Here are the top hard and soft Business Analyst skills for a resume.

Suppose you're seeking a Business Analyst position. In that case, crafting a resume that best represents your skill set and work history is imperative. To do so, it's helpful to think through the skills and proficiencies necessary to ensure you incorporate the Business Analyst requirements you possess into your resume. 

Below, we cover the top Business Analyst skills to help you highlight the relevant skills you'll need for a business analyst position, including tips on improving them.

What is a Business Analyst?

Business Analysts support organizations by assessing performance and other metrics to help improve operations, including systems and processes. They analyze data and apply expertise to identify problems and inefficiencies while offering data-driven solutions to cure them. Forecasting and predicting are also necessary aspects of a Business Analyst's acumen.

Business Analysts may also be referred to as:

  • Business Systems Analysts

  • Business Architects

  • Process Analysts

  • Functional Analysts

  • Enterprise Analysts

  • BAs

Business Analysis vs. Business Analytics

Though business analysis and business analytics might sound like they're the same thing, there are some significant differences between the two. 

  • Business analysis involves analyzing business needs from the perspective of understanding the specific and unique requirements of the business. From there, it's about facilitating process improvements and alignment between the various stakeholders of an organization based on the identified business needs. 

  • Business analytics, on the other hand, focuses on data input, examination, and pattern recognition. Business Analytics professionals have an in-depth understanding of data analytics, which Business Analysts then use for predictive modeling and other types of business improvement initiatives. Business Analysts also have to have an in-depth understanding of business analytics to be successful at their jobs. 

Business Analyst skills and responsibilities

Below, we outline common Business Analyst job duties and some Business Analyst requirements, broken out by hard and soft skills. 

Business Analyst responsibilities

Here are some of the tasks Business Analysts are typically expected to know how to do:

  • Identify problems and solutions to communicate with key stakeholders

  • Use data analytics tools to gather and analyze industry and business data 

  • Apply business process modeling to assess process improvement options

  • Collaborate with project managers to identify project bottlenecks and determine appropriate solutions

  • Influence stakeholders to support project initiatives and improvements

  • Conduct daily systems analysis to optimize efficacy, identity problems, and determine solutions to problems. 

  • Act as liaison between stakeholders and cross-functional departments and groups

  • Maintain accurate documentation related to business processes, operations, and projects

  • Collect and analyze data for business forecasting, identifying opportunities, and expansion

  • Support project management of identified and assigned projects

  • Coordinate with stakeholders to improve productivity 

  • Identify opportunities to increase efficiency through automation 

  • Design and maintain reporting tools

  • Effectively communicate business requirements 

  • Test business processes and procedures to identify areas for improvements

  • Develop dashboards and reports to effectively share business performance metrics with team members. 

  • Partner with stakeholders across departments to collaboratively design analysis and documentation 

  • Review, analyze, and communicate systems requirements regularly 

  • Foster relationships with partners for ease of systems integration

  • Answer leadership team questions using researched recommendations 

  • Spearhead workforce optimization and roadmap planning through collaboration with stakeholders

  • Author and update project lifecycle documentation

  • Interpret and translate data and effectively communicate actionable steps and insights

Business Analyst technical skills required

Hard skills are the technical skills required to get a job done. Unlike soft skills, hard skills are measurable and acquired through training and education. 

Let's take a deep dive into some of the top Business Analyst hard skills required for success on the job:

  • Data analysis

  • Process modeling

  • Business Intelligence tools

  • Agile acumen

  • Required management tools

  • ERP systems

  • Programming languages

  • Statistical software

  • CRM systems

  • System analysis

  • Data visualization

  • Dashboard creation

  • SQL proficiency

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Process improvement

  • Software maintenance

  • Artificial Intelligence

Data analysis

Data analysis is one of the foundational Business Analyst skills needed for BAs to do their jobs well. They need to be able to analyze large data sets to gather insights that support data-driven suggestions. Statistical and quantitative analysis are examples of data analysis techniques to identify patterns and trends in large data sets. 

Process modeling

Business Analysts need to map and analyze business processes and challenges. From there, they can propose solutions to challenges and areas for improvement. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is one process modeling technique available to Business Analysts. Visio and ARIS are examples of process modeling tools they might use.  

Business Intelligence tools

Business Intelligence (BI) tools support Business Analysts in developing dashboards, reports, and graphics to share insights with business stakeholders. Examples of BI tools include Microsoft Power BI and SAP BusinessObjects. 

Agile acumen

Understanding Agile methodology is useful for Business Analysts to collaborate with team members and support dynamic phases of project management, also referred to as sprints. There are several Agile project management tools available, like Asana, Trello, and Waterfall. Scrum is an example of an Agile methodology often used by Business Analysts. 

