Business analyst-Who is a Business Analyst

Welcome, friends / comrades / future colleagues!

In recent years, the profession analyst in software development (we shall write so that the acronym does not cause you a loss when you run into it on specialized sites) is rapidly gaining popularity among not only the IT-sphere, but also other specialties. Students, young professionals, experienced workers – many show a passionate interest in the mysterious and intriguing phrase “business analyst”. And everyone’s mind the main question: how to be? We are launching a series of articles for novice analysts, whose purpose – to tell you about the business analysis to help determine the choice and suggest the direction in which to move forward. Not so long ago, and the authors were at a crossroads, and if it had not experienced people nearby, ready to tell, explain and give invaluable advice, they would not have been those who have become – by business analysts.

Today we talk about a trade analyst, the qualities required of analysts, as well as outline the pros and cons of this craft.

So, who is this analyst? The most simple and close to the definition of IT: analyst – is an intermediary between the client software (as well as the future of its users) and its developers. Imagine that you have decided to build a house and hired a team of guest workers from the recent sunny countries. What is the probability that, explaining to them the essence of your desires, you do not spend their nerves, trying to convey to them the idea that what they are doing is not “nice and convenient”? How do you react to their statements like “you need convector in the floor?” Undoubtedly, you will eventually find a common language with them. But now imagine that in the software industry specialized slang / concepts / principles of the system at times more complex and voluminous, and programmers often show more reluctance to understand you and communicate with you everyday human language (sorry, readers have programmers, you’re not all such :)). This is where it comes in this same analyst. International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA, International Institute of Business Analysis) defines business intelligence as a professional who “understands the challenges and opportunities in the context of business requirements and recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”

In practice, the essence of the analyst can vary depending on the role of the analyst on the project. The most common varieties of IT-analysts is:

  1. Business Analyst (Business Analyst, BA) – as a rule, is a specialist dealing with the study and modeling of a particular subject area. In other words, it must ascertain the wishes of the customer, analyze them, supplemented, if necessary, to issue a certain way (to build a model document at least the general wishes of the client) and to transfer the development team. BA – person team, sociable, considerate, easy finding common ground with the customer. Technical knowledge (or, to use a fashionable word now, a background) business analyst is not required, it is much more important – the knowledge of the language of the customer and the characteristics of its culture.
  2. Systems Analyst (System Analyst, SA) – Analyst, much more close to the development team than BA; specialist who must translate the high-level team to the requirements of the software provided by a business analyst in the form of detailed functional requirements for the system, of course, in terms of the development team. Often he has also propose concrete technical solutions and design the system architecture.
  3. The requirements analyst (Requirements Analyst, RA) – a cross between BA and SA. The official classification ECSDE RB this post is not available, but in many Western theories of RA present as an expert, who is responsible for the extraction, analysis, documentation and modeling requirements, that is, simply, to write the specifications of requirements for their further transfer to the developers. Unlike BA, the analyst is not enough just to find out the requirements of high-level requirements – he is responsible for developing a detailed description of the designed system. At the same time, RA does not necessarily have a deep knowledge of the IT system architecture and design, since it has allocated among programmers, architects and system designers.

Most analysts in any outsourcing company in our country (that is, the company engaged in software development for the order) – this is intelligence requirements. Rare company in our situation can afford to keep a “pure” business analyst who is well versed in any one subject area, plus keep it in constant business trips, close to the “body of the customer.” Moreover, the work load of the analyst at least 80% would be very difficult, while the cost of its maintenance is quite significant. Though, it should nevertheless be noted that companies and analysts such we have. As for system analysts, without the presence of the BA in the state, they have little meaning, except when the customer comes to business analysts for their part, or the customer a professional, knowledgeable and able to convey to his team’s “desire” (hereinafter Yes, not all customers know exactly what they want).
Well, you interested? Then we drove on. So, the basic qualities / skills of the ideal analyst (note that some quality – birth, while others – developing, with some fast and some are quite long):

  1. Analytical mind (yes, really? The analyst? Thank you, Captain :)). It is the ability to analyze or, in other words, the ability to lay out the information on the shelves and to build logical chains. This is one of the characteristic style of human thinking. Analytical mind is inherent not to everyone from birth, but develop the analytical skills may be any one of us, so do not despair.
  2. The ability to notice details, care and systemic thinking. On the one hand, these qualities are characteristic for a person with an analytical mind, but it is certain skills or habits that can and should develop in themselves.
  3. Communication skills and communication, as follows:
    – The ability to listen and hear.
    – The ability to express their thoughts clearly.
    – The ability to establish and develop contacts and communication with other people.
  4. Knowledge of the basics of IT and software development (the so-called technical background is).
  5. Knowledge of a foreign language (usually English) in terms of written and oral applications. Domestic outsourcing is mainly aimed at foreign countries. Naturally, in unique situations where you know you’ll be his entire professional career to build exclusively on the interaction with the Russian-speaking clients, you can safely ignore this item.
  6. Learnability. Moreover, learning not only during training. Analysts, on principle, and it is important to constantly improve, “pumped” in a particular area, to monitor new technologies, tools and approaches to filter the flow of information.
  7. Creativity.
    We do not knowingly noted that this as an ideal analyst. In life, you can hardly find a person with these qualities / skills from birth or get them fully in school or university. They will have to develop and grow. Say more: as you move up the career ladder (and this we shall write), you have to develop and acquire additional skills, no less complex and interesting.

Do not forget that each profession has both advantages and disadvantages. And if you’re on the merits are likely to have heard, it is no wonder you are drawn to the business analysis, that the shortcomings may not know. But we give a complete picture of the one and the other.
Why you might like to work a business analyst:
– It’s fun 🙂 (of course not always, of course, depending on the company and the project, but still …)
– Work involves constant communication (as opposed to developers and testers in the analyst does not turn the whole day sitting in front of the monitor, and it is, in our opinion, is fine)
– A variety of activities (here you and chat, and analysis of information and documentation, and design, and problem solving, and management team, and lectures – and that’s not all)
– Opportunities for growth in breadth and up (if any desire, of course)
– The material side of the issue
– The opportunity to visit other countries and all the ensuing bun.
Why you may not like the work of a business analyst:
– It’s boring (: (again, depending on the specifics of the project and the company – sometimes you have to deal with monotonous and routine work, or work that you do not like)
– The need to communicate (or rather, you willy-nilly will have to communicate, and, in most cases, not only in Russian, plus periodically make public speeches)
– The need to switch between different types of activities, and as progress is made between several completely different in nature projects
– The need to take decisions and be held accountable for their decisions.
The idea caught? Here, everything is individual, plus a lot depends on where you work (in some companies / customers with what / how the team / project on what / how in the domain).
We have, perhaps, finish introductory lecture. We hope that this article has been helpful, or at least allowed you to once again make sure that you are on the right place. For beginners we would advise analysts analyze the entire flow of information, decide whether you want to become a business analyst, and thus one step closer to your cherished goal. In future articles, we’ll talk about what are the options “entry” to the industry, how to prepare for job interviews, and talk about self-education, we give a lot of useful links and explanations, plus tell you about the next steps for those who have already become an analyst, but still bears proud prefix junior.

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