Data analyst vs Business analyst

by Ananya P. Co-founder
Someone asked me recently if I can suggest what the difference between a business analyst and data analyst is.

As the name suggests a first hand analysis by any layman will say that the business analyst role involves analysis from a business point of view, whereas the data analyst role deals with primarily analyzing data.
Some deeper analysis of the analyst jobs will show the following factors:

Business Analyst
Business analysts do a lot of things, though they are called change enablers as per BABoK v3, which is quite true.

·        They gather, elicit and document requirements
·        They ensure smooth development of the established requirements
·        They manage changes coming up with requirements
·        They ensure that the development / technology team has understood
          the functionalities and requirements, and is moving in the desired path        
·        They also envision the product road map
·        They talk and understand the need/issues of the stakeholders
·        They also work as internal consultants
At a strategic level BAs are supposed to:
1. Ask right questions
2. Solve a business need or problem
3. Think ahead of the product/solution
4. Try to solve the problems of the business users
5. Come up, with better solutions that take care of stated and implied needs etc.
6. Product visioning road map, etc
Data Analyst

While a data analyst primarily deals with analyzing large volume of data, modeling the data with the intent of coming up with useful information and inferences.

He/she comes up with hypothesis and behavioral pattern on the basis of predictive analytics to support decision making.

Data is collected/ gathered, reviewed, cleaned up and then analyzed on various useful parameters. Models and correlations are built/ drawn between various different parameters and then inferences are presented and hypothesis arrived at.These further drive the decisions in the enterprises.

Data analysis often uses statistical models to come up with the hypothesis and decisions.

For example data analysis deals with lot of consumer driven businesses and driving their strategic business decisions.

Hence the output of the data analysts forms the basis /input for the business decisions and hence primarily how the system needs to be engineered/ designed to suit those decisions.

What are the driving factors for customer’s behavior or pattern, and designing the system based on these patterns or behavior is governed by the work of a data analyst.

Whereas business analysts define the features or functionalities of the system. They solve problems by putting the right feature/requirement in the system.
Skills wise both the roles have similarity and differences.
Similar skills between both the roles:
•   Analytical mind
•   Trying to create opportunity
•    Ability to see the master plan and the bigger picture
•    A good business acumen
•    Presentation aptitudes
•    Stakeholder management
Differences of skills in the roles:
Aptitudes that differ for the part of a business analyst and a data analyst. Here is the table  link shows difference between these two:

A large number of organizations still use both the terms reciprocally and view them as same.
We can see from the above the task, skills and the people with whom business analysts and data analysts work are quite different.
Both the roles have extraordinary future and they bring in unique set of value to the table.

With more of consumer’s data being accessible, data analysts have a high potential to affect lives of individuals and make difference to businesses with predictive and analytical business insights.


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About Ananya P. Junior   Co-founder

4 connections, 0 recommendations, 19 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 1st, 2018, From Edmond, United States.

Created on Jul 12th 2018 00:35. Viewed 659 times.


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