Can a Business Analyst Become a Data Analyst?
Can a Business Analyst become a Data Analyst?
Short answer - yes.
Let's look at why and HOW a business analyst can become a data analyst and how someone can make this transition. We’ll look at training, skills, and how to take this business to data analyst career path.
Business Analyst vs Data Analyst
If you’ve seen my video about business analyst vs data analyst roles, you’re already familiar with some of the differences between the jobs.
Business analysts analyze the organization, processes, systems, or a problem from a business lens.
Data analytics is a portion of this work, but always as a means to an end. That is - a business analyst uses data to help support business decisions and changes.
I think the best implemented data analyst positions share this same feature.
While they’ll be heavier on analysis - often going deeper and more technical than a business analyst - the work should ultimately support a business goal.
The skills a business analyst has in focusing on impacting the business are a great asset when moving to a data analyst role.
Skills to Build
Technical skills are the main area where most business analysts will need to focus to transition to a data analyst role.
Whether you learn to code in Python, R, SQL, etc or choose to go a no code route, you’ll need to be very familiar with at least 1 tool or language.
Depending on your specific experience, you might already have this or at least started on it. If not, then work on those skills.
Also, again depending on your experience and training, you might need to build up your math skills - specifically statistics.
I would expect anyone in a business analyst role to have some of these skills, but they need further focus.
How Often Do People Switch Roles?
It’s not uncommon for business analysts to transition to data analyst roles.
The skillsets of both are very similar so they often attract people who can easily shift either to be more business focused or to be more data focused.
How to Become a Data Analyst
If you’re considering transitioning from a business analyst to data analyst role, work on boosting the skills you’re lacking and finding opportunities to incorporate them into your current job.
This could be as simple as creating more - or better - data visualizations in your work or it could involve using new tools or languages in your job.
Whatever lengths you go to, they’ll help improve your resume and give you more to talk about when you get into a data analyst job interview.