As opposed to other jobs that have their roles and duties specified, the business analyst job description tends to vary. If you intend to pursue a career as a business analyst, you must be prepared to wear multiple hats. Besides negotiation, motivational and listening skills, the analyst is also expected to be a good leader.
Business analysts have various job titles depending on the environment, capacity and the organization that they are working in. In fact, most of them do not have degrees in business analysis. Neither do they have profound knowledge in computing or writing code. Rather, they are versed in the processes surrounding programming and other useful information technology concepts. Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their job growth outlook is 19 percent.
So what does a business analyst really do?
In a nutshell, analysts are meant to solve problems. They need to possess the relevant skills in data analysis and consequently determine if there are losses or discrepancies within an organization. Here is how they spend their day at work:
Investigating is all about looking for clues and pointers to possible causes of certain situations. Business analysts will be seen asking questions and making a big deal out of them. Often, questions seek to find out aspects such as why, who, when, how and what if. To get all the answers, a business analyst may end up asking even more questions by conducting interviews, reading and observation. Their core mandate is to explore all possible options within and outside the organization.
As the name implies, analyzing entails sifting through information and studying the elements selected for patterns and trends that might point to something. The information is further examined to probe for problems so as to ensure that it is accurate, current and thorough. For business analysts, more problems imply many possible solutions. So they will spend a great deal of their time comparing solutions to see if they can match the actual needs.
Communicating is a crucial aspect of any analysis. Analysts who are good at their job spend most of their time actively communicating with each other, their juniors and their superiors. In sophisticated environments, analysts are keen to observe verbal and non-verbal messages just to ensure that they understand what they hear. Being open to dialogue and establishing a proper line of communication gives them an upper hand in making decisions.
Steps mentioned above such as analyzing and investigating require constant documentation so that no detail is lost or forgotten. Also, the results acquired through analysis must be documented. This can be done in several ways including audio and video recording to using charts and graphs.
Business analysts weigh the options available to see if they are viable for solving particular problems. An option that is chosen is continually reviewed to ensure that it fits the implementation process and is constantly improved on to meet the business needs. Evaluation also helps to find the best implementation method that suits a specific project.
The business analyst career path may seem confusing at first, but as you continue to explore, you will discover that it is a pretty straightforward profession. Their duty can be summarized as the important bridge that fills the gap between various stages of project development.