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How to Become a Business Analyst

Which Course Is Best for Business Analysts?

Ready to start your career in Data? Find out more about BrainStation's Data Science Bootcamp

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 skill set – 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 modelling, 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 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 bootcamp 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 bootcamp 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.

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