How much technical knowledge will a business analyst need

what tools do business analysts use?
what tools do business analysts use?

I have done BE with EC m working in Logistic company in IT department..

I just know a little bit about this Business Analyst Job..

I don have much technical knowledge and confused whether to get into this BA role or to learn other computer languages and grow in IT.

plz advice

Technical Knowledge Requirements For Business Analysts

If you’ve ever tried to listen to a speech given by a high-ranking dignitary from another country, you quickly realize the value of the interpreter.

Unless you know the language this official is speaking, you will not be able to understand what he is saying – without the help of a person who can translate it to your native tongue.

A business analyst works in a similar way as the translator does. In general, the business analyst works as a liaison between the business world and the world of technology.

He needs to be adept at speaking, both the business world language and the language of the technology world, well so communication can take place to bridge the gaps between what the business needs and what technology (software) can be developed to reach a solution.

Since the role of Business Analyst means something slightly, to vastly, different from one company to the next; it’s difficult to write a list of requirements to differentiate between what a business analyst does and what an IT professional would do because the roles often blend together as one.

Some companies combine these roles to expect more out of one person, forming the job of an IT Business Analyst, who can do the job of a business analyst yet is also skilled, to a lesser degree, in basic coding and technology skills.

In this regard, it benefits an employee, who is considering either position, to become skilled in both areas.

This will give him more value, in the eyes of the hiring company, when he comes pre-wired with both sets of skills. After all, from the hiring company’s perspective, if you can get a 5-course meal for the price of a hamburger, it is much more enticing than the other way around.

Generally speaking, the business analyst needs to have skills in both oral and written communication with a basic understanding of software and how the IT department works.

The main emphasis of the business analyst needs to be excellent communication skills with, at least basic, technology skills.

On the other hand; the IT professional needs to be skilled in coding, and be very familiar with various aspects of the technology world, but still have the skills to communicate well enough with the business end in coming up with a workable software system to meet the required needs.

The main emphasis of the IT professional needs to be excellent technology and programming skills with, at least slightly better than good, communication and inter-personal skills.

How To Decide Between Business Analyst and IT Professional

As the roles of computer programming and systems analyst began to grow and develop, the IT Business Analyst role was born.

This newly created position filled the analysis and requirements tasks which were previously left out of software development roles.

It’s important to note that, in many organizations, these two roles often overlap each other to some extent. So, if you choose either one, the transition to the other can be a very smooth move.

Computer programmers need to be knowledgeable experts in the entire software development life cycle (SDLC), while business analysts only need to typically master two or three basic technologies to get hired.

The first thing to do in order to discover which is best for you – Business Analyst or IT Professional – is to take a look in the mirror.

You already know your own likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. This is the first step in discovering which role you are more passionate about, or would be best suited to fill.

Are you more of a people person, or do you thrive on details and machines? If you are more of a people person, with excellent communication skills, your better choice would be to put your efforts toward becoming a business analyst.

If you are, on the other hand, a person who enjoys time alone and working with machines, you will want to focus more on IT.

While both positions benefit from knowing a little about the other position, it will be easier if you go in the direction of how you are naturally wired, your personality bent.

If you don’t know what your personality strengths and weaknesses are, you can find out by taking a personality profile.

Myers-Briggs Profile is one of the most extensive tests available, but there are several personality tests out there to choose from.

Select one that concentrates on how your personality trait will relate to your job.

In deciding between business analyst or IT professional, or a mix of the two, keep in mind that neither one is right or wrong.

Each position holds a good outlook in the workforce. Each position pays well, and will offer a rewarding work experience if you lean toward which one fits your personality or passion.

Start By Learning the Roles & Responsibilities of Business Analysts

In addition to acting as a liaison, the business analyst will write feasibility studies, project briefs, cost analysis, testing schedules and user manuals for new business processes.

He will analyze business processes to identify problems and implement solutions for improvement. He will also be able to explain and present technical solutions to stakeholders and owners.

Another skill heavily used is written communication in documenting complex business operations for software developers to understand.

Business analysts are not expected to learn everything there is to know about programming languages like software developers need to know.

Sometimes, business analysts are also expected to learn light programming skills such as HTML, XHTML, CSS, SQL, Data Analysis, Relational Database, or Report Writing.

