Back to Blog

How To Become a Senior Business Analyst
Data Analytics

Mastering Strategy: How To Become a Senior Business Analyst

9 minute read | October 19, 2023
Maria Muntean

Written by:
Maria Muntean & reviewed by Karthik R

Maria Muntean

Reviewed by:
Karthik R


Get expert insights straight to your inbox.

Business analysts play a pivotal role in shaping the future of organizations. Being often referred to as “change agents,” they have the power to transform businesses by identifying inefficiencies and recommending data-driven solutions. The impact of a skilled business analyst can be immense, with some analysts having a direct influence on the successful launch of new products or even the overall profitability of a company. 

Still, as exciting as it seems, becoming a senior business analyst involves a journey that requires the navigation of several steps and paths, each with its own set of challenges.

That’s why we’ve created this guide—to assist you in your quest to become a senior business analyst. We will explore the key responsibilities of this role, provide a roadmap for career progression, and share insights into the skills and expertise needed to excel in this position. Whether you’re already working as a business analyst or considering a career change, this guide will provide the tools and knowledge to embark on a successful journey.

What Does a Senior Business Analyst Do?

A senior business analyst has a critical role in an organization and acts as a bridge between the company’s operational teams and its strategic decision-makers. Their main responsibility is to identify, analyze, and interpret data and trends that can be used to make better business decisions.

Senior business analysts assess the impact of potential changes and work with project teams to design and implement new business processes and technology solutions. Their ultimate purpose is to provide actionable insights and recommendations based on in-depth analysis, enabling leadership to make well-informed decisions that contribute to the company’s overall success.

How To Become a Senior Business Analyst: An 8-Step Guide

If you are determined to become a senior business analyst, there are several steps you can follow to reach your goal. Here’s an 8-step guide to help you achieve your objective.

  1. Have a Roadmap

  2. Get Educated

  3. Develop and Hone Your Skills

  4. Learn the Tools of the Trade

  5. Build Relevant Experience

  6. Network

  7. Find a Mentor

  8. Apply to Senior Business Analyst Roles (or Ask for a Promotion)

Have a Roadmap

Whether you’re a business analyst looking to level up or considering a career change, having a roadmap is of the essence. 

Start by building solid educational foundations. You can choose from three different options, all of them depending on your goals or budget:

  • Get a BA degree in a related field such as Business, Information Technology, Finance, or Economics;
  • Enroll in data analysis or project management courses. Accredited certifications are also valuable, such as the ECBA (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis) or CCBA (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis);
  • Read as many books and articles as you can. Good examples are  “BABOK Guide” (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) by the IIBA and “Business Analysis for Dummies” by Kupe Kupersmith and Paul Mulvey.

A second and continuous step is to become familiar with software such as Microsoft Excel, SQL, Tableau, or other data visualization tools. Make sure to have both technical and soft skills, and practice what you’ve learned as part of an internship or entry-level position in business analysis.

If you’re switching from a different career, identify the transferrable skills you already possess and determine how you can leverage them in a business analyst role. 

Get Educated

Continuous education and learning are vital in the dynamic world of business analysis. Employers often prioritize candidates committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments. 

Further Education

Consider pursuing advanced degrees such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science in Business Analytics. An MBA provides a strong foundation in business management, while an MS in Business Analytics focuses on quantitative and analytical skills, both of which are valuable for senior business analyst roles.


Earning relevant certifications can enhance your resume and demonstrate your expertise as a business analyst.

Popular certifications include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA). Bootcamps, like Springboard’s Data Analytics Bootcamp, also offer training programs to help you prepare for certification exams and hone your skills.

Develop and Hone Your Skills

Being a senior business analyst requires diverse skills, including technical abilities and soft skills. Here are some essential skills to develop.

