Here's What Skills You Need to Be an IT Business Analyst

Business Systems Analyst at his computer.

Good news, business analysts: You are the new “it” girl (or boy) of the technology field. We haven’t seen this kind of transformation since, well, it became cool to be a geek.

“Business analysts are in high demand,” said Robert Half Technology metro market manager, David Knapp. “For example, with so much access to data, firms are hiring technology professionals who can manage and store that data, but if they don’t have business analysts who can work with sales and marketing teams, they won’t be able to use that data effectively.”

Business analysts now part of the IT crowd

While in the not-so-distant past, business analysts may have been viewed by IT departments as business types responsible for more tactical tasks, today they are strategic problem solvers essential to an IT department’s success. Indeed, they’re often embedded within IT teams, but work closely with their business counterparts.

Keep in mind that there’s more than one type of IT business analyst. Today we’ll consider the salary and skills required to be a business systems analyst.

Get tips for writing a stand-out business analyst resume.

Business systems analyst: starting salary projected to increase

A starting business systems analyst salary is projected to increase 5.2 percent in 2016, with compensation ranging from $84,000 – 122,000.

You can use our Salary Calculator to adjust an entry-level business systems analyst for your city.

Business systems analyst job description

What’s it take to be a business systems analyst? Clearly, an ability to speak fluent geek and suit. And a few other essential qualifications:

  • A solid understanding of business functional areas, business management issues and data analysis.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Leadership, initiative and advanced computer skills, including programming experience.
  • At least a bachelor’s degree and several years of computer applications and business experience; for technically challenging positions involving complex business systems, a master’s degree with a concentration in information systems may be required.

A typical business systems analyst job description includes:

  • Analyzing complex business problems and assessing how automated systems can be implemented to solve them.
  • Formulating and defining objectives and the scope of business systems.
  • Gathering data and analyzing business and user needs in consultation with both business managers and end users.
  • Providing IT support for regulatory and compliance activities and making recommendations on hardware and software procurement to support business goals.

With no slowdown anticipated in the consumerization of IT or the need to effectively use vast amounts of data, to name a few tech trends impacting this career path, there’s no end in sight in demand for IT business analysts.

In addition to information on a starting business systems analyst salary and a business systems analyst job description, you’ll find information on starting compensation for 70 IT jobs in 150 North American cities in our Salary Guide.

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Note: This post has been updated. It originally appeared on 11/11/13.