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Difference Between Business Analyst & Financial Analyst

Business analysts and financial analysts share similar tasks including using data and information, though they use that information for different purposes. Learn more about how these two career options compare.

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Comparing Business Analysts to Financial Analysts

Though business analysts and financial analysts sound as if they are very similar, they actually carry out different tasks to help an organization or business operate. Both analyze data to help the business run, however business analysts focus on all aspects of running a business, while financial analysts concentrate on a business' finances. Here you can learn more about each of these analytical professions and see how they both assist a business.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Business Analyst Bachelor's Degree $81,330 for management analyst 14% for management analyst
Financial Analyst Bachelor's Degree $81,760 12%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Business Analysts vs Financial Analysts

Business analysts and financial analysts both analyze information and data to help a business or organization operate. Business analysts recommend changes based on how the business is run on a daily basis. Financial analysts focus entirely on a business' finances, and find ways to improve the financial health of a business. These analysts both work with analyzing finances, though typically it is a small part of a business analyst's job. Both professionals must be able to use data to make good recommendations to a client.

Business Analyst

Business analysts review how a business is functioning and make recommendations to help improve how the business is run. Analysts may be self-employed or work for a larger consulting organization. Depending on the size of the business and what needs accomplished, analysts may work on a team together and work on analyzing a portion of the business. Business analysts spend a lot of time traveling to visit the business they are assisting and meeting with managers. These analysts needs exceptional problem solving skills to come up with new and innovative ideas to help the business run successfully.

Job responsibilities of a business analyst include:

  • Meeting with personnel to see what the business may need
  • Conducting observations of how the business is run
  • Finding new and alternative ways to help the business run effectively
  • Developing presentations to explain recommendations
  • Meeting with management to review how changes are working

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts work for businesses and individuals to provide information and recommendations for investment opportunities. Financial analysts travel frequently to meet with businesses, but the majority of their work is done in an office where they can analyze market trends and data. While visiting businesses, they introduce different strategies that may help the organization's financial stability. They will also consider risks of investment opportunities and decide whether investments are suitable for the business they are working with.

Job responsibilities of a financial analyst include:

  • Determining the value of the business they are analyzing
  • Attending meetings with clients
  • Developing financial reports
  • Assessing market conditions

Related Careers

Individuals considering a career as a business analyst may be interested in working as a market research analyst. Market research analysts focus on selling products and deciding what products people want based on information and data. Those looking into a career as a financial analyst may be interested in becoming a financial advisor where they would focus on all aspects of individuals' finances including budgeting and spending.

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