What are all the differences between Analyst titles?

What is the difference between business analyst, data analyst, data scientist, business intelligence analyst, business systems analyst, and product manager?

This is a very important question as people are often confused between these designations and if the same skill set qualifies to get one of these roles.


A Business analyst (BA) is person who analyzes an organization or business domain (real or hypothetical) and documents its business or processes or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology.

A Business systems analyst is an extension of the business analyst role, but with a focus on technical solutions. These analysts often act like liaison between technical experts/administrators and the business. Sometimes they are experts themselves (solution architects). The person typically needs some technical knowledge in the area he/she is in working in order to perform detailed analysis of the technical solutions and test them to make sure they meet business requirements (user acceptance/user experience/integration/unit tests are examples). Most business systems analysts focus on systems that augment a business units capabilities (sales enablement..etc).

Example technical knowledge: you will need to know SQL while working on implementing a new product to check if data is setup correctly etc.

Business intelligence analysts use data to figure out market and business trends for companies to increase profits and efficiency. They may work directly for a company or as a consultant. Business intelligence analysts gather this data through a number of ways, from mining a company’s computer data through software, looking at competitor data and industry trends to help develop a picture of where the company stands in the industry, where they can improve and where they can reduce costs. Business intelligence analysts spend most of their time analyzing data. They are able to look at large chunks of data and understand trends, and then communicate those trends to the company.

The line between business analyst role and systems analyst role is not a clear one and as per my knowledge, the business systems analyst role sits right in between. As a profession, we might choose to distinguish the roles, giving the business analyst domain over the business and functional requirements and the systems analyst domain over the details of the system implementation.

A Data Analysts translate numbers into plain English Every business collects data, whether it’s sales figures, market research, logistics, or transportation costs. A data analyst’s job is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions. This could mean figuring out how to price new materials for the market, how to reduce transportation costs, solve issues that cost the company money, or determine how many people should be working on Saturdays.

A Data Scientist role involves data analysis and pattern detection using advanced statistical modeling, machine learning and artificial intelligence. They are often versed in designing studies/experiments to tease out data signals or to validate models. Data Scientists often have a significant role in designing data-driven business tools, proprietary math algorithms or predicting consumer behavior based on historical data (improving revenue/costs/profits).

A Product Manager is responsible for managing a set of products or product lines over the life of the product from ideation through development, launch sale, and finally discontinuance. They interface between the market and the product team during development representing the voice of the customer. And they manage the portfolio of products they are responsible for to maximize sales and profitability. The product manager often analyzes market and competitive conditions and lays out a product vision that is differentiated and delivers unique value based on customer demands.

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