Business Analyst Roles

Business Analyst Roles:

There are many types of roles that are required of a modern Analyst. It depends greatly on the type of industry you are in, but some fundamental aspects remain. Let’s break the term Business Analyst down for a second. The term Business implies the goal of making money. But there are many types of organizations that are in business not just to make money. Take non-profit organizations or community groups for example. And Analyst means a person who analyzes something. So some people may argue that a better term for a Business Analyst is a “Organization Analyst”. The most key roles for a Analyst include:

  • Superior attention to detail
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the company’s business practices and familiarity with the industry.

You should notice that these skills are not just confined to one type of industry. The main goal of any organization analyst is to define the solution that helps the organization reach its goal; it is that simple. Now days more and more people feel that the Business Analyst is involved in just I.T. solutions. This is not the case. There are many different types of business analysts and they can have varying degrees of responsibility.

Here are just a few of the titles that encompass the role of modern Analyst’s.

  • Business
  • Systems
  • Data
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • I.T. Business Analyst
  • Product Development Analyst

This is just a small list of the types of roles that business analysts can occupy. If you are looking to become a business analyst in the I.T. field then you may be required to know software development or understand the structure of how networks are built. A business can be a very integral part of an organizations success or failure. It is not the type of job that you can assume has entry level positions. These types of people are usually experts or have high competency in their field.

There are however courses and certifications that you can receive to help you with credentials. I have done lots of research and have found very few formal business analyst training programs. It is hard to set up programs for roles that experts in a particular field will employ. Although there are some online courses and universities that do offer such course work. The roles of BA’s are always changing and will continue to do so. As long as business is going on organizations will need people who know how to analyze what they are doing and help them achieve their main goals. These people are usually very well compensated for what they know and many can earn over 100k/year. There is no standard work week for a business analyst as many work way over 40 hours. These people sometimes have the fair of the organization in their hands and it can be very pressure driven.

Even though it can be a very high stress job most BA’s get satisfaction in knowing that what they are doing really makes a difference. It can be a stressful profession, but also a very rewarding one. Imagine if you knew that your work was helping an organization succeed in the market.

Profiles About Jobs – Market Research

Market research wing is a very important department for any commercial company involved in selling products or commodities. The gains and losses that a company suffers is practically a work of this department. They play an important role in warning company executives about possible failures that their product can beget as well as encourage them on to launch a new and innovative commodity, based on their findings.

What does this department do? In essence, it conducts its independent research to ascertain how well a product or a service about to be launched will be received by the people. It basically concerns itself with analyzing the trends of the market and identifying the contemporary taste and preference of the people.

How does this department function? There are a number of employees in this particular department of any company. Work is assigned to every person depending on his merit and ability. This department thrives on division of labor and on coordination among the various groups or units of workers.

The work done by this department follows a linear path- data is collected, it is analyzed, then assimilated and compiled to form a report. The report not only reflects the key findings but also entail a certain semblance of advice, warning the company of possible failures and suggesting strategies to reach out to the consumers with its product. This ensures that the company can come up with the best possible strategies and invest only where it is needed. This department is therefore crucial in enabling the company to gain maximum out of every deal.

This also makes it clear that the jobs in marketing research sphere are limited to only few posts, though the number of incumbents to the post may vary from company to company. The key posts in this department are:

•Market Research Manager- this person is credited with managing the work of the entire department. Though his work is mostly supervisory, he needs to make sure that the work is being done on time.

•Market Research Executives- they decide upon the strategies which the department will avail of in order to study the dynamics of the market.

•Market Research Analysts- Their work is similar to what market research executives do. The two work in tandem strategizing every move of the department, analyzing the collected data and coming up with solutions which the company can adopt to sell their products.

•Market Research Worker/ Interviewer- These are the people who do the real work in the sense they work at the grass root level collecting statistical data which will be analyzed later on. They are charged with the duty of designing online polls as well as conducting personal face to face interviews to gauge for themselves the pulse of the market.

Now that you know that work in market research is not limited and you are aware of the detailed job profile, I am sure that will apply for the market research job of your preference. Jobs in market research are easy to bag provided you have at a least bachelor’s degree in marketing. Moreover, since this is a high paying job, if you think you have the knack for it, you should surely apply for it straight away!

How To Research Stocks On Your Own

There are many people who are keen on investing in the stock market, but who are not necessarily confident, or comfortable about making those all-important investment decisions. No matter what level of investment, large or small, it’s important to know something about what you’re putting your money into. So, if you are an investor and are prepared to be self-reliant, then you need to think about how to research stocks and basically become your own stock analyst. This article is aimed at giving the less experienced investor a helping hand in terms of providing some useful guidance on to how to research stocks on your own.

