What is the Role of a Business Analyst?
Business Analyst – Want to be a Business Analyst? Here’s what you should know. All business and brands work on the same agenda and principle. They just want to connect with customers in an innovative and engaging manner at every stage. In today’s digital world, this engagement of brands and companies take on an altogether new dimension. Due to the changing customer needs and expectations, the loyalty of customers also keep changing and keeping up with this might not be so simple for companies and brands. Before the digital era, brand loyalty was a simple enough affair but post the website domination, brands have to change the way they function and change. In addition, the emergence of social media added the extra pressure on companies to dominate the digital world. As social media is a powerful tool, brands and companies have to be very careful about the manner in which they engage with their customer because this can have far reaching consequences on the growth potential of their brand.
Why must brands evolve in a digital scenario?
The digital space is forever changing and adapting to new paradigms. Therefore the old processes and ideas that used to work for customer engagement cannot work any longer. Brands and companies need to look at new methods and campaigns to engage with their target audience. This means that companies have no choice but to adapt to the changing scenario in a flexible and adaptive manner. In addition, they have to adapt to the entire digital media through various channels and connect with target audience through campaigns that engage, empower and connect at every stage. Another aspect that brands must look at is customer services, especially post-sales. By providing proper sales, brands must ensure that customer service connect with every customer and provide them answers related to all their queries, so that the customer is satisfied not just with the products but with the after sales as well.Reward programs are another way in which companies can connect with their customers. By offering sales and special offers, business can substantially improve both their credibility and reputation.
In short, if companies want to advance their business analyst growth story, then the have to create a strong digital presence while at the same time empower and engage there audience through creative and innovative campaigns. Brands and companies need to understand that social engagement is much more than just a like or follow on social media channels and it is only through a series of engagement that brands can reach their ultimate goals of keeping customers engaged at all times. As Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, has pointed out by saying “Your brand is formed primarily, not by what your company says about itself, but what the company does.” Brand loyalty is the best way to drive results and that is why consumers need to invest in someone that can help them go all the way. It is here that a business analyst can help a brand achieve the above goals in a systematic and timely fashion.
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Why we need business analyst?
As mentioned above brands need to adapt to the changing digital scenario and there is no one better than a business analyst who can help them achieve it in a successful manner. It is therefore an individual who analyses companies or organisation and helps them to integrate their goals with technology. According to the International Institute of Business Analysis, the role of business analyst is defined as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organisation. By recommending solutions, it enables the companies to achieve its goals.
This means that a business analyst acts as a bridge between the business problems of a company and technology solutions of the said company. While the business problems of a company can range from anything like model, process or method and can help a brand reach its goals in an effective fashion as well. Business analyst are experts in the field of business analysis which is the task of understanding the changing business needs, assessing the impact of these changes, capturing, analysing and documenting requirements and supporting the communication and delivery of requirements with clients and stakeholders. A good way to understand the importance of a business analyst is through the below example.
Suppose a person wants to build a house, then the first thing to do is to call an architect. The architect will then sit with the person and ask them a basic question like budget constraints, style of house, size of rooms, types of rooms, parking and garage requirements among others. After this consultation, the architect will then draw up a plan which will be finalised at every stage, before the builders are finally called in to start the business analyst process of construction. Once the construction process begins, the architect will supervise the work at every stage and ensure that the house is build according to the plan at every stage. Sometimes problems might arise during the construction process that might require some change in the original plan and with the approval of the individual, these changes might have to be incorporated in the final plan.
In a similar vein, the job role of a business analyst is also the same. Just that instead of constructing a house, a business analyst builds and updates a computer system. It is a person who takes responsibility for understanding the needs of the business users of the computer system and tries to address their needs in a successful manner. Instead of producing new plans, the business analyst will try to align the existing system to meet the new challenges. While the system is updated, the business analyst will always try to deal with all the business analyst questions and queries involved in the process and make the existing system capable of handling the new challenges and issues faced by the organisation.
Skills required for becoming a business analyst
It is often a bridge between the IT team and business stakeholders. They have a great deal of value in today’s day and times, especially with complex challenges that companies have to face, especially on a regular basis. However, the role of a business analyst might differ in different organisations. While in some places they may have a technical role with little business knowledge, in other places they will be required to have good business knowledge with almost little or no knowledge about the IT systems and architecture. Some of the core skills required in any business analyst are the following:
A good business analyst must be communicative:
It must be very strong communicators, especially in the verbal sense. This means that they must be able to work in team and analyse their needs in a manner that can help them resolve conflicts and problems, both within and outside the company. While communication is extremely important face-to face, it must be able to communicate in a virtual setting like conference calls or web meetings in an effective fashion as well.
