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New Post 6/18/2012 3:27 PM
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User is offline Hambone678
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Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst??? 

Hi,

This will be my first post for this forum, so pardon me if the question seems a little naive!  I am fairly new to the term business analyst, but I have lately realized that some of the things I do on a regular basis in my career is like business analysis (process modelling, performance management, etc.).  I work on a provincial program that disburses funds to municipalities.  We have targets for processing times and other metrics.

Anyway, I noticed in Canadian Business that data analyst is one of the top 10 jobs: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/gallery/80083--canada-s-top-10-jobs?page=8.  What is the relationship between a business analyst and a data analyst?  Are they basically interchangeable?

I ask the question because in searches on career websites, many results come up for business analyst but not many for data analyst. 

Cheers!

Eric

 
New Post 6/19/2012 10:32 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst??? 

Eric:

Looking at Data Analysis within Wikipedia, a Data Analyst can do a variety data related tasks including Data Modeling to describe info, Data Mining, which includes data modeling for predictive purposes and Buisness Intelligence, which relates to aggregation of data (not sure what that is).

From what I have experienced, a Data Analyst is most often focused on the first, Data Modeling.    

What is the relationship between Business Analysis and Data Modeling?     Business Analysis is largely behavior (of a business system) modeling and data modeling.   The key point is that behavior modeling drives effective data modeling.    That is, a data modeling in itself is relatively inert:  It is not going to guide the analyst through a rigorous data discovery.  And before one can model data, they need to discover what all the data within scope is.

So, first, thorugh behavioral (process) analysis, we define our data flows, from which we create a dictionary of terms, (including data interrelationships), from which we can then do data modeling.  

Those who talk about doing data analysis without first doing behavioral analysis (and there are alot of them) are assuming that data discovery has already been done, an all that is left is, essentially, to take the knowledge that is contained in a data dictionary and model it.    This misleads as to the true nature of what hurdles are faced in creating a data model.

Tony

 

 
New Post 6/19/2012 3:23 PM
User is offline Hambone678
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Re: Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst??? 

Thanks for the reply Tony.  So if I understand you correctly, data modeling can be a component of business analysis but should be considered in the context of modeling business processes.  I'm still working on the terminology!

Eric

 
New Post 6/20/2012 7:25 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst??? 

Eric:

You are totally correct! (with minor change of data modeling in this case being more focused on modeling for descriptive purposes)  By the way, you now know how to position data analysis in the context of process modeling better than about 98% of all other BA's.   

Additional "By the way":  The terminology is confusing because often the logic gets twisted for a variety of reasons, including political.   The BABOK is an excellent example.  It talks about terminology in terms of what is popular, not in terms of what logically makes sense.    The two are very different. 

Tony 

 
New Post 5/20/2013 8:51 AM
User is offline Christian1977
9 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Data Analyst vs. Business Analyst??? 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 2/10/2014 10:52:56 PM)

Dear Both,

in my opinion there is a lot of terminology confusion and sometimes could be happen that who looking for a business analist, data analyst, "xyz" analyst doesn't know exactly the correct terminology. In my experience, in Italy, is better sign up like business analyst.

 
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