The enterprise resource planning (ERP) market is projected to reach nearly $24 billion worldwide by 2018, according to International Data Corp. Widespread adoption of ERP systems is helping push demand for qualified candidates with business analysis, information technology, project management or other types of professional experience.
ERP business analysts, for example, may handle a variety of responsibilities, including:
- Developing, implementing and maintaining ERP systems
- Configuring functions and workflow to facilitate ERP integration with other applications
- Defining requirements, scope and objectives related to overall business strategies
- Translating business requirements into ERP solutions
- Collaborating with the IT team, business management, external consultants, end users and other stakeholders
- Creating user guides, training curriculum, policies and other pertinent documentation for internal and external partners
- Researching, troubleshooting and mitigating transactional and other ERP issues
- Performing business systems and workflow analysis, and disseminating technical communications
Potential Salary for ERP Business Analysts
Average starting salaries for ERP business analysts in the United States will range from $92,500 to $132,000 in 2016, according to a report by the global staffing firm Robert Half Technology. That represents a 5.9% increase over the 2015 national range.
Starting salaries may be higher for candidates with specific skills, experience or certifications in areas such as Java development, C#, Hyperion, SharePoint, and .NET, PHP and SAP development, the report noted.
Educational qualifications and work history are just two of the factors in determining salary potential and employment opportunities. Other considerations include regional market conditions, and industry type and size.
Education and Training
To start out in the ERP field, a bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT) or a business-related discipline is typically required. However, for a specialized position such as ERP business analyst, a master’s degree is often preferred, along with experience in ERP applications, business analysis and business management.
Proficiency in SAP, Oracle, SQL server, SQL and other software may be required depending on the position. Candidates with knowledge of software application architecture, programming, software engineering, relational database theory and design, and project management may have a competitive advantage in the job market.
Soft Skills for ERP Professionals
The ERP business analyst often acts as a liaison for upper management, contractors and end users in the implementation process, ensuring that consensus is reached on a project’s scope and requirements. Therefore, clear verbal and written communication skills, and superior interpersonal, organizational and leadership abilities are important attributes.
ERP business analysts can expect to work independently and as part of a team. Strong analytical, problem-solving, mathematical, multitasking and decision-making skills are also important. Other sought-after qualities for ERP professionals include attention to detail and the ability to prioritize, delegate and execute tasks effectively.
Self-motivated and results-driven, ERP business analysts are required to set goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced business environment.
Considering a Career as an ERP Business Analyst?
The growing field of enterprise resource planning may be an excellent option for qualified professionals who possess a combination of IT skills, business acumen and management know-how. With rapid developments in mobile technology, cloud computing and social media, ERP is entering a new era, and this profession will call for candidates with educational qualifications and soft skills.
To learn more about career path options in enterprise resource planning, check out our career and salary guide.