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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

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by Transform VA
18 Feb 2018 at 11:04pm
A long, long time ago in a land far, far away…. a project delivery team was busily spending their days delivering projects. They were tasked with delivering change projects and often these included software delivery. This team consisted of people with a variety of skillsets, personalities and experiences. Some of them were project managers, some were analysis and some were developers. Others were software testers and others were business experts and non-project people.
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by Transform VA
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Since 2009 we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year on projects and making predictions for the upcoming year. Here are some of the recent trends we have discussed: agile successes and challenges, recognize the importance of roles that help maximize value, Scaling Agile, Certification trends in business analysis, etc... Here are the seven industry trends that we have chosen for 2018.
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by Transform VA
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by Transform VA
21 Jan 2018 at 6:32pm
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Agile Adoption: To Agile or Not to Agile?
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17 Dec 2017 at 9:57pm
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by Transform VA
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by Transform VA
26 Nov 2017 at 6:48am
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by Transform VA
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The Elevator Speech... for the BA
by Transform VA
12 Nov 2017 at 6:16pm
A BA walks into an elevator, is joined by an executive, and suddenly the executive asks the BA, “So, what are you working on these days?” (Sounds like the start of a joke ...)  Most business analysts, due to their project success focus, think of requirements management when questioned about their work. So the BA responds by describing the features of a business solution that the BA is currently working. The BA seldom mentions the associated business benefits with the work (i.e. why the work is vital to the business). Unfortunately, the BA ignores the first rule of conversation: know your audience. The executive asking the question is more likely to understand and be interested in the business value provided by the work, rather than the solution features.

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