how to learn business analysis without formal education or training?

Ask A Business Analyst Question
Ask A Business Analyst Question

My problem is that I am in my 40s and have lost direction.

For 10 years I worked as a researcher with a university, I then moved to the provate sector and was employed as a business analyst for a number of years – although the role was a mix of business and data analysis.

I set up a small business, in which again I used my business analysis experience in gathering requirements in order to develop a US based software to UK requirements.

The business was ok but not enough to earn a living – I managed to get back into the employment ladder taking on some data analysis roles. 

I have recently been made redundant and lost direction.

Its business analysis I want to do but find I am too long out of it and dont have any formal qualifications in the area

I cant afford to pay for a course and dont know what to do


Set Your Course:
Before a pilot of an airplane or a captain of a ship begins a journey, he or she first plots the course. Without direction, the aircraft or ship will merely continue movement until it runs out of fuel, drifts out of site, or even crashes.
The same is true with a career. Without a focus on what your goals and passions are, over time you will become bored and lack motivation. If you have no clear vision of what you want, you will lose interest quickly and become distracted. Worse yet, you will become discouraged and give up.
Pinpointing exactly what career you are passionate about is the first step in landing a fulfilling career. Before you can take another step in your career journey, you must re-evaluate where you want to go.
Look back over your years of work, and ask yourself:
-What do you like about your work?
-Is there anything about your career that inspires you?
-What accomplishments put a smile on your face?
-Think about what specifically makes you dread getting out of bed each morning?
-Look back to when you were a child with no demands. What was it that you enjoyed most?
If your answers to these questions reflect the idea that what drives you is communications, relating to others, being a liaison, keeping detailed records, analyzing and solving problems – Then, a position as a business analyst may very well be your passion.
Hands-on experience is priceless
Once you discover your passion, it’s time to go after it. To do so, you will need to make yourself marketable to a hiring manager. Tap into any experience you have acquired along the way to build or re-sculpt your resume’ and launch you into a satisfying future at work.
Develop skills that count
Not all experience is golden. As with the pilot or captain of a ship, without clear direction on what experience is most important, you may find yourself spinning your wheels once again. This time, it will be gaining experience that isn’t as valuable as it could be.
If a career as a business analyst is what your passion is, focus on the vital skills needed. While the bottom line of what a business analyst does is to be a liaison, or to bridge a gap; there are many skills that go into performing this task.
A business analyst does many things that are valuable. Among these skills are:
-Communication skills (both written and verbal)
-Analyzing and problem-solving skills
-Technical knowledge
Perhaps the most job-specific function where a business analyst shines is during the requirements phase of a project. This includes:
-Eliciting/Gathering (Communicate with all involved parties to discover what is needed)
-Analyzing (Determine what is clear/unclear and what is feasible)
-Recording (Document, write down, everything. This also includes use cases)
Bloom Where You Are Planted:
The fastest way to add up-to-date experience to your resume’ is to start right where you are. If you are currently employed, look around and discover an area that needs your business analyst skills to solve a problem.
Voluntarily begin to ask people questions (gathering/eliciting requirements). Then, look over the information to determine a solution (analysis). Make sure you write down everything (recording). Your written record of the process will not only give you experience with the recording requirements process but will provide you with a ready-made portfolio that you can show to future employers.
Get Back on Course
Add this experience to your credentials in addition to any years of work experience that applies. Before you know it, you will have devised a well-sculpted map to see you through toward giving you new direction and reaching your dreams.

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