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6 Tips on How to Succeed as a Business Analyst

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the perspectives of IIBA.
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As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of the post-pandemic business landscape, the role of a business analyst has become more dynamic than ever, serving as a bridge between departments and teams.

Business analysis consists of leveraging data analysis to identify requirements, make data-driven recommendations and, most importantly, drive change within an organization. Regardless of the type of organization, success as a business analyst requires a unique set of skills and competencies.

In this article, we'll explore some tips to help you excel in your role as a business analysis professional.

1. Understand the Business

A business analysis professional must always have the bigger picture in mind. To achieve your goals, you’ll need a complete understanding of the business—whether you learn it through experience or a business administration program.

The first step is to study its mission, values, and goals. Once you understand the business from within, you can then explore its customers and competitors to get a holistic view of the factors affecting it. A market analysis will help you better decipher the business and its offerings.

2. Develop Analytical Skills

One of the most important skills for a business analysis professional is the ability to analyze data and information effectively. You should be able to identify data patterns and trends and use that information to make informed decisions.

Often touted as the new oil, data is extremely valuable to the digital economy. As a business analysis professional, you would benefit from having sound skills in mathematics and statistics along with experience working with data analysis tools such as Excel, SAS, or R.

3. Adopt a Systems Thinking Approach

A systems thinking approach involves looking beyond individual components of a project or process and considering the entire system and its interdependent parts.

Systems thinking requires an understanding of how each component affects the others and how the system as a whole impacts stakeholders and the broader business objectives. By adopting this approach, business analysis professionals can identify potential issues and opportunities and develop effective solutions.

For more insight into this approach, consult Peter Senge's book The Fifth Discipline and the work of W. Edwards Deming in the field of quality management.

4. Pay Attention to Detail

Attention to detail in business analysis is critical to identify inconsistencies, errors, and discrepancies in data and information. It ensures the accuracy of assessments and the development of effective solutions that align with business objectives, and it helps maintain focus when working through complex problems.

Attention to detail is one of the top qualities sought by employers in business analysis professionals. By being detail-oriented, you can develop software solutions that meet the specific needs of the business and its users.

5. Follow Industry Trends

Networking, attending conferences, and reading industry publications all provide valuable opportunities to learn about emerging practices and keep your skill set sharp.

According to IIBA’s 2022 Global State of Business Analysis Survey, organizations that offer internal training and development can reduce turnover and enhance their employee’s skills. This probably explains why 79% of the survey’s respondents said their employers support ongoing skills development to varying degrees.

Similarly, according to a Citrix study, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors think workers will need to regularly hone current skills or acquire new ones to remain competitive in the global job market of the future.

6. Seize Professional Development Opportunities

Many professional development opportunities are available to business analysis professionals, including certification programs and training courses.

Taking advantage of these opportunities can help you develop new skills and stay current with industry best practices. Here are some options to explore:

  1. Business Analysis Certification
IIBA offers several certification programs for business analysis professionals, including:

These certifications are recognized globally and demonstrate a business analyst’s expertise and commitment to the profession.

      2. Agile Training and Certification

Agile methodologies have become increasingly popular in software development and other industries. Training and certification programs can help business analysis professionals better understand and apply these approaches.

      3. Data Analysis and Visualization Training

As data becomes more central to business decision-making, business analysis professionals may benefit from training and certification in data analysis, visualization, and communication.

Other than skill-based courses, a business administration degree is a great option for professional development and offers many valuable programs.


Whichever industry they choose to practise in, a business analysis professional must be dynamic. That means staying on top of best practices and understanding data mining, as well as cultivating soft skills such as communication, flexibility, and adaptability.

You should always try to update your skills through professional development opportunities and certifications, whenever possible. Above all, the most important personal skill you will need to succeed as a business analyst is tenacity, as this will help you navigate changing environments.

Once you acquire it, the possibilities are endless.

IIBA offers a variety of industry-standard business analysis certifications. If you aren’t sure which certification to start with, you can’t go wrong with IIBA’s Entry Certificate in Business Analysis. You can also explore the full suite of professional certifications.    

About the Author:
Janil-Jean (1).jpg

Janil Jean is a top management executive at and has been in the field of management, digital marketing, and branding for more than 10 years. She is a keen blogger and loves all things involving new technologies.

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