Have you ever wished that you had someone to help you bridge the gap between IT and the business in order to get the best out of your projects? If you’re a business owner, a Business Analyst (BA) is that person! They can keep you on track, assess processes and deliver data-driven recommendations. Let’s take a closer look at Business Analysts, so we can understand why they are important in Software Development Life Cycle. Are you thinking of a career as a BA? See what you might expect!
Who is a Business Analyst?
As stated by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the Business Analyst is an agent of change. Business Analysis is a disciplined approach to introducing and managing changes in organizations. While identifying and defining solutions allowing to maximize the value delivered by the organization to its stakeholders, BA works across all levels of the organization. This specialist can be either involved in defining the strategy and creating the enterprise architecture or supporting continuous improvement. Moreover, BA can take a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects.
What Business Analyst is not?
Although it is very important to understand the responsibilities of this specialist, it is also worth to bear in mind what tasks and roles are not BA-related:
Quality-Assurance Engineer. Part of BA’s job is to develop clear business requirements and functional specifications. However, on medium to large systems, organizations require to include a documented testing methodology, equipment, and resource scheduling, writing test cases and scripts. Certainly, these things are best left to a qualified, dedicated QA Engineer.
Developer. BAs often possess a deep understanding of technical concepts. They obviously need to be familiar with data architecture, network design, and programming skills. But unless the project team is small (4 people total members or less), the very different type of thinking excludes Business Analysts from programming. BA is typically driven by organizational goals, market conditions, and usability. While a Developer is focused on system speed, efficiency, and extendibility.
Project Manager. Many organizations use the same pool of resources to assign project managers and business analysts to projects because some of the skills required to do each job are the same. Whilst the Project Manager is responsible for keeping everyone on task, tracking the budget, updating the schedule, and managing risks. Meanwhile, BA is a line between stakeholders and an IT team.
Most important skills and experience
Certainly, the business analyst position requires both hard skills and soft skills. According to the IIBA some of the most important skills and experiences for a business analyst are:
- Oral and written communication skills
- Interpersonal and consultative skills
- Facilitation skills
- Analytical thinking and problem solving
- Being detail-oriented and capable of delivering a high level of accuracy
- Organizational skills
- Knowledge of the business structure
- Stakeholder analysis
- Requirements engineering
- Costs benefit analysis
- Processes modeling
- Understanding of networks, databases, and other technology
Business Analyst career outlook
Job opportunities for Business Analysts rise every year, especially in the IT sector. Moreover, the role always remains an organization’s priority since they have to work in close proximity to top executives, clients, and stakeholders. As the skills of a Business Analyst match a variety of organizations’ needs, therefore there are plenty of development paths to choose from.
BA engages with stakeholders and users to understand how data-driven changes to processes, products, services, hardware, and software can improve efficiencies. Their role is to articulate those ideas but also cross-reference them against what’s technologically achievable and financially rational. Depending on the role, BA might work with data sets to improve products, tools, software, hardware, services, or process.
The evolution of business analysis professionals into expanding roles depends on a combination of digital skills, business acumen, and targeted knowledge to drive better business outcomes across all industries.
Are you thinking of introducing new Business Analyst role to your organization? Contact us for tailor-made services which will enable you to take your business processes to another level!
Or maybe would you like to improve these processes and become a real agent of change? Check our career opportunities here.