What A Business Analyst Looks Like – On Paper!

Have you ever wanted to know what the typical Business Analyst looks like? What their background is, where they’re employed, and perhaps even what they earn? If so, you’re in luck! Part one of the IIBA’s 2023 State of Business Analysis Report has been published, and it paints a pretty good picture of what Business Analysts (BAs) worldwide look like – on paper, that is!

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key findings of their global study. We’ll share the educational background of the average BA, their professional experience, the sectors and industries that most Business Analysts work in, and their average salaries. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll also share a few tips on how you can stand out in this increasingly competitive field.

About The IIBA’s State of Business Analysis Report

On the heels of its twentieth anniversary, the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has released its 2023 State of Business Analysis Report, pulling the data from its Global State of Business Analysis survey. In this year’s survey, 62% of respondents identified as IIBA members, while 38% were non-members.

The report is typically published in multiple parts, breaking down areas of interest within the Business Analysis role in each segment. The first part of their 2023 report offers a high-level view of the business analysis profession and a focus on key trends that help us understand the changing demographics of professionals pursuing a career in business analysis.

Let’s dive in!

Educational Background

Business Analysts hail from diverse educational backgrounds, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the role. While a significant portion of BAs hold Bachelor’s Degrees (44%) and Master’s Degrees (39%), there’s a noticeable shift towards specialized certifications in business analysis. These certifications, often offered by organizations like the IIBA, provide targeted training in key competencies of business analysis. But this is explored in more depth in part two of the report—so stay tuned!

While this isn’t mentioned in the report, when looking at fields of study, BAs come from a blend of disciplines, including Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, and Finance. This diversity speaks to the multifaceted skill set required of BAs, encompassing analytical thinking, communication prowess, and domain expertise.

Professional Experience

Experience is a cornerstone of proficiency in business analysis. The IIBA report offers valuable insights into the varied professional tenures of BAs, with 21% having 0-2 years of experience, 19% with 3-5 years, 23% with 6-10 years, 19% with 11-16 years, and 18% boasting 17 or more years of experience. This spectrum illustrates the accessibility of the Business Analyst role to professionals at different stages of their careers, from entry-level aspirants to seasoned veterans.

The report also sheds light on the industries where BAs work. The private sector accounts for the majority (89%) of employment opportunities. However, Business Analysts also find roles in the public sector (9%) and the non-profit sector (2%), demonstrating the versatility of their skill set across diverse organizational contexts.

Top Industries Employing Business Analysts

Business Analysts are indispensable across a multitude of industries, each with its own unique challenges and opportunities. According to the IIBA report, the top industries employing BAs include Banking/Finance/Insurance (22%), Information Technology (20%), Consulting/Professional Services (9%), Government (8%), and Healthcare/Pharmaceutical (7%).

This diversity underscores the adaptability of BAs and their ability to navigate different sectors, leveraging their analytical acumen to drive successful change.

The Average Salary of Business Analysts

I know this is one of the areas of the IIBA’s report you must be most curious about. The compensation for BAs has witnessed steady growth, reflective of their increasing value in the corporate ecosystem. The IIBA report provides a breakdown of average salaries by region and industry, offering valuable benchmarks for professionals in the field. In the Americas and the Caribbean, the average salary stands at $93,396, while in Europe it’s $70,765. In Africa and the Middle East, the average Business Analyst salary is $55,461, and in Asia and the Pacific, it’s $91,415.

Moreover, within industries, certain sectors emerge as the highest-paying. Consulting and Professional Services lead the pack with an average salary of $92,273, followed by Energy and Utilities ($90,916), Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals ($88,978), Government ($88,044), and Manufacturing ($87,964). These figures underscore the lucrative opportunities available to BAs across different sectors and regions.

How Can You Stand Apart from the Competition?

In a competitive landscape, investing in professional development is paramount for Business Analysts looking to differentiate themselves. At The BA Guide, we offer a range of self-paced courses tailored to the needs of aspiring and established professionals, providing accessible, comprehensive, and affordable training options. The icing on the cake? Many of our courses are endorsed by the IIBA, ensuring alignment with industry standards and best practices. By honing their skills and staying abreast of emerging trends, BAs can position themselves as indispensable assets in any organization.

Stay Tuned for More!

The insights gleaned from the IIBA’s 2023 State of Business Analysis Report paint a comprehensive picture of what it takes to succeed as a Business Analyst. From educational backgrounds to professional experiences, industries of employment, and compensation benchmarks, the report offers valuable insight for professionals aspiring to excel in the field.

We’re just getting started, though! Parts two and three of the report will explore certifications, career development, and the role of business analysis in organizations. Check back and subscribe to our newsletter to get notified when we publish my examination of parts two and three.

– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner
The BA Guide


Join the Conversation

Featured Posts

Check out our self-paced courses on business analysis

Related Articles

When you’re leading your organization through change initiatives, making well-informed decisions is necessary. Whether you're considering launching a new product, expanding into a new market,...
In business analysis, having a set of commonly accepted practices to follow is indispensable. The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) is a guide that...
You don’t have to be immersed in Information Technology (IT) to know that the industry moves quickly and is always changing. For this reason, efficiency...
When it comes to business analysis change initiatives, success often hinges on using the right framework for the organization you work for, the industry your...

Check out our recommended courses