Skills Required To Become A Business Analyst

skills required become business analyst ba certification

Today, no business can operate without data-driven insights. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to draw insights from the large volumes of data that they generate every day. As a result, they are investing in systems that will systematically capture this data and get the most value out of it. 

Without professionals skilled in processing and making valuable use of these data sets, a business will merely drown in the data it generates rather than gain insight from it. This is where business analysts come in. A refined business analyst has completed a business analyst course and earned some credentials on top of his or her experience. It is not enough to leverage the power of big data and technology in business. Businesses need analysts. 

As technology advances, the role of a business analyst increases in complexity. Today, a background in IT is considered essential for a business analyst as their roles evolve from simple routine tasks involving fewer systems and a good deal of paperwork to complex tasks that require deep knowledge of systems, processes, and standard practices. 

The Growing Demand For Business Analysts 

In the advent of digital transformation, 94% of executives interviewed in a study indicated that their organizations were investing in big data and AI. A study has established, however, that poor data management across businesses and the government cost the United States economy a whopping $4 trillion every year. With the advancement in technology, the business analysis landscape has evolved and become even more critical. In fact, the achievement of an organization’s business strategies can now be pegged directly on how well a business analyst performs his/her duties. 

As businesses shift gear to IT, business analysts are seen as the link between technology and the human stakeholders of a business. The role of analysts today extends to many business elements including product development, customer experience, market research, sales, risk management, supply chain management, and others. This role is also relevant across various industries including IT, finance, healthcare, business services, and the public sector. 

The BA times projected the demand for business analysts in the U.S to increase to 2,720,000 by 2024. This is because while other roles in the organization might be restructured or altogether replaced by automation, the business analyst role is one that automation cannot replace. 

What Is A Business Analyst? 

The IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) describes business analysts as agents of change with reference to the primary goal of business analysis of increasing the value of the business. Business analysts work in various industries and various departments in organizations. 

Business analysts evaluate a business along with its systems, identify needs and problems, and then come up with solutions for them. Solutions may range from designing new systems, incorporating new technology, improving existing or implementing new processes, implementing new business strategies, reducing operating costs for processes, and more. 

Skills Required To Become A Business Analyst 

Overall, a business analyst needs to have comprehensive knowledge of business as well as technical system knowledge. This is because they are a bridge between the technical and human aspects of the business. 

Here is a breakdown of the skills required for business analysts: 

Technical Skills 

● MS Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other applications 
● Windows and iOS systems 
● Business case writing and analysis 
● UML diagramming 
● Programming languages (depending on the industry or role one is employed in) including Java, C++, and PHP 
● Database including SQL, MS Access, ORACLE 
● SDLC knowledge including various types of methodologies like Agile and Waterfall 
● System analysis and design models 
● Project management 
● Forecasting, budgeting, and cost/benefit analysis 
● Data analysis, modeling, and storytelling 

Soft Skills 

● Written (including technical writing) and oral communication 
● Documentation and report writing 
● Research 
● Interviewing 
● Presentation and facilitation 
● Critical thinking and problem solving 
● Negotiation 
● Listening 
● Leadership and stakeholder management 

Finally, the need to be skilled in your domain cannot be overemphasized. Whether you are in the healthcare, IT, banking, or supply chain domain, you cannot be effective without a good knowledge of processes, operations, and practices within your domain. 

8 Responsibilities Of A Business Analyst 

While the job description of business analysts varies greatly from industry to industry and from department to department, here are 8 general responsibilities of business analysts. 

1. Planning And Monitoring 

A business analyst identifies the tasks that need to be carried out to complete business analysis successfully. In collaboration with other stakeholders, he defines the scope, stakeholders involved, and the methodologies to be used in the analysis. He will also come up with a schedule, define how requirements will be managed, and how communication will be conducted, as well as the expected results and how these results will be evaluated. 

2. Elicitation And Collaboration 

Business analysts are responsible for collaborating with stakeholders to identify, gather, evaluate, and document business needs. This forms the foundation of any business analysis project. 

3. Requirements Lifecycle Management 

In implementing requirements, the BA’s role is to maintain, prioritize, and approve requirements as well as control changes achieved by the implementation of requirements and communicate these to the stakeholders involved. 

4. Requirements Translation 

Translation involves transforming requirements into a format that stakeholders understand. In other words, the features of the new system, which solve the need that is being addressed, should be detailed in a way that is easily understood by the non-technical audience. 

5. Strategy Analysis 

A BA needs to analyze the business environment including its values, capabilities, structures as well as the external environment to design, implement, and evaluate a strategy for a business need. 

6. Requirements Analysis And Design Definition 

A business analyst will analyze the capabilities of the requirements and design put forward to meet a particular need. They will weigh different solutions and recommend the one that will bring the most value to the business. 

7. Solutions Evaluation 

The BA evaluates the performance of a proposed solution before or after it is implemented and recommends any improvements or modifications to ensure that maximum value is realized out of the solution. 

8. Implementation Support 

The BA in collaboration with the technical experts will offer needed support during the implementation and testing of a system or solution. 

Business Analyst Education And Certification Requirements 

The job description of a business analyst varies widely based on various employers and his/her domain. However, most employers include a bachelor’s degree as a basic requirement. On the other hand, certifications play a big role in equipping professionals with the practical skills required to take on business analyst tasks. These include 

● CCBA (Certification of Capability in Business Analysis) offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) 

● CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) also offered by IIBA. 

Finally, you may opt to take a comprehensive training course in business analysis to equip you to use the latest business analytics tools and techniques.

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