Alastair Majury Business Analyst

What Exactly Is a Business Analyst, Anyway?


To start things off; let us say that, in case you where to ask ten different HR Professionals what a Business Analyst is, that you’d probably get about 10 unique answers. Well that is basically the problem the emerging field of “Business Analysis” is confronting. Thus, to get just a little clarity on the topic, let us begin by dividing all analysts to the two main categories; business (non-technical) and technical. These will be the two chief divisions within the title. This isn’t to say that you isn’t able to or on occasion necessary to work on both sides of the fence. This just goes to prove how confusing the title “Business Analyst” really is.

The first side of the very wide coin is the company side. This is those professionals that employ a particular methodology to supply solutions that raise the value of an organization or a small business.

The opposite side of this coin will be the IT or Technical side. Now, this aspect has a simple function of applying specific methods to provide “technical” solutions to problems, which increases the ability of the business, which in turn increases the value of a business. Confused yet? OK, moving on.

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Many occasions analysts have been hired to not only find the problems but to also supply alternatives. This is a very different role than a job supervisor. As a general rule a business will acquire the help of an analyst or a firm to tackle a specific issue or problem it’s facing. The analyst will then visit the company, collect information, apply principles and methodologies, and create a solution. Currently a requirements analyst may evaluate the needs and requirements (that may or might not be contained in the solutions originally supplied). This information is then passed into a Project Manger. The PM will then follow their methodologies that are proven and methods to produce the final product on budget and on time, hopefully.

Fundamentally to describe what a business analyst is, we must describe the job that a business analyst does. Since it doesn’t matter whether the title is business analyst, process analyst, requirements analyst, operations analyst, business systems analyst, systems analyst, consultant, programmer/analyst, etc; the sole thing that makes an analyst an analyst is the systematic approach to issues and solutions through predefined methodic principles.

Just a few of the characteristics of a BA is the the analyst;

• Works with businesses to identify development opportunities within procedures or operations

• Gathers, documents, and assesses requirements and needs that a company may have

• The BA solves problems that firms have

There are various organizations that create or stick to accepted standards of training in the discipline of company analysis. One of which are the certifying agency of the International Institute of Business Analysis another could be the Object Management Group. These associations will adhere strictly to specific methodologies that if properly employed will lead not only the analyst, but their clients, to an effective outcome regardless of present scenarios.

Methodologies can fluctuate greatly depending upon the disciplines of the particular analyst or business. No single methodology is wrong or right; nevertheless do keep in mind that you will find several well defined collections of areas which may be verified using a simple online search. When an analyst claims to use a particular system or discipline, check out.

So simply to sum everything up, a company analyst is essentially defined as someone who performs particular tasks to make your business better. Like it has been said earlier, in case you’ve got an issue with your vehicle, you find an automobile mechanic. In case you have a problem with your health, you find a doctor. In case you have a problem with your small business, you locate a business analyst.

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