The Modern Analyst Blog for Business Analysts

Adrian M.
Adrian M.

Which Business Analysts are in demand: The Reality!

I've heard and read many opinions painting the role of the business analysts as being (or needing to be) purely business oriented.  The argument is "let the technical team deal with the technical details."

The practice however, the business analyst is confronted by the technical aspects of the solution on virtually every project.  These days - it is a rarity, if at all, to find a business project or initiative which does not involve some level of system support.

A recent article in the discussing the state of the Australian job markets commented on the fact that:

 "The roles in demand this year will include project managers, architects and business analysts with technical skills."

That has been my observation as well... at least in the USA.

There seem to be very few Business Analyst job postings out there which do not include some level of demand for some technical skills.

Would love you hear your thoughts and comments!

- Adrian

This entry was published on Feb 17, 2009 / Adrian M.. Posted in Business Analysis, Career as a Business Systems Analyst, Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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DougGtheBA posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:04 AM

Technical skills in an analyst are crucial to being able to map between the enterprise super-processes that guide progress and the implementation of same in the technical environment. The ability to communicate business thoughts and ideas with the technical community using a healthy translation mechanism is only possible with a solid business acument coupled with a peppering of technical know how.

That said, it would be nice to revert back to the old days when we just had to analyze in our own little bubble and only do one person's job. Times are different, though, and having a thorough end-to-end understanding is a commodity that is rare and will be a valuable asset to a firm that is pondering how to adapt to sever market conditions.

So here is a further thought.....what are the critical, yet minimum technical skills an analyst SHOULD possess?

Adrian M. posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 12:59 AM
Hi Doug,

You do bring up a great question: "What are the critical, yet minium technical skills and analyst should possess?"


Probably there is not one answer as it depends on the type of project, technology, etc.

Having said that, here are some thoughts:
- basic understanding of relational database concepts,
- familiarity with reading code (or pseudo-code) without having a heart attack,
- understand of basic SOA (service oriented architecture) concepts such as web services, methods, etc.
- understanding of key UI/event driven concepts to help model UI behavior - basically understand the concept of UI events (On Load, On Exit, On Click, On Change, etc.)
- perhaps basic understanding of OO (object oriented concepts) such as classes, etc.

Any more?
- Adrian
Tony Markos posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:15 AM

There is another side to the story. Look at the phsychology of the job. There is safety being grounded in the implementation details.

The further a BA moves away from the implementation details and into soley more abstract business functionality, the more precieved (I believe actual) risk he/she faces. Therefore, a majority of BA's demand to be involved in the technical side significantly beyond the basics you list.

Leslie posted on Monday, March 9, 2009 5:39 PM
"The roles in demand this year will include project managers, architects and business analysts with technical skills."

I would call a business analyst with technical skills, a 'business (and) systems analyst'.

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