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Really, is ‘business analyst’ a good job?

I remember asking myself this very question when I was exploring analyst jobs. Yes, business analyst is a good job.

That said, we have to look at the question from a personality angle, a job growth angle, a salary angle, and a stress angle. In short, business analyst is a good job for people who like technical systems and communicating about them. It’s also good for those who like stability and a reasonable salary from a position that won’t burn them out in a few years. Let’s take a closer look at these angles below.

Best personality types for the job

Because the work of a business analyst incorporates analytical and creative elements, it’s a job that many people can do, and do well. That said, some personalities will perform better for a few different reasons. Let’s look at some.

If you like breaking down systems into their component parts and creating order, then you’ve got the right personality type to be a business analyst. Since your days will be mainly filled with gathering information on how a product or service will need to look and perform, you should also be consistency– and detail-driven.

This doesn’t mean that you have to love details. But you should have some inclination towards structure. I am the kind of person who likes building the shell of a final product, then rounding it out with more elements as I go. On the other hand, I don’t like performing the detailed tasks to fill out that shell. This makes me a pretty good personality for business analysis.

You should also like to dig into the logic behind conversations you have with colleagues. Indeed, one of the toughest parts about being a business analyst (for many people), is hashing out details with the people who are filling in the shell you have built. It’s thus very important that you have a debater’s mentality, or at least that you know how to summon it, to get that job done.

Of course, you also need to like dealing with data and have strong data fundamentals.

Storytelling and mapping

Perhaps one of the most underestimated personality traits, or areas of interest, that a business analyst needs is storytelling. A major way of seing the business analyst role is through mapping user stories in products or services. This takes a visionary, creative approach that some highly analytical people don’t have, or simply don’t like.

One of today’s most popular personality tests is the (you can take it for free) breakdown of analysts, diplomats, sentinels, and explorers. Without a doubt, analyst types do very well as BAs, but sentinels and explorers also often bring a certain creative energy and perceptive ability to the story-mapping part of the job.

Finally, you have to come to terms with the fact that a business analyst is not the boss. In most situations, the business analyst performs a supporting role more than anything else. In an IT company, the product owner will have the final say in decision making.

At the same time, the business analyst’s job is to help the product manager solidify what actions need be completed in order to solidify the vision and communicate it to technical members of the team, in most cases programmers.

People pleasing

Finally, you need to be a true people pleaser. There is never enough time and there are never enough resources to give people everything they ask for, and generally people do not ask for what they really need. But if you are a true people pleaser, and you want to make people happy and successful by delivering what they actually need, then you might just be a great business analyst.

Personality types that don’t do well as business analysts are those who are more concerned with absolute creativity. By that I just mean personalities who don’t want to look at structure at all will have a hard time creating wireframes and prototypes that business analysts must do. These people are often successful as storytellers, but they won’t like structure.

As a list, business analyst is a good job for people who:

  1. Like systems and breaking them down
  2. Creating order
  3. Are consistent
  4. Are detail-driven
  5. Have a debater’s mentality
  6. Like storytelling and story mapping
  7. Are a true people pleaser
  8. Aren’t absorbed by absolute creativity

Business analyst has good growth potential

If you’re wondering where the business analyst role is headed in the future, the answer is up. In fact, the U.S. government estimates that management analysts (which is the governments way of categorizing business analysts — read the job description here to see) has a very positive outlook.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business analyst role will grow by 14% from 2018 to 2028. That’s a whopping 8% higher than the average growth rate of 6%.

Part of the reason for this is the increased capabilities and cross-functional skills that business analysts bring to the table. We an Analyst Answers believe that business, financial, and data analyst will begin work more cross-departmentally as time goes on.

Businesses are starting to realize the value of analysts that can multitask, solve problems, and create value for customers. As analyst positions tend to evolve and merge, I think we’ll see even higher growth rates. If you currently are or plan to become a BA, try keeping up on your hard and soft skills. You can learn a lot of them here at Analyst Answers.

Business analyst salaries are above average

At around $68,000 for a junior analyst on average (Glassdoor), the job is not the highest paid position. It’s nevertheless about $10,000 above the national average in the Unites States (CNBC).

The key to remember here, however, is that career possibilities are wide for a business analyst. The documentation, communication, and managerial skills you learn in the very operations of the company are invaluable to so many different departments.

Career possibilities are wide

You might be wondering what comes after being a business analyst. The answer? A lot.

In agile IT companies, it’s common for a business analyst to move into a product owner or product manager position. In fact, a BA is essentially a translator for these roles to the technical teams. While this is perhaps a generalization and the relationship is more complex, BAs who make the transition to those superior roles often do well.

There’s a learning curve, and depending on your personality type, you may not enjoy the switch. Nevertheless, the necessary knowledge to become a PM or PO is there.

In non-IT firms, such as banks or hospitals, opportunities open up to other analyst positions such as finance or data roles. Business analysts can capitalize on this particularly well if they build the right skills. You can read more about building skills by heading to the home page.

Ultimately, business analysts build the value-centric skills to move up the ladder into Chief Operating Officer positions. COOs aim to optimize internal processes. If they have honed persuasive communication and as an analyst, they’re often much more successful. The COO of my first company was a business analyst!

Stress levels for business analysts are average

I interviewed two business analyst colleagues about stress levels. Obviously every person handles stress differently. At the same time, they seem to be in agreement on a few specific points.

Whatever stress there is in a business analyst role, it clearly comes from the “agent of change” status. In their essence, business analysts must incite change in organizations or in teams when they identify inefficiencies. They have to have tough conversations with people teammates about change on a very regular basis.

As the saying goes: “nobody likes change.”

In addition, because the role aims to identify change, and there is so much resistance around that change, BAs often become project managers of change.

You can almost think of them as mini entrepreneurs inside the company. They see an opportunity and must face stiff resistance in order to enact that opportunity. Perhaps the most stressful part of all is that they rarely receive credit for positive changes once they’re passed through. Mini entrepreneurs at their finest.

That said, the stress comes primarily with friction at the team level. Business analysts do not need to negotiate office politics as often as their product owner superiors. You could ultimately make the case that a business analyst’s stress is self-induced. I’d say it’s average.


Is the business analyst role a good job? Overall, it’s hard to say no.

It’s a stable position that brings significant value to an organization. You will learn valuable skills that are transferable to other positions, especially other analyst roles. While the salary is typically only just above average, you have a breadth of potential career opportunities that come with big leaps in pay.

Of course, at the end of the day you have to have the right personality for the BA role. Those who do well are problem solvers who like to analyze systems, then communicate with teammates and stakeholders for the good of the organization. If this sounds like you, then the business analyst role is almost certainly a good job.

About the Author


Noah is the founder & Editor-in-Chief at AnalystAnswers. He is a transatlantic professional and entrepreneur with 5+ years of corporate finance and data analytics experience, as well as 3+ years in consumer financial products and business software. He started AnalystAnswers to provide aspiring professionals with accessible explanations of otherwise dense finance and data concepts. Noah believes everyone can benefit from an analytical mindset in growing digital world. When he's not busy at work, Noah likes to explore new European cities, exercise, and spend time with friends and family.


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