Technical Skills

Some of the most important technical skills for senior business analysts include:

  • Data analysis
  • SQL
  • Business intelligence tools (i.e. Tableau, Power BI)
  • Statistical analysis
  • Process modeling
  • Knowledge of cloud-based databases (Google Cloud SQL or Azure SQL)
  • Basic principles of cloud security
  • Working with APIs
  • Requirement-gathering techniques (such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews)

Soft Skills

Soft skills are equally important. Here is a list of essential soft skills to possess:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Adaptability

Learn the Tools of the Trade

As a senior business analyst, proficiency with industry-standard tools is essential. Familiarize yourself with data analysis tools such as Excel, R, or Python and project management tools like Jira or Trello. 

Familiarity with business intelligence software such as Tableau or Power BI is also valuable. These tools can help you gather insights, visualize data, and manage projects more effectively, streamlining your day-to-day work and boosting your productivity.

Build Relevant Experience

Seek roles that challenge you and allow you to take on greater responsibilities. For example, focus on improving your leadership and management abilities by volunteering for leadership roles in projects, mentoring junior analysts, or pursuing leadership training. 

As you gain experience, track your accomplishments and contributions so that you can present them as evidence of your skills and achievements when seeking promotions or new opportunities.


Building relationships with professionals in your field can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights. Here are a few ways to network efficiently.


Join LinkedIn groups and communities focused on business analysis. Engage in discussions, share your expertise, and ask for advice. 

Don’t be afraid to connect with others and build genuine relationships. Remember, even though LinkedIn is a professional platform, it’s still a social media website that promotes friendships and authentic interactions.

Attend Industry Events, Conferences, and Meet-Ups

Attend industry events such as the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) conferences or local meet-ups. These gatherings provide opportunities to meet other professionals, share experiences, and learn about the latest trends. Don’t forget to bring business cards!

Online Communities

Join online communities such as Slack or Discord channels dedicated to business analysis. Facebook groups can also be helpful for participating in discussions, sharing resources, and connecting with others who share your interests.

Find a Mentor

A mentor can be invaluable in your journey to becoming a senior business analyst. A mentor can provide advice, answer questions, and offer support when you face challenges. Seek out experienced business analysts in your network or online communities willing to mentor you, or look for specific mentorship programs.

Apply to Senior Business Analyst Roles (or Ask for a Promotion)

When you’re ready to move up the ladder, consider applying for senior business analyst roles at a new company, or seeking a promotion within your current organization. Both options have their advantages, depending on your goals and comfort level.

Demonstrate Your Expertise With Tangible Achievements

If you’re seeking a promotion within your current company, present your accomplishments and contributions to your manager. Use data to support your claims, such as business reports showing the impact of your work.

Tailor Your Resume

When applying for roles at other companies, customize your resume to align with each company’s requirements. Then, prepare for interviews by researching potential questions and practicing your responses. 

Seek an Internal Promotion

If you aim for an internal promotion, start preparing months in advance. Talk to senior business analysts in your company, learn about their roles, and take on related assignments. 

Think of this as an informal internship that helps you gain the skills and experience needed for a senior analyst role within your current organization.

Get To Know Other Data Analytics Students

Joel Antolijao

Joel Antolijao

Data Analyst at FanDuel

Read Story

Yogita Nesargi

Yogita Nesargi

Data Engineer at Deloitte

Read Story

Shelly Applegate

Shelly Applegate

Sales BI Analyst at Mars Corporation

Read Story

The Impact of AI on Business Analytics

AI is revolutionizing the field of business analytics, introducing new capabilities that were previously unattainable or took up too much time from a business analyst’s day-to-day. As AI technologies mature, business analysts can leverage them to automate repetitive tasks, analyze vast amounts of data, and extract valuable insights quicker and more accurately. This saves time and helps reduce the risk of human error, enabling business analysts to focus on more complex, higher-level tasks.

The role of AI in business analytics goes beyond mere automation—it also plays a crucial role in prioritization. AI-powered tools can sift through vast amounts of data and identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that human analysts might overlook. 

Although the future sounds promising, it’s essential to note that AI is not intended to replace human work but rather to complement and enhance the skills of business analysts. 

