Perhaps it is a bit of a surprise that there are more differences than similarities after investigating these two roles. Of course, these are not all of the differences and not all of the similarities. Some companies require a Data Analyst to do a Business Analysts’ work, while the same is true for vice versa.
When we test what other people tell us doesn’t work, it’s possible that something has changed. Maybe we’ve put in more practice, conducted more research or improved our abilities to do things.
We students looked at each other, smiling, but now a little nervous. This tall, gangly fellow sporting a bow tie and round glasses was standing up in front of our entire class telling us that we were about to spend our time reading a fair amount of garbage. I think most of us recognized a bit of self-deprecating humor in there. Nevertheless, this was a dispiriting way to start the course for me. Even with financial aid, Stanford wasn’t cheap; I liked to believe I was studying things that might matter. What was wrong with this guy?
Now that we have established that these roles in fact are different, let’s delve into what makes them similar. Of course, they both incorporate data in their everyday work and functions. Some similar tools both roles can share include SQL and Tableau. Depending on how data-oriented or business-oriented your specific role is, you can expect to focus on more of the SQL side of things or the visualization, shifts, and trends of the data side of things.
I hope you found this article both useful and interesting! Feel free to comment down below your experience as either as a Business Analyst or Data Analyst, or even another similar role and how they differ from what I have shared, and how they are similar as well. Thank you!
When I first started learning to use Kalman filter, it seemed very complicated to me, mainly because there were so many inputs to it and you never really knew if you’ve set them correctly. By going through this example, I hope my readers will understand that the motivations and logic behind it is really very pragmatic in nature and not so complicated after all.
When we try things that others say don’t work, we are checking that our perception of reality is true. We don’t just accept other people’s narrative of reality as being factual.
If you get hired on to become a Business Analyst and find yourself creating new tables and other data architecture manipulation, then maybe their job description was off, and you can meet with your manager or the recruiter (hopefully before) to discuss your strengths, weaknesses, and goals of the position. The same can be said about being hired as a Data Analyst, and holding meetings with the CEO of your business going over Salesforce metrics, when you were expecting to only query data, not present on it with other CRM tools.
As you can see, the differences actually do map back to their name. What’s in their name? The focus and importance of data on a Data Analyst role, and the focus and importance of business for a Business Analyst. Now, something that was thought to be confusing and unambiguous, is now pretty clear.
I’ll never forget how my undergrad professor of 18th-century English poetry introduced the course to us: “The poetry of the 18th century is almost uniformly terrible.” We laughed; we thought he was joking. “No,” he said, “I’m serious. It’s really awful. Nobody wants to study 18th-century English poetry. You want to study the rise of the novel. You want to study the great age of nonfiction prose. This is the last thing you want to be studying. You really got screwed by the catalog this quarter.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and think you know everything already. Sometimes, we see the world as black and white when it’s really different shades of grey.
One of the methods people use to keep elephants captive is training them from a young age. They subdue them with ropes tied to a post. After a while, the young elephants give up. They learn to accept that they can’t break free from rope. So, they stop trying even when they reach full size and are more than capable of breaking free.
Well, unfortunately the real world is not that simple. If you are dropping a lead ball I suppose the equations of motion are all you need, but for something light like a tennis ball, it’s trajectory might be affected by all sorts of things.
Already discussed on a high level, there are clear differences between a Business Analyst and a Data Analyst. Of course, yes, there are sometimes where companies define them almost equally, and some companies are even unaware of which is which. What is important is how you define either role to the employee being interview so they know what skills and goals are required and aimed at once they start their everyday work.
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