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Business Analysts

"Business Analysts fix broken businesses"

Careers for business analysts are not only lucrative but they are also very satisfying. Business analysts are responsible for analyzing the workings of an organization along with the design of business methods being used and creating a bridge between management, front line employees and customer needs. It is the analyst's jobs to understand client and market requirements and devise solutions. So, they have a major say in changing the way in which business is done in an organization. If you are interested in a job as a business analyst, here is a look at the responsibilities of the position, the educational qualifications, remuneration, working conditions and more.

An Overview Of Jobs For Business Analysts

Business Analysts

The role of business analysts is not restricted to technical aspects; they often play vital roles in marketing and finance as well. There are two ways in which you can work as business analysts, you could either be employed with an organization or you could choose to be an independent contractor. The sector can be divided into four distinct tiers that include:

  1. Strategic planning: Analyzing and providing for the organization's strategic business requirements
  2. Operational Analysis: Defining and analyzing the operational policies and market strategies and approach of an organization.
  3. Process analysis: Modeling of the business process through process design
  4. IT/ Business Systems analysis: Defining the functional requirements of an application and proposing changes to client business processes

What Do Business Analysts Do?

An analyst in a business is expected to analyze and critique the various business functions including finance, marketing, IT etc to improve the productivity and efficiency of an establishment. A professional in this position also helps the company to optimize its day to day operations and evaluate the structure of its business.

Business analysts are generally hired by companies to solve business problems, to streamline their business practices and to gain an edge over their competitors. It is the analyst's job to scrutinize the various operational procedures of the company and find solutions, which will help the company to function efficiently.

In some companies analysts are also expected to focus on the issues concerning the major stakeholders of an organization; they have to routinely write reports with specific recommendations.

Educational Qualifications
and Other Skills Required

You will need a bachelor's degree to get business analysts jobs with a major in industrial engineering, business management, finance or computer science. You should also consider becoming certified. One such certification is the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis from IIBA. Other organizations offer certification, however just make sure that you go to a respected and accredited establishment to earn your credential.

Apart from this, you will also need to have an in depth understanding of organizational skills and superlative interpersonal skills. It would also help to study UML (Unified Modeling Language) which is commonly used in IT.

A Business Analyst's Workday

The workday of business analysts includes the following tasks:

Scheduling clients: Whether you hold a job in an organization or work as an independent contractor, you will need to spend a lot of time talking to the business and IT operations teams. Also, you will need to frequently schedule projects for different clients.

Observation: An analyst spends the majority of his time observing the day to day operations of the various departments. He will spend a lot of time each day observing the requirements of the organization, business process flow, the various systems available to the staff and how these are being used to optimize the workings of a department. Additionally, you may also have to spend a significant amount of time studying the client procedures and policies.

Review and Analysis: The data procured through observation, meetings and discussions is then compiled and analyzed. Also, the analyst will have to review previous reports that help to understand the issues afflicting the day to day operations of the company.

The analysis phase will finally lead to the solution phase wherein the analyst will be expected to provide solutions to streamline the business process.

Preparing Reports: Once the problems have been analyzed and solutions have been devised, an analyst has to put it all down in black and white, in the form of a report. Business analysts will have to provide detailed reports on the various solutions proposed by him and how each of these help to solve a specific problem. Financial estimates will also be part of such reports

Client meetings: Business analysts will also need to spend a considerable amount of time interacting with the internal or external clients.

Salary Expectations

The average salary of business analysts is $81,000 per annum. A junior business analysts will likely start at about $48,000.

Working Conditions

Business analysts work out of convenient and comfortable office environment with little or no fieldwork involved depending on the nature of the organization. The position entails constant communication with the clients and the development team.

Promotion Opportunities

While you may start at the entry level position of junior business analysts, you can quickly progress to senior levels if you apply yourself. After garnering 3 to 5 years of experience, you will have the option of working as an independent contractor.

Why You Should Join
The Ranks Of Business Analysts

Business analysts are an asset to the organization who helps to streamline processes and increase the efficiency of an organization and its profits. People in this position share a good rapport with almost all the departments of the company.

