I want to start a career in IT business analysis? Are there any courses that I have to take in order to become a business analyst?
I have a degree in Engineering and an MBA in Marketing & Systems and I have experience in sales and marketing.
Can anyone help me with expert advice in this regard?
With advancement in information technology, the business analysis has emerged as means of integrating business with information management or converting electronic data into objective business information.
Even today, companies require constant guidance and expert suggestions to improve their businesses in the ever evolving business scenarios.
An IT business analyst is a liaison between business and IT of organization/stakeholders.
He/she is expected to evaluate the existing process and procedures, and identify areas of problems. After a thorough evaluation, a business analyst provides corrective measures or recommendations on how to improve business by integrating with IT solutions.
His/her responsibilities are associated with requirements elicitation or requirement analysis and providing solutions to problems using information technology.
His/her responsibilities also involve interacting with development and quality assurance teams.
An IT Business Analyst:
– Evaluates the information technology infrastructure of a company
– Elicits requirements from stakeholders
– Analyzes the requirements
– Gathering and organizing requirements into logical order
– Prioritizing them on the basis of business
– Creates requirements documents and functional specifications
– Analyzes and understands project scope and objectives
– Prepares requirement specifications and Functional design documents using cases, process maps, and data flow diagrams
– Coordinating with development team
– Ensures that the team understand the requirements well to execute the solutions/develop of the product
– Conducts various testing such as unit testing, integrated testing, and functional testing
– Determines techniques and requirements that are appropriate to process the data
A good IT Business Analyst must have the following skills:
– Skills in requirement gathering and analysis methodologies such as UML
– Knowledge of Process Mapping techniques like Flowcharting, IDEF, and excellent process mapping skills
– Excellent communication skills – Written communication, interpersonal skills and verbal communication skills
– Analytical skills — a candidate should have excellent analytical skills to conduct requirement analysis and impact analysis
– Information Technology skills
– Knowledge of software applications and architectures
– Knowledge of RDBMS concepts
– Familiarity with Software Development Life Cycle
– Project Management methodologies
– Knowledge of PLC/SQL/Online and MS Tools
– Knowledge of technologies like J2EEE/.NET and Web-based technologies like JS/HTML/ASP
– Knowledge of SQL, data analysis, reporting, UML, Visual Basic programming, and Microsoft Office Automation
Besides having the above mentioned skills, having familiarity with the following concepts will boost your chances of becoming a good IT Business Analyst.
– Mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and money markets, ratios like as P/E, IRR, ROI, EPS, concepts like equity dividend and budgeting, merchandising, procurement, shipping, logistics, inventory, supply chain, customer behavior, and customer relation management(CRM)
– Logical data dictionary and the benefits of maintaining one
– The Solution Assessment and Validation knowledge area of the BABOK v2.0
– Requirements Analysis knowledge area of the BABOK v2.0
– XML Schema and its purpose
– Similarities and differences between a UML Class Diagram and Object Diagram
– Stakeholder Analysis and benefits of the Business Analyst
– Active listening and benefits
– Six Sigma
– Definition of the term Requirement
Qualifications Of Business Analysts
Employers generally look for graduates with either a degree in business with IT skills or IT graduates with a blend of business skills. Candidates from accounting, business management or economics and information technology streams are generally preferred.
Today there are also various institutions that train candidates to be IT Business Analysts.
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offers the certification “Certified Business Analyst Professional” (CBAP).
This is a useful certification. ISEB, part of British Computer Society (BCS), offers a diploma program in business analysis as well.
You should try to specialize in communication techniques, requirements management processes, and business writing skills, besides trying to develop many of the skills mentioned above.
Please keep this in mind that the role of a Business Analyst is a challenging one because success of an organization is determined by the suggestions he/she gives.
So understanding the requirements, implementing the newly devised processes and documenting the requirements are very critical aspects, and hence this field requires specialized skills and good understanding of business.
With an engineering degree and MBA in Marketing and Systems; and over seven years of experience in sales and marketing, I think you are on the right track.
I suggest you polish your IT skills and develop your skills according to the specifics I mentioned.
Don’t limit your knowledge to this article alone. Please do a thorough research. The best thing to do is to grow within your own organization if there is a requirement for an IT business analyst.
Understand the requirements of your company and show enthusiasm in providing suggestions for improving business.
With the kind of experience and educational background you hold, it is a matter of time before you become a Business Analyst.
You can do the following:
– Get certified or sign up for an online training program
– Develop required business analysis skills
– Network with people in the business analysis industry
– Read a lot of books on business analysis
– Increase your domain knowledge
– Start looking for a job if there are no requirements within your current organization