Business Analyst vs Business Analytics Professional: What’s the Difference?
The roles of business analyst and business analytics professional are very different, yet are sometimes placed in the same box. It’s important to differentiate the two, so let’s take a closer look.
Both business analysis and business analytics professionals are equally important. Individuals in these roles work together to ensure the successful delivery of the final product. It’s helpful for both types of professionals to learn about the responsibilities of the other role, helping them perform more effectively within a team.
The Business Analyst
A business analyst is an agent of change. They are agile workers who straddle the line between IT and the business, helping to bridge the gap and improve efficiency.
Business analysts are responsible for:
- Evaluating a company’s current functions and IT structures
- Reviewing processes and interviewing team members to identify areas for improvement
- Presenting findings and recommendations to management and other key stakeholders
- Creating visuals and financial models to support business decisions
- Training and coaching staff in new systems
A business analysts need a firm understanding of regulatory and reporting requirements as well as plenty of experience in forecasting, budgeting and financial analysis combined with the understanding of key performance indicators.
The Business Analytics Professional (aka Data Analytics)
A business analytics professional is an individual who takes a company’s raw data and makes sense of it. They then share their insights with company leaders so that better business decisions can be made, which will hopefully result in better business outcomes.
They are responsible for:
- Working with business leaders and stakeholders to define a problem or business need
- Identifying and sourcing data
- Cleaning and preparing data for analysis
- Analyzing data for patterns and trends
- Visualizing data to make it easier to understand
- Presenting data in such a way that it tells a compelling story
Business analytics professionals also have the role of improving the product, marketing, or customer experience. They do this by using the insights they derive from data as opposed to analysing functions and processes. This is very different from the role of the business analyst.
The Main Difference
A business analyst doesn’t work in preparing or gathering data itself and is mostly concerned about processes and functions. On the contrary, reporting and data are the key components of a business analytics professional’s job.