Because of the immense competition, several sectors offer rewarding prospects for well qualified and experienced analysts including pharmaceutical, finance, insurance, banking, IT/ITES, healthcare, budgeting and others.

As a matter of fact, it can be safely said that all companies; regardless of the sector that they operate in, need business analysts. Although it can be difficult to find an entry level position in the business analyst field, once you secure a job and get the perquisite experience, you should have no dearth of job opportunities.

Business analysts enjoy greater job security because of the versatility of their positions. Research also indicates that the sector has been sparred the ill effects of recession because companies require new ways of thinking even in a glum economic scenario.

Because a business analyst is expected to have in depth knowledge about the various business functions, a person in this position can readily change his expertise in the different facets of business to look for alternative employment. For instance, technical know how can be used to secure employment as a QA. On the other hand, product industry specific product knowledge can be used to work in marketing and sales. Also, the knowledge of the various sectors can help a business analyst move up the corporate ladder to managerial positions.

Since an analyst working in a business is on both sides of the company, the clients as well as the organizations, regardless of how the coin flips, he always has it landing back safely into the business analysts hands.

© 2015 Stellar Force

Business Analyst Community & Resources | Modern Analyst
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by timbryce
23 Mar 2017 at 1:32pm
Watching the speed by which Information Technology (I.T.) has changed over the last forty years has been amazing. Hardly a day goes by without some new twist or invention. In particular, my interest is in how I.T. can be applied to support the systems needed to operate a business, such as for manufacturing, inventory, order processing, customer service, accounting, human resources, and much more. I have seen a lot during the last four decades, perhaps too much.
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by michael_r_roy01
22 Mar 2017 at 9:51am
When asked what my secret for Business Analysis success is, I indicate fundamentals first. You can acquire skills related to Agile, the latest modeling language, and software development tools but you will fail if you have not mastered fundamentals.   The following fundamentals are crucial to success...
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by Bhairav24
19 Mar 2017 at 4:50pm
A business analyst is a person who analyzes, organizes, explores, scrutinizes and investigates an organization and documents its business and also assesses the business model and integrates the whole organization with modern technology. The Business Analyst role is mostly about documenting, verifying, recording and gathering the business requirements and its role is mostly associated with the information technology industry.
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by Transform VA
13 Mar 2017 at 4:40am
Through the use of contract terms and conditions, this article provides insight on managing risk on outsourced projects beyond just transferring work to a contractor. Training courses on risk management typically cover transferring risk at a high level, but that is just a start. Read this article for the follow-ups on managing risk via contract terms and conditions.
Bringing Sexy Back to Business Analysis
by michael_r_roy01
9 Mar 2017 at 4:46pm
My inclination is the smarter and harder approach but again I am asking you to contribute your thoughts. Channel your inner Justin Timberlake and consider how do we get sexy back to Business Analysis? How do we get the attention of the decision makers when we are no longer the shiny new product that every one wants.
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by michael_r_roy01
6 Mar 2017 at 9:20am
Congratulations! You have been asked to act as the lead Business Analyst (LBA) on an important project. It is more than likely someone recognizes the good work that you have done in the past and their hope is that your past success can be replicated with multiple Business Analysts on this new initiative. Like any new experience, you may have some anxiety or nervousness regarding this new role. It is important to you that what happens turns out to be a future success story and not an experience that stays in the closet.
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by Saurabh1812
26 Feb 2017 at 11:21am
Consider an agile project on the other hand. Agile projects do not require massive documentation in advance. Moreover, in agile projects, the business owner might communicate directly with the agile team (developers) and sometimes the agile teams are even co-located, which makes the communication between business owner and agile team easier. So, there is no role of a Business Analyst in agile projects you say!
The Kick-Off Word in Great Business Definitions: Guidelines for Building Wor...
by Transform VA
20 Feb 2017 at 6:48pm