Requirement management tools

Requirement management tools help Business Analysts analyze what they need to do throughout a project lifecycle by inputting, tracking, documenting, and managing requirements. IBM Rational DOORS and JIRA are examples of requirement management tools. 

ERP systems

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems support organizations in managing day-to-day business. Everything from risk management and compliance to accounting, project management, and supply chain are supported by a company's ERP. By being able to pull data from multiple sources, Business Analysts use ERPs to access data that supports financial planning, predictions, and results. 

Programming languages

To support optimal data analysis, Business Analysts should have applicable programming knowledge. This knowledge allows Business Analysts to perform efficient and advanced data analysis. 

Python and R are examples of programming languages Business Analysts often use to support data manipulation, analytics, and visualization. They can also develop business models using such languages, which in turn supports business projections and predictions. 

Statistical software 

Organizations use statistical software to perform data analysis. Through machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), statistical software can create graphs, charts, and tables, identify patterns, and execute complex calculations quickly, making it useful and meaningful for Business Analyst roles. Examples of statistical software are SAS and SPSS. 

CRM systems

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems allow organizations to manage customer data centrally. Business Analysts can use a CRM to understand customer behavior and sales better and apply insights to facilitate things like improved client or customer service and lead generation.

System analysis

Through system analysis, Analysts review technological systems to troubleshoot and improve processes. Practical system analysis helps ensure that business systems are effective and efficient. Many Business Analysts use the Unified Modeling Language (UML) system analysis technique.

Data visualization

Business Analysts need to be able to communicate their insights and findings in a way that's easily interpreted by stakeholders to drive decisions. As such, data visualization is a necessary BA skill. Visualization tools, like Tableau and Power BI, go a long way in helping BAs create visually compelling stories to drive decision-making.

Dashboard creation

Creating dashboards and reports is a vital skill that helps Business Analysts come up with decision-making solutions to share with organizations. There are several business intelligence tools a BA might be competent in to create dashboards and reports, including QlikView, Tableau, Power BI, and Excel. 

SQL proficiency

The knowledge of SQL is another necessary skill for Business Analysts. Relational databases like MySQL database, Microsoft SQL, and Oracle DB support BAs in being able to work with structured data to gather, manipulate, and analyze it.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has become one of the most in-demand skills employers want employees to have, making it a definite and fundamental must for Business Analysts. Excel is capable of complex data analysis and calculations. 

  • It allows you to capture data and manipulate it while applying shortcuts and formulas for efficiency

  • It also allows for data visualization through the use of graphs and charts

  • It can also automate processes by using macros 

  • It can generate summary reports from large data sets using pivot table 

Process improvement

Given that a key role of Business Analysts is identifying opportunities to improve processes, understanding business process improvement is a required technical skill for the job. At the heart of process improvement is finding ways to make current processes better, including more efficient, reliable, and correct. Process improvement is a continual exercise rather than a one-time occurrence for BAs. 

Software maintenance

With the various types of software Business Analysts need to support business initiatives, they need to understand software maintenance, as well. Software maintenance is the process of updating and changing software to align with a customer's changing needs. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the rapid increase in the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to support several business processes, it's necessary for Business Analysts to keep up with this trend. They need at least some experience using and applying AI to support business needs.

Required soft skills for Business Analyst

Soft skills are required for success on the job. These types of skills, also referred to as people skills, aren't easily measurable and tend to be improved upon through experience over time. 

Here are some of the necessary soft skills you'll find on a Business Analyst resume:

  • Teamwork

  • Critical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Analytical thinking

  • Communication

  • Works well under pressure

  • Big picture thinking

  • Adaptability

  • Relationship building

  • Leadership

  • Negotiation


To make progress, a business analyst must work effectively as part of a team. They work closely with leadership teams, internal and external stakeholders, and cross-functional departments, for example, and they must be able to collaborate effectively with these individuals. 

Critical thinking

Business Analysts must possess outstanding critical thinking skills to analyze data and draw a set of conclusions from that data. Through critical thinking, Analysts can look at the facts objectively and draw reasonable conclusions regarding business needs. It also helps them determine the best conclusion or option to move forward. 


Problem-solving is a necessity in virtually any job. It's especially critical for Business Analysts who identify problems and areas for improvement, and from there, must provide viable solutions to those problems.

Analytical thinking

Since analysis is part of the title, it goes without saying that BAs need solid analytical skills. They apply these skills to assess and analyze data and information to identify trends, challenges, bottlenecks, solutions, and more. 


It also goes without saying that BAs need to be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. They must have the ability to actively listen to team members, correctly interpret information, and clearly communicate information. 

They also need to be able to communicate written content and presentations in a way that is easily digestible for the individuals they work with. 

