Business

What are the Differences Between Data Analyst & Business Analyst?

A business analyst (BA) is someone who liaises with multiple stakeholders to identify operational, tactical, and strategic improvement areas in the organization and to articulate the need and detailed requirements to address those improvement areas.

Most BAs are hired by organizations involved in in-house or outsourced software development. A BA can either be a domain expert in any area/industry like banking, e-commerce, travel, etc., or a specialist in executing business analysis tools and techniques, or both.

Who is a Data Analyst?

Data analysts help various stakeholders in an organization take informed decisions using a data-driven approach. Data analysts uncover insights into vast amounts of data which eventually feed into strategic, tactical, and operational decision making.

Data analysts can virtually be employed by any organization which owns a large amount of raw data. Market research firms specifically look for good data analysts to help them write scientific reports and offer them to various organizations to aid them in decision making.

Overlap between Business Analyst and Data Analyst?

Skills

  • Data Analysis: A BA is required to have knowledge of basic analysis techniques using statistics, data processing and creating pivots.
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving: Both BAs and data analysts must understand the problem at hand, the impact of the problem and have the right decision-making skills in their respective roles.

Tools

  • A BA would be required to know basic data analytics and visualization tools like Excel, PowerBI.
  • Both BAs and data analysts are required to have basic knowledge of SQL and other programming languages

Function/Role

  • Data Engineering: A BA and data analyst must understand the data architecture of the organization including all the external and internal data sources, the data marts, sandboxes, and data stores feeding into the data warehouse, including the data analytics and information delivery mechanism flowing out of the data warehouse.
  • Creating dashboards: Although this is primarily the task of the data analyst, a BA may sometimes be asked to create basic interactive dashboards for a particular stakeholder group especially when data is present in unstructured format in offline systems.

Difference between a Business Analyst and Data Analyst?

Below are some of the key differences between a business analyst and a data analyst:

Skills

BAs are supposed to have more holistic thinking and problem-solving skills which are used when collaborating with multiple stakeholders on a particular project.

Data analysts have a good grasp of data concepts and statistical models to manipulate data to deliver insights in an easy manner to read.

Tools

BAs use tools which help them in modeling requirements, solutions as well as presentation tools to showcase working solutions and various workshops.

Data analysts are well-versed in various data modeling tools and statistical programing languages like R/python as well as data visualization tools like Tableau or PowerBI.

Business Analyst Data Analyst
MS Office SQL
SQL Data modeling tools
UML diagramming tools R/Python
Process Mapping tools like Aris, Visio. SAS/SPSS
Wireframing tools like Balsamiq, Invision, EDraw Max Azure/AWS
JIRA, Confluence, MS TFS PowerBI, Tableau, Google Analytics

Function/Role

The function of BAs and a data analyst vary greatly in scope and area of operations. BAs are supposed to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to identify problem areas and facilitate the development of software or other solutions to solve it.

Data analysts work in various types of organizations which require insights into data to aid decision making and to identify opportunities of growth or existing problems in processes.

Data Analyst and Business Analyst certifications

A few data analyst certifications that you can opt for are as follows:

Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate
Google Data Analytics Certificate
Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
Certified Analytics Professional(CAP)
Springboard Data Analytics Certification
Data Science with Python course

If you are looking to pursue your career as a data analyst or a business analyst, you can opt for the traditional career path by acquiring different certifications in data analysis or the business analysis domain. Here are some certifications that you choose from to grow as a business analyst or data analyst. 

Business Analyst certifications

A few renowned and globally recognized business analyst certifications offered by the IIBA are as follows:

Data Analyst certifications

A few data analyst certifications that you can opt for are as follows:

  • Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate
  • Google Data Analytics Certificate
  • Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
  • Certified Analytics Professional(CAP)
  • Springboard Data Analytics Certification

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