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New Post 4/18/2015 7:41 AM
User is offline Ack
1 posts
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Time Crunch Meets Information Overload 

Hey everyone!

I'm in something of an odd situation and am in serious need of direction! 


I'm moving from my current position in operations with my company, to business analyst in roughly one month's time.  My undergrad degree is in business, but realistically taught me nothing I've used thus far or will be using as BA, I don't have a masters degree.  I graduated a little less than a year and a half ago, so I have that much experience with this company (consumer finance).  My current job has no aspect that could be related to BA.  However, I've formulated and executed a significant number of my own projects of my own volition to the point where I've gained a lot of attention from our VPs.

This is basically my dream job and I'm unbelievably excited to start.  I love learning and spend a majority of my free time studying content related to work or general interests.   However, given my limited time frame and how complicated the BA role is I'm a little overwhelmed.  I've found I'm spending more time trying to figure out what to study, than actual learning.  There are so many options even with what I know I need to learn it is hard to figure out where to start.  I would love some advice on where to go for tutorials and study material!

I asked my new boss as well as another member from the department and they suggested I learn Powerpivot for Excel, and how to run queries/macros in Access.  I have a limited understanding of access, but I have been through the microsoft guide.  I have no experience with Powerpivot but know how to use pivot tables.  Any free guides/course suggestions would be appreciated!  I could afford to spend a little money, but anything over $100 probably isn't feasible.

In terms of BA specifically, I've read most of the free material at and have a good understanding of what a BA generally does.  My company seems to use BAs more as a Data Analysis source that generate reports for Senior VPs with about 40% of their time.  The rest of the time they come up with their own projects.  I nearly purchased the BABOK last night, but after reading a few amazon reviews I realized it may not be the best source of material for me at this point in time.  Any advice for what to look at in this regard?  Any certifications that can be worked on without experience would also be amazing.

Any advice would be incredibly appreciated!  I apologize for the wall of text!  After reading other similar posts and the subsequent responses requesting more information I tried to be as thorough as possible while remaining concise and to the point hah.


TLDR: Limited time, need help picking the better guides for Microsoft Access, and PowerPivot for Excel.  Also, study material for general BA work/certifications that require no time in the field.

New Post 4/25/2015 9:11 PM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Time Crunch Meets Information Overload 

HI Ack,

Good to hear you're advancing your career. So learning technical stuff like Access and pivot tables won't be much use to you as a BA (been a BA for 15 years and never  used either) but all new skills are generally worth acquiring.

I basically have a set of techniques that I apply to all projects, using the ones that are most appropriate for the project I'm working on. Most of them are covered in the BABoK. I recommend you join the IIBA  think its You get the BABoK as part of the subscription plus you get access to their online library of books which I've found useful. If you live in the states, go to their convention and get involved in a local chapter. Work out the techniques you need and practice them - get advice from peers where you work. Have fun. Let us know how you get on.


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