Roles and Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
If you aren’t a millennial working in IT, it is quite possible that you may not be familiar with the term, “Business Analyst.“
But there are plenty of reasons why you should be.
Business analysis has emerged as a core business practice since the dawn of the 21st century. Although every business domain has some business analyst jobs; IT especially has witnessed an explosion of career opportunities for business analyst profiles.
So, why has BA swiftly rose to prominence, and why are they being offered such lucrative salary packages?
This is primarily because they serve as a vital link between a firm’s information technology capabilities and their business objectives. Skilled business analysts directly contribute to the profitability of companies, large or small.
Now, before delving into the roles and responsibilities, and what it takes to become a Business Analyst, let’s dig a little deeper into what precisely does a Business Analyst do.
What is the Role of a Business Analyst?
In today’s complex business environment, an organization’s adaptability, agility, and ability to manage constant disruption through innovation can be an important element to ensure success. Traditional approaches may no longer suffice in reaching objectives when economic conditions are unfavorable.
That’s where business analysis comes in.
Businesses achieve goals through projects that translate customer needs into new products, services, and profits. Business analysts can make that happen rather efficiently & effectively.
A business analyst’s primary objective is helping businesses cost-effectively implement technology solutions by precisely determining the requirements of a project or a program, and communicating them clearly to the key stakeholders.
Business analysts usually collect and interpret data from many areas within an organization, simultaneously improving the business processes and finding solutions to business problems with all that gathered data.
- BAs typically require knowledge of statistics, and statistical softwares such as R. Companies prefer a BA who also possesses relevant SQL skills.
- The education and training requirements, although, may vary for business by — employer, specific role, and industry.
- It is possible to enter into the field with just a two-year degree and relevant work experience, but most employers would require at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Business analysts should be able to create solutions to problems for the business as a whole, and accordingly must effectively be able to communicate with a variety of business areas. Thus communication skills are another major prerequisite.
- BAs should be able to understand the business needs of customers and should be able to translate them into the application and operational requirements with the help of solid analytical and product management skills.
NOTE: As mentioned, SQL knowledge is a much sought-after skill for business analysts. SQL is a key language utilized for managing data held in RDBMS or relational database systems. Business analysts might not require the same level of SQL knowledge as, say, an analyst would, but a basic understanding of its concept, capabilities and basic functions is essential.
The Duties of a Business Analyst:
- Documenting and translating customer business functions and processes.
- Warranting the system design is perfect as per the needs of the customer.
- Participating in functionality testing and user acceptance testing of the new system
- Helping technically in training and coaching professional and technical staff.
- Developing a training programme and conducting formal training sessions covering designated systems module.
- Acting as a team-lead on assigned projects and assignments; and providing work direction to the developers and other project stakeholders.
Responsibilities Of A Business Analyst
Let’s take a look at the responsibilities based on different project phase.
- Understanding the Requirements of the Business
Understanding the intricacies of a project is very crucial for BAs. A fundamental responsibility of a Business Analyst is to work in accordance with relevant project stakeholders to understand their requirements and translate them into details, which the developers can comprehend.
The key skill set required for this part of the process is the capability of the Analysts to filter the different messages as well as the requirements of the project stakeholders or consumers into a consistent, but, — single vision.
Thus, a business analyst devotes a large chunk of time, asking questions. They may even need to conduct interviews, read, observe and align the developers with their target goal.
They also need to carry out analysis and look for solutions for both, the organization, as well as the customer.
2. Analyzing Information
The analysis phase is the stage during which a BA reviews the elements in detail, asserting clearly and unambiguously as what the business needs to do in order achieve its objective.
During this stage, the BA will also require to interact with the development team and the technical architects, to design the layout and define accurately what the solution should look like.
A Business Analyst then plots the scope and initial requirement of the project. The fundamental goal for any BA is to obtain the project concentrated early by converting the initial high-level goal into a tangible realistic one.
3. Communicating With a Broad Range Of People
For Businesses, it is of paramount importance to create, as well as deliver quality presentations on topics like business requirements, application designs, as well as project status. Good Business Analysts needs to dedicate countless hours actively communicating back and forth. More than just speaking, they need to listen and recognize verbal and non-verbal information.
Generally, people watching the presentation of Business Analysts are senior executives of the organization, as well as key management people of IT. Building an open conversation, validating that you understand what you have heard, and communicating what you have gathered to the stakeholders is extremely important to keep the vehicle operating efficiently.
Therefore, Business Analysts are expected to impress the stakeholders and other authority with their presentations, which in turn would have a notable effect on the growth of the business.
4. Documenting the Findings
This is where a BA gets into evaluating the needs and ensuring that the implementation team has gathered comprehensive details they require for creating and implementing the process. This phase involves collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders and consumers across the company to guarantee their needs, as well as knowledge, are combined into a detailed document about what they will actually build.
An effective document is the one which clearly states options for solving particular difficulties and then helps select the best one. There are oftentimes situations where a BA might miss out on a few requirements from the document.
Consequently, the developers won’t be aware of the same which in turn would lead to a considerable loss of time and efforts, as they would be required to redesign the product, this time including the missed part.
Hence, it is extremely critical for any BA to effectively document the findings where each requirement of the client is efficiently mentioned, and nothing is left amiss.
The favored solution is then estimated throughout the layout and planning — to assure that it meets the business requirements.
5. Evaluating and Implementing the Finest Solution
Ensuring that the systems’ design is up to the mark, as per the needs of the customer is the next decisive step. Business Analyst spends time identifying options for solving particular difficulties and then help pick the best one. The preferred solution is then assessed throughout the layout and planning to assure that it meets the business requirements.
The implementation phase, although, is not the final stage for Business Analysts. In fact, it could turn out to be the riskiest time for things to go awry and for objectives to be overlooked. It is during this step that a BA should be aware of how clients are utilizing the framework.
Do they clearly see the benefits envisaged in the business case?
In essence, Business Analysts are the navigators, responsible for reaching the end destination, which implies a satisfying resolution of a business problem.
The BA must always be aware of what the end-game is, how to get there and should be competent enough of handling course adjustments as they occur.
Witnessing how quickly economic conditions and business needs are changing. You need to prepare yourselves and create a proper plan to stay relevant in this rat race.
Finding success as a business analyst requires proper planning and commitment to your career. Without planning for your future, you will end up feeling lost on your way. No one can accurately predict how the job market will look like — a few years, or even months for that matter. So it would be in your best interest to prepare yourself by enrolling in business analyst training programs, to acquire the in-demand skills that can help you break into this exciting and prosperous domain.