Which career is the best for you?

We explain Business Analyst vs. Data Analyst and help you choose a suitable career.

In a business environment, data analyst and business analyst jobs are evolving to become an important part of their routine work system. They both help the organization to make a data-driven decision that is highly efficient and serves its customers. While data analysts work close to the data itself, the profession of business analyst is more involved in meeting business needs using business data. In this article, we take you through the Business Analyst vs Data Analyst comparison and help you choose the career that best matches your interests.

For many centuries, humans have used data to make decisions. Even before computers existed, humans calculated and worked on data manually. Therefore, data has played an important role in our daily life for a long time. However, things changed when the technology first saw the light of day. From calculators to quantum computers, everything revolves around data and numbers. In addition, data preservation has been carried out for years to pass valuable information and knowledge to future generations. Fortunately, big data has evolved and given a boost to data professionals. Today, we analyze the data with data analysis tools and get new strategies, business insights and data-driven decisions.

We are also seeing a surge in mathematicians, computer scientists and statisticians in various industries working to make sense of big data using data analysis techniques. The advent of big data has stimulated the demand for data scientists around the world. With the familiarity of data science, many other roles, including that of business analyst and data analyst, have emerged. When the amount of data and activity need to be ramped up, it has created a vacuum between business analysts and data analysts. Therefore, we introduce you to the basics of career opportunities and help you choose one.


Business Analyst: The key role of a business analyst in an organization is to measure all parts of the business and make sure everything is going well. One is responsible for maintaining and accelerating the growth of the business. As mentioned above, business analysts work closely with business teams and help them make effective big data-driven business decisions. They help the overall sales process and even provide marketing campaign ideas that better suit the range of customers. In addition to connecting directly to data, business analysts also investigate internal and external parts of the business and therefore find anomalies in a process that will ultimately help make the business more efficient and effective.

Data Analyst: Simply put, data analysts focus more on business data than on its impact. Even if they are responsible for working both on the context, their role requires them to be extremely good at big data itself. Their efforts will focus less on presenting information to stakeholders than on the data warehousing, data tables and SQL code developed to create these business metrics.

Roles and responsibilities

If you enjoy working with Big Data, then the roles of Business Analyst and Data Analyst will allow you to capitalize on your love for data. However, when choosing a professional career, you need to be careful and particular. You need to go over the roles and responsibilities of the data analyst and the business analyst and see where you can use all your intellect.

Business analyst: As the role of a business analyst revolves around business decision making, professionals must be critical thinkers, problem solvers and excellent communicators. One should surpass others in being good at making data-driven decisions, and at the same time, excel in knowing the goals and processes of the organization. This will help them to work closely with the Business teams to assess performance, identify shortcomings, advise and implement solutions.

To integrate the sales teams, the business analysts must have certain skills,

  • Have a thorough knowledge of the structure of the company and its functionalities.
  • Be on the cutting edge of new project developments by planning, managing, budgeting and forecasting content.
  • You need to have oral and written communication skills as well as professional skills.
  • They should have in-depth knowledge of databases, networks and other technologies.

Some of the routine business analyst tasks are listed as follows,

  • Analyze and sort the needs of the business.
  • Project management and development.
  • Carrying out quality tests.
  • Keep pace with the evolution of technology in an organization.

Data Analyst: As data analysts are directly connected to big data, they are concerned about the impact they may have on data compared to competitor data. They are put at a crossroads to develop innovative business solutions and perform statistical analysis on data to provide insight. Due to its proximity to numbers, the data analyst job requires professionals to be good at math and process a large amount of data to gain insight. Therefore, some of the skills required of them are as follows,

  • In-depth understanding of emerging technologies, data frameworks and machine learning.
  • In-depth knowledge of data mining and the tools used to do the same.
  • Be able to identify patterns, trends and other critical data to grow the business.

Some of the routine roles that data analysts fulfill are,

  • Data extraction and cleaning
  • Data cleaning
  • Produce and maintain reports for the different departments
  • Writing reports for internal teams and clients
  • Design of data systems and databases

So how do you choose a career between a business analyst and a data analyst?

While interest in data is a mandatory quality to qualify as a business analyst or data analyst, aspirants must also validate their degree and desired career path. When people come from the business world or more or less qualified to take up a career as a business analyst, it is different for data analysts. Data analysts have to work with big data, which consists of large sets of data. Therefore, without a solid background in data, it will be difficult for aspirants to identify trends, create charts, and create visual presentations for business.

Besides having a common interest in data, business analysts enjoy working in the corporate world. Even though their primary job is to provide data-driven decisions, business analysts are often seen as troubleshooters who protect the business at critical times. On the other hand, data analysts are people obsessed with statistics and programming. As the custodian of business data, they are proven to extract data points from complex and disparate sources.

Share this article


Sean N. Ayres