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Why this matters:

A good business analyst candidate understands how to go about building the ideal inquiry, and then drawing the data from that inquiry that will lead to insights useful toward moving the business forward. Not only do they need to understand how to collect, evaluate, and communicate data, they need to be commercially astute, aware, and strategic.

What to listen for:

  • A strong sense of commercial awareness
  • A drive to ensure their analyses are useful and effective
  • A familiarity with best practices for how to collect, evaluate, and share data

Why this matters:

Relevant database technologies enable business analysts to organize, work with, and draw conclusions from large data sets. While preferred technologies will vary based on sector, geography, needs, and other factors, it’s imperative that a business analyst can find their way around a designated system, and know how to make the most of its features and capabilities.

What to listen for:

  • Comfort with database technologies and other relevant software
  • Willingness to learn how to use new systems
  • Examples that show how the candidate maximized past systems

Why this matters:

However keen and incisive a business analyst’s insights are, they won’t be fully useful to the business unless the analyst can effectively communicate them to leadership. This includes being able to filter out unnecessary details, focus on the big picture, and present findings and any next steps in a way that’s meaningful, impactful, and relevant.

What to listen for:

  • Demonstrated experience with data visualization tools
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills
  • A working knowledge of software applications relevant to making presentations, charts, and other visual graphics (Microsoft, Google, Adobe, etc.) 

 

Why this matters:

Business analysts will need to work with all types of internal stakeholders. It’s important that they be confident enough to speak their mind, but also diplomatic enough to sidestep any clash of opinions or other conflicts. Your candidate’s strategic approach to working with others may make or break their overall impact.

What to listen for:

  • A sense of resilience and empathy
  • Strong communication skills for managing conflict in a collaborative environment
  • A commitment to resolving issues and effectively collaborating with others

Why this matters:

Since many different people within a company are relying on the business analyst for incisive insights, your candidate’s ability to build business partnerships is key to their success. Ideal candidates will be comfortable collaborating with shareholders, technologists, prospective clients, and many others, inside or outside of an organization.

What to listen for:

  • Strong interpersonal skills and an empathetic approach to communication
  • A clear understanding that a communicative and committed team is essential to success
  • Self-awareness in terms of strengths and weaknesses in a collaborative environment

Why this matters:

Because business analysis involves a lot of moving parts, the most successful candidates are astute problem-solvers who can stay engaged and committed to actionable next steps. Understanding the candidate’s approach to challenges will provide a glimpse into their experience level, as well as an idea of how they achieve strong, successful outcomes.

What to listen for:

  • Strong coping strategies for working under pressure
  • A description of actionable processes for tackling challenges
  • The understanding that feedback and collaboration are key to success

Why this matters:

A best practice for any business is to hire candidates who are both passionate about their work and ambitious enough to want to grow and rise within your organization. What’s more, a business analyst candidate who is genuinely excited about data and technology will be much more likely to find the role fulfilling.

What to listen for:

  • A passion for data, market intelligence, and business growth
  • A knowledge of current trends in the field
  • A desire for continued learning and career development

Why this matters:

A great business analyst is much more than a data expert. The best candidates for this job are both resourceful and innovative, in ways that will help them devise new ways to approach each business question. They should also be ready and willing to ask coworkers for help if they run out of ideas or get stuck.

What to listen for:

  • Knowledge of where to find a broad swath of information, across categories
  • A willingness to ask for help, especially from team members high and low
  • A readiness to learn from mistakes and admit to areas that need improvement

Why this matters:

When dealing with numbers and data, quality control and attention to detail are crucial. A strong candidate understands this and can speak to their meticulousness, including the willingness to double and even triple check their work before using it to draw conclusions or form the basis for a strategic or business-related recommendation.

What to listen for:

  • A clear process for cross-referencing numbers and checking over work
  • A self-awareness of their own capacity for making errors
  • A dedication to delivering the best possible product to their team members and clients
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