The role of the Business Analyst is increasing in importance within all types of organizations. Business Analysts work in various departments within these organizations to contribute to the growth and value of the enterprise in mostly every industry.
The Role of the Business Analyst
In today’s complex business environment, an organization’s adaptability, agility, and ability to manage constant change through innovation can be keys to success. Traditional methods may no longer lead to reaching objectives when economic conditions are unfavorable. That’s where business analysis comes in. Corporations achieve goals through projects that translate customer needs into new products, services, and profits. Business analysts can make it all happen more efficiently and effectively.
The business analyst’s primary objective is helping businesses implement solutions in a cost-effective way by determining the requirements of a project, program, or change initiative, and communicating them clearly to stakeholders, facilitators and partners. The Business Analyst’s primary responsibility is to discover and analyze information, identify business and stakeholders needs, and define solution requirements for the change.
Requirements Are the Core of the Business Analyst’s Role
Developing technical solutions to business problems, or to advance a company’s sales efforts, begins with defining, analyzing and documenting requirements. Managing requirements at the project level can help fulfill business needs.
Business analysts typically take the lead role in
- Assisting with the business case
- 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 Deliverables
The specific job deliverables of a business analyst vary according 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.
Business analysts are typically required to assess and validate their activities and to determine if a solution has fulfilled the requirements. They may use sophisticated methods, metrics and tools to achieve the business benefits and corporate goals in areas such as billing, production, workflow, customer relationship management and manufacturing.
What it Takes to Be a Business Analyst
Becoming a successful business analyst takes core business skills and specialized knowledge that will advance a firm’s objectives, and contribute to its remaining competitiveness in a complex economy. These core skills include
- Written and verbal communication, including technical writing skills
- Understanding of systems engineering concepts
- The ability to conduct cost benefit analysis
- Business case development
- Modeling techniques and methods
Increasingly, modern, successful business organizations recognize the value of business analyst training in terms of potentially improving their overall performance. Business analysts can leverage training to stay ahead of the competition – and help ensure they possess the capabilities needed to deliver effective solutions to complex business challenges.
Business Analyst Education and Training
Education and training requirements for business analyst jobs vary by employer, specific role and industry. It’s possible to enter the field with a two-year degree and relevant experience, but most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some business analyst career professionals go on to earn master’s degrees.
Because business analysis degree programs may not be widely available, many professionals earn a degree in a related field – such as information technology or business administration – and pursue specialized training through executive education programs.
In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates with IIBA™ CBAP™, CCBA™, or ECBA™ certification, as well. To prepare for industry-recognized CBAP™, CCBA™, or ECBA™ certification and develop the critical skills required for business analyst jobs, many forward-thinking professionals enroll in continuing professional education.
The goal is to master the skills needed to
- Implement advanced strategies for gathering, reviewing and analyzing data requirements
- Prioritize requirements and create conceptual prototypes and mock-ups
- Master strategic business process modeling, traceability and quality management techniques
- Apply best practices for effective communication and problem-solving
- Sit for the CBAP™, CCBA™, or ECBA™ certification exam
- Successfully compete for the most sought-after business analyst jobs
Plan for Business Analyst Training and Success
Finding success as a business analyst takes a commitment to your career and proper planning. Without planning for your future, you may feel like you’ve lost your way, as economic conditions and business needs change faster than ever.
No one can accurately predict how the job market will look a few years – or even months – from now, so it is a good idea to prepare yourself by enrolling in business analyst training to acquire the in-demand skills that can help you break into this exciting and prosperous field.