I came across the following on the International Institute of
Business Analysis™ (IIBA®)website which is the leading association for business analysis around the globe. I thought it would be good to share.
All credit to the IIBA:
Becoming a Business Analyst
What is Business Analysis?
“The practice of enabling change in an organizational context by defining needs and recommending solutions that delivers value to stakeholders”
When determining which Business Analyst career is best suited for you consider the following:
Work Experience: Business analysis is about identifying business needs and solving problems. A sales person who uses solution selling first identifies the potential customer needs and then determines which of the product set will help solve the customer’s problem.
Knowledge: One of the underlying competencies in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) from International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is Business Knowledge. Do you understand the basics structure of business and its common functional areas such as human resources, finance and information technology? Do you have specific industry knowledge (e.g. banking, utilities, telecommunications, health care)?
Skills and Experience: There are many techniques used by a BA — see chapter 9 of the BABOK® Guide. You may have experience modeling data or processes, or experience planning and estimating work, presenting, creating business cases, creating and conducting training — this list represents just some of the skills that transfer to business analysis.
The role names listed in the IIBA® Career Road Map are not job titles but rather a representation of the various tasks, techniques and knowledge needed by an individual to be successful in the role. The roles could be combined into one position; for example, a business requirements analyst could also have deep expertise in process and therefore the business requirements analyst and process analyst roles can be considered as a career path. Another example: a Systems Analyst may be part of a software development project that utilizes the Agile method. Therefore the Systems Analyst has Agile expertise, and he/she could hold an Intermediate Systems Analyst and Intermediate Agile Analyst role, but his/her title could be Intermediate Systems Analyst.
Business Requirements Analyst
The business requirements analyst is tasked with helping the business meet its objectives and goals. He/she will understand how work is being conducted, and through analysis, determine solutions to the issues. The solution could include training, a process change, modifications to business rules, modifications to or implementation of new technology, or a combination of all four. The business requirements analyst will work with stakeholders to conduct a feasibility study and possibly a business case to justify an investment in change. The person conducting this work may not have the title business requirements analyst but the activities they engage in are business analysis.
At the beginning of the Business Requirements Analyst career, this business analyst looks for guidance from more senior Business Requirements Analysts to ensure his/her work is complete. They will assist in larger projects only with supervision.
Business Systems Analyst (BSA)
The BSA will utilize broad IT knowledge and their knowledge of the business to implement IT solutions which address business needs. The BSA ensures the IT solution reflects the functionality necessary to address business goals and objects (e.g. reduction in costs, increased efficiencies). He/she traces business requirements through to test plans and cases, reducing time to fix issues and identify anomalies. The BSA ensures non-functional requirements meet service level agreements reducing impacts to business effectiveness. This business anlayst will typically work directly with the IT department.
At the beginning of the Business Systems Analyst career, a person in this role looks for guidance from more senior BSAs to ensure his/her work is complete. They will assist in larger projects but only with supervision.
A Systems Analyst performs business analysis tasks through specialization in understanding the business usage of information technology (IT) and helping technology add value to the business. He or she understands and is comfortable with a variety of technical architectures and platforms, and understands IT capabilities and which applications in an organization deliver various capabilities. The Systems Analyst may specialize in a specific set of technologies or applications an organization uses and the specifics of how the applications are used within an organization. This role will typically liaise with the Business Requirements Analyst or Business Systems Analyst.
At the beginning of the Systems Analyst career, someone in this role looks for guidance from more senior systems analyst to ensure his/her work is complete.
The Functional Business Analyst performs business analysis tasks through specializing in a specific technology product and its features and functions capabilities. They are not specialists in an organization’s processes or use of technology, but a specific technology independent of an organization. This analyst consults (internal or external) on the specific workings, features and functions of specific software, commonly COTS (commercial off the shelf) or ERP (enterprise resource management) software.
The functional business analyst has deep knowledge of the technology product and has experience in a variety of implementation contexts in varying organizations, and sometimes industries. He or she helps organizations and stakeholders define the usage and integration with other systems and implement the features and functions of the technology product to meet business requirements.
At the beginning of the Functional Analyst’s career, he/she will look for guidance from more senior functional analysts to ensure his/her work is complete.
In the agile world, software requirements are developed through continual exploration of the business need. Requirements are elicited and refined through an iterative process of planning, defining acceptance criteria, prioritizing, developing, and reviewing the results. Throughout the iterative planning and analysis of requirements, business analysis practitioners must constantly ensure that the features requested by the users align with the product’s business goals, especially as the business goals evolve and change over time.
Agile business analysis is about ensuring the right information is available to the development team in the right level of detail, at the right time, so they can build the right product.
Irrespective of job titles, business analysis is about ensuring the project is able to deliver the maximum value for customers and adapting to the evolving business needs.
When new to the Agile Analyst role, a business analyst looks for guidance from more senior Agile Analysts to ensure his/her work is complete. This role will assist in larger projects but only with supervision.
Alastair Majury resides locally in the historic Scottish city of Dunblane, and is a Senior Regulatory Business Analyst working across the country as a contractor. Alastair is also a volunteer officer at the local Boys’ Brigade company, a charity which focuses on enriching the lives of children and young people, and building a stronger community. Alastair Majury also serves on the local council (Stirling Council) as Councillor Alastair Majury where he represents the ward of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, topping the poll.