Difference between a Business Analyst and Financial Analyst

Today’s data-driven world calls for professionals who can gather analyse and study data to obtain valuable insights and help businesses to grow in new trajectories. Data science is growing to become one of the most rewarding career opportunities in the contemporary landscape. The need for data analysis is on an unprecedented scale.

Companies are leveraging progressive technologies to decode data and make sense of their business decisions. Naturally, this need to utilise data has increased the demand for data science-related professionals who can churn complex data and make sense of the big numbers.
The data science industry is very dynamic and it requires a diverse range of skill sets. People entering into data science-related fields have multiple options. These choices can sometimes be overwhelming for an individual; one such choice is between the role of a financial analyst and business analyst.

People are often confused between the two. Although there are multiple aspects of these roles that are very similar, there are considerable differences between the role of a financial analyst and business analyst. Let’s get some contextual insights into the differences between the two job roles.

Educational Requirements

Let’s start the comparison by finding out the level of education needed to enter into both the job roles. The academic requirements for both roles vary greatly depending on the organisation. However, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field remains a prerequisite for the job of an analyst. You can opt for a financial analyst course or business analyst course to supplement your education and get a relevant job.
The role of business analysts has a wider scope as it is related to the overall analysis of the business. The role of a financial analyst is very specific and is more inclined to the financial aspects of the business. Business analysts can choose from various majors like Finance, management, accounting, technology, etc. For financial analysts, preferable majors include finance, economics, and statistics.


One common skill set needed for any analyst position irrelevant of the specialisation is the ability to identify trends and patterns and find irregularities in data. In addition to this, financial analysts need to have good quantitative acumen. Technology has made it easier to solve complex mathematical problems but has a good quantitative acumen is a strong fundamental trait that financial analysts should have. The robust knowledge base in fields like probability, statistics, trends, etc. is a must-have. It also requires good presentation skills to depict the inferences derived from complex financial analysis.
Business analysts also need to have good quantitative acumen but the emphasis is laid on identifying errors and problems in the businesses’ operations. Business analysts need to have strong problem-solving skills and they should be able to leverage technology to solve business problems. They are more like the connecting link between the technical and non-technical aspects of the business. Strong logical reasoning and management skills are a must-have for a business analyst’s role.


Analysts, in general, earn more than average income, even at the entry-level positions. The compensation is less when compared with an investment banker’s income but it provides a better work-life balance which hardly is the case with investment bankers.
As per research reports, the entry-level salary of a financial analyst ranges from $53000 to $66000 in a large US-based firm. In addition to this they also receive fairly decent bonuses and commissions at times it is equivalent to their annual pay.
The average salary for a Business analyst professional ranges from $55000 to $70000 in a large US-based firm. They are also entitled to decent bonuses and commissions. The income potential is almost identical in both the roles.

Also Read: Difference Between Business Analyst & System Analyst

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