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New Post 10/27/2008 2:13 AM
User is offline TankFish
25 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Maybe my ideas and concerns come more from my current situation, which does not allow for me to be involved in BA with one particular customer over an extended period of time. I have to service multiple customers over multiple industries so I don’t really get the time to entrench myself in their businesses. Which is probably why I never been able to fine tune my own abilities and always do things the “right way”, whatever they may be.

But I am hoping that is going to change soon.

New Post 10/27/2008 2:14 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 


I agree with the respondents above that one does not have to have initial/past domain expertise for a BA assignment. If so than none of us would ever get an assignment -- the "old chicken and the egg" issue

However, it seems the market demands a certain level of domain knowledge as evidenced by BA advertisements (eg. telecommunications experience desireable etc). Pick 10 online ads for BAs and verify my assertions!

Perhaps the market's perception of  BAs is wrong; I do  wonder sometimes.

warm regards,


New Post 10/27/2008 11:49 PM
Online now... Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

 TankFish wrote


Just wanted to get some opinions here. Been reading up on the roles and responsibilities of the Modern Analyst. There is one part which I am not sure that I agree with and that is the Business Analyst part. Described here.  

I understand that the role of the BA is morphing into two key areas. The BA that is Business orientated and the BA that is IT orientated but I just don’t know how feasible it is for a BA, whether IT or Business related to be able to legitimately and confidently offer Businesses advise on how they should be running. That type of role and a position with that much responsibility, for me, needs to be done by a person who is completely Business orientated and has years and years of experience. Not just in running and managing a business, but in running and managing a business within the same vertical market. We wont even talk about how even different business’s within the same vertical operate differently.

So for me, any team, should essentially be made up of these people. The Business BA and the IT BA, I would even advocate for the importance of the SME, as without an intimate knowledge of the Vertical I think mistakes will easily be made. It just feels like to much responsibility for 1 person to handle and to much knowledge for 1 person to gain.

Or is it just me?

Let's try an analogy...

The business analyst provides advice/help to businesses the same way that therapists provide advice/help to people.

No therapist is trained in handling every single specific situation. For them, every client meeting is a new problem to be solved. One person may be an engineering student who is depressed because he's having a hard time coping with school work. The next client may be an sales manager dealing with insecurities at work. While the therapist does not have any "domain" expertise either in engineering or in sales, he does have a set of proven methodologies, tools, and techniques for helping his clients work through their unique circumstances.

The business analyst should be trained with a set of proven methodologies, tools, and techniques which she will use to help the businesses they are working with. The proven tools used by the analyst (take a look at that BABOK to begin with) have applied successfully in multiple business domains. It is not the responsibility of the business analyst to be an expert in any given business domain. That's why we have SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)! An experienced analyst, whose quiver is full of useful tools and who has the knowledge to use the right tool for each unique situation, will be able to do it's job in any vertical domain.

So is domain knowledge useless?

Of course not!

Business domain knowledge is a great plus but not a must. For example, there are many police departments who have full time therapists working on a daily basis with law enforcement personnel who need counseling. These therapists, who have law enforcement domain knowledge, will no doubt be more effective in helping a police officer than some random therapist of the street.

The realities of today's job market is that most business analysts do not have the luxury of staying in the same business domain their entire career so the best thing to do is to ensure that you have practical knowledge of as many tools, techniques, methodologies, tips, tricks, etc. as possible and know when each one of them is appropriate.

Best of luck!
- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 10/28/2008 6:04 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

And you are absolutely right to wonder!

As Einstien once said: "Memory is the lowest form of intelligence".   But what is the advertised job world based upon?  Memory: What knowledge is fresh in your mind. 


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