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New Post 3/4/2008 12:21 AM
User is offline wishes
4 posts
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Business Analyst Vs Business Consultant  

Hello All,

Is there a difference between a Business Analyst and a Business Consultant?

Best Regards,


New Post 3/4/2008 5:26 AM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Business Analyst Vs Business Consultant  

In my mind these are two separate positions.  A Business Consultant can entail many things.  Essentially a business consultant is someone who works on a per-hour basis to provide advice or specialized help on one or more areas of business.  This could range from marketing to operational efficiency to human resources.  This is very different than a Business Analyst position, whose main job is to liase between the business and technical groups of companies, particularly with respect to the development of computer systems.

Keep in mind that some Business Analysts are consultants (myself included).  We contract ourselves to projects like other consultants to companies on a per-hour basis.  I have called myself a 'Business Anlalyst Consultant' at times when I felt I needed to let the person know I was not an employee of a particular company.

New Post 3/4/2008 8:53 AM
User is offline Adrian M.
755 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: Business Analyst Vs Business Consultant  

I agree with larimar that, at first glance, there is a distinction.  I see the "Business Consultant" as having much more business operations and financial skills and have the ability to help the business make strategic operations decisions.  The "Business Analyst" would have much more business process modeling and requirements management type skills.

Having said that, the reality is there probably is great overlap between the two roles.  Let's be honest - we are just talking about job titles and we all know that the responsibilities for the same job title vary greatly from organization to organization and project to project.

I love this phrase:

"It's not what you're called, it's what you do!"

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 3/4/2008 5:38 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: Business Analyst Vs Business Consultant  

 adrian wrote

"It's not what you're called, it's what you do!"

While Adiran is dead on the money regarding job titles, there are probably some things you could call out as differences;

  • Consulting is about bringing in outside expertise and advising the client how to address particular problems.  Usually you can also buy the consultant to faciliate a solution as well. 
  • Business analysts play a role in analysing and understanding a problem, usually within a particular domain, and often associted with projects or IT system lifecycle management.  BAs also describe what things must be addressed in order to solve the problem (requirements) and many also get involved in faciliating bthe soluton via change mangament programs.

Where is the difference?  It seems to be to be in bringing the expertise in from an external source.

In larger enterprises you often find the role (maybe not the job description) of internal consultant where other business units provide consultants to managers to help with problems.

Business analysts can often play the role of internal consutlant in this context, and in fact should be acting as internal consultants when managing requirements.

Many of the skills you would find are similar.  Typically a BA might have more technical expertise and less financial expertise than a consultant, but that reflects the career development process of the role, rather than what the role requires.

New Post 9/17/2011 11:27 AM
User is offline mattwilliams
2 posts
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Re: Business Analyst Vs Business Consultant  
Modified By Adrian M.  on 9/18/2011 5:42:25 PM)

Business process consulting is done by an expert who comes from outside the company and provides his services at per hour rates. He helps and advices on one or more areas of business such as marketing or operational inefficiencies. On the other hand, a Business analyst is normally an internal employee whose main job is to liaise between the company and technical firms, mainly with a view to developing computer systems in the organization.

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