Where Is The Information?

The first step is to begin thinking like an analyst – develop an enquiring mind. You need to find out what to buy or sell and at what price. Analysts usually focus on one particular industry or sector. If it’s a sector then they’ll focus on certain companies. An analyst’s aim is to probe into the businesses of the companies on their list. They do this by analysing financial reports and as much other available information as possible about the company. To cross-check the facts, analysts also dig into the dealings between the company and its suppliers, customers and competitors. Some analysts also visit the company, engaging with its management in order to gain a first-hand understanding of the workings of the company, and so over time they connect all the pieces of information together to get the full picture.

Before making any investment, you should do your own research. It is always better to research several stocks in the same industry so that you have a comparative analysis. However, the biggest constraint in doing your own research will probably be time. Retail investors who have many other things to do may not be able to devote as much time to research as professional analysts. However, you can surely take up just one or two firms in the beginning and test how well you can analyze them. That would help you in understanding the process and with further experience and time, you can add more stocks for analysis into your portfolio.

Can Analysts Help?

Getting your hands on anlaysts’ research reports can be a great way to start your own analysis. That way, you save a lot of time and learn much about your selected company simply by reading these reports. You may not necessarily want to follow their sell or buy recommendations, but you can get a great overview of the company, including its strengths and weaknesses, main competitors, industry outlook and future prospects. Analysts’ reports are loaded with information, and reading reports by different analysts simultaneously would help you in identifying a common thread. Opinions may differ, but basic facts in all reports are usually very common.

In addition it would be wise to take a close look at various analysts’ earnings forecasts, which ultimately determine their buy or sell recommendations. Different analysts may set different target prices for the same stock. Always look for the reasons while reading analysts’ reports. What would have been your opinion about the present stock, given the same information? No clue? Then move on to the next step.

What To Look For?

Let’s take the analysts approach in learning how to research stocks on your own. Firstly, try to understand the various steps involved in analysing a stock. Some analysts follow a “top-down” strategy, starting with an industry and then locating a well-performing company, while others take a “bottom-up” approach, starting with a particular company and then learning about the outlook for the industry. Either way is good, but try to take account to the following:

analyze the industry – there are publicly available sources of information for pretty much any industry. Often, the annual report of a company will give a good overview of the industry, along with its future growth outlook. Annual reports will often also provide information about the company’s competitors in their industry. Simultaneously reading the annual reports of two or three companies should give a clearer picture. You can also subscribe to trade magazines and websites that cater to a particular industry for monitoring the latest industry happenings;

business model – take a look at the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Is it a strong company in a weak industry, or weak company in a strong industry? The strengths of a company are often reflected in things such as its unique brand, products, customers and suppliers. You can learn about a company’s business model from its annual report, trade magazines and websites too;

financial strength – this is arguably the most important element of all when analyzing a company. You need to take a look at a company’s balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements. Often, the numbers in the financial statements offer more information than the words in the annual report. In case you are not comfortable with numbers, no need to hesitate, just start learning as early as possible;

management – have you ever heard the expression there are no good or bad companies, only good or bad managers? Senior executives are responsible for the management and future of any company, so assess company management and board quality by doing some research on the internet;

growth outlook – it’s well-known that stock prices track earnings, the higher the earnings then, typically, the higher the stock price. Try to find out what you can about where future earnings are predicted to be. This is not too easy and analysts tend to make their own estimates by looking at past figures of sales growth and profit margins, along with profitability trends in that particular industry. It’s basically connecting what has happened in the past to what’s expected to happen in the future. Making accurate enough earnings forecasts is the ultimate test of your stock analysis capabilities, because it’s a good indication of how well you understand those industries and companies;

valuation – if you are able to establish indications about future earnings, the next step is to know about the value, or worth of a company. Analysts need to find out how much the current market price of the stocks is justified relative to the company’s value. There is no “correct” value and different analysts will use different parameters. For example, “value” investors look at intrinsic worth, whereas “growth” investors look at future earnings potential;

target price – try to establish a target price. Once you have established future earnings potential, calculate high and low target prices by multiplying estimated earnings per share (EPS) with the estimated high and low P/E Ratio. The high and low target prices represent the price band within which the future stock price is likely to move in response to the expected future earnings.

Finally

A lot of what is outlined above is really useful in showing you how to research stocks on your own. Ultimately you want to make a profit, and one of the best ways to give yourself the best chance of doing that, and avoid paying someone else to do it for you, is to do your own research. It can be fun, interesting and will certainly increase your understanding not only of the stock market more generally, but also, of those particular stocks and companies that you have an interest in.