Role of the Business Analyst
Business analysis is a fast-growing and exciting field that takes advantage of the latest technology in machine learning and data analysis. A business analyst helps businesses and organisations improve their processes, products, software, and services through data and business analysis. A business analyst is a career with significant opportunity and flexibility due to its universal skills. Your career as a business analyst can grow into senior management positions right up to the chief executive officer of a company.
Demand for Business Analysts
There is a significant demand for business analysts in all business areas, including IT, finance, and corporate management. As companies continually look for ways to improve their efficiency and create new products, the demand for business analysts will continue to grow. With the requirement for business analysts across multiple industries, including software development, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and healthcare, there will be career opportunities regardless of your interests.
What is involved in Business Analysis?
Business analysts are responsible for coordinating between production or development teams and management to optimise operating procedures, reduce costs and inefficiencies, increase performance, and see new projects proceed from inception to final delivery. New technology has forced business analysis to evolve and grow into areas that are business focussed and those that are technology focussed.
- Business Focused Analysis
- Business Process Management
- Product Management
- Customer Experience
- Design Thinking
- Technology Focussed Analysis
- Business Data Analytics
- Business Intelligence
- Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence Analysis
- Cloud/SaaS Application Management
- Cybersecurity Analysis
The business analyst is responsible for developing technical solutions to business problems by defining, documenting, and analysing current processes to identify improvement areas to increase productivity and revenue.
Business Analysis Tools & Skills
A degree in business analysis is essential, and many companies will look for people with a Master of Business Administration for more senior positions. Technical, analytical, communication, problem-solving, and research skills are all critical in successful business analysis.
Due to the variety of industries that employ business analysis professionals, a business analyst will have a wide range of general skills. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) recommends professionals should develop the following skills going into 2021:
- Statistical analysis, survey/query, business intelligence and reporting software
- Database querying languages such as SQL
- Database design
- Programming languages including Python, Java, and R
- Data mining
- Data visualisation
As a business analyst, you will be bringing in a unique set of tools and techniques to companies looking to understand changing business needs and analysing, documenting, and communicating the impact of these changes to stakeholders. Some of the top business analyst tools include:
- MOST, SWOT, CATWOE, and PESTLE Analysis
- Business Process Modelling
- Use Case Modelling
- Unified Modeling Language
- Business Process Model and Notation
- Requirement Analysis
Business Analysis Certifications
Several recognised organisations offer certifications of various levels that will boost your curriculum vitae and prove your merit as a knowledgeable business analyst. Having the appropriate certifications for your industry makes you a stronger and more competitive candidate.
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)
The IIBA is a non-profit organisation that follows the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge standard. They offer a broad range of certifications that a business analyst will pursue throughout their career.
The Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) is the first competency-based certification. It is the first step in achieving the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) rating, a prominent certification in the profession. IIBA certifications require recertification every three years as well as earning continuing development units.
International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA)
The IQBBA focusses on business analysis in the information technology industry, including software development and website security. The IQBBA offers a Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA) and an advanced level (CALBA) which focuses on business analysis process management. Both the CFLBA and CALBA are lifetime certifications.
International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB)
The IREB offers a foundation, advanced, and expert level of its Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE) certifications. The IREB certifications are all lifetime certificates.
Project Management Institute (PMI)
The PMI teaches and maintains high standards of project management practices and offers a Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) certification for business analysts. Much like the IIBA certifications, this must be recertified every three years, as well as completing professional development units.
Role of Business Analysis in Software Development
The business analyst plays a vital role in software development, playing a part in shaping the project from inception to delivery. Business analysts create technical documentation, review and analyse the business domain, and work with developers and stakeholders. Responsibilities include creating a shared understanding of goals and requirements, organising the development process, and analysing business standards, trends, and competitors. Successful analysts will have a robust set of technical knowledge and communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
Career Growth as a Business Analyst
As technology has continued to be advanced, business analysts have been continually improving their skill sets. Many business analysts find themselves merging areas of data science, taking advantage of data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence analysis.
As you gain greater experience and earn higher certifications, opportunities in more senior positions will present themselves. Those who are top-performing can move into high-level management positions, including the C-suite of companies and organisations serving in roles such as the Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Companies recognise the data and business analysis skills that a business analyst with cross-functional experience and technical knowledge can bring to their executive team.
DVT has offices located in the United Kingdom (London) and South Africa (Johannesburg, Centurion, Cape Town, and Durban). We are a global custom software solutions, and services company focused on mobile development, Web and traditional platforms, UX/UI design, cloud application services, BI and data analytics solutions, RPA, project management, business analysis, DevOps, Agile consulting, and Agile training.