I want to know if i’m on the right path to being a business analyst.
My degree is in computer science and so far i’ve worked as a systems and security analyst, functional analyst for Supply Chain, an HR information systems analyst, Project Coordinator and now an HR Business Planner.
Am i just doing a bit of everything or i’m acquiring the knowledge i’ll need to be a business analyst?
The Right Path To Becoming A Business Analyst
It is okay to work in a variety of positions on your way to becoming a business analyst, but just learning how different aspects of a business works will not make you a business analyst, however.
You need to acquire the skills and not just the domain experience required to be a business analyst.
Remember when you were a teenager and tried to find your first job?
Wasn’t it frustrating that many doors were slammed on your fresh, green, hopeful attempts at acquiring a job simply because you had no prior experience?
See, the employers want someone who has experience doing the business analyst job they are going to pay you to do.
Sounds reasonable? But, how do you get on-the-job business analysis experience if no one is willing to give you an open door in the first place?
Here is how to get preferred business domain experience:
Business Analyst Domain Experience Defined:
If you have ever read the words: “Business Analyst Domain Experience” and you did not fully understand what it meant, this post will give you a clear picture of what this means.
Business analyst domain experience is hands-on business skills that you gain by working in specialized industries.
These industries might include: automotive, banking, utilities, telecommunications, insurance.
They might also involve working within specific business units like finance, customer relations management or sales and marketing.
You attain business analyst domain experience by working within these industries or departments and solving their business problems.
Planting a garden that will yield edible food requires digging into the soil and getting some dirt on your hands.
Similarly, no one can fix a greasy mechanical part on a car without getting their hands dirty.
Likewise, you only gain domain experience by actual hands-on work and not by taking exams for certifications or by only learning concepts used by a business analyst from a lecture or out of a book.
Business Analyst Skills vs. Domain Knowledge
As a business analyst you gain skills by solving real-world business problems on the job.
Business Analysis skills are used in every business analyst position to solve problems regardless of the specific industry, or domain.
A secretary most likely has the skills required to type documents, but she may not be experienced in typing medical documents or legal documents which require specific terminology that a doctor or a lawyer needs spelled and presented properly.
Once she has worked in a law firm for years, she is more efficient in creating the documents needed for the lawyers.
But, if she transitions to a medical field, there will be a learning curve involved to acquire the medical terminology needed even though she is still using the same skill or typing in both.
It is the same with the skills a business analyst uses as opposed to the domain.
In the secretary’s case, the skill is typing and the domain is either law or medical.
In the case of a business analyst, the skill may be Requirements Elicitation, Use Cases or UML and the domain would be, perhaps, insurance or finance.
Once you have learned the ins and outs of a domain, you become more valuable to that particular industry.
To become a business analyst, you will have to combine your skills with domain experience. Regardless of your domain, you will need to learn analytical tools, techniques, skills and solutions that are practiced by all business analysts.
Those in the position of hiring you as a business analyst place more value on business analysts who can be trusted to lead the business based on their industry experience combined with their BA skills.
As a business analyst, you are expected to provide leadership for business-line units and organizations for which you are hired.
By the very nature of how business is done, your skills will become more valuable if you pair them with domain knowledge and experience.