December 4, 2023


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Which Career is Better for You?

Business analyst vs Data Analyst

We explain business analyst vs data analyst and help you pick a suitable career.

In a business environment, data analyst and business analyst jobs are evolving to be a major part of their routine working system. They both help the organization drive a data-driven decision that is highly effective and serves its customers. While data analysts work close to data itself, the business analyst profession is more involved in addressing business needs with the help of company data. In this article, we take you through business analyst vs data analyst and help you pick the career that better suits your interest.

For many centuries, humans have used data to drive decisions. Even before computers came into existence, humans manually calculated and worked on data. Therefore, data has played a significant role in our daily lives for a long time. However, things changed when technology came into existence. Starting from calculators to quantum computers, everything is evolving around data and numbers. Besides, preserving data has been done for years to pass on valuable information and knowledge for upcoming generations. Fortunately, big data has evolved and brought an impetus to data-related professionals. Today, we analyze data with data analytic tools and gain new strategies, business insights, and data-driven decisions.

We are also encountering a strong rise of mathematicians, computer scientists, and statisticians in various industries working to make sense of big data using data analytics techniques. The advent of big data has spurred the demand for data scientists across the globe. Following the familiarity of data science, many other roles including business analyst and data analyst emerged. When the amount of data and the business needs to be intensified, it created a void between business analysts vs data analysts. Therefore, we take you through the basics of both the career opportunities and help you choose one.




Business analyst: A business analysts’ key role in an organization is to measure all parts of the business and ensure that everything is going well. One is assigned to maintain and accelerate the company’s growth. As mentioned above, business analysts work close to business teams and help them take effective business decisions based on big data. They help the overall sales process and even provide marketing campaign ideas that better suit the customer range. Besides directly connecting with data, business analysts also investigate both internal and external parts of the business and therefore find anomalies in a process that will ultimately help to make the company more efficient and successful.

Data analyst: Simply put, data analysts focus more on the data of the company rather than its impact. Even though they are assigned to work on both the context, their job role demands them to be extensively good at big data itself. Their efforts will be less on presenting insights to stakeholders and more on the data warehousing, data tables, and SQL code developed to create those business metrics.


Roles and responsibilities

If you are fond of working with big data, then both business analyst vs data analyst roles will let you capitalize on your love for data. However, when selecting a professional career, you need to be careful and particular. You need to go through the roles and responsibilities of data analyst and business analyst and see where you can use your full intellect.

Business analyst: As the business analyst role revolves around business decision-making, the professionals are expected to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and excellent communicators. One should outperform others by being good at deriving data-driven decisions, and at the same time, excel in knowing the organization’s objectives and processes. This will help them work closely with the business teams in evaluating performance, identifying inadequacies, and advising and implementing solutions.

To incorporate with business teams, business analysts should possess certain skills,

  • Have detailed knowledge of the business structure and its functionalities.
  • Be at the forefront of new project developments by planning, managing, budgeting, and forecasting the content.
  • One should have oral and written communication skills along with job skills.
  • They should possess in-depth knowledge of databases, networks, and other technologies.

Some of the routine tasks of business analysts are listed as follows,

  • Analyzing and sorting business requirements.
  • Project management and development.
  • Performing quality testing.
  • Keeping up with the pace of changing technology in an organization.

Data analyst: As data analysts are directly connected to big data, they are concerned about the data impact they can make compared with competitors’ data. They are put at the crossroad to develop innovative business solutions and perform statistical analysis on data to provide insights. Owing to its closeness with numbers, the data analyst position requires professionals to be good at mathematical acumen and process a high amount of data to obtain insights. Therefore, some of the skills required of them are as follows,

  • Thorough understanding of emerging technologies, data frameworks, and machine learning.
  • Intense knowledge about data mining and the tools used to perform the same.
  • Being able to identify patterns, trends, and other critical data to expand the business.

Some of the routine roles that data analysts carry out are,

  • Mining and cleansing data
  • Scrubbing data
  • Producing and maintaining reports for different departments
  • Preparing reports for both internal teams and clients
  • Designing data systems and databases


So, how do choose a career between a business analyst and a data analyst?

While interest in data is a mandatory quality to qualify as a business analyst or data analyst, the aspirants should also validate their education qualification and desired career path. When people from a business background or more or less qualified to take up a business analyst career, it is different for data analysts. Data analysts have to work with big data, which consists of large datasets. Therefore, without a strong background in data, it will be hectic for aspirants to identify trends, make charts, and create visual presentations for business.

Besides having a common interest in data, business analysts love to work in the corporate world. Even though their key task is to provide data-driven decisions, business analysts are often seen as troubleshooters who shield the company at critical times. On the other hand, data analysts are people obsessed with statistics and programming. As a gatekeeper for business data, they are attested to extract data points from complex and disparate sources.

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