There’s a high premium on knowing how to craft great definitions. Every business analyst should know how. To get you started, here are some basic criteria for great business definitions: It should be easy to give examples for the thing defined, but there should be no counterexamples. Each definition should communicate the essence of what a thing is, not what it does, how it’s used, or why it’s important. The definition of a thing should focus on its unique characteristics. Each thing you define should be distinguishable from every other thing you define using the definition alone. Each definition should be concise and as short as possible without loss of meaning. A definition should be readable.
Let Business Analysis Evolve Along with your Organization as it Fights to Kee...
by Transform VA
10 Feb 2017 at 11:04pm
This is the time for the BA community to expand its capabilities and provide critical value to the organization. With a massive 86% of global CEOs reporting a lack of time to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping their company’s future, businesses leaders must lean on the evolving capabilities of the business analysis community.
?Alice In Wonderland?: Defining ?Chaos? through the Lens of Wonderland ? The End
by Transform VA
5 Feb 2017 at 5:14pm
The causes of chaos are unpredictable behaviors that arise from individuals, teams, or systems. Behaviors portrayed by the mentioned three components affect how an organization is able to handle challenges and problems. By allowing individuals and teams to portray their own behaviors in the working environment, different components of an organization may either work properly or experience failure. In the subsequent sections, we will elaborate on some mechanisms that trigger chaos in an organizational context.
Deep Dive Models in Agile Series: Business Data Diagram
by Transform VA
29 Jan 2017 at 11:40am
Business Data Diagrams are one of those MUST HAVE models for any product that is dealing with data. The exercise of creating the model itself creates a powerful, shared understanding of the underlying data constructs as users understand it. Instrumental in helping to identify additional, more detailed models that might be needed, the BDD can also help you get to a complete set of user stories around users interacting with the data following the create, use, edit, delete, move and copy actions.
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by Saurabh1812
25 Jan 2017 at 11:23am
I always see people go gaga over agile development methodologies. While I agree that agile has its own advantages, I disagree on the fact agile is an all-powerful and does it all kind of methodology. However, if executed right, agile does have the capability to be an all-powerful methodology. Although the advantages outweigh the perils of agile, the perils if not properly addressed can put the business value and relevance of the solution at risk.
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by Transform VA
22 Jan 2017 at 12:11am
Let’s face it, there are just some conversations that you don’t want to have. There are some people you simply don’t want to talk to, but what happens when we don’t have these conversations? Everyone loses! It is perfectly natural for us to avoid difficult conversations. We fear rejection, retaliation, emotional outbreaks, the dismissal of our ideas, and of course those incredibly awkward moments where everyone around you stares at their feet thinking “God I am glad that’s not me.” However, these conversations need to be had and the Badass Business Analyst will have them. If we want healthy, productive teams and projects, crucial conversations must be had frequently. You can’t just keep ranting, raving, complaining and avoiding, you need to start having meaningful, persuasive conversations that make an impact. You need your ideas to be heard, and more importantly you need behaviors to change. Don’t you think its time you and I have a crucial conversation? Suddenly I feel like I have turned into my father. Sigh. For the record, all of his crucial conversations were always too late, which is maybe why I am so passionate about this particular chapter in my book (the longest chapter by far - okay, moving away from from therapy now).
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by AngelaWick
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?Alice in Wonderland?: The Challenges of Delivering in the Midst of Chaos, Ep...
by Transform VA
8 Jan 2017 at 1:18am
Every organization has some degree of “chaotic” culture. Some of them breed chaos and unconsciously operate in chaos. Project management is designed to operate with structure. However, reality has always contained a dose of “Wonderland” as well. Projects find themselves at odds with the environment that they operate within when the underlying organizational culture tends to be chaotic and less disciplinary and operates randomly. Project management methodologies and execution processes’ logic and convention are contradicted by the chaotic, shape-shifting setting of “Wonderland.” This conflict threatens a successful outcome for a project. The uncertainty that projects are confronted with throughout the execution process can be fatal. Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so projects struggle to deliver as they fail to manage the conflict they find themselves in with the organization’s way of life.

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