make better decisions. Their familiarity with numbers can play a vital role in deriving useful information from numerical data. All they have to do is play up the skills that you may have been blessed in some form or other, such as:
- Have a thorough understanding of research, analysis and data management
- Documentation and training experience
- Workflow management and process improvement
- Getting a know-how of software applications and even technical experience such as coding
- Upgrading Excel skills
- Enhancing communication skills and ability to collaborate with teams, clients, vendors
While many of these can be acquired as a part of job experiences in banking, where you might be exposed to different aspects of numbers and business problems, other technical skills can be added by upskilling with short online courses, executive courses, full-time courses, based on the willingness to learn and the time that you can spend. You can also get involved with real-life projects, join analytics communities, attend events, get a mentor in the field and never stop learning.
Having acquired with these skills, along with a business background can make you a perfect fit to start a career in business analytics.
Job opportunities: There are many private sector institutions such as banks that are looking to hire a business analyst with any bachelor’s degree, including B.Com. They are looking for candidates who can develop and review scripts, create flow diagrams, structure charts and other types of system or process representations, work closely with operational functional teams, conduct meeting with clients, gather and conduct an analysis of business requirement, analyse data using excel sheet, and more. You can look for more openings here.
In A Nutshell, You Can Join A Business Analyst Team If You:
- Have an interest in numbers
- Decision-making abilities and making companies shift from gut feel to data-driven decisions
- Good analytical and communication skills
- Right certificate or course to boost up chances to get into business analyst roles
- Dedication to learn and expand your skills
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.