Analyst skills guide
An Analyst analyses data used in a business. This data and the interpretation or analysis thereof is usually used for decision making. The role of an Analyst should however not be confused with that of a Data Scientist. The biggest difference between the two roles would be related to the kind of data used. The data analysed by a Business Intelligence involves processes and strategies to provide data analysis of business information. This then provided historical, present and predictive views of business operations. The BI analyst, therefore, uses more structured data, while a data scientist would work with both structured and unstructured data similar to data mining.
Within our current digital age, where so many systems, devices and gadgets are connected, there is more data available than ever before. The BI Analyst, therefore, has to find intelligence within this data. They also have to provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses based on this data. The role of a BI Analyst is however crucial in providing decision-makers within the business with solid data and an in-depth analysis thereof.
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As can be seen above, the tasks of a business intelligence analyst can be very varied. Analysis, problem solving and communication would probably be seen as the most used skills.
Day in the life of a financial analyst
- The average day in the life of an analyst is quite structured and routine.
- Analyze market strategies.
- Analyze technology trends.
- Collect business intelligence data from industry reports, public information, field reports, or purchased sources.
- Communicate with customers, competitors, suppliers, professional organizations, or others to stay abreast of industry or business trends.
- Generate standard or custom reports summarizing business, financial, or economic data for review by executives, managers, clients, and other stakeholders.
- Identify and analyze industry or geographic trends.
- Maintain or update business intelligence tools, databases, dashboards, systems, or methods.
- Maintain a library of documents, templates, or other reusable knowledge assets.
- Manage the flow of business intelligence information to users.
- Synthesize current business intelligence or trend data.
Analyst career skills and responsibilities
Since an Analyst predominantly works with data, the following skills are important.
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- Firstly, strong technical skills
- Secondly, Analytical skills
- Also, Customer-orientation
- Communication skills
- Good knowledge and the ability to work with specific software (like Sisense, Looker, Yellowfin, Tableau, SAP Crystal Reports, Domo, Microsoft Power BI, Qlik Sense, IBM Cognos Analytics, Google Analytics etc)
- Understanding problem-solving, and
- Lastly, an understanding of team management
Analyst career qualification requirements
A computer science BSc therefore, best prepares business intelligence analysts for their duties.
Although an MBA is often preferred. However, a person with the right experience and professional certifications will also be considered. Alternatively, a master’s degree in information technology or the industry you would like to enter would also be helpful.
Analyst career salary expectations
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary expectations for a Business Intelligence Analyst in the United Kingdom is £35 000 per year as of 9 December 2019. This was however only based on 59 salaries. However, CW Jobs estimated the average salary for business intelligence jobs at £57 500 from a sample size of 216.
Salaries will, however, vary according to experience, seniority and location. A senior business intelligence analysts at Microsoft, however, reported to earn up to £75 000 per year on Glassdoor.
Finding employment as an analyst
Finally, once you start looking at job openings for business intelligence analysts, you will realise how many there are. Companies need people in this role for successful decision making. As a function of business administration, I can only see that more and more companies will see the value in this role.
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Are you studying or working in Financing and wondering where to go with your qualifications and experience? Have a look at the top finance jobs in the UK in 2019. These were also included in a recent article in the Telegraph looking at The 10 Best Jobs in the UK 2019.
They weren’t at the bottom of this specific list either. An audit manager was in fact seen as the best job in Britain and a finance manager the runner up.
Project manager skills
The top finance jobs in the UK at the moment are reportedly audit managers, finance managers and financial analysts.
Firstly, an audit manager is an accountancy role responsible for the audit process. As an audit manager, you would supervise and oversee the audit process. Good knowledge of finance and accountancy would clearly be very desirable in this role.
At the least, an audit manager is expected to have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance or Business Administration, combined with 8 years of experience in accounting and/or auditing.
According to Glassdoor:
Average base salary: £54 810 nationally and £57 439 in the London area
Job openings: 12 663
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Finance Manager Jobs
Secondly, the role of a finance manager can be very varied. Mostly it will involve managing a company’s financial accounting, management and reporting systems. They are responsible for producing accurate financial records for deadlines as well as managing the budget.
To become a finance manager you would also need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or accounting. Although, most roles require you to have at least a master’s degree in accounting, business administration, economics or a related field.
According to Glassdoor:
Average base salary: £47 104
Job openings: 15 379
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Thirdly, a financial analyst makes business, sector and industry recommendations based on the research of the micro-and macro-economic conditions. They combine this research with a look at the fundamentals of the company. Then provide the best analysis of the business environment. They look at things like market trends, the financial status of a company (or companies) and the predicted outcomes of a certain type of deal.
To become a financial analyst, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related subject. Like economics, statistics or accounting. However, for further growth in this role, a master’s degree in one of these subjects or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) would be beneficial.
According to Glassdoor:
Average base salary: £40 600