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New Post 2/9/2009 11:30 PM
User is offline Tshego
21 posts
9th Level Poster

BA vs BPA 

Hi All,

What is the real difference between being a Business Analyst and a Business Process Analyst?



New Post 2/10/2009 12:55 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: BA vs BPA 


All BA are BPAs; but not all BPAs are BAs!

BPA is a subset of BA!


warm regards,


New Post 2/10/2009 1:11 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: BA vs BPA 

 TshegoP wrote

What is the real difference between being a Business Analyst and a Business Process Analyst?

The Business Process Analyst is a subset of the business analysis profession.

The term Business Analyst is used to refer to any of the following:

  • BA on business side - focused on identifying solutions to business problems - this is the business analyst who identifies & documents requirements
  • Business Process Analyst - analyst focused on documenting, designing, improving business processes - generally using a specialized business process modeling tool,
  • Systems Analyst - focused on creating technical/system solutions to business problems - this is the one creating functional specs and technical design docs
  • Business Systems Analyst - a mix between business side BA and systems analyst
  • etc.

Check out this page for more details: The Roles of the Business Analyst

Hope this helps!

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 2/13/2009 4:09 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: BA vs BPA 
Modified By Craig Brown  on 2/13/2009 6:13:47 AM)

BAs are often focused on IT project requirements.
BPAs are often working on projects that are delivered without IT components (but are also often working on solutions with substantial IT elements as well.)
For a BA I'd refer you to the IIBA's BABOK and to software dev models like RUP.  For a BPA I'd refer you to six sigma as a reference model.
Both jobs are challenging because they involve eliciting an understanding of the current state of the business and the current problems.  Next you articulate a vision of the solution to the problems via a set of software requirements or a process model.  They are even more challenging when you try to implement the solutio0n and have to deal with getting people to change.
One is not harder than the other.  Neither is less interesting that the other either.
In my view here are more "dead wood" BAs in the IT space which is partly a result of the demand for skilled workers in the market, and partly de to the ability to hide in the detail of system modeling.
The real value in both roles is in identifying opportunities to do business better and to help the business get there.

New Post 2/17/2009 11:10 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: BA vs BPA 


Basically, they both, at some point, typically draw flow charts.  A BPA would often use a tool like BPMN.  BPMN = flow chart + other details for analysis and/or simulation.  BPMN flow charts are largely for activities non-internal to an automated system.

A BA would often use a tool like an Activity Diagram.   Activity Diagram = flow chart typically of system-internal activities

A BA would also often use a tool like a Data Flow Diagram.  Data Flow Diagram = First draw function bubbles, then,  when you have decomposed far enough down, draw flow charts of either system-internal activities, non system-internal activties, or both.

So, to summarize, a BPA is typically focused on activities occuring outside of an automated system.  A BA can be focused on either activites outside of an automated system, or inside of an automated system.


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