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The Best Ways to Advance Your Business Analyst Skills

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As a business analyst, you’re expected to stay on your toes. Understanding different types of analyses, keeping up with communication strategies, and relaying data in an easy to understand format are boxes you check off with ease.

But if you’re not advancing your skills, your trespassing on mysterious land. Businesses are continuously expanding and requiring flexibility to meet growing needs. It makes sense that your skills as an analyst must also keep up with these demands.

How to go about advancing those analyst skills? Read on.

1. Talk to the experts

There is no better way to understand how to grow than by talking to people who have expert knowledge as a business analyst. They’ve been where you are and have been advancing their skills for many years. By talking to them, you also step onto the path of development.

They can share problems they’ve come across. Or provide insight about what to absolutely not do on the job. It helps you sidestep mistakes with their guidance.

If possible, talk to many experts. Everyone has an industry they work in. And a story on how they’ve made it as far as they have. No piece of advice is 100% correct — but it helps you acknowledge issues in how you communicate, analyze, or report data.

2. Never stop reading

Do you know how writers get better? They read often, and they write continuously. That’s the simplest way to put it. Your skills follow a similar format.

Read up on the latest analyses, keep track of the type of transformations businesses are undergoing. Read whitepapers, reports, blog articles and journalistic pieces.

There are so many topics to read. If you work in a particular industry, follow trade journals in that sector. Study communication methods. Keep track of the growth (or lack of) in your industry. Ask your current bosses how they survived without you — but maybe don’t say it quite like that.

Talk to other business owners and ask them what’s lacking in their business processes? Zone in on their goals and consider how you’d go about fixing them.

You’ve got to dig deep, read often, and communicate thoroughly.

3. Practice and then practice more

Sounds silly, but you can also create fictional problems and devise several ways to correct the issue. This works well for business analysts who are not yet certified and want some practice. If you know a friend who runs a business, maybe ask them what complications they’ve run into the last few months.

You don’t have to work for free. But you can take the problems and start creating a basic plan of action. Or even Google how other companies with similar problems and see how they overcame them. As much as this can give you a boost of motivation, it’s also a way to keep your mind buzzing and active.

There you have it!

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas to take your current skills and bring them to the next level.

It’s really about asking questions, reading, and practicing hypothetical situations. Obviously, the fastest way to grow those skills is by putting them to use.

Do so, whenever you get a chance.

Image: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

//pestleanalysis.com