The term ‘Business Analyst’ is synonymous with a career in the IT industry. The most successful and valuable analysts are those who understand the “business” rather than those who understand “IT”.
- So what exactly is the Business Analysis?
- What is the Business Analyst’s role?
- What is the best background for this job?
- What skill set is required?
Business analysis is the discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions may include a systems development component and may also consist of process improvement or organizational change or strategic planning and policy development.
IT Business Analyst:
The people who carry out the process of Business Analysis are called a Business Analysts or BA. BAs who work specifically on developing software systems may be called IT Business Analysts, Technical Business Analysts, or Systems Analysts. Each organization may have its own ideas about the role, skills, responsibilities and expectations for the Business Analyst.
Business Analyst - Role
Modern Business Analyst – A Definition:
Most often, the Business Analyst (B.A.) is termed as communicator, because the B.A. is the link between the requirements (the client) and the software solution (the development team).
Role of the IT Business Analyst:
In the project initiation phase, the B.A. may be expected to investigate, formulate & agree terms of reference, and establish relationships.
In the analysis and specification phase, the B.A. may be expected to investigate business systems, to establish & agree business requirements, establish cultural & organizational changes required and advise on technology options.
In the design phase, the B.A. may be expected to propose, outline, design & specify business functions, to design manual interfaces and design implementation & training processes.
In the build phase, the B.A. may be expected to liase with the technical services provider, and plan/build/present system.
In the test phase, the B.A. may be expected to liase and manage acceptance testing.
In the implementation phase, the B.A. may be expected to liase and manage the implementation.
A Business Analyst may find them involved in some or all of the above roles.
Skills of an IT Business Analyst:
The skills required by the B.A. are much more than just good inter-personal communication skills and experience with wide range of tools and techniques are needed, as well as an appropriate background and personality.
Whilst the modern B.A. performs a highly critical role in software development, the real skills needed for success are not technology centric. At the core of the Business Analyst’s skills are process modeling, requirements gathering and requirements specification. However, the B.A. has a highly visible role in the project and extends through the life of the project
Today, the business process analysis, the requirements specification and the outline design – plus much of the acceptance testing and systems implementation work – is performed by the B.A.