Defining the Business Analyst Role

While business analysts play a central role in the life of any organization, the business analysis profession is broad. What is expected of today’s analyst varies so widely from one organization to another and from one project to another. The BABOK® defines the role of business analyst as someone who is responsible for discovering, synthesizing, and analyzing information from a variety of sources within an enterprise, including tools, processes, documentation, and stakeholders. The business analyst is responsible for eliciting the actual needs of stakeholders—which frequently involves investigating and clarifying their expressed desires—in order to determine underlying issues and causes.

Business analysts play a role in aligning the designed and delivered solutions with the needs of stakeholders. The activities that business analysts perform include:

  • understanding enterprise problems and goals,
  • analyzing needs and solutions,
  • devising strategies,
  • driving change, and
  • facilitating stakeholder collaboration.

Other common job titles for people who perform business analysis include:

  • business architect,
  • business systems analyst,
  • data analyst,
  • enterprise analyst,
  • management consultant,
  • process analyst,
  • product manager,
  • product owner,
  • requirements engineer, and
  • systems analyst.

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