I am a java software developer with 2 years of work experience.
I have been working on Web site development. Now I am seriously thinking of switching over to Business Analysis field.
I have no idea what skills are required to be a Business Analyst.
I want to know if it is possible for me to make a transition within my own company or within the same domain?
Do I need to change my domain? I need your expert suggestions to make this change successful.
Can you help me?
The Key Skills Required For Business Analysts
I totally understand your concern. Before I come to your question, let me fist explain what business analysis is and then brief you about the required skills and qualifications needed.
The role of a business analyst (BA) is very critical in an organization as the suggestions they provide can make or break the organization.
The success of a project and, in turn, that of the company depend largely on the recommendations provided by the B.A.
A business analyst is expected to analyze company data; understand business needs, problems, and business opportunities; and to provide suggestions and solutions to improve business.
The Key Roles of Business Analysts
A business analysis typically carries out the following tasks:
- Analyzing and understanding project scope and objectives
- Analyzing business requirements
- Gathering and organizing requirements into logical order
- Prioritizing them on the basis of business
Preparing requirement specification and Functional design documents using:
- Use cases
- Process maps
- Data flow diagrams
- Coordinating with development team
- Ensuring that the team understand the requirements well to execute the solutions/develop the product
- Conducting various testing such
- Unit testing
- Integrated testing
- Functional testing
- Determining techniques and requirements that are appropriate to process the data
- Providing recommendations for business improvements
- Training employees
- Developing standards and procedures to be followed
The Key Skills For Business Analysts
The following skills are highly desired and very essential to becoming a successful BA.
Please make sure you develop these skills well, if you are serious about marketing yourself as a BA.
Knowledge of requirement gathering and analysis methodologies like UML, Process Mapping techniques like Flowcharting, IDEF
- Excellent process mapping skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Written communication
- Interpersonal skills
- Verbal communication skills
- Analytical skills — a candidate should have excellent analytical skills to conduct requirement analysis and impact analysis.
- Logical thinking
- Decision making skills
- 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 & MS Tools
Besides having the above mentioned skills, it is important that you posses a great amount of knowledge in the specific domain of the project you are working on.
Acquiring as much knowledge as possible in various domains will enhance your chances of getting a job.
The Key Qualifications of Business Analysts
Let me tell you this that there is no specific degree designed for a business analysis as of today.
A degree in business related field or IT related field with relevant experience will be just good enough for you to get a job.
In addition, these days, institute such as International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offers the certification “Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) for Business Analysts with several years of working experience.
Coming to the specifics of your question, you must first decide if Business Analysis is the right option.
Do a self assessment and decide if you:
- Want to spend the rest of your career programming/developing Web sites/java applications/debugging code or move on to something different like business analysis
- Like talking to people and socializing with them
- Possess the ability to organize information in a concise and structured manner
- Have the ability to understand a company’s big picture
- Have a fascination towards business, business process, systems; and making money
- After having done this self assessment, if you think this field is for you, you may proceed with it.
Develop your skills accordingly and take up any certification courses that will familiarize you with the basics and demands of the business analysis field.
My advice to you is that since you have 2 years experience in the current organization and are familiar with business requirements, processes and systems within the organization, then try to grow within that organization (If there is a requirement for a business analyst).
Get involved in gathering business requirements and showcase you are fit for the post.
Once you have gathered enough experience and expertise, you can move on to a formal business analyst job.