What Is the Average Salary of a Senior Business Analyst?

how to become a senior business analyst, average salary

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a senior business analyst is around $122,416 per year. Junior business analysts, or those in entry-level positions, earn around $96,606 annually. In contrast, those with more experience, particularly those with more than four years of experience, can expect to earn an average of around $110,741 per year.

Becoming a Senior Business Analyst: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You

In business analysis, every day can present unique challenges and opportunities. To provide a closer look at what it’s like to be a business analyst, we’ve gathered two real-life examples from professionals in the field.

Bukky Campbell

This LinkedIn article, “I am a Business Analyst, this is my story!” by Bukky Campbell, is a personal account of the author’s journey into the field. Campbell shares her experiences mentoring and coaching aspiring business analysts and addresses common questions about the qualifications and certifications needed to become a business analyst. 

The article highlights the importance of transferrable skills such as objectivity, research, data analysis, self-motivation, passion, and confidence. Campbell also provides information on institutes that offer certifications and training in business analysis. 

What we love about this example is that the author features stories from several seasoned business analysts who share their unique paths into the profession, emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a business analyst.

Anthony Evans

In his article, Anthony Evans shares insights into the role of a business analyst, the skills required, and the value the role brings to an organization. 

He describes business analysts as problem-solvers who aim to simplify stakeholders’ lives by providing technological solutions based on user story requirements. Anthony outlines the key responsibilities of a business analyst, including collaborating with product owners and project managers, eliciting and documenting business requirements, and producing technical documentation. He also highlights the skills needed to be a successful business analyst, such as effective communication and influence, adaptability, strong stakeholder management, and problem-solving. 

He concludes by noting that every day is different for a business analyst, and the role is always exciting.

How To Become a Senior Business Analyst FAQs

We answer your most frequently asked questions.

Is Being a Senior Business Analyst a Good Job?

Yes, a senior business analyst role is considered a good job due to various factors such as high demand, competitive salary, career growth, and the ability to contribute significantly to an organization’s success.

As businesses rely on data-driven decision-making, the demand for skilled business analysts, including senior roles, is expected to grow, making it a stable and rewarding career choice.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Senior Business Analyst?

The time it takes to become a senior business analyst can vary based on education, prior experience, and career progression.

Generally, it takes around 5 to 8 years of experience in the field to move from an entry-level business-related role to a senior business analyst role. During this time, individuals acquire valuable skills, knowledge, and certifications relevant to the field.

Nevertheless, some professionals may reach the senior level more quickly if they demonstrate exceptional performance, have relevant advanced degrees or certifications, or work in industries with faster career progression opportunities.

What Is the Difference Between Being a Business Analyst and a Senior Business Analyst?

The primary difference between a business analyst and a senior business analyst lies in their level of experience, responsibilities, and influence within an organization.

While both roles involve analyzing business needs, recommending solutions, and facilitating change, a senior business analyst has more experience and is entrusted with more complex and high-impact projects. They often take on a leadership role, mentoring junior analysts and collaborating with stakeholders at higher levels of the organization. They may also be involved in strategic decision-making and long-term planning, while business analysts only focus on specific projects or operational improvements.

What Does a Senior Business Analyst Get Promoted To?

Common promotions for senior business analysts include roles such as lead business analyst, business analysis manager, or even director of business analysis. These roles involve managing teams of business analysts and overseeing multiple projects or the entire business analysis function within an organization.

Senior business analysts may choose to specialize in a specific domain or industry and pursue roles like product manager, solutions architect, or data scientist. Some senior business analysts may also transition into consulting or entrepreneurship, leveraging their expertise to help a variety of businesses improve their processes and achieve their objectives.

Since you’re here…
Switching to a career in data analytics is possible, no matter your background. We’ve helped over 10,000 students make it happen. Check out our free data analytics curriculum to gauge your interest, or go all-in with our Data Analytics Bootcamp.

About Maria Muntean

Maria-Cristina is a content marketer with 7 years of experience in SEO and content strategy for SaaS and technology brands. She holds an MA thesis on the effects of emotions in written and video content. She loves to spend time near the ocean and watch horror movies.