I am currently half way through my Diploma in Accounting via external study and have been considering taking a role within my companies Business Analyst (BA) team.
I was wondering if once completed this would give me a good footing in a Business Analyst (BA) role and if so where could I be able to specialize in a large organization?
Are You Building The Correct Qualifications For A Business Analysis Career?
Imagine for a moment that you are enjoying the relaxing view of the ocean as the waves wash up on the shore. You look closer to notice a group of divers jumping off a boat to explore what lies below the surface of the water.
Something inside of you tugs as you long to join them in their exploration. There’s one problem. You know nothing about deep sea diving.
so, before you plunge into the ocean’s depth, you will first learn the steps involved in diving into the ocean. Then, you can enjoy all there is to learn below the surface.
The same is true with your Business Analysis career. Before you can determine what qualifications are necessary to pursue to become a Business Analyst, it’s important to understand what a Business Analyst does.
The job of a Business Analyst is complex, but is best summed up by saying that:
A Business Analyst serves as a liaison between the software development team and the business team.
In other words, a Business Analyst bridges the gap to solve a problem. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) describes it this way:
“The Business Analyst is a key facilitator within an organization, acting as a bridge between the client, stakeholders and the solution team.”
To tackle the daily pursuit of problem solving, a Business Analyst writes:
-cost analysis reports
-user manuals (for new business processes).
The Business Analyst will also analyze business processes to identify problems and discover solutions to improve these processes.
This includes the constant use of communication skills and a well-rounded grasp of technological solutions. It also calls for excellent writing skills to document and explain complex business operations to software developers.
How to Become a Business Analyst:
Pursuing a college degree is a good decision and one requirement in becoming a Business analyst.
However, no college degree will turn you into a business analyst. In addition to gaining college education, obtaining business analyst training and seizing the opportunity to get hands-on experience will benefit you far more.
Three steps that will help you to become a business analyst are:
Step 1 – Self Study and Business Analyst Programs – You can find out a lot of what is expected from a Business Analyst from IIBA.org and the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) guide which can be downloaded for free to IIBA members, or for a charge to non-members.
Use this information as your base. Build on this base by enrolling in a business analyst training program online where you can delve deeper into developing skills and hands-on experience through real-life problem solving tasks.
Step 2 – Hands-On Experience – Nothing tops hands-on experience. There is a common line of thought that it takes 3 weeks, or 21 days, to form a habit.
Along these lines, studies were conducted in the 1990’s by a German professor, Dr. Ericsson, and made public through reporter Malcolm Gladwell, that suggest “the more time you spend doing something, the more experience you have with it.”
The studies conducted imply that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Depending on how many hours a day you have to devote to learning the skill of business analysis, every hour counts toward becoming an expert in the field of Business Analysis.
You will find that the more hands-on practice you get in this field, the better qualified you will be – even before you reach the full 10,000 hours of practice.
Step 3 – Promote your skills within your industry as part of your job-hunt career building – Most job seekers have heard of Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
These are all excellent networking sites to be a part of when searching for a job.
In addition to these sites, there are networking sites that target industry-specific groups, such as Ning or Spruz.
Both have existing groups that are free to join. Or, start your own group (charges vary depending on what size group you want to start).
Another way to get your name out there while gaining a title of “expert” in your field is to start your own blog. Look for a site that will host your blog for a low rate, or even free.
Begin your search within blog hosting sites that focus on the industry of business analysis. Choose a name for your blog that includes the industry or domain you are targeting, and start writing.
Jump in and get your feet wet. Follow these three steps, and you’ll have an excellent foundation to becoming a business analyst.
Then, enjoy your satisfying lifelong career as a business analyst.