Precisely What a Business Analyst, Anyway?
To start things off; let us state that, in case you where to ask ten different HR Professionals what a Business Analyst is, which you would likely get about 10 unique answers. Well that is fundamentally the problem that the emerging area of “Business Analysis” is facing. So, to find just a little clarity on the matter, let’s begin by dividing all analysts to the two main categories; business (non-technical) and technical. These will be the two chief branches within the name. This is not to say that one is not able to or sometimes necessary to operate on each side of the fence. This just goes to prove how confusing the title “Business Analyst” really is.
The first facet of the very broad coin is the company side. This is those professionals that apply a particular methodology to supply solutions that raise the value of an organization or a business.
The other side of the coin is going to be the IT or Technical side. Now, this side has a basic function of applying specific methodologies to provide “technical” solutions to problems, which increases the capability of the company, which in turn increases the worth of a company. Confused yet? OK, moving on.
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Many times analysts have been hired to not only find the problems but to also supply alternatives. This is a completely different part than a job manager. As a general guideline a business will acquire the help of a professional or a company to tackle a particular issue or problem it is facing. The analyst will then go to the business, collect data, apply methodologies and principles, and create a solution. At this time a requirements analyst may assess the needs and requirements (that may or may not be included in the solutions initially supplied). This information is then passed into a Project Manger. The PM will then follow their methodologies that are proven and techniques to produce the final product on budget and on time, hopefully.
Basically to explain what a business analyst would be, we must describe the work that a company analyst does. Since it is irrelevant whether the name is business analyst, process analyst, requirements analyst, operations analyst, business systems analyst, systems analyst, consultant, programmer/analyst, etc; the only thing which makes an analyst an analyst is the systematic approach to issues and solutions through classified methodic principles.
Just a few of the characteristics of a BA will be that the analyst;
• Works with companies to identify improvement opportunities in procedures or operations
• Gathers, documents, and analyzes needs and requirements that a company may have
• The BA solves problems that firms have
There are various organizations that make or adhere to accepted standards of training within the discipline of company analysis. One of which would be the certifying agency of the International Institute of Business Analysis another would be the Object Management Group. These organizations will adhere strictly to specific methodologies that if correctly used will lead not only the analyst, but their customers, to a successful outcome regardless of current scenarios.
Methodologies can fluctuate greatly depending upon the areas of the specific analyst or business. No single methodology is wrong or right; nevertheless keep in mind there are several well defined collections of areas that may be verified using a simple online search. If an analyst claims to use a particular system or subject, check out.
So simply to sum everything up, a business analyst is essentially defined as somebody who performs certain tasks to create your business better. Like it’s been mentioned before, in case you have an issue with your vehicle, you find an automobile mechanic. If you’ve got a issue with your health, you locate a physician. In case you’ve got a problem with your small business, you find a company analyst.
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