Is My Business Analyst Job Title Holding Back My Business Intelligence Career?

Woman trapped at a window

Quite a specific question I’m addressing here based off a post I saw on Reddit but one that has implications beyond the Business Intelligence/Analytics world. Does your current job title really have a major impact on the types of roles you will be considered for in the future?

In the Reddit thread the poster had been offered what, going by the job description, was essentially a Business Intelligence analyst role. Main remit included working on the data warehouse, designing reports, coding SQL queries and using BI tools.

Pretty straightforward you would think. What threw them though was that the job was titled as a Business Analyst, not a Business Intelligence Analyst.

What is a Business Analyst?

My own understanding of what a Business Analyst role should entail is usually a conduit between business units and technology. Someone who can look at business processes, translate that into written documentation and then work with a development team to turn that into technical specs for technology solutions.

I’ve worked with a lot of Business Analysts over the years, mainly as components of project teams, and have found my own definition is only very loosely applied in the wild.

Some have been virtual email forwarding posts while those who really made a substantial impact on their projects went deep with their business understanding as well as working closely with data and technology subject matter experts to cross the divide.

While many had basic Excel and Access skills to pick out some data points, none of those I’ve worked with would meet the job requirements our friend above has been offered in their “Business Analyst” role.

What Should I Do Then?

That being said, it highlights why everyone should give proper thought to including a thorough summary of work under their current and previous roles on their CV / resume.

As a hiring manager with a vacant BI analyst role, I would be much more likely to filter yours into the Maybe pile if your summary included tasks like data warehousing, SQL coding and report design, even if your title was Business Analyst.

If you don’t put it on the page, I’m unlikely to go contacting you for more information just in case. Show and tell. Always.

Bottom line then would be to not get hung up on your job title, it’s only a few words. Your real value and future selling points will be in the work and the experience you have gained doing it, regardless of whether it’s building dashboards or writing process documentation.

Next Steps

Take a look at your CV today and see if you are really selling yourself. If not, change it. Drop me a mail if you want me to run my eye over your CV and point out anything that would be a red flag for me, I’m always happy to help.

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