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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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Requirements for Devices Around Us: Embedded Systems
by Transform VA
22 Aug 2016 at 5:23am
Most discussions about software requirements deal with business information systems and similar projects. The world is also full of products that use software to control hardware devices, broadly called embedded systems. Among countless examples are cell phones, television remote controls, kiosks of all sorts, Internet routers, and robot cars.  This is the first article of two that will discuss some of the requirements issues that are especially important to embedded and other real-time systems.
When Good BAs do Bad Things
by Transform VA
14 Aug 2016 at 9:14pm
Given the right circumstances, even good people can go astray as our psychology push us down the slippery slope of questionable behavior.   A little bit of knowledge about the forces that drive us to cheat can go a long way helping avoid bad behavior. Here are some common landmines to become aware of so you can make sure to defuse them as you embark in a new BA project
End-to-End UML Case Study for a Stock Broker
by speeditonline
7 Aug 2016 at 6:27pm
The problem with many Unified Modeling Language (UML) educational texts is that they present the various concepts each in isolation; so you see a use case diagram for one problem domain, a class diagram for an entirely different problem domain, and you never get to see the important traceability between the diagrams. In this case study we aim to put it right by working through a single problem from use cases and activity diagrams, through sequence diagrams and state diagrams, to class diagrams and component diagrams. We have arranged the case study as three distinct perspectives or aspects as follows.
Defining Scope with Feature Levels and Events (Scope Part 2)
by Transform VA
31 Jul 2016 at 8:20pm
The context diagram and the use case diagram are two useful techniques for representing scope. This article describes two other methods for documenting scope: feature levels and system events.
Five Steps To Prototyping A Metrics Capability For Your Business Organization
by jbarrios
27 Jul 2016 at 1:00pm
Opportunities abound for new and experienced analysts to advance their careers if they are willing to increase their knowledge of analytics, metrics, and Business Intelligence. In the meantime, following these five steps will help get you and your organization on your way to being a well-measured one.
KPIs for Business Analysts
by Transform VA
24 Jul 2016 at 7:16pm
Business analysts’ performance and how we could measure it appeared to be a hot topic of interest for the Business Analysis community.   “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” (Peter Drucker) – this statement hides lots of questions for the Business Analysis managers, like what to measure, how to assess, quantifiable or qualifiable metrics to use? 
Requirements - Prerequisites
by ManiRamasarma
21 Jul 2016 at 8:05am
Often I come across situations where a BA is unprepared or under-prepared in approaching the requirements elicitation process. This leads to irritated business users, incomplete requirements, significant delays, reworks, and poor opinion about BA's in general. I decided to put together a list of prerequisites that a BA must complete before commencing requirements elicitation process.
Changeover strategy: Better have one!
by aylinsen
13 Jul 2016 at 5:50am
Once requirements analysis is completed, Business Analyst has all the information needed for a well-running function. Further actions for design, development, test and eventually roll-out are conduct accordingly. Usually and unfortunately, because of the rush of ongoing project execution no one thinks about the roll out activities until the end of the project plan and when the PM starts to drill down the roll out plan in details, project team face with the big nasty surprise of new requirements necessary for the selected software changeover (a.k.a. software adoption) strategy. Cost increase, delays, unmet deadlines create the nightmare one by one.  
Five reasons why you need a business analyst as you move to the cloud
by Transform VA
10 Jul 2016 at 6:26pm
Many organizations in the last year moved to Agile and eliminated the business analyst role. With the migration to the cloud the role of the business analyst is still being questioned. If you want to know what a business analyst can offer in this fast changing IT world as you migrate to the cloud; here are the answers
Agile Requirements: What?s the Big Deal?
by adrian
4 Jul 2016 at 1:23pm
With the rise in popularity of agile methods, business analysts and product owners often use the term “agile requirements” to label their work.  We do not care for the term “agile requirements” because it implies that the requirements for an agile project are somehow qualitatively different from those for projects following other life cycles. A developer needs to know the same information to be able to correctly implement the right functionality regardless of the life cycle being used.
Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Transitioning to a New Company
by Transform VA
29 Jun 2016 at 4:48pm
I have had the opportunity in my career to move, not only, from industry to industry, but from company to company. I have been a consultant as well as a full time employee throughout my career. As companies merge and/or begin to grow talent is needed and could come from anywhere. New/outside talent can bring in fresh wave of diverse perspectives and ideas. However, there should be some caution taken, if you are that new person entering into the organization. Whether you are a consultant, temporary employee or full time employee, here are 5 pitfalls that I have found in my career that can either make you or break you as you enter into new companies.
Never Forget it?s the Customer who Pays our Salary!
by Transform VA
26 Jun 2016 at 4:20pm
The Business Analyst is in a great position to constantly focus on the desirability of the product.  A well-defined requirement elicitation process must be focused on defining the problem the business is trying to solve for our customers. If defining the problem is the first step in your requirement process you are on the way to guaranteeing that the delivered product will provide value to your customers. Throughout the development process you will be able to monitor if the product is actually solving the problem. Additionally, your requirements should be directly related to solving the problem. It is a BA’s job to question the value of every proposed requirement that product owners want to add. If the requested feature or function is not directly related to solving the problem then it should be taken out of scope. 
Use Uncertainty to Win Business
by iavi.rotberg@endava.com
19 Jun 2016 at 7:40am
A bid is like a product that, once designed, the team must be able to deliver it. This delivery includes manufacturing the product, testing it, preparing the marketing for the product launch and finally launch it.  We propose a staged approach that replace guessing a number with qualitative investigation. The model suggested, distilled from experience, shows how estimates are transformed into effort and, ultimately, into a coherent story with a price tag attached.
Business Analysis in an Agile Environment
by Transform VA
12 Jun 2016 at 3:02pm
Sequential Development is the traditional approach that allows the business analyst to perform business analysis during the initial phases of a business process. The novelty brought by Agile was that it challenged practitioners to perform business analysis throughout the entire development process. This is a fundamental difference between Agile and Sequential Development because Agile recommends the continual re-evaluation of the initial business analysis. The present article will discuss business analysis in Agile by focusing on Scrum implementation.
Business Analyst vs. Superman
by sakina
8 Jun 2016 at 1:57pm
Since when were Business Analysts a one stop shop for all project needs? We are expected to be Superheros; well-rounded BAs as well as Change Managers, Test Analysts, Project Managers and Implementation Managers. The boundaries of these other disciplines is often unclear so this article seeks to explore the activities that fall into business analysis and those that should be undertaken within the other disciplines.

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