Business Analyst vs Product Manager: An Easy Guide in 3 Points


Looking at the on-going business state of affairs, one cannot feel much difference for Business Analyst vs Product Manager. As they go hand-in-hand, both of them are the two different sides of a coin. Hence, it is essential to understand the difference between the Product Manager and business analyst.

But, before jumping on to understanding how business analysts vs Product Manager and their roles and responsibilities, let’s understand how effective cooperation leads to organizational success. Roles and responsibilities once cleared prompt realistic expectations while getting maximum monetary value for funds invested. The togetherness of business analysts and Product Managers; a successful project’s delivery comes out as an outcome.

Table of Contents

  1. What is the difference between the Product Manager and the business analyst?
  2. Which is a better option, Product Manager or Business Analyst?
  3. How do I switch from business analyst to Product Manager?

1. What is the difference between the Product Manager and the business analyst?

The intersection of technology, user experience, and business defines a Product Manager with problem-solving capability. From the product development perspective, Product Managers are actively engaged in understanding a customer’s needs and what solutions would make the organization’s customer retain, resulting in a future sale. Most of the time, concern about use scenarios, personas, requirements, and stakeholder communications makes Product Managers’ activities overlap that of business analysts.

Business analysts are liable for researching, synthesizing, and analyzing vast information from different sources and the documentation, tools, processes, and stakeholders and bringing forth the requirements of stakeholders, consistent investigation, and clarification with an aim to resolve cases and issues. They build up products that are to be used within the organization for improving the internal team process.

Product Managers aspire to solve the outsiders’ problems, while business analysts intend to solve problems for the people working for the organization.

2. Which is a better option, Product Manager or Business Analyst?

Positions for Product Managers are increasing by leaps and bounds with growth opportunities and salaries. Glassdoor’s 2019 list of highly required profiles in America, product management was ranked 5, exceeding 11,000 opportunities.

Many people are often searching the net with the difference between the Project Manager and Product Manager as both of them work closely. In simple terms, the Product Manager is seen as the CEO of the product, whereas Project Managers work on various projects to help the manager deliver. Once the project comes to an end, the Project Manager moves to the next project.

If one is looking out to opt for this career, let’s talk about the monetary value addition. As per the skill set, experience and responsibilities, one can expect to earn a salary bracket of $80,000 – $150,000 per annum.

The specific responsibilities can vary but not the Product Manager roles, which can be:

Entry-level (Associate Product Manager)

Mid-level (Product Manager)

Senior-level (Senior Product Manager)

Director role (Direct of Product Management)

Executive level (VP of Product Management)

Chief Product Officer

To depict the demand for the Business Analyst profile Amazon makes available the increased value. By upgrading workers with that of Business Analyst, the company invests at least $700 million to provide training 1,00,000 workers in the US. Amazon says BAs will be in the organizational chart in the coming years; hence an increase of 160% is noticed.

Balaji Angiya, a business analyst, wrote BAs have all the opportunities in hand to enter any career path. They can explore their careers as Product Managers, scrum masters, data analysts, and process managers. Some of the other business analyst job titles can be functional analyst, product owner, IT project coordinator, system analyst, usability analyst, business consultant, business solution architect, and many other business analyst titles.

Talking about the monetary aspects, the business analyst’s salary lies between $76,021-$84,930 as per salary.

Considering both of the roles interchangeably, it is hard to say which one is the best. After all, it depends on the traits as well. But, looking at the business analyst vs Product Manager salary range, this is clear that the Product Manager role sounds excellent.

3. How do I switch from business analyst to Product Manager?

We can look at a Product Manager as a promoter. Many business analysts consider product management as a logical task as it involves the power of decision-making, authority, and high salaries. But a Product Manager and business analyst work together. It is necessary to know more about business analysts and their skills-

  • Should be able to communicate better – Business analysts should be good communicators, which means that they will smoothen the progress of meetings, listen and ask questions.
  • Critical thinking skills – One is a business analyst needs to develop various solutions for a particular problem. While discovering the problem, a business analyst requires listening to stakeholders until the real need is understandable.
  • Ability to solve problems – A project can be seen as a solution to a problem. Business Analyst understands the problem and comes with the possible solutions while determining the scope of a project.
  • Proactive – A business analyst needs to face many hardships at the initial stage of a project. Meetings, discussion of the scope with the technical department, creation of documents, and much more. Once the requirements get frozen from the client-side, a business analyst’s job slows down, but coordination is still to be done daily for not a more extended period as a project. 

One has the ultimate goal of becoming a Product Manager; one can attain the goal with in-hand professional experience. Business analysis can be considered as a path leading to a Product Manager role. Business analysis can be a great way to build skills in a Product Manager role. So, let’s understand what does a Product Manager do- 

  • Release – Product Managers decide the releasing process, timeline, and how they will be implemented to bring a product. The role also involves the activities to be performed to bridge the gap within the organization.
  • Features – By ranking the features against the strategic initiatives and goals. With the requirement for defining each feature as per the wished user experience. They, too, work closely with engineers to ensure all the information gets delivered within a product.
  • Ideation – Products managers own the skills to think out of a box and generate, develop and curate new ideas. They come with ideas that should be promoted in the form of features of a product.
  • Product strategy and vision – A Product Manager’s job is to make clear the business value, so the product team understands the product release and the intention behind the launch of a new product if any.


Bringing to a successful conclusion, the skills, and the responsibilities are shared. Both of the roles ensure the attainment of desired organizational outcomes. The requirement of the skills like analyzing, prioritizing, facilitating the internal team’s work, taking opinions of the stakeholders, and customer feedback falls under both of the roles. However, the roles are albeit complementary. To be more straightforward, the business analyst will be in the position to fill the backlogs while, on the other hand, the Project Manager would be conveying the internal team’s expectations.
A business analyst challenging the Product Manager in defining the problems encountered in the project would add value to a Product Manager’s responsibilities by filling the gaps.

Preceding to the conclusion of the difference between business analyst vs Product Manager depends on how the company views the roles and responsibilities. In a single line, one is technical, and the other one is experiential.

If you wish to learn more about Product Management, our 6-month online PG Certificate Program in Product Management with IIM Indore is the reflect option for you! Check it out today.



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