Bruce Wayne didn’t set out to become Batman: That’s just the route his life took. Similarly, you may not have originally banked on joining the ranks of business analysts, superheroes who scrutinize big data, organizational needs and operations in order to make the enterprise more efficient and profitable.

If you now find yourself heading down the business analyst career path, here's what you need to know.

Prerequisite superpowers

Unlike Storm or Silver Surfer, Batman wasn’t born with superpowers. Rather, he relies on his keen intellect, martial arts training and a really cool tool belt. While you don’t need to travel abroad and master jujitsu, according to the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), you will need the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree relevant to your area of specialization
  • Experience in financial analysis, data flow analysis and project management
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Soft skills, such as leadership abilities and excellent written and verbal communication
  • Technological proficiency
  • Demonstrated prowess in your area of specialization

Transferable skills and experience

The different types of business analysts are as numerous as Batman’s foes. The position you’re best suited for will depend on the skills and experience you've gained during your career.

Accountants might be interested in budget analyst positions where they can employ data mining skills to identify business trends and adjust budgets accordingly. Likewise, information technology auditors may find a smooth transition in applying their expertise and knowledge of ERP systems to the role of business systems analyst.

The business analyst call beckons

With the demand for business analysts comes increased compensation. According to the Robert Half Salary Guide, the midpoint salary for a business analyst with one to three years of experience is $67,000. Senior business analysts can expect midpoint salaries of $86,000 this year, and for business analyst managers, it's $110,000 at the midpoint.

At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements, and the role may be in an industry where competition for talent is moderate.

There also are opportunities for those who want to merge their professional transition with a consulting career. Companies seek professionals with specialized subject matter expertise who can quickly step in to support key business initiatives.

In the end, try channeling a bit more Bruce Wayne when your career encounters unexpected detours. Put your experience and skills to work and supercharge your future as a business analyst.

Photo creditBatsignal at Highmark building, by brian donovan, via Wikimedia Commons