He should also know some general office productivity software tools like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Outlook.

If you are specializing in a particular domain, sometimes knowledge of specific software used in that domain will be necessary.

A business analyst needs to understand enough about software development to discuss the details of the business project with computer programmers in a language the programmer will understand.

The more the business analyst is familiar with the way IT works; his words and decisions will carry more weight as they will be respected, and he also makes himself more marketable when looking for a job.

To gain basic understanding in computer programming, the business analyst should be familiar with and understand SQL, data analysis, reporting, UML, Visual Basic Programming, and Microsoft Office Automation.

Business Analysts work with other professionals, such as members of the IT department, whose main job is to figure out how technology works.

It is not the business analyst’s job to be an expert in technology. Much of what a business analyst does involves working with requirements: gathering, analyzing, documenting, validating, modeling or communicating requirements.

Gathering Requirements

The first step in the requirements process is gathering the information. This is also called eliciting, or the elicitation phase.

This is done by scheduling and facilitating meetings. The business analyst is in charge of the meeting, but not in the role of a subject matter expert.

Instead, to do your job well, you will be the facilitator. You will ask questions, listen, and then ask more qualifying questions to make sure you understand what was said.

You will document with copious note taking, so you can trace everything back to a voice of authority, which will help you access the importance of the need voiced in the meeting.

Analyzing Requirements

Once you’ve gathered all the requirements, you begin the process of problem solving and discovering what the company really needs, whether or not it is feasible and cost effective.

And, if a solution can be created within a reasonable time frame. This requires excellent analysis, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.

Documenting Requirements

Every step to every process needs to be documented by taking notes, writing reports, creating diagrams, charts and graphs, and using traceability matrices.

You should be able to draw a line between the business’ requirement and the solution, and then from the solution back to the business requirement’s origin.

Validating Requirements

This is the final step in the requirements phase. It is where you make sure the solution that is implemented works.

You will do this by presenting demonstrations and walking through how the software works with the users.

Modeling (Communicating) Requirements

There are various tools used to model requirements. Simply put, this is just a way to display and explain, in a visual format, what needs to be done.

The business analyst will often use Unified Modeling Language (UML) to accomplish this.

Some general skills required from an IT Professional:
A computer programmer typically needs to know languages such as C/C+, Java, C#, VB, and PHP.

The programmer will also need to keep his skills current, as technology rapidly changes.

A background of computer programming skills puts you in a good position for filling the role of either an IT Professional, a business analyst, or an IT business analyst.

Not only do you typically receive a lucrative pay from a variety of job opportunities, but your skills are in demand.

Adding to these skills can only be for the good of all, and could make for some nice promotional opportunities for you in the future.

For a computer programmer to make himself more marketable, it is a good idea to learn some basic business analyst skills such as UML, Use Cases, or Requirements Analysis skills.

It is far less intensive to go from complicated coding skills to learning the basics of working with requirements, than it is the other way around.

Starting out as a computer programmer and making the switch to becoming a business analyst will be much easier than starting out as a business analyst and trying to become a computer programmer because learning the skills required of a programmer is technically challenging, in order to gain expertise in a variety of detailed computer languages, when you’re accustomed to communicating with people.

Comparing Business Analyst to IT Professional Careers

The bottom line is this: Selecting a career as either a business analyst or an IT Professional, in and of itself, can be a very satisfying and rewarding choice.

But, in the process, learn at least the basic skills of what the other job requires.

This will make you more valuable and promotable to any organization, whether they see the roles as two very different positions, or blended together as one IT Business Analyst role.

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One Response to "How much technical knowledge will a business analyst need"

  1. Business Analyst Coaching & Training   May 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    As a business analyst, the primary skills you will be exercising on the job are your inter-personal, communication, writing analysis skills unlike a computer programmer whose primary skills include learning and using computer languages on a day to day basis.

    Your focus should not be on technical skills because that the business analysis career is more people or process oriented than it’s technology oriented …

    • Start By Learning the Roles & Responsibilities of Business Analysts

      A lot of the work that business analysts do involves gathering, analyzing, documenting, validating, modeling or communicating requirements.

      While business analysts work with other professionals like computer programmers whose main job is to figure out how technology works … it is not the business analysts job to do so!


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