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Decoding Career Paths: Business Analysts Vs Data Analysts

Data analysts and business analysts  People often confuse they both work with data, have the same job title, and are classified as data scientists. But they’re different. This article dives deeper into the differences, clarifying the responsibilities, backgrounds, and qualifications each role demands.

You become what you believe

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

Business analysts identify and address problems in organizations. They examine current operations, conduct interviews with teams, and provide recommendations for changes. They present their results and recommendations to management, create graphics and financial models, and train employees on new systems.

What Does a Data Analyst Do?

Data analysts collect, clean, and analyze data to help businesses make informed decisions. They collaborate with leaders to understand challenges, collect and organize data, and analyze it to identify trends. They present their findings visually and through storytelling.

Education and Requirements:

Many companies prefer business and data analysts with at least a bachelor’s degree, though it’s not strictly necessary. What truly matters to hiring managers are the skills you bring to the table.

Requirements for Business Analysts:

Having a degree in computer science, statistics, business administration, economics, finance, or a related field can be beneficial for aspiring business analysts. However, a data analytics boot camp, coupled with self-learning, is also effective in providing the necessary skills. Common requirements include:

    • Data research and analysis

    • Quantitative and analytical mindset

    • SAP proficiency (preferably in SAP-R3/BI)

    • Strong Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint skills

    • SQL proficiency

    • Tableau experience

    • Strong communication and project management skills

Requirements for Data Analysts:

Data analysts are more concerned with numbers. They often have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field or have prior experience in programming, computer modeling, data analytics, machine learning, data visualization, or predictive analytics. An advanced degree is useful, but not required. Common skill prerequisites include: 

    • Analytical skills, intellectual curiosity, and reporting acumen

    • Experience with SQL/CQL, R, and Python

    • Advanced Excel and Microsoft Office skills

    • Understanding of data mining techniques

    • Familiarity with emerging technologies like MapReduce, Spark, large-scale data frameworks, and machine learning

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills


Data and business analysis often command high salaries. Glassdoor reports that business analysts in India earn an average base pay of ₹8,50,000, surpassing the national average salary for a data analyst, which stands at ₹7,00,000 according to their findings.

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