Business Analyst Job Description
Business analysis has been identified as a key discipline in organizations across the globe. Business analysts enable the enterprise to articulate its needs, rationale for change and to design and describe solutions those deliver value. Business analysis can be performed in a project or across the enterprise. It is used to understand the current state, define the future state and determine activities required for the transition.
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) defines business analysis as the practice of enabling change in an organization, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.
The key role of a Business Analyst
The key responsibilities business analysts are to locate business opportunities and inefficiencies and provide recommendations (principally through implementing IT and technological solutions).
Although the role of a Business Analyst will vary dramatically from industry to industry and from company to company, some key roles a business analyst performs are:
- Understand the problems and goals of the enterprise
- Analyze needs and solution
- Devise change strategies
- Drive change
- Facilitate stakeholder collaboration
Requirements are the core of the business analyst’s role. Requirements management is one of the core skills a business analyst is expected to possess. Managing requirements both at the project level and organization level are vital in fulfilling business needs.
Business analysts take lead in the following key activities:
- Assisting with evaluating the business case for the proposed change
- Planning and monitoring
- Eliciting requirements
- Requirements organization
- Translating and simplifying requirements
- Requirements management and communication
- Requirements analysis
Skilled business analysts also use requirements to drive the design or review of test cases, process change requests, and manage a project’s scope, acceptance, installation, and deployment.
Business Analyst Skills and Tools
A good Business Analyst must have a combination of both soft skills and practical skills. Soft skills are essential to a Business Analyst professional. It is well known that hard skills will get the job but it’s the soft skills that will help in reaching the top.
Some soft skills which a Business Analyst professional should possess are:
- Communication Skill
- Negotiation Skill
- Facilitation Skill
- Analytical thinking Skill
- Problem-solving Skill
- Decision Making Skill
- Ability to see the bigger picture
- Ability to appreciate and empathize
- Ability to influence without authority
- Good interpersonal skills
A business analyst needs to be abreast with tool and software concepts to do their job properly. The top 10 software concepts and tools for business analysts are-
- Software Engineering Methodologies like SDLC e.g. Waterfall, Iterative (Agile/Scrum)
- High-Level Technology like Database structure, OOP
- Reporting Tools
- UML Modeling Tools
- BPM Tools (like MS Visio and BizAgi)
- Testing Tools
- Requirements Management Tools
- Mind mapping software such as Lucid chart
- Prototyping tools
- Microsoft office suite of products
Keeping one abreast of upcoming technologies, trends and practices in the area of interest or domain are going to keep one in demand.
Business Analyst Deliverables
The BABOK® defines a deliverable as:
A deliverable is any unique and verifiable work product or service that a party has agreed to deliver.
The specific job deliverables of a business analyst vary according to the employer’s needs. Some may be limited to IT-related projects only, while others may be involved in areas such as finance or accounting, marketing or operations. Business analyst training online can be beneficial to professionals currently in banking, insurance, information technology, telecommunications, and marketing – since the essential skills and business knowledge required for success in any of these fields can facilitate understanding of an employers’ needs.
Some key business analyst deliverables are-
- Business Case
- Business Analysis Plan
- Business Requirements Specification
- Functional Specifications using User stories / Use cases
- Non-Functional Specifications
- Traceability matrices
Business Analyst Education and Training
Education and training requirements for business analyst jobs vary by employer, specific role and industry. Most business analyst positions require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or related degree for entry-level positions. Some employers prefer business analysts with certification.
To be a distinguished BA and increasing chances of success, earning a business analyst certification is important. Certification can help business analysts stand out in the field and provide proof of competence. There are multiple BA certifications. There acceptability, qualification criteria and fees vary widely.
When it comes to industry-recognized, global BA certifications, IIBA would undoubtedly be the best. IIBA has multi-level certifications like ECBA, CCBA and CBAP.
Whether a fresher or already working in the field of business analysis, it is important to stay up to date with the latest terminology, tools, and best practices. To that end, formal training and certification may be essential to continued success. An Endorsed Education Provider for the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) can help professionals prepare for and succeed in ECBA/ CCBA/ CBAP certifications.
Becoming a successful business analyst requires one to be committed to their career. It also requires proper planning to go ahead. Predicting how a job market will be in the future is a difficult task. All that can be done is to be prepared by enrolling in business analyst training and acquiring the latest skills that will be helpful in forwarding one’s career in the exciting and prosperous field of Business Analysis.
Some other blogs which can be of interest are-