Regardless of the job boards or “skills in demand” surveys you watch, one of the fastest growing areas in IT is that of the Business Analyst. Now, it may end up taking some slightly different titles…Requirements Engineer, Service Manager, or even Business Process Modeler, but make no mistake, this is a critical job role for now, and one with accelerating need in the future, with more strategic sourcing, more business needs, and more dependency on IT to automate and facilitate business processes.
As the name implies, a Business Analyst’s job is to, well…, analyze business practices and facilitate IT solutions to business problems and opportunities. Most of the time, this involves
- Eliciting requirements through various techniques (interviews, workshops, etc.)
- Modeling requirements (using tools like use cases, process models, class diagrams, etc.
- Validating and prioritizing requirements
Regardless of a business’s sourcing strategy, requirements must be elicited and validated in-house (to ensure no foxes in the henhouse). The most important ability to deliver successful IT projects is to be able to correct capture and manage requirements; without the correct requirements the project team stands virtually no chance of success in delivering the right business solution.
Successful business analysts support their customers in
- Early-stage business case development and prioritizing business investments in IT
- Identifying key stakeholders and documenting stakeholder drivers, requirements, and outcomes
- Supporting a cross-functional view of business processes and facilitating process efficiencies
- Focusing IT solutions on realized business benefits, and not just tool features
- Aligning customer requirements to achievable and deliverable IT targets
- Properly scoping and controlling IT project timelines, costs, and deliverables
While there are many different skills areas fundamental to a business analyst, one place to learn more is the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), published by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). All of our courses are approved as recommended preparation for IIBA certifications like the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).