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Business Analyst

Kaitātari Pakihi

Alternative titles for this job

Business analysts design or recommend solutions, such as computers or computer programs, to help organisations meet their goals.

Pay

Business analysts usually earn

$85K–$110K per year

Senior business analysts usually earn

$97K–$127K per year

Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech and Digital Remuneration Report', January 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a business analyst are good due to a shortage of workers.

Pay

Pay for business analysts varies depending on experience and location. 

  • Business analysts usually earn between $85,000 and $110,000 a year.
  • Senior business analysts can earn between $97,000 and $127,000.

Business analysts working on contract earn an average of $100 to $115 an hour.

Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech and Digital Remuneration Report', January 2020.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Business analysts may do some or all of the following:

  • consult with organisations' management, staff and customers on their needs, goals and requirements
  • design or recommend solutions (such as computers or computer programs) to meet clients' needs
  • document requirements for computer systems
  • estimate costs and write business cases
  • oversee new developments, including design and choice of computers and computer programs.

Skills and knowledge

Business analysts need to have knowledge of:

  • computer hardware and software, and methods of programming
  • methods of analysing needs, costs and benefits
  • the business they are working in and the staff's work methods.

Working conditions

Business analysts:

  • work regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines on projects
  • work in offices
  • may travel to see clients in their workplaces, or to conferences and seminars.

What's the job really like?

Richard Coulbeck

Richard Coulbeck

Senior Business Analyst

Becoming a business analyst

Senior business analyst Richard Coulbeck started his career in science. He always had an interest in information technology (IT), which led him into IT support work. These roles eventually took him into business analysis.

Richard says he still gets to use his IT skills, but people are his main focus as a business analyst.

“Even though business analysis often involves software or other technology, it's there to serve people. People come first in business analysis.”

What does the typical day involve?

Richard’s typical day is varied. He usually meets with clients and discusses their business goals. 

“Because business analysis is a broad field of work, you can’t expect to be an expert in all areas of business you may cover. You need to be willing to accept that and ask clients the right questions to gather a good understanding of what they're looking for.

“Business analysis is not always about creating a brand new process or approach to business. More often it involves looking closely at an existing process and seeing what could be improved.”

Advice for future business analysts

Richard says business analysts shouldn’t be overconfident and assume they know what they don’t know.

“You need to be confident enough to ask questions when you’re not sure about something. Our clients are the subject matter experts.”

Business analyst video

Susan Taylor shares what she loves about being a business analyst –1.43 mins. (Video courtesy of IT Professionals)

Hi, I’m Susan Taylor, I’m a business analyst at Datacom in Wellington and I love my job.

There’s no such thing as an average day for a business analyst, it can be anything from spending all day and sometimes a whole week in workshops with customers, with other members of the team trying to work out what the system that you’re trying to build needs to do. Through to something actually where you are sitting at your desk, or standing, as I do, and writing documentation so that you’re recording.

Communication is key, being an inquisitive mind. Problem-solving skills are really important, being a people person I think is very important. And having some business knowledge is really good to be able to relate to your customers and the other people in your team.

One of the favourite things is actually being in a project from the beginning where you hear about the idea of what the customer wants to achieve out of a project, through to the end where you actually see those results, see the benefits that they get from using it and the better information sources that they have at their fingertips now that they’ve got an IT solution that they can use.

Because a BA’s quite a critical part of a project team you get to work with all sorts of people who do other disciplines, like testers, project managers. So some BAs actually move into those other disciplines, some go into development too if you’re into a real IT bent.

A lot go into project management. I was lucky to get an opportunity to be a business manager.

I ran a team of 41 people across a couple of projects. I did that for a few years but actually came back to being a BA because that’s what I like doing best.

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a business analyst. However, employers usually prefer you to have a diploma or degree in a subject that requires statistical, business and analytical skills, such as:

  • business analysis
  • computing
  • information systems
  • business computing
  • economics
  • maths or statistics.

If you are a graduate in other fields, you can gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through ICT graduate schools.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, English and maths.

Personal requirements

Business analysts need to be:

  • logical, methodical, patient, and good listeners
  • able to work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • skilled at design and planning
  • good at verbal and written communication
  • skilled at analysing and problem-solving.

Useful experience

Useful experience for business analysts includes:

  • computer programming
  • business management
  • project management.

Registration

Business analysts may choose to gain industry certifications such as those available through the Information Technology Certified Technologist (CTech) scheme. 

Find out more about training

IT Professionals
0800 252 255 - info@itp.org.nz - www.itp.org.nz
NZ Tech
09 475 0204 - info@nztech.org.nz - nztech.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Shortage of business analysts

Demand for business analysts is high due to:

  • public and private sector employers increasingly looking for business analysis skills
  • the need for skilled business analysts in the IT sector across several industries.

ICT business analyst and systems analyst appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled business and systems analysts from overseas to work in New Zealand.

According to the Census, 15,288 ICT business analysts and systems analysts worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Types of employers varied

Many medium to large organisations employ business analysts, including:

  • government departments
  • computer management firms
  • marketing companies
  • manufacturers
  • private companies across of range of industries
  • professional firms such as law and accountancy businesses.

Sources

  • AbsoluteIT, 'Business Analysts in the IT Industry', accessed July 2020, (www.absoluteit.co.nz).
  • AbsoluteIT, 'IT Career Paths That Will Get You Hired', 4 July 2019, (www.absoluteit.co.nz).
  • AbsoluteIT, 'Tech and Digital Remuneration Report', January 2020, (www.absoluteit.co.nz).
  • Hudson Analytics, 'Salary Guide 2019', accessed July 2020, (www.nz.hudson.com).
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • NZ Herald, 'LinkedIn Reveals Top Skills Employers Want', 15 January 2019, (www.nzherald.co.nz).
  • NZ Now, 'Job Market and Key Industries', accessed July 2020, (www.newzealandnow.govt.nz).
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Business analysts may progress to become self-employed, or move into project management.

A female business analyst shows a male project manager a document as others watch

Business analysts often work with project managers and others to ensure systems and processes work efficiently

Last updated 24 August 2020