A good business analyst must have a range of problem solving skills:
Almost all companies will have at some point or the other have to deal with a whole lot of challenges and problems. At the highest level, it allows companies to have a clearer understanding of the challenges faced by the organisation and how best they can resolve it in a simple and easy manner. Business analyst have to be able to negotiate between multiple business or technical stakeholders so that they can resolve conflicts from all side and implement solution at every stage.
A good business analyst must be able to think on their feet, every single time:
Business analyst have a very important task of weighing in a lot of options before the final implementation of a plan or system. While the problem to a particular problem, might seem obvious, a good business analyst would not just listen to all the stakeholders but implement that solution which will help the company achieve its goals in a strategic manner. This is why critical thinking is extremely important for all business analyst as it can help them take the company on the path of profit and progress, without wasting resources in any manner.
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A good business analyst will have strong documentation skills:
A good business analyst will learn how to document each of their project and learning. It is important that new business analyst note down everything that they learn from their projects as it will help them take better decisions in the future. Also if similar problems arise at a later stage, they can implement the same solution, thereby saving a lot of time and unwanted problems.
A good business analyst will have a strong visual understanding:
He must be capable of visualising the solutions to a particular problem in their mind. This is because for any situation, a business analyst will have to create a lot of specific models that can address that challenge. That is why it is important that the business analysts can clearly visualise solution to a particular problem, before its implementation so that the success rate of that particular project automatically increases.
A good business analysts has good knowledge about business skills:
Having a basic and good understanding of basic office tools like Word, Excel and PowerPoint is extremely important and must be sufficient to help you survive in the industry. Other technical skills that can help a business analysts go ahead in their career fields includes a knowledge of modeling tools like Visio or Enterprise Architect, requirements management tools like DOORS or Caliber as well as project and management tools. The good part is that most of skills are something that business analysts can learn on the job as well.
A good business analyst must be able to build good relationships both within and outside his own team:
Many business analysts will have to work with stakeholders across many platforms. That is why it is important that business analysts should have an open and clear communication with stakeholders both on the business and technical sides. While a team may have disagreements within itself, it is important that a business analysts listens to every side of the conversation before taking any important decision. This would mean that the business analyst must be ready to take on responsibilities at every stage and build trusts between the team members so that company can achieve goals with minimum difficulty and hurdles.
Becoming a business analyst is therefore not a simple task as it requires a wide range of skill sets. However, it is important to remember that the education and training requirements for business analysts vary depend on the employer and type of the industry. While most employers require some level of experience, a minimum Bachelors degree is required across all companies and organisations. That being said, many business analyst professionals even have a Master’s degree to strengthen their qualifications and experience. This is a good idea as it allows individuals to gain a more in-depth understanding of the particular industry that they would want to be a part of; making them more adept to work in that industry.
As not a lot of school and universities do not offer business analysis degree programs, many professionals earn a degree in a related field like information technology or business administration and thereafter pursue specialised business analyst training through executive education programs as well. All in all, the main goal of any educational program in the field of business analysis must be the following:
- Learn and implement specialised strategies that can be used to gather, review and analysis data
- Learn to prioritise business analyst requirements and create conceptual prototypes and mock-ups
- Helps individuals to master strategic business process modeling, traceability and quality management techniques
- Learn the application of best practises leading to problem solving and better communication
Business analysts are people that today hold the foundation for success in companies and organisations. This is because when business analysis is implemented in a proper manner, they can provide valuable insights about the growth of the company and help them to actively overcome any challenges that they might encounter at any stage. Not just in helping companies to understand their customer, business analysis will help a company take better financial decisions that will reduce wastage of resources, both human and capital. In short, effective financial analysis can help a company to identify their waste and streamline their operations so that they can develop their profits in a strategic manner. Becoming a business analyst is a good choice as it will help individuals to not just hone their skills in an effective manner but also apply them in projects that can help sustain and grow a company in a successful manner.
This has been a guide to What is the Role of a Business Analyst?. Here we have discussed the basic concept, with 7 excellent skills required to become business analyst. You may look at the following articles to learn more –