Here we recommend the top 5 tools and technologies for business analysis that you should master. In increasing order of technical ability:
Tools and Technologies for Business Analysis
- MS Excel of the MS Office suite:
Let’s face it. A majority of us who have worked a job in the past 10 years have definitely (at least) heard of MS Excel. It’s simple sandbox styled interface, a plethora of features, functions, and easy to understand layout have made it an indispensable tool for many. Statistical modelling and analysis can be easily achieved by the using the Data Analysis Toolpak. And complex optimization scenarios can be explored and achieved with the Solver add-in.
- MS Visio or yEd:
A BA is frequently required to represent the current state and future state of organizational processes or programmatic workflows. This is accomplished through the use of a framework called the business process modelling notation. It is a set of guidelines that help creating notations that are easily understood and interpreted by people in the same field. MS Visio or yEd are commonly used tools and technologies for this purpose.
The Tableau Software has seen tremendous growth over recent years. This is thanks in part to the thrust to infuse analytics in business intelligence. This growth is also due to the fact that it is one of the easiest tools to master visualization. Tableau’s features truly surpass many of its competitors. And its no surprise that companies are increasingly dependent on Tableau Software products for their business intelligence and visual analytics needs.
While some roles do not expect programming from business analysts, it is increasingly evident from current job profiles and company expectations that some form of programming experience is desired, and preferably the ones discussed below.
- Structured Query Language (SQL):
SQL is a programming language used specifically to interact with relational databases. There are several flavours of SQL with every relational database vendor attempting to create a unique or stylized version of it for their systems. Think of MS SQL Server, Oracle’s PLSQL, MySQL (acquired by Oracle, etc.). But the core abilities and language constructs – syntax (think of grammar) remain the same across databases. A BA is frequently required to interact with data and databases for their work. This is truer for business analysts in technologically intensive industries.
- Python programming:
While many companies depend on Python programmers to build websites, apps, and other technologies, a BA also would do well to learn this language. Companies increasingly rely on statistical models for decision making. Python has a huge collection of community driven packages that make even complex algorithms available for your use with a few lines of code. Don’t be afraid; Python is also one of the easiest languages you could learn. It’s meant to be English-like. So if you’re reading this article, you probably can also learn Python quickly!
I wish you the best in life.