Business analysts have a role in the development of a system. Find out exactly what they do and how to become one!
What is a Business Analyst?
The business analyst is someone who analyses what changes are needed in a business, determines and documents the requirements of these changes, and communicates them to the team responsible for the next stage.
In the IT industry, an IT business analyst is involved in the analysis, or requirements gathering stage of a project. In simple terms, they speak to key stakeholders and users to find out exactly what they want, and then turn this information into documentation to develop a solution. This process can involve:
- Formal meetings with one or many users or stakeholders
- Informal discussions with users or stakeholders
- Reading existing documentation
- Attending workshops or brainstorming sessions
- Demonstrations with existing systems or software
What Does A Business Analyst Deliver?
A business analyst is responsible for delivering documented requirements for a change to a business system. This could come in many forms, depending on the project and the system:
- Business Requirements – a high level, or broad list of requirements and success criteria for a project or system. Something like “reduce time taken to perform task A” could be in this document.
- Functional Requirements – more detailed requirements of the project or system. They describe how the system will meet the business requirements that have been specified.
- Non-Functional Requirements – These are requirements that are usually at the same level as functional requirements. Non-functional just means they don’t relate to the functionality of a system. It lists requirements of the system that must be met for it to be success. An example of this could be “The system must perform task B in under two minutes”.
How Can I Become a Business Analyst?
So, you want know how to become a business analyst? Well, there’s isn’t really a definite path or course you can take to become a business analyst. Many business analysts come from a technical background – they may have been developers or programmers and have moved into a business analyst role. Or, they may have come from a more business background, and moved towards the IT or systems side of business analyst.
Are you in a technical role at the moment and want to move into a business analyst role? One thing you can do to help with this is to work on your communication skills. Listening, speaking, asking questions, all other communication skills can help with becoming a business analyst. You probably have great technical or analytical skills – the role of a business analyst involves understanding systems and this experience can help you in this role.
Do you work in a business role, or a non-technical role? You can still move into a business analysis role by increasing your knowledge and experience with systems in your company.
Once you’ve worked on these areas, or you feel you’re competent enough in these areas to try business analysis, the next step is to find a role! Speak to your manager or other team members about your desire to try your hand at business analysis.
Let them know you’d like to give it a shot and that you’re able to use your current experience to help you in a new role. Tell them the benefits for both you and the team or company of you trying this new role. If all goes well, your manager will be receptive to it and be willing to accept!