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New Post 5/4/2009 9:22 AM
User is offline dgillies
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Common career track for Business Analysts or Business Systems Analysts? 

I recruit and perform searches for IT Leadership roles and their best friends, quality Analysts who make their visions reality. My question to a current CIO candidate I am working with was, "what is the career track for BA's and BSA's?" It seems to me that Project Managers tend to make their way into IT management. If fact, my CIO candidate has his PMP and has already been a successful CIO...and if it is up to me, will be again very shortly.

I thought I would share his response. He basically said that good BA's and especially good Business Systems Analysts often go into Finance and excel at helping maximize the financial systems. I have often thought this. In fact, in my recruiting efforts, as I come across BA/BSA requisitions in the finance side of the house, I am going to start submitting IT BA/BSA's for these roles...as I believe an understanding of IT is essential to make these systems perform to their maximum abilities.

Thoughts anyone?

- David

 
New Post 5/4/2009 2:10 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
761 posts
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Re: Common career track for Business Analysts or Business Systems Analysts? 

Hi David,

Traditionally, IT deparments have been very focused on execution (getting the job done on time, within budget, and with no defects).  So CIOs and other technology executives tend to put a lot of stock into project management excellence and reward those who can achieve that.  Hence the focus of many professionals on getting their PMP certification in the hope that might lead to a promotion up the IT food chain.  Also - up until the CBAP, the PMP certification was the only non-technical certification for folks involved in IT projects.

While project management excellence will always a driving factor, many CIOs (and CEOs - which is even more important) are beginning to focus not only on delivering projects on time and budget but also on making sure that the projects are aligned with the business goals and objectives.  More and more CIOs are being asked to demonstrate their organization's contribution to the bottom line.

That's where business analysts come in place, especially those with enterprise analysis experience.

Take a look at this recent editorial from InformationWeek:

Global CIO: Prove IT's Business Value To Your CEO -- Or Else

- Adrian

 


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 5/8/2009 8:18 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
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Re: Common career track for Business Analysts or Business Systems Analysts? 

David

I think you are on a winning idea to send IT BAs through to financial role.  THey come with detail focus and the ability to think startegically.

I don't see it as he most likely progresion though.  In fact I can see many BAs operating in that role for their whole industry career.

Other roles BA may progress to that spring to mind are product managers and process owners (eg operations managers.)

 
New Post 5/26/2009 10:49 AM
User is offline fizz
16 posts
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Re: Common career track for Business Analysts or Business Systems Analysts? 

David,

 
In one of the organizations I worked for there were two sets of BA's - IT BA's called Business Systems Analyst and Finance BA's simply called BA's.
 
The work of an IT BA is pretty well understood here, so I'll focus on the work done by our counterparts in Finance. Obviously, it involved a lot of Financial Reporting, Sales Trend Analysis, Forecasting, Price Increase simulation and its effect on the bottom line etc. In almost all cases, they would rely on adhoc reporting provided by the IT BA's (myself). These were not standard reports and were usually bespoke, meant to be only used once, but in some rare cases they may be asked for repeatedly, in which case they were eventually turned into part of the Standard Reporting set. 
 
Having said that, over time, I realised, due to indepth discussions I would have with my Finance counterparts, I understood what they were doing well enough to assist then with overly complex reporting needs. In one recent case, while being unemployed and searching for work, I was even considered for the role of a Finance BA. It makes sense for a IT BA to transition to a Finance BA, but in the long run, without the necessary Accounting/Financial Management background, I don't know if the career will be fulfilling or provide necessary growth.
 
 
New Post 7/4/2009 10:18 AM
User is offline Tom Miller, CSPO
45 posts
www.linkedin.com/in/tlgalenson
8th Level Poster


Re: Common career track for Business Analysts or Business Systems Analysts? 

>> I was even considered for the role of a Finance BA. It makes sense for a IT BA to transition to a Finance BA, but in the long run, without the necessary Accounting/Financial Management >>background, I don't know if the career will be fulfilling or provide necessary growth.

If you don't have at least some bookeeping background or accounting courses that  you actually liked I don't expect you will be happy being a financial/budgeting BA.

 

Tom

 
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