Works well under pressure

BAs often have to work with tight deadlines, while also juggling several projects and working with lots of different people at once. As such, it's a position that requires the ability to work well under stress. 

Big picture thinking

A BA's job is to look at the company and industry as a whole to understand current trends and processes. They have to be able to consider the big picture and, from there, offer insights, projections, predictions, and solutions. 


With the ever-changing landscape of business, BAs need to be agile and easily adapt. Adaptability is also required to support changing priorities, new business needs as they arise, working with new stakeholders, and so on. 

Relationship building

BAs need to foster successful relationships to gain buy-in and move the needle forward. If their relationships are prone to resistance or lack cohesion, their job can be much more difficult. 


Business Analysts lead others by suggesting data-driven decisions that have a long-term impact on the organization. Through effective leadership, which includes virtually all of the other soft skills listed here, Business Analysts gain the trust of stakeholders to guide them through these critical decision-making processes for an optimal outcome. 


Another key skill of Business Analysts is the ability to negotiate well. They have to be able to come to suitable agreements with the business leaders and stakeholders they serve when navigating business processes and improvement recommendations. Successful negotiation requires effective communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration. 

Here are some additional soft skills that are helpful for Business Analysts to have:

  • Time management

  • Organization

  • Self-starter

  • Resilience

  • Persuasion

  • Responsibility 

  • Collaboration

  • Diligence

  • Openness to feedback

  • Patience

  • Discipline

  • Ability to influence

  • Trustworthiness

  • Persistence

  • Flexibility

  • Conflict resolution

Incorporating Business Analyst skills into your resume

Now that you're clear on the types of Business Analyst skills required for success, how can you incorporate them to make your resume stand out? 

Consider these tips:

  • Assess your current skill set. First, review your current skill set and make a list of all the skills and experience you need to meet the requirements of a Business Analyst position. The above list is a great place to start! 

  • Refer to job descriptions. As you refer to Business Analyst job descriptions, make note of all the skills and abilities required. From there, compare that list to your list of skills and abilities. When crafting your resume, incorporate the skills that overlap on the two lists. This strategy also helps your resume get past an employer's applicant tracking system (ATS).

  • Craft your resume summary. Your resume summary kicks off your resume with a brief three to five-sentence introduction to your significant skills and experiences. To help you write a standout resume summary, refer to:  “27 Great Resume Summaries to Get Hired.”

  • Highlight your work experience. In most instances, your Work Experience section will be the most notable section of your resume. Here, include your quantifiable results to stand out and gain traction with employers.

  • Include your skills and core competencies. You'll want to include a Core Competencies section that sits just below your Resume Summary section and above your Work Experience section. Include 9-12 (15 max) competencies in this list. You can also opt to include a separate Skills section near the end of your resume if it adds value. If you include both a Core Competencies and Skills section, be sure to include different skills in each section to avoid redundancy. 

  • Add your education and certifications. Your Education section needs to highlight your degrees, with the degree type, title, and name of the issuing institution. It's also wise to list any relevant certifications you have to highlight your skills and speak to your commitment to professional development. You can include your certifications list in your Education section or create a separate Certifications section. 

How to improve your Business Analyst skills

If you refer to the list of Business Analyst skills and experience you created from the last section and compare it to the job descriptions you're researching, do you notice any knowledge or skill gaps?  If so, you can take steps to fill those gaps, some of which are outlined below. 

Acquire certification

Maybe one of the best ways to enhance your technical skill set and street credit is to secure a certification. There are several certifications available for Business Analysts, including:

  • Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

  • IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)

  • BCS Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis Practice

  • IIBA Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA)

  • BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis

  • IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Seek out training

If you feel there are some additional hard skills, as well as soft skills, that you could improve upon, a great way to do so is to seek out online or in-person training. If you think you could improve your verbal or written communication skills, for example, seek out courses on communication. There are several free and low-cost training courses available online, many of which are good quality and credible. 

Find opportunities for practical experience

If you want to build on a skill or even if you're trying to determine if a role as a Business Analyst is for you long-term, seeking opportunities to work with current BAs, volunteer, land an internship, or shadow others are great options. 

Ask for additional work projects

If you feel you can handle it, ask for additional work projects to expand your skill set at work. Maybe you know of a project coming down the pipeline that would help you enhance your data analytics and project management skills, for example. If so, ask if you can participate. You'll be able to learn from observing others, as well as through hands-on experience. 

Business Analyst = well-rounded skill set

For success as a Business Analyst, developing a well-rounded skill set that combines technical expertise with effective soft skills is crucial. The tips and Business Analyst skills mentioned earlier can serve as a solid foundation for crafting a compelling and interview-winning Business Analyst resume that showcases your diverse capabilities. 

Wondering if your resume showcases your Business Analyst skills in the best possible way? Why not submit it for a free resume review to find out? 

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