Career Guide

Business Analyst

Daniella Driscoll  · Jan 25th 2023

Business analysts help manage, change and plan a company’s future, while implementing data analysis to ensure a company is working efficiently.

Business Analyst

Business analysts have a passion for numbers, a keen interest in helping businesses develop and a highly organised skillset. They have big ambitions such as planning and helping create solutions for an organisation.

As an analyst, you will need to think strategically about your role, working with data and collaboratively with internal and external teams. It’s a role focussing on achieving targeted goals and regularly brainstorming new ideas and improvements.

Business analyst jobs contract

What is a business analyst?

A business analyst works within an organisation to investigate solutions and find improvements for businesses.

As a business analyst, you will help manage and plan for the future business goals within the organisation you are working for, whether that’s for a specific project or a permanent position. Your role is to understand the current situation with an organisation, by working with managers to identify the needs and come up with solutions to improve.

You also play a role in communicating between internal and external parties and explaining how information technology can support an organisation’s needs.

Any training involving data analytics, change management, project management, improved communication and information systems is useful.

The job is working with technical systems, business models and current procedures in place. You will then analyse and test them, to look for ways to improve.


In an analytical, collaborative and technical role, there are numerous responsibilities you will have:

  • Collaborate with external stakeholders and help them understand and investigate feedback.
  • Communicate with managers to understand what the business needs are.
  • Consider the benefits and risks of your ideas before putting them into practice.
  • Create written documents and reports to present to stakeholders.
  • Ensure you evaluate the plans and processes you create and the impact they have.
  • Explain to colleagues the needs of departments and organisations.
  • Identify which processes and information technology equipment is required to introduce your ideas.
  • Share the benefits of the recommendation across the organisation.
  • Use data modelling practices to help you analyse your findings and come up with improvements and changes for the business.
  • Work with senior management to gain agreement on the best method to introduce recommendations to the business.
  • Work with staff to support the changes you are looking to make.


The salary of a business analyst can vary based on your employer, region and your skill level. On average, the business analyst's salary in the UK is around the £54,000 mark[1]. The junior business analyst's salary can range from £25,000-£37,000 as many enter the role as trained professionals with experience in similar roles[2]. The senior business analyst's salary can be £80,000+, increasing up to the £120,000 mark.

In London, the average salary is higher at £67,000 and for more experienced roles can increase to £87,000+. For a business analyst junior, the salary is around £52,000[3].

To increase your salary further, you can go down the consultancy path and set your daily rate, based on your expertise, as well as launch your own company.

Graduate business analyst


The competition is fierce for a business analyst and having a degree can be a huge benefit when starting a career. Although not essential, the relevant degree can teach you in-depth knowledge about business analysis and on-hand skills you can use on the job.

Choose a subject such as:

Degrees can also offer you a year in the industry which can benefit you with knowing what it’s like to work within the industry and give you an advantage over your peers.

If you graduate from a non-IT subject and strive to get into this job, you could take a relevant post qualification and build your skills that way, such as business analysis.

Training and development

Developing your skills and keeping up to date with training is crucial in this line of work and shows your commitment to the role. It’s your organisation’s responsibility to provide opportunities for in-house training and on-the-job courses, however, up to you to search for the appropriate courses to match your career goals.

To work and study, a business analyst apprenticeship can be a great option.

Any training involving data analytics, change management, project management, improved communication and information systems is useful. Whether it’s a course, qualification or relevant event to develop your knowledge.

Joining a professional body is useful to further your studies, connect with people in your industry and keep up to date with industry developments. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP) and International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) are useful bodies to join.


The collaborative, technical and logical role of a business analyst is varied.

With a constant flow of ideas and working with new people, these are the required skills:

  • A flexible and adaptable approach to work.
  • Be a leader and help motivate others to create change within an organisation.
  • Great analytical thinking skills with an evidence-based approach.
  • Great sense of initiative and willingness to work hard.
  • Great understanding of information technology and using computer systems effectively.
  • Passion for coming up with innovative solutions, implementing them and a positive attitude toward change.
  • Strong business management skills and interest in business development.
  • Strong communication skills to talk to and present to a range of people, and acting as an IT translator.
  • Teaching knowledge and the ability to design courses.
  • The ability to remain calm, work well under pressure and keep to deadlines.

Apprentice business analyst

Work experience

To work and study, a business analyst apprenticeship can be a great option. There are various business analyst apprenticeships to help you to get your foot in the door in business analysis. For example, a business analyst higher apprenticeship and project management higher or degree apprenticeship.

For more information about apprenticeships, research the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education to find the right one.

Relevant experience can be a benefit for your career. This includes any experience in managing projects, working in groups, analysing data and using technology. Either gain these skills from extracurricular activities or your studies.

As business analyst jobs exist across most sectors from financial services to retail, you can gain any relevant experience which fits in with the above skills across those sectors. The competitive industry means the more experience you have, the better.

In terms of gaining experience, you can do it through voluntary positions, working with small businesses and helping improve the organisation or working in a charitable setting. There’s also the opportunity to take advantage of summer business analyst internships and work placement opportunities, through your studies or by applying for them privately. A business analyst internship provides a longer period of experience.

A business analyst works within an organisation to investigate solutions and find improvements for businesses.

You can also directly contact organisations you would like to work with, for work shadowing opportunities, and this will help show enthusiasm and commitment to the role.

Career prospects

For business analysts, any prior experience you gain before entering the role is crucial for career development. To progress, you can remain in the general business analyst role or specialise in a particular area of analysis, such as data.

The next step in your career is to advance to a senior level business analyst passion and then work your way up further to executive and director level of business analyst.

Alternatively, you could move into different industries as there are business analysts in different sectors as well as become a project manager.

For those who would like to work for themselves, you can work as a consultant on a freelance basis offering your expertise, and setting day rates, based on your experience. There’s also the option to set up your own company and hire analysts to work under you. This gives you more of a flexible approach to working and an opportunity to teach trainee business analysts and see their progression.


  • [1]Business Analyst Salary — Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  • [2]Average Business Analyst Salary — Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  • [3]What is the average salary for Business Analyst jobs in London? — Retrieved 23 September 2022.

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