An overview of what a business analyst actually does
Business analysts use their business analysis capabilities to work within the core of many companies small and large to improve and streamline processes that help an organization meet its objectives and reach goals. They help initiate greater employee productivity and they ultimately support business information systems that provide solutions to a variety of business issues across multiple departments.
Roles, skills and responsibilities
Business analysts are required to guarantee that their processes and analysis will result in great benefits to a company. Companies rely on business analysts to carry out their responsibilities for their role and to use their skills effectively to create lasting results. Some of the characteristics of their roles, skills and responsibilities are:
Business analyst role
The key role a business analyst plays when conducting an analysis of a business is requirements management. The modern business environment is complex and the business analyst’s role is to maintain requirements through constant change by using innovation to do so.
This means their role is to develop technical solutions to problems in a business or to further a company’s sales revenue by defining, documenting and analyzing requirements. When they use their role to manage requirements during a project, they begin to help fulfill business needs.
Business analyst skills
The key skills business analysts need are:
- Technical skills: These skills include stakeholder management, data modeling and knowledge of IT.
- Analytical skills: Business analysts have to analyze large amounts of data and other business processes to form ideas and fix problems.
- Communication: These professionals must communicate their ideas in an expressive way that is easy for the receiver to understand.
- Problem-solving: It is a business analyst’s primary responsibility to come up with solutions to an organization’s problems.
- Research skills: Thorough research must be conducted about new processes and software to present results that are effective.
Business analyst responsibilities
- Analyzing and evaluating the current business processes a company has and identifying areas of improvement
- Researching and reviewing up-to-date business processes and new IT advancements to make systems more modern
- Presenting ideas and findings in meetings
- Training and coaching staff members
- Creating initiatives depending on the business’s requirements and needs
- Developing projects and monitoring project performance
- Collaborating with users and stakeholders
- Working closely with senior management, partners, clients and technicians
If you are interested in creating a position for a business analyst you may consider reading additional resources that can assist you with the hiring process. Each candidate may have specialized questions, especially with jobs like a business analyst role, however, there are common interview questions you may ask to get to know your candidates better. A business analyst is an important role in your organization and they have many responsibilities to take care of your business’s requirements and needs, which is why it is important to do your best to hire the right candidate.
Business analyst FAQs
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about a business analyst’s roles and responsibilities:
What are the requirements for business analysts?
Requirements for business analysts may vary from company to company. Here are some common requirements for business analysts:
- Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or a related field
- On the job experience via internships or entry-level jobs in business, finance or IT working with senior-level decision-makers
- Demonstrated analytical background
- Optional Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) certification
- Knowledge of end-to-end systems
- Excellent industry knowledge and expertise
What are common interview questions for business analysts?
Interview questions for business analysts vary depending on the industry they are interviewing for. Here are some common questions a business analyst may be asked on an interview:
- How do you handle difficult stakeholders?
- What is your business analysis process when you work on a project?
- What tools do you think a business analyst needs to do their job well?
- Which diagrams do you prefer to use in your role as a business analyst?
- Describe your experience with SQL queries.
What techniques do business analysts use?
Business analysts use several techniques to help them analyze business processes to create more efficiency, come up with solutions that work and obtain desired results. Some of these techniques are:
- SWOT Analysis: Assesses Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat in a business through internal and external forces
- MOST Analysis: Mission, Objective, Strategy, Tactics or MOST Analysis is a simple and useful tool used to analyze and plan the details of what an organization does or should do
- Mindmapping: A graphic way to represent concepts and ideas to strategize, analyze, comprehend and generate new ideas
- PESTLE analysis: Used to identify what drives change in a business. Stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental
- Brainstorming: A technique that is used to problem-solve, find facts and generate ideas
Is business analyst an IT job?
A business analyst role is not an IT job unless a business analyst chooses to specialize in the information technology industry. The title would then be an IT business analyst. Business analysts for other industries are expected to have some knowledge about IT and key business software that can make processes more efficient.