5 Necessary Skills to Have if You’re a Business Analyst in 2020


Big data, the monetizable force behind the importance of business analytics, is projected by Forbes to quadruple over the next six years, making the industry a near $20 billion industry by the end of 2026.

Jobs are aplenty in the business analytics field, and the employment opportunities are expected to grow with the industry, as a whole. 

From IT data analysis, to quantitative and qualitative data analyzation, to security and management analysis, and everything in between, big data needs a big workforce to properly utilize it.

No matter which of the many paths that involve business analysis you choose, there are important intangible skills that every great analyst should have. Here are 5 of the most important. 

Know When to Speak

Communication is important at any job, but when you possess an extremely unique skill like that of business analysts, being able to properly convey your information is doubly important, or else it is just a bunch of data stuck in your head.

Along with that, being able to absorb what people say as well as you absorb analytics, is also key to being an exceptional BA. Whether it’s a fellow analyst sharing findings, or a boss telling you what needs to be focused upon, really thinking hard about where the information is coming from also makes you stand out. 

Know How to Speak

When it comes to sharing the information you gather, clarity is everything, so speak simply and unambiguously, as it is important to remember that not everyone is a business analyst. Jargon and acronyms should stay out of the boardroom, for sure. 

The Write Stuff

In addition to verbal communication, written communication (especially as more and more businesses are going remote) is a must have if you want to be a standout in your field.

Documentation is a big part of most job descriptions that an aspiring BA would look at, and the same conciseness and clarity needed when reporting findings verbally should be utilized when writing reports and specifications. 

Visual Aids 

To bring the clarity full-circle, being able to marry written and verbal communications to deliver quick, understandable reports to anyone and everyone who needs to know about your findings is the culmination of honing all of the previous communication skills.

Being proficient (and, preferably more than that) in Excel graphs, business process modelling, etc., and being able to keep your presentations simple is a must-have skill in 2020. 

Project Management Skills

Reverting back to the uniqueness of the BA skill set, it’s often very difficult for project managers to properly and fairly plan for business analytics to run its course.

Utilizing the above skills to form a trusting relationship with PMs allows business analysts to say, “let me divvy up this work accordingly, and I’ll let you know how quickly we can get it done” and keep unnecessary stress out of the office, as well as impossible deadlines. 

All of these things revolve around communication in one form or another, and continuing to hone those comms skills should be part of your weekly or monthly routine.

Staying ahead of the digital revolution and familiarizing yourself with web-based communication and presentation sharing will only further set you up for success.