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New Post 10/8/2012 12:39 PM
User is offline Mi
1 posts
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The BA puzzle 

Hi All, I am new here and would like to have some understanding as to what a BA actually does. I understand this might be beaten-dead topic, but would really appreciate if someone could clarify.

I have an accounting background, with bachelors and Masters in Accounting. A fresh graduate with no experience in the Financial Analyst field (have some experience in public accounting and pensions, am trying to change gear) I  would ideally like to work as entry-level FA. however, am not finding what I want, instead I am getting offers from recruiters who claim they will train me as a BA.

Now my question : 1) what does a BA actually do?   2) Is it possible to easily move into a FA position after having worked as a BA?  3) If so, Will I have to start from scratch or will my background as a BA help me in a FA role?

 

Thanks all for your help in advance. Appreciate it.

 

 
New Post 10/11/2012 7:49 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: The BA puzzle 

Hi:

What does a BA do?    Excellent question!    It is not a beaten-dead topic, but a question that the vast majority of BA's are mystified on.  The BA community needs newcomers like yourself to ask the obvious, because, we fear asking such ourselves.

Problem:  Most BA's hate analysis, so one can not say "BA analyize businesses", because most BA's spend the majority of their time implementing solutions - not analyzing (ie defining problems).

Suggestion:  Think of what a BA SHOULD do.  The primary task of a BA is to come up with a comprehensive understanding of, from a buinsess perspective, the required behavior of a manual/automated system and - especially - an understanding of the essential interrelationships between processes.

Regarding your questions related to Financial Analysis, I would guess that FA really does not relate to what a BA should do.

Tony

 

 

 

 

 
New Post 10/11/2012 7:49 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: The BA puzzle 

Hi:

What does a BA do?    Excellent question!    It is not a beaten-dead topic, but a question that the vast majority of BA's are mystified on.  The BA community needs newcomers like yourself to ask the obvious, because, we fear asking such ourselves.

Problem:  Most BA's hate analysis, so one can not say "BA analyize businesses", because most BA's spend the majority of their time implementing solutions - not analyzing (ie defining problems).

Suggestion:  Think of what a BA SHOULD do.  The primary task of a BA is to come up with a comprehensive understanding of, from a buinsess perspective, the required behavior of a manual/automated system and - especially - an understanding of the essential interrelationships between processes.

Regarding your questions related to Financial Analysis, I would guess that FA really does not relate to what a BA should do.

Tony

 

 

 

 

 
New Post 10/11/2012 8:20 PM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster




Re: The BA puzzle 
Modified By Jarett Hailes  on 10/11/2012 10:20:56 PM)

Hi Mi:

As you indicated you are looking for a Financial Analyst role. Previously the term Business Analyst was used by firms to describe the Financial Analyst role. However, now that a new profession has taken over the term BA, most have switched and use the title Financial Analyst. Everyone once in awhile I will come across a job that describes a Financial Analyst under the title 'Business Analyst', 'Business Financial Analyst' or 'Accounting Business Analyst'. 

BAs and FAs are fairly different roles and often involve different educational backgrounds. I would say it is not a typical career progression to go between the two, although it is not impossible. However I doubt many hiring managers would see BAs a ready candidates for FA positions, unless the BA position actually was an FA just mistitled (or not updated to modern practices).

If I were you I would look at the job descriptions of Financial Analysts and compare them to the BA roles you are being presented. If the BA descriptions are similar to what you see for FAs then the particular position may be applicable to helping you move into a FA job later on. Otherwise it probably is in your best interests to pursue FA roles.

 
New Post 1/8/2013 4:16 AM
User is offline qwertyjjj
17 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: The BA puzzle 

[QUOTE]Tony Markos wrote
 

Problem:  Most BA's hate analysis, so one can not say "BA analyize businesses", because most BA's spend the majority of their time implementing solutions - not analyzing (ie defining problems).

[/quote]

Are you sure most BAs hate analysis? It's a large part of the job :)

 
New Post 1/9/2013 6:46 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: The BA puzzle 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 1/9/2013 1:15:27 PM)

Hi:

Your question:   Are you sure most BAs hate analysis? It's a large part of the job :)

My answer:   I am a bottom-line, pro-active problem solver with no time to he-haw around.  So, let me get to the point:

 Definition of analysis:  Partitioning a system into its components and then determining how the components interrelate.

Problem:   Partitioning a business system is very difficult as you can neither see nor feel a business system (only the mechanisms like people and computers used to implement a business system).  

Result:   Partitioning is business analysis's dirty secret.  No one every dare mention it, and it is done in as quick and dirty a fashion as possible.

Problem:  The essential interrelationships for business system components  are typically input and output data flows. Only data flow diagrams formally evaluate such.   I am about one of three people on the planet who use DFD's.

Result:  Evaluation of interrelationships is rarely formally done.

Bottom Line:   The vast majority of analysts hate doing analysis.

Tony

 

 

 
New Post 1/11/2013 4:46 AM
User is offline Lena
14 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: The BA puzzle 

 Hi Mi,

FA and BA are two completely different areas. The first refers to Finance/Accounting and second to IT.

BA positions normally involve (software) requirements elicitation activities. If I were you, I would closely look into the actual job description as the recruiters' ads could be quite misleading.

 

Regarding ''BA hate doing the analysis'' by Tony, yes, sometimes people in the organisations just do not let the poor BA to perform a proper analysis as in most cases they do not understand what the BAs are doing. In my case, I come from a state of the art requirements elicitaion background (software requirements specification), currently working in a small agile business where any form of thorough analysis is very unwelcome and everything gets to using mockups before coding. My point has been that at least DFDs to be used before starting to build screens. But, this has been rejected by Management. Now, the whole approach leads to creating software that does not meet users' needs. I hope that very shortly they will realise the importance of turning towards the requirements driven approach. So, at times it's hard to do a proper analysis when there's no support from management.

Regards,

Lena

 

 

 

 
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