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 between

$81K-$104K per year

Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', January 2018.

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. According to an AbsoluteIT salary survey, business analysts in the:

  • lowest-paid group earned an average of $81,000 a year
  • middle pay range earned an average of $93,000
  • highest-paid group earned an average of $104,000.

Business analysts working on contract earn an average of $90 to $110 an hour.

Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', January 2018.

(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 those needs
  • write requirements for computer systems using models and diagrams 
  • estimate costs and write business cases
  • oversee new developments, including design and choice of computers (hardware) and computer programs (software).

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 attend local or overseas conferences and seminars.

What's the job really like?

Chris Conradie

Business Analyst

There's often a lot at stake when new information technology (IT) systems are put into a business. It's Chris Conradie's job to check out exactly what the business requires.

"There is recognition by businesses that a lot of analysis needs to happen before you can get to the programming stage."

Discovering business needs requires a technical and people focus

To do this, Chris works closely with businesses to help them work out what they need. As a person who has never been able to just sit behind a computer, he enjoys the chance analysis work gives him to get out and work directly with people.

"There are many challenges in this role that are not just technical; you have to be able to get the information you need from people."

Background in software development led to consulting

Chris says he always had an inquisitive mind when it came to technology. He graduated as an electronic engineer and worked as a software developer before moving to consulting, where it became less development-focused.

Chris now works in a senior consulting role and is intent on staying in IT. "I'm going in the direction of IT management and that is the way I see my future."

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 really 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, though employers often prefer someone who has related work experience. A tertiary qualification, such as a diploma or degree, in a relevant area can also be useful. Relevant subject areas include:

  • business analysis
  • computing
  • information systems
  • business computing.

Business analysts also gain many skills on the job, and may gain certifications relevant to their field.

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 communicating orally and in writing
  • skilled at analysing and problem-solving.

Useful experience

Useful experience for business analysts includes:

  • computer programming
  • business management
  • project management.

Physical requirements

Business analysts spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).

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

Engineering New Zealand
(04) 473 9444 - hello@engineeringnz.org - www.engineeringnz.org
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

About 10,000 people work as business and systems analysts in New Zealand, but this is not enough to meet demand.

A survey of IT employers in 2017 reported:

  • business analysis was one of the top skills employers were looking for
  • 95% of employers were planning to maintain their current staff or hire more staff
  • over one-third of employers had greater difficulty finding staff in 2017 than in 2016. 

As a result of the shortage, ICT business analyst appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled business analysts from overseas to work in New Zealand.

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.

Eighty percent of business analysts work for an employer and 20% are self-employed.

Sources

  • Hudson, 'Technology and Digital Talent Insights', 2017, (nz.hudson.com).
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission), 2015.

(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.

Benjamen Walsh stands talking to a project manager and pointing to a planning board on a wall

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

Last updated 1 October 2019