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Learn business analysis with online courses and programs

Business analysis uses data to make informed recommendations for an organization. The field combines technical expertise with soft skills like critical thinking and communication. Advance your career with business analysis courses delivered through edX.

What is business analysis?

Business analysts enable companies to increase their value to stakeholders by defining challenges and making appropriate recommendations. These professionals influence organizational change, which can include developing new strategies or supporting continuous improvement. This is slightly different from the field of business analytics, which studies primary and secondary data to glean important insights about an organization.

Business analysts use their findings to help their organization make important decisions. They may aid in the strategic pricing of company products and services, distribution of its sales force, or identification of a unique value proposition. By applying the proper analysis to each situation, analysts enable businesses to enhance outcomes for all stakeholders.

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What does a business analyst do?

Essentially, a business analyst explores an organization’s current state and develops viable solutions to increase efficiency and earnings. There are many tools and techniques they use to conduct their analyses. These can help to ensure that organizational activities are in alignment with overarching company goals and objectives. 

Some common tools include:Footnote 1

  • SWOT analysis, which identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

  • PESTEL analysis, which identifies political, economic, sociocultural, technological, environmental, and legal factors.

  • VRIO analysis, which identifies the value, rarity, imitability, and organization of a company’s resources.

  • BCG Matrix, which identifies a business’s products based on growth and profitability.

Professionals in this field don’t just need to be able to understand their findings. They also need to be able to communicate those findings clearly. Curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking are essential soft skills for long-term success as a business analyst.Footnote 2 If you want to learn how to help organizations create more value, start with the proper education. edX offers a variety of courses that prepare learners to start or advance their careers.

Business analysis course curriculum

Learning business analysis can benefit individuals with a variety of professional goals. Whether you’re interested in strengthening your marketing abilities with research-backed recommendations, or you plan to start your own business someday, online courses can provide a convenient way to gain new skills.

Foundational courses may first start by answering the following questions:

  • What is business analysis?

  • What do business analysts do?

  • How do you identify the stakeholders for a specific project?

You may then move on to conducting various analyses of real companies and develop potential solutions to business challenges. These courses allow you to use your creativity and critical thinking skills to come up with innovative ideas. They may also provide opportunities to practice communicating your findings through written papers, slideshows, or oral presentations.

Build your skills with online courses and boot camps delivered through edX. Enroll in accelerated coursework to upskill quickly or apply for a full degree program that can enable you to earn a bachelor’s degree or, for more experienced learners, a master’s degree. Find the right learning path for you. 

Business analysis jobs

Organizations across all industries can benefit from skilled business analysts. Depending on your depth of knowledge and experience, you may be able to qualify for a variety of roles or offer niche expertise. Some titles you may be able to pursue include:

  • IT business analyst: These professionals are responsible for assessing their organization’s information systems and making recommendations to enhance them. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for this role, however a master’s degree in business analysis may be preferred.Footnote 3

  • Marketing analyst: These professionals analyze customer information including demographics, lifestyles, spending habits, and other decision-making factors. They use this information to help their organization better promote its products and services. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field may be required.Footnote 4

  • Cybersecurity analyst: These professionals keep their organization’s networks secure by constantly monitoring for vulnerabilities. They provide actionable steps for added protection while minimizing costs wherever possible. Some employers may require candidates for this role to obtain a business analysis certification in addition to a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.Footnote 5

For professionals who already have ample experience in business analysis, it is possible to advance your skills through online courses or certifications and start a consulting career. As a business analysis consultant, you can work with organizations to develop solutions to their unique concerns.Footnote 6

How to become a business analyst online

If you’re interested in learning business analysis as part of a larger curriculum, you may want to consider working toward a bachelor’s degree in business. Current professionals who want to advance their careers may opt to enroll in an MBA program or can build specific skills with specialized training in data analytics boot camps, for example. Before deciding what learning path will make the most sense for you, research potential positions that you are interested in and align your coursework with your professional aspirations. 

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