Business analyst vs data analyst

Organizations benefit from the efforts of both data analysts and business analysts. Data analysts tend to deal more directly with the data, but business analysts tend to be more active in identifying and recommending solutions to business problems. Both roles are in high demand and generally pay handsomely. In this post, we’ll examine the differences between the two jobs (business analyst vs data analyst) and why you might want to pursue one over the other as a career.

Business Analyst vs Data Analyst: Overview

There is a lot of data manipulation and extraction in both business analytics and data analytics. Using this information to improve business performance is a common goal for both. But how do these two functions vary from one another?

For example, whether or whether a corporation should launch a new product line or give higher priority to one project over another is one of the many questions that business analytics seeks to answer. Marketing, customer service, sales, and information technology (IT) are just a few examples of the many areas in which firms use business analytics to better their operations.

Analyzing vast datasets to uncover patterns and trends, drawing conclusions about hypotheses, and supporting business choices with data-based insights are all part of the process of data analytics. It is the goal of data analysis to answer questions such as, “What influences a customer’s choice of product?” or “What is the probability that the customer would switch to a competitor?” The practice of data analytics involves a wide range of techniques and methodologies, including data mining, data modeling, and big data analytics.

An Introduction to the Field of Business Analytics

In business analytics (BA), data exploration is iterative, with an emphasis on applying statistical analytical tools to uncover information that may be used to drive innovation and financial performance inside an organization. Business analytics enables analytics-driven firms to maximize the value of their big data assets, which they view as a vital source of information for business planning and future strategy formulation.

Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive business analytics are the three basic types of business analytics. Most of the time, these solutions are deployed in stages, but they can address nearly any issue that a business may be confronted with.

What’s happened? is answered by descriptive analytics. This type of analysis looks back into the past to uncover patterns and trends that can be used to inform present-day decisions. Executives and non-technical employees can profit from the insights created by big data because of the widespread availability of self-service data access and discovery tools and dashboards.

Read Also: DATA ANALYST SALARY: 2022 Average Salaries

The next step in gaining insight is through the use of predictive analytics. Foreseeing the likelihood of future events is made possible by the application of machine learning and statistical approaches. Due to the nature of predictive analytics, it cannot foretell the future; rather, it can only predict the most likely conclusion based on the past.

As a result of descriptive and predictive analysis, prescriptive analytics looks at probable next steps. Analytical models and business rules are combined in this sort of analytics to recommend numerous viable answers to varied situations and tradeoffs.

It isn’t necessary for organizations to follow this particular order when implementing any or all of these strategies. With easily available tools, intuitive interfaces, and deep interaction with several data sources, business analytics can be used in any area, from sales to product development to customer care. Many of these solutions offer users the ability to apply advanced analytic models without the help of a data scientist, creating new opportunities to find hidden insights in large datasets.

In order to use business analytics effectively, businesses must first integrate and reconcile data from several systems before deciding which subsets of that data they will make available to the company.

An Introduction to Data Mining and Analytics

Analyzing raw data is the process of collecting and analyzing that data to draw conclusions. Every organization generates a vast amount of data, including sales numbers, market research, logistics, and transactional information. Identifying patterns in a dataset that may reveal trends, hazards, or opportunities is the actual value of data analysis.

Businesses can use data analytics to improve their decision-making by modifying their procedures in response to the findings. There are a variety of ways in which this can be done, including new product development, customer retention techniques, and the evaluation of new medical treatments.

In order to speed up the analysis process, the most regularly used data analysis techniques have been automated. And because powerful analytics platforms are widely available, data analysts can sort through enormous amounts of data in minutes or hours rather than days or weeks by using tons of methods including, data mining, machine learning, text mining, predictive analysis, and so on.

Business Analyst vs. Data Analyst: Roles

An analyst’s role is to help a company find a solution to a present or upcoming problem.

A business analyst’s responsibilities include:

  • Business case definition
  • Analyzing the needs of the business
  • Becoming familiar with the demands of the workplace
  • Coordinating and executing a project
  • Validating the solutions
  • Collaborating with stakeholders to reach well-informed judgments
  • Carrying out quality control checks
  • Reviewing one’s work habits, connecting with coworkers, and keeping up with technological advancements.
Most of the time, data analysts are investigating data and putting together reports that present findings. Each team receives a presentation from the experts. In comparison to business analysts, these experts operate on a more independent basis.

On the other hand, working as a data analyst might be anything from:

  • Scrubbing Data
  • Creating and maintaining reports for various organizational divisions
  • Creating reports for both internal use and external consumption

There are a number of variations between business analysts and data analysts when it comes to talents and pre-requisites.

Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst: Competencies and Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in a business-related subject, such as business administration, finance, or economics, is often required for a business analyst.

Among the duties of a business analyst are:

  • A solid foundation in data analysis
  • A strong grasp of mathematics and the ability to conduct in-depth analyses
  • Being able to dig deep and find the most important information
  • Verifiable SAP expertise Microsoft Office prowess in the areas of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Knowledge of SQL
  • Experience in the administration of projects
  • The ability to communicate well

On the other hand, data analysts tend to be more focused on numbers. Professionals in this field frequently hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and have worked in the fields of computer programming, modeling, and analytics. A Master’s degree can be beneficial.

Data analysts must have the following skills:

  • A master of analysis, a lifelong learner, and a meticulous communicator
  • A thorough understanding of data mining methods
  • Machine learning, new technologies, and data frameworks
  • Deep understanding of SQL/CQL, R, and Python
  • The ability to apply agile development practices

In the next section, we’ll examine how business analysts and data analysts differ in their roles.

Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst: What Are the Differences in Duties and Roles?

Companies benefit from the services of data analysts, who perform data analysis and draw conclusions that can be communicated to business stakeholders. Additionally, data analysts use their in-depth knowledge of the industry to spot patterns in the business or market.

Their clients include

  • Departments of Information Technology
  • Teams in charge of data handling
  • Scientists in the field of data analysis

The following are some of the duties of a data analyst:

  • Using statistical methods to gain insights from data.
  • The control of a database
  • enhancing the effectiveness and precision of statistical analysis.
  • Obtaining information from primary and secondary sources
  • Analyzing complicated data sets in order to identify, analyze, and comprehend the trends or patterns
  • The process of sifting through data and identifying and resolving code errors
  • Prioritizing business needs with the help of management
  • Identifying opportunities for process improvement

However, the fundamental goal of a business analyst’s duty is to analyze and get insights from data so that business choices can be made with confidence.

The following are among the duties and roles of a business analyst:

  • enormous amounts of complex data to be analyzed
  • Establishing what needs to be improved in a certain location
  • Taking care of the needs of the business
  • Assisting third parties and internal teams in the resolution of problems
  • Evaluation of new trends based on data analysis
  • Providing suggestions for potential remedies

After that, let’s have a look at the differences in career paths between Business Analysts and Data Analysts.

Is a Career in Data Analysis or Business Analysis Right for You?

Is data analysis or business analysis the appropriate path to take for you? The following three elements must be taken into account to determine this:

#1. Take a look at your Background

Blake Angove, director of technology services at IT hiring agency LaSalle Network, believes that business analysts and data analysts come from various educational and professional backgrounds

For example, business analysts (also known as systems analysts) typically hold a bachelor’s degree in business. They mostly use data to improve business processes, and they have a working grasp of a variety of computer languages (though they aren’t always experts).

For example, “business analysts might work with the technical team to build or deploy a software package based on requirements provided by the business,” according to Angove.

On the other hand, data analysts spend their days sifting through massive amounts of information in order to find patterns, generate graphs, and present their findings in a way that management can understand. These experts typically have a degree in one of the STEM fields, such as mathematics, science, computer programming, databases, modeling, or predictive analytics.

#2. Keep an Eye on Your Passions

A problem-solver or an obsessive statistician, which describe you best?

In Schedlbauer’s opinion, business analysts love working in the corporate environment and are more engaged in finding solutions to problems. This person may be responsible for organizing, planning, and supervising the implementation of a whole new method of doing things. The ability to communicate in both written and oral form is vital since these professionals must convey technical information to stakeholders in a way that is understandable to non-technical audiences.

Math, statistics, and programming prowess are required skills for a data analyst. In their role as guardians of the company’s data, they’re ensconced in databases and interested in extracting data points from complex and frequently disparate sources of information. Schedlbauer argues that data analysts should be passionate about and well-versed in the industries in which they work.

#3. Consider Your Professional Career

Despite the fact that business analysts and data analysts have many commonalities, such as high incomes, their career paths are very different.

According to Angove, entry-level employment for business analysts may pay less than those for data analysts because they don’t require as much programming experience. A six-figure salary is not unheard of for people in senior positions or in particularly lucrative fields. According to Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Report, an ERP business analyst at the mid-level earns an average of $110,000 annually.

To advance from the position of business analyst to one that is more heavily focused on analytics, it is common to need more education and training beyond a bachelor’s degree.

In addition to a stable career path and a respectable salary, data analysts often benefit from excellent benefits. A typical salary range for a data analyst in the technology industry is $87,000-$126,000. There is a lot of possibility for advancement in this field if you learn additional programming languages like R and Python. In addition, advanced degrees in data science and development allow data analysts to easily transition into these professions.

The Salary Difference between a Business Analyst and a Data Analyst

As a business analyst or a data analyst, which one is more important? The annual pay of a data analyst might reach $72,250 on average. It also depends on the firm, the position, and the location of the company…

The average annual income for a data business analyst is $78,500. It’s all about the candidate’s talents, their profile, the brand of the organization, and their location. Senior positions with wages of up to $110,000 per year can be held by more qualified individuals. As a result, the salary of a business analyst versus a data analyst is based on their level of expertise.


We sincerely hope that this post helped you better grasp the distinctions between data analysts and business analysts. Since both careers rely heavily on facts, you should carefully weigh the objective and subjective benefits and drawbacks of each before making a decision. There are certain similarities between the two, so it isn’t difficult to go from one to the other.

Business Analyst vs Data Analyst FAQs

Which is better data analyst or business analyst?

In general, data analysts focus more on the data itself, while business analysts focus more on addressing business problems and making recommendations for solutions to those problems. Both roles are in high demand and generally pay well.

Who earns more data analyst or business analyst?

The annual salary of a data analyst can get up to $72,250 on average. The company, job title, and geographic location are all factors to consider. The average annual salary for a business analyst is US$78,500.

Can I switch from data analyst to business analyst?

Is a data analyst capable of transitioning into the role of a business analyst? Well, it’s possible for a data analyst to transition into the role of a business analyst in the long run.

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The annual salary of a data analyst can get up to $72,250 on average. The company, job title, and geographic location are all factors to consider. The average annual salary for a business analyst is US$78,500.

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Is a data analyst capable of transitioning into the role of a business analyst? Well, it's possible for a data analyst to transition into the role of a business analyst in the long run.

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