If you were to learn business at a major learning institution, they would teach you a lot of garbage. Theory, formulas, definitions, and other time-wasting subjects. Then there’s the real world. Most people that go into a business job function will do so in an analyst type role where they’re performing value-add activity. However, people often struggle at the beginning because they aren’t being trained to do these things properly. Reverse Tide is here to change that.
Business analysis encompasses a lot of different topics: financial, strategic, operational, and economic analysis among a few. This learning path will teach you how to think like a great business analyst. This will allow you to add real value to any business and have a portfolio of great experience to take to the job market. This is the skill people are hiring often for, even if employers have a hard time articulating it.
We will focus on the business side of analysis on this page and then link you to more technical topics at the end of the learning path.
Let’s get started. On the left, each tab represents a subject. Each one will have learning materials that help you understand what good analysis looks like and how it can be applied to real business scenarios. These are top learning sources so we expect that by the end, you’ll be well positioned to start getting experience.
The first topic we’ll cover in this learning path is financial fundamentals. Pretty much everything in business comes down to one question – Are you making money? If the answer is no, the business is in a lot of trouble. If the answer is yes, you’re doing well. However, every action a business takes should be considered in financial terms. Are we selling as much as we can? If we take a certain strategic direction, will it help financially? Do we have a good return on our operational processes, human resources, and more?
So this means every topic we cover from now on will be considered using financial reasoning. Thus, we need to make sure you understand the basics in finance and are thinking in a financial mindset.
How can you do that? We like three sources: Master Finance in Three Hours, Financial Decision Rules for Projects, and The Economist Numbers Guide. Doing all of these is important prerequisite to going deeper into analytics.
Continuing on with the financial theme, it’s time to take it to the next level. Once you’re able to do basic financial calculations, you’ll want to develop more sophisticated skills. Using tools like Excel, you want to learn financial analysis and modeling.
While this can get quite advanced, we’ll cover it at more of an intermediate level. The idea is simply that you can assess profitability or other financial measures and then make predictions based on various future scenarios. By creating these financial models, you’ll be able to help decision-makers determine what business investments to make and other important assessments.
Each of our three suggested courses will build on your financial modeling skills and apply it to the business world. We like The Complete Financial Model Builder Course, Accounting Analytics, and the courses in Coursera’s Financial Analysis Specialization
As a business analyst, you’ll often be called upon to help management make strategic decisions. This could be anything but a few examples:
You’ll use many of the skills from your financial analysis and modeling learnings but you’ll also need to think strategically and add in strategy level considerations, qualitative analysis, and more. Where to learn this? We like Advanced Business Strategy
If you’re in a revenue generating role in business, you’ll need to regularly assess your sales & marketing performance. You’ll need to use data and other insights to determine whether you can optimize existing sales, seize new opportunities, or change execution tactics.
Revenue is the most important part of the business and must be done with the proper thought and analysis. Our favorite place to learn this is Inform Decision Making With Marketing Analytics
Beyond sales, you always want to have a really good understanding of your customers. Your customers will inform you how you should adapt your business to the market’s environment but you have to be willing to listen and analyze data points. This analysis extends to current customers, past customers, leads, and the customer profile you think you’ll work with in the future.
We want to explore how you can set up your business to learn from the customer and then take meaningful action based on these insights. Every business needs to do this to thrive. We’d suggest Customer Analytics for these learnings.
Every company’s operations will be slightly different. It might be the processes in its physical locations like stores, warehouses, manufacturing centers, or transportation fleets. It might be the people providing services to customers. It might be the people making or designing your product. It might be people in distribution. A company’s operation is the beginning to end of how a product/service is created, distributed to customers, and serviced after the sale. In other words, it’s the core of the business.
Since operations encompasses so much of what a business does, line managers, corporate teams, and even the operations staff itself should be capable of measuring performance. The idea with operations is to improve performance, quality, and cost-efficiency at all times.
Our preferred course for this is Operations Analytics
Almost every business will be comprised of a large number of people that work there. Each will be hired with a job description that tells them what value they’re expected to add and then they’re compensated based on that value. Some people do a great job and add lots of value, while others do not. But how do you measure who is doing good work, who is doing bad work, and how each person can improve? You measure their performance.
Human resources (not the department but all the people in a company) are often an organization’s largest expense and biggest contributor to business performance. Thus, analyzing and improving performance is essential. As an employee, you’ll be measured yourself and want to make sure that’s a true reflection of the value you add.
The best way to learn this subject is People Analytics
The best way to learn any subject is through experience. And now that this learning path has equipped you with a lot of interesting skills, you’re ready to go find it.
The following articles are helpful in building a strong resume. Before you get a full-time job, you want to prove these skills and demonstrate your value to employers.
Depending on whether you’re going down a business or technical career path, we have different ideas on getting good experience. So choose which is right for you…
We commend you for your choice learn business strategy & analysis skills. This will help you take the next step up in your career. But how can you turn skills into real job outcomes?
The following guides will help you apply your new skills and see significant career benefit…
It’s pretty tough to differentiate yourself in the job market. But now that you’ve learned a valuable new skill, we think you can do it with your resume.
For more information and to sign up, visit our Building a Top Resume Guide Page
Cover letters are the first thing employers will see when you’re applying to them. So you certainly want it to look good and make a strong case for you to get the job!
For more information and to sign up, check out our page Writing Amazing Cover Letters Guide
Now that you have better qualifications, it’s time to PROVE it to employers. This is what they love even more than resumes! Portfolios are your edge compared to other applicants.
The Portfolio Guide will help with…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Creating a Professional Portfolio Guide
The interview is the equivalent of closing the sale. This is when you’re getting more personalized and thus requires substantial preparation.
Here’s what this guide covers…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page Owning the Interview Guide
Everyone should know how to do a business proposal but few do! Yet it’s so important to advance in your career (job applications, bidding on work, proposing ideas, etc).
For more information or to sign up, visit our page The Business Proposal Guide
Sales can be a freelancer’s biggest challenge. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. We’re here to help! This guide will help you improve with:
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Increasing Freelance Sales Guide
Rather than go from gig to gig, you can do better. Your freelancing can be built into a full business and earn much better, more consistent revenue.
This guide helps the freelancer:
For more information or to sign up for this guide, visit our page at Freelance Gigs to Lucrative Business Guide
Now that you’ve improved your strategy & analysis skills, it’s time to focus on how to write them specifically. What do employers look for when hiring analysts?
This guide is one of a kind… we don’t know of anyone else providing such specific advice! And best of all, it’s super cheap! For more information or to sign up, check out our page:
We want to work with YOU directly. What can we focus on?
For more information or to sign up for a time slot today, visit our page Reverse Tide Personalized Career Services