Business analyst

business consultant, business systems analyst, process analyst

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£48,880

Currently employed in Scotland

13,900

Five year job forecast

+5.26%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

Business analysts look at the quality of the way an organisation works and comes up with ideas on how it can improve. They meet with managers to find out what the business aims and needs are, and what they do to meet them.  

In this job, you'd look at things such as technical systems, business models and the procedures that are in place. Then you'd analyse and test them to decide if there are better ways of doing things that could help the business. 

If any systems were to be upgraded or procedures were to be changed, you’d work with the relevant teams within the business to organise and oversee the changes being put in place.

What you might do:

  • Help to design, document and maintain system processes
  • Use data to research and analyse the structure of a business and how it uses technology 
  • Identify any problem areas and consider opportunities or improvement 
  • Communicate with senior management to identify the business’ goals 
  • Create and test IT solutions and systems to ensure they meet the needs of the business
  • Persuade stakeholders of the benefits of implementing new strategies or systems 
  • Provide staff with training sessions for new IT systems
  • Oversee the introduction of new technology or systems 

Working conditions

Hours

Working hours can vary, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday and around 37-40 hours per week

Environment

You’ll usually be office-based.

Travel

You might have to travel to meet internal and external stakeholders.

UK employment status

Full-time

66%

Part-time

12%

Self employed

22%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Building relationships
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Innovative
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Implementing ideas
  • Analysing

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Many analysts have a technical background, often in areas such as Software Development or Programming whilst others will have qualifications in Business Information Systems, Business Computing Systems or Data Analytics. 

Most will have qualifications at degree level (SCQF level 9/10) or above but you can work towards relevant qualifications through school, college, university or in work through, for example, Foundation, Modern or Graduate Apprenticeships.

You can start building your qualifications at NC level or HNC/D level but, for this role, will need to continue to build qualifications up to Degree level (SCFQ Level 9/10) or above in college/university or through work-based qualifications in order to gain a completive level of qualification and experience.

Qualifications are also available at postgraduate level and can be used by graduates in other subjects as a conversion course. 

Graduates in other subjects may want to take a postgraduate conversion course leading to a Diploma or MSc in information technology, computer systems or information systems – some examples of these are:

  • Heriot Watt is one of several universities that offer an MSc programme in information technology for graduates with other STEM related degrees
  • Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen offers an MSC programme in business analytics for those with a degree in any subject area
  • The University of Edinburgh offer an MSc programme in business analytics for graduates with other STEM related degrees or if your degree is in an unrelated subject, you would still be considered for entry to the programme with relevant work experience
  • The University of Strathclyde offer an MSc programme in enterprise information systems for graduates of any discipline who wish to gain skills in understanding data management and business processes

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry.  They might also highlight additional subjects that they value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Graphic communication
  • Computing science or information systems
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Engineering science

Helpful to have

Employers might also look for recognised certifications from a professional body, such as the International Institute of Business Analysis UK (IIBA) or The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

A foundation certificate in business analysis if offered by The Chartered Institute for IT – this is aimed at people new to the role, or those who may be thinking about working in this field and want to learn more.

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

Explore more information about this job