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New Post 5/31/2012 4:16 AM
User is offline Lisa Marie
2 posts
No Ranking

Breaking into the BA profession 

Hi All, 

I am trying to transition into a BA role, but have not done this type of work before.  I believe I have transferable skills in that I have strong communication skills and have done an extensive amount of interviewing.  The majority of my background has been in sales and recruiting so I am comfortable talking to all types of people and asking questions.  Where I am definitely lacking is in technical knowledge.  I have recently begun learning some technologies to get a  better working knowledge.  In addition I am taking some MIS courses as part of my masters degree which I started last year.

I have been considering some BA training courses or "boot camps" in addition, but I was not sure if this would be worth while since I will be taking a Business Process Analysis course this summer as part of my degree program.  Does anyone have any suggestions of other things I should be doing?  Or any suggestions of the specific types of roles I should be looking for to get started?  Also, I should mention I have about 13 years of business experience so I don't want to look for entry level jobs, but is that what I should target since I am new to the BA profession?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  




New Post 5/31/2012 8:35 PM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Breaking into the BA profession 

  Hi Lisa,

In general BAs don't need 'technology' skills, but they need to know how to understand how to properly relate and communicate problems in messaging that solution implementers can understand. many organizations hyper-specialize BAs to look at only one type of solution, so they want them to know the technical details of those solutions. 

Since you're coming from a business background I would look for opportunities that focus more on being involved in transformation, process improvement or enterprise analysis. This way you don't need to focus on learning technologies that are solution-specific. Good BAs can learn those when needed once they've worked through all the potential solution options with their clients and the highest value option has been chosen. If you are having a hard time finding positions that don't have things like "Must know XY ERP", "min 5 yrs exp in Java environment" then look for management consulting gigs in areas such as process improvement, change management and strategic planning. All those areas involve business analysis.

I would recommend you spending the time to learn about the various ways you can represent problems to all stakeholders. BAs communicate information through diagrams such as UML, BPMN, DFDs and other formats. We also often use narratives or stories,so succinct but complete writing is essential.  We need to be able to organize this information so that it makes sense to everyone while at the same time relate to details when people need to drill down from the big picture. I don't have a specific course recommendation for you, but look for sessions or material that covers the above main modeling techniques.



New Post 6/2/2012 5:17 AM
User is offline Lisa Marie
2 posts
No Ranking

Re: Breaking into the BA profession 

 Hi Jarett,

I will look into learning about the diagrams you mentioned.  Thanks for the suggestion about change management.  Appreciate the feedback!

New Post 6/4/2012 6:32 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Breaking into the BA profession 


While technial training can help, Business Analysis is about analyizing a business.  This is an entirely seperate skill set.   So, I would ask "What are the essentials skills in analyzing a business?"

Essential skills in analyzing a business:  Decompostion to handle complexity, and a focus not so much on the stand alone requirements, but on the interrelationships between requirements.



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