"I would love to get your input! I've been working in data collection and analysis in academic research for nearly a decade and am now trying to transition into a business analyst role. Not surprisingly, I'm having a bit of trouble getting interviews due to my lack of direct experience in a business setting. Do you have any suggestions for convincing industry hiring managers that I'm capable of using my existing skill set in a new domain?"
You have valuable skills that are typically in demand.
My advice isn't always to go straight to a recruiter, but in your case, I would recommend it. Find the most reputable IT Recruiting firm in your area. If you want, even call in and ask who their most senior recruiter is, and ask to speak with him/her.
Explain your situation - my guess is that they have positions that you are well qualified for.
Does that help?
"That's very helpful! I think a large part of my problem is that I'm located relatively close to the SF Bay area and there is a ton of highly-qualified competition for local positions. Would you recommend looking into recruiters specifically for remote positions where I might be a more competitive applicant?"
That's a good idea. Explore both options at once.