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How to Write Business Analyst Job Descriptions

DataCamp Team,
August 4, 2022 10 minutes min read
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How can you hire the best business analysts for your workplace? Read on for a comprehensive guide on best practices for writing job descriptions that increase organic traffic for recruiters and managers.

How to write business analyst job descriptions

Business analysts are becoming increasingly valuable to teams across industries. In its 2017 report, IBM predicted that the number of jobs for U.S. data professionals would grow from 364,000 to 2,720,000 by 2020. The spike in roles is driven by the digital revolution, making analytically savvy workmates invaluable to business growth.

With all this demand comes competition between companies, recruiters, and managers to attract strong candidates. So how to hire the best business analysts for your workplace? Read on for a comprehensive guide on best practices for writing job descriptions that increase organic traffic for recruiters and managers. 

What does a Business Analyst do? And why do you need them on your team? 

Since the first programmable computers were produced in the 1940s, the role of business analyst has existed. Over 80 years later, business analysts have never been as valued for their contribution to businesses as they are today. 

Nowadays, a business analyst makes sense of numbers, solving problems by connecting IT with business needs. Their work helps make strategic decisions on pricing, scheduling, operations, and more. In summary, business analysts wear many hats. Here’s how they can help maximize your business growth:

  • Business analysts create solutions to stakeholders’ current and future problems. 
  • Business analysts make digital transformation easier by translating between clients and developers. They bridge the gap by communicating the business stakeholders’ needs into a language the development team understands and vice versa. Translating business details to the technical department makes them a point of contact on how the business works for all sides. 
  • Business analysts support change management by helping staff adapt. Business analysts help prepare teams for upcoming company changes, ensuring they understand them as they take place. 
  • Business analysts reduce company costs by minimizing project costs. Hiring a business analyst makes your business projects more efficient and offloads work from across the company to a specialist. 

What to include in Business Analyst job descriptions

What soft skills should you include in a business analyst job description? 

As we can see, a business analyst will use a lot of soft skills in their every day, from critical thinking to business acumen. It’s important to set the expectations you have for the soft skills you require your candidate to have. Here are typical soft skills a business analyst needs: 

  • Communication: Business analysts interact across all departments, and must be able to express their insights clearly as well as understand information passed on to them. This includes a high understanding of technical terms to narrativize data information and relay business strategies. Communication should include strong writing and public speaking skills to communicate information about projects.
  • Problem-solving: The main job of a business analyst is to help companies solve problems. Top analysts can find patterns, apply logical thinking, statistics, and predictive analytics to implement plans for solutions.
  • Critical thinking: Business analysts must be able to evaluate multiple options, problems, and possibilities to make confident decisions.
  • Negotiation: Business analysts must use negotiation skills between a business and clients, between IT and business users, and between themselves and other coworkers. Having persuasive negotiation skills helps keep healthy internal and external relationships in the company.
  • Teamwork: Business analysts must be collaborators as well as leaders. This requires excellent teamwork attributes to work with both executive members and computer technicians, and to be able to structure or coordinate teams to success. 

What technical skills should you include in a business analyst job description? 

A business analyst must also have high-quality technical skills and knowledge. When writing expectations and requirements for this role, make sure to frame them specifically for business analysts rather than listing general data science skills. 

  • Software testing skills: Business analysts often run tests as part of their duties, especially in Agile team settings or in small companies. The role of a BA in testing can range from helping to develop test cases to reporting defects in solutions. Business analysts should understand:
    • Test cases or manual testing
    • Test scripts
    • Automated tests
  • Basic office application proficiency:
    • Word processing
    • Spreadsheets
    • Presentations
    • Charts and diagrams
    • Email
  • Data analysis:  BAs don’t need to know how to store all the data or write code, that is a more technical IT job. However, since BAs compile and analyze data, it’s important that they understand basic programming languages such as Python and R, as well as database types and functions such as MySQL.
  • Documentation: BAs must be able to record requirements and specifications on paper to communicate in the best way possible with their team. This will include applying relevant markup languages, as well as pictures, data, and any media to help get the information across. 
  • Computer and software fluency: BAs need to look at projects and processes with an understanding of the entire value chain to communicate between teams and get results. This means understanding a host of technical terms, including: 
    • The Central Processing Unit (CPU)
    • Main Memory
    • Secondary Storage
    • Input/Output Devices (I/O Devices)

Extra tips for writing compelling job descriptions

Even with a perfectly curated set of job descriptions and expectations, the sheer volume of job ads can bury yours out of candidates’ sight. To keep your job descriptions compelling and clickable, consider the following: 

  • Define the seniority of the role and its requirements: For example, if a junior role can learn hard skills on the job or if a senior role needs management experience, etc. 
  • Include the salary range: A study by SMART Recruit Online found that when job ads include a salary range in them, they get over 30% more applicants. Provide a Business Analyst salary range that matches the requirements and seniority to bag your ideal candidate. Check out our guide to Business Analyst salaries across region, industry, and level to get benchmarks. 
  • Include benefits: Nowadays, job sites such as Linkedin and Google Jobs offer benefits that come with the role. Use these to sweeten the deal and give a rounder idea of the work-life balance at your company.
  • Give insight on workplace culture: Share details about the team, cultures and values of the workplace. This will help candidates to envision themselves working with you and check if they align with your culture and ethos.
  • Define the hiring process with human resources: Candidates are keen to know what the hiring process will involve so they can prepare for interviews and meetings. This is particularly important for tech interviews and hard skills they need to hone.
  • Make the job post short and snappy: Avoid long lists of information, keep it sweet and to the point to grab attention. 

Hiring business analysts? 

If this has got you excited to welcome business analysts onto your team then start posting jobs on DataCamp Recruit, where you can access top data talent. 

  • Describe your job and list the tech stack required 
  • Access job seekers with the abilities you’re looking for are notified when your job is live 
  • Filter candidates according to their technical skills and abilities
  • Request a chat with qualified candidates
  • Interview and hire candidates directly

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