Profession business analyst appeared not so long ago but has already managed to enter the top of the most popular IT specialties. And the reason is the new needs of modern business: many companies began to actively change the schemes of work, automate processes, and integrate high-tech systems.
The position of business analyst emerged recently – several decades ago in the United States of America and in Western Europe.
The impetus for the emergence of this specialty was globalization and the intensive development of digital technologies. Business strategies began to change. The demand for professionals capable of searching for ways to develop an enterprise began to grow.
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Who are a business analyst and his or her function
A business analyst is a person who examines the internal structure of a firm, identifying gaps and problems. By analyzing the information obtained, the expert develops solutions to existing deficiencies and implements them into the firm’s business processes.
The functions of the expert may vary depending on the area in which he is monitoring. It may be a financial analysis and construction of an appropriate financial model in order to increase profits. Or development/improvement of the company’s strategy. Besides, a business analyst necessarily performs diagnostics of risks in the company and develops the program for further development.
A business analyst helps a firm develop, improve its reputation and earn credibility.
What knowledge is needed to successfully start a career as a business analyst?
For a successful start, it is desirable to have some training in information technology: to know the basic capabilities of technologies and the differences between them, to understand how the development process is organized. Certainly, analytical skills and knowledge of systems analysis are important. Experience in requirements gathering and description, identifying, documenting, and modeling business processes and interface prototyping will be a big advantage.
What can be said about personal qualities? Which ones would be useful to a business analyst in IT?
As a rule, people with an analytical, structural mindset choose this profession. It is not surprising, because the main tasks are related to the collection and analysis of data, the ability to highlight key points, and draw conclusions. The ability to work with large amounts of data, responsibility, a tendency to perfectionism, and the desire to present everything – this is how we would describe the psychological portrait of a business analyst.
Certainly, communication skills are necessary – the ability to listen actively to the interlocutor, maintain a friendly atmosphere, and ask the right questions, because most part of the information is obtained in the course of live communication.
What perspectives await a business analyst in IT?
Here, as in most professions, you can develop in different directions. You can move horizontally: grow from junior to senior specialist, get deeper into specialization, move into systems analysis or architecture, and improve your skills in specific niches such as healthcare, logistics, or finance. Or grow vertically – become a project manager, or product manager, and develop your management skills.
Pros and cons of the business analyst profession
Among the pros, of course, are:
- High demand for business analysts in the labor market.
- High salaries.
- Travel and the opportunity to see the world without spending anything out of your pocket.
- The possibility of working remotely online.
On the other hand, some may not like it:
- Irregular hours, not being able to go out with friends every day. That is, you can’t always plan your time in advance. At any moment you may have a job.
- Disagreements with clients, nervousness.
- A large area of responsibility.
What kind of education is needed
A business analyst is a highly qualified professional. A college degree is a prerequisite for this position. Graduates of mathematical, economic, financial, or technical universities can expect to work in this field if they have extensive theoretical knowledge in the field of analysis, management, accounting, and modeling of business processes, and are familiar with information systems.
How to further increase the level of knowledge
The profession involves constant learning and gaining new knowledge and skills. A business analyst should not “stand still.” To avoid “stagnation”, it is recommended to attend analyst meetings, participate in webinars, and hackathons, and communicate with colleagues on various specialized forums. This will help you get new ideas, exchange experiences, improve your skills and make new friends.
Working as a business analyst involves career advancement. Starting as a trainee, a specialist can get a full-time analyst position in six months to a year. If they perform their duties well, responsible employees are promoted to the head of the analytical department. In addition to vertical development, horizontal growth is also possible. This means going deeper into specialization, and upgrading skills in certain areas, such as logistics or health care.
It is almost impossible to build a career in consulting. The position of the department head is rare, and you can get it only by showing outstanding abilities and earning the trust of management.
A business analyst is a highly paid, promising, and in-demand profession in today’s labor market. Specialists in this sphere help to eliminate problems for companies, improve reputation, and make enterprises competitive. Responsible, communicative, balanced, and competent people who like to develop and learn will find themselves in this niche.
Required Professional Skills
When applying for a business analyst position, employers pay attention to the applicant’s higher education diploma. As well as the following competencies:
- Experience with banking information systems, CRM, and analytical data processing systems
- Experience in writing technical tasks and developing normative documents;
- Proficiency in writing and speaking
- Fluency in English or any other foreign language (especially important for a consulting company)
- Confident knowledge of PC programs.
Preference is given to candidates with experience in business analytics.
What is the best advice for those who want to work as an analyst in IT?
The business analyst profession, on the one hand, is very creative, but, on the other hand, it involves a lot of responsibility and organization. You should not be afraid of this. And, of course, you should always move forward, learn new things and develop.