How to become a business analyst

Who is a Business Analyst and what does he do?

The business analyst is the intermediary between the business and the developers. These specialists research the market, calculate the effectiveness of indicators, plan revenues and identify possible problems – they are especially needed during the launch of a project or in the process of optimizing a business.

What you need to know to become a business analyst

Flexible skills that a specialist should have must be developed during studies and internships – time management, communication skills, teamwork, written and oral business negotiations, stress and conflict management.

Technical Skills Required for a Business Analyst:

Modeling of business processes. A professional should be able to draw business process diagrams in the EPC program, think over flowcharts of processes in the BPMN system, master the methods of graphical modeling according to the IDEF0 methodology and collect information about the operation of the system using the IDEF3 methodology. The more tools a business analyst can use, the faster and more efficiently he models the process in a particular situation, the more correct solutions he finds.

Modeling in UML. UML is a language for object modeling in a graphical way. It allows you to build diagrams, according to which the analyst looks at the problem from different points of view, and the developer is able to understand the essence of the problem and ways to solve it.
Software development methods. The business analyst knows the software life cycle and is familiar with development methodologies – Scrum, Waterfall, Agile and Kanban.
Data analysis. A business analyst uses basic analysis tools in his work. These include: Power BI – comprehensive software for business analysis; Tableau Desktop is a software for creating informational dashboards.
Database. The specialist confidently uses various systems and data stores in his work – MySQL, MongoDB, ClickHouse and Elasticsearch.
Python programming language. Programming in Python is necessary for business analysts to automate the collection, processing, analysis and visualization of data.
Business economics. The ability to conduct marketing analysis is necessary to evaluate the product, competitors, market. To successfully build business models, it is important to have a deep understanding of basic economic concepts – finance, profit, costs, investments, cash flows, etc.
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How to start learning business analytics
The easiest way to get into business analytics is from the IT-sphere (development) or economics. In this case, it is necessary to plunge into the “opposite” sphere. An important point is a confident knowledge of the English language. There is no longer enough technical for an economist or programmer. The level must be at least Intermediate.

From IT specialist to business analyst. If a programmer decides to become a business analyst, he will need to study economics, management, marketing and other subjects that form the basis of entrepreneurship. Additionally, he pumps those skills that he was not in demand as a programmer – working with relational databases, UML and business process modeling

From economics to business analytics. An economist moving to business analytics masters programming languages ​​and other IT-specific subjects. It is also important to upgrade your knowledge in mathematics, mathematical statistics and mathematical analysis – the disciplines necessary for a business analyst

Textbooks and online resources will help in learning.

Tutorials and manuals on business analytics that will help you understand the terminology, tools, methods, technologies:

BABOK – Business Analysis Body of Knowledge – the worldwide standard for business analysis. It describes all the areas of knowledge included in the analysis, the necessary competencies, techniques, methods, approaches, and practical cases.
Handbook for the CPRE Foundation Level according to the IREB Standard is a certified requirements specialist’s handbook. All the necessary business analyst terminology is here.
“Developing Software Requirements” by Carl Wiegers – A comprehensive guide to developing quality software requirements.
Online resources will help you find like-minded people, consult with experienced business analysts, or ask for help. Here are the main sites for business analysts:, and

How long does it take to become a business analyst

You can become a business analyst from scratch by graduating or taking online courses.

Universities. The average term of study in universities is 4 years. The most popular universities and faculties:

  • Russian Technological University, Faculty of Business Informatics – 4 years, paid;
  • RANEPA, Faculty of Business Analytics – 4 years of study, 15 state-funded places;
  • Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics, applied informatics in economics — 4 years of study, 53 state-funded places;
  • St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. Peter the Great, faculty of innovation management (by sectors of the economy) — 4 years of study.

The number of budget places in universities varies from year to year, for the whole country there are 10,000–15,000. The cost of paid education, on average, is 700,000 rubles. in year.

Online courses. Universities do not always provide a strong practical base – in this case, you need to get the missing competencies. If you graduated from the institute with a degree in economics, take courses for 6-8 months in business analytics and you can start working.

Without higher education, you need to complete at least 6-12 months of training – during this time you will receive systemic knowledge, practice and support from mentors. After studying, some online universities help with employment. Studying the material and looking for work with courses is easier and more convenient than on your own or through studying at a university.

Top 3 Courses for Business Analysts

At the GeekBrains Faculty of Business Analytics, in a year you will learn how to draw up organizational structures of companies, identify possible risks, model business processes, and write business requirements for a product. You will understand modern approaches that help organize business analysis in various projects and teams. After training, you will be able to manage IT services in medium and large businesses

On the course “Profession: Business Analyst” from Productstar in 6 months you will learn how to analyze the site and traffic, formulate recommendations for changing the marketing strategy. You will be able to track the entire path of the user from the transition to the site to the purchase, calculate the conversion and profitability. You will learn how to set up counters and goals in Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics, read, create reports and visualize data

In the Business Analyst course from Netology, in three months you will learn how to create financial models, assess the position of companies in the market and propose solutions for business optimization. You will conduct market research and calculate the economics for launching any project you choose – this thesis case will become part of your professional portfolio