How does a Business Analyst’s Life Looks like?
Disclaimer!! I am a product analyst in the healthcare IT domain hence this article is geared mostly towards the information technology space but still try to read it out and you may end up getting some useful information..!!
When I say I am a business analyst, not everyone clearly understands my role and responsibilities. Hence, I thought of explaining the core idea first.
What is business analysis?
According to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) guide: “Business Analysis ultimately helps organizations to understand the needs of the enterprise and why they want to create change, design possible solutions and describe how those solutions can deliver the value”
In layman's terms, business analysis is a set of techniques to design end-to-end solutions to several types of business problems.
Some of the widespread applications of business analysis activities include software changes, business process improvements, and ensuring compliance with regulations.¹
What does a Business Analyst do?
In any business, a common pattern has been identified where customers need faster product delivery, desire super-efficient practices, and above all pursue a relentless goal of providing value to their customers. This makes business analyst’s role more crucial than ever.
A business analyst bridges the gap between customers and developers. Customers explain the requirement from a business point of view and developers look at the requirements from the implementation point of view hence it is extremely important to bring both parties on the same page.
I came across this quote “Developing a new software system is part science and part art form.” and I believe art is poured by business analysts. Business analysts are identified with several roles such as product manager, system analyst, product analyst depending upon the organizations. Following are the responsibilities of a business analyst.
- Requirement gathering: before initiating this step it is important for any business analyst to gain knowledge about the domain and develop a deeper understanding of the market trends.
- Requirement analysis and documentation
- Coordination with technical teams and stakeholders to finalize the solution
- Facilitate implementation
- Testing of the implemented items
- Ensure successful delivery of the solution
Quality of a Business Analyst
What do we understand when we hear the word Product Analyst or a Business Analyst and the answer to this question differs based on whom we are asking.
When most people think of a Business Analyst, they only think of someone who documents requirements, but a good BA serves a far more crucial role for a project team.
If I answer from a developer’s perspective they will always say he or she is the one who always gets incomplete requirements or the one who talks a lot and does little but if you ask anyone with this profile, they will respond by saying we are the one who ensures successful delivery of any product or service.
I feel qualified to answer this question as I have been in the shoes of a developer as well as a product analyst.
First of all, one should remember that different roles in the organization are working towards the same goal i.e To deliver a quality product and make a happy customer.
Following should be the must-have qualities for a business analyst:
- Good listening skills: Give other people a chance to speak in order to understand their mindset as well as their expectations.
- Analytical Skills: Think of a solution that fulfills the client’s expectations with minimum effort on the development side. This skill will come with experience but a 360-degree view is required as well.
- Strong technical background: Beware of false effort estimation from the development department.
- Documentation and prototyping: Most underrated skill by everyone.
- People management skills: As mentioned before, your goal is to deliver the best quality product. In the process, if you are learning something from your peers, acknowledge the lessons.
- Avoidance of I know it all attitude and be flexible enough to acknowledge the mistakes and work towards the betterment of them.
- Should be aware of tools and technologies required for efficient delivery of the requirements.
- Learn to appreciate others for their efforts. This is more a personality trait.
Courses/Book to increase the required skills
While I am on the journey of being a good product analyst, I came across few courses that have helped me to improve the above-mentioned skills.
- Agile with Atlassian Jira- By Coursera
- Writing in Sciences — By Coursera
- Become a stronger and productive business analyst
Few Books that have helped me to increase my soft skills
- how to enjoy your life and your job — Dale Carnegie
- Eat that Frog — Brian Tracy
- Who moved my cheese — Spencer Johnson
- How to start a Business Analyst Career- a book by Laura Brandenburg