Who is a Business Analyst?


Stakeholder’s wealth maximization is the ultimate goal of every profitable business. Efficient use of resources maximizes the value of stakeholder’s wealth. With this thought process, the next question in line is ‘How to use resources efficiently?’.

There is no one answer to the question. There’re many ways to optimize the use of resources, thereby improving efficiency. But, before opting ways to improve efficiency, there is a need to identify what needs to be optimized, how to optimize, how much can we optimize?

In a large firm, a business analyst (BA) organization makes an effort to identify, analyze and provide a solution to the above questions. A BA organization is a prime pillar in optimizing resources to provide maximum value out of it to the business.

A BA organization consists of business analysts in various roles like Product Manager, Program Manager, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Business Systems Consultant, Business Process Analyst etc.  The prime objective is to analyze business to maximize value addition.

To understand more about the BA organization, it is important to understand what is business analysis? It consists of 2 words, Business and Analysis.

I define business as an exchange of value while analysis is to understand the process of doing so.

Every BA organization tries to understand the process of adding value to the business, identify which processes needed optimization and improvement, find a solution and implement the solution. As business changes are constant, so is adding value a constant need. Business analysts continuously fine tunes processes to add value to ever changing and demanding business needs.

There has to be an alignment between the type of analyst and the value it provides. Not every business analyst provides same value. To understand it better, let’s deep dive into types of business analyst.

There is no official classification of business analyst and its types. However, my attempt is to classify business analysts into 4 broad categories: Management, Strategist, Consultant, Technical

1.     Management Type – Business Analyst

Roles: Program Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager, BA Organization Lead

A management business analyst is someone who manages alignment of value add that every focused organization or functional units make to the overall business. Their prime objective is to ensure that program and project goals along with their outcomes deliver a specific desired value to the organization. They do so by setting up goals, analyzing overall solution, benchmarking, estimating, tracking milestones and ensuring timely delivery. Usually, their role intersects with management roles within other organization.

2.     Strategic Type – Business Analyst

Roles: Sr. Business Analyst, Business Analyst, Functional Business Analyst

Strategic business analysts are the most important type which drives the business solution to provide futuristic value which aligns to the business vision and mission. They usually provide short term and long-term approaches to a solution and its implementation, thereby improving process and gaining efficiency. They decide the path forward for an organization by navigating from as-is phase to the to-be phase. They’re also the decision makers of the to-be phase. They make the rules of engagement for a continuous change. Unfortunately, organizations often fail to let this business analyst exercise its freedom.

3.     Consultant Type – Business Analyst

Roles: Business Consultant, Business Systems Consultant, Business Process Consultant/Analyst

Consultants don’t need any introduction. They’re everywhere in every type of organization. Teams consult them to weave multiple solution together which in turn would satisfy a bigger problem. They’ve to work hand in hand with the strategic business analyst. Consultants are advocate of best practices. They carry the responsibility to move organization towards maturity in terms of processes and practices. Their sole aim is to create best practices rather than just following them.

4.     Technical type – Business Analyst

Roles: Business Systems Analyst, Technical Business Analyst, IT Business Analyst

Technical business analysts are capable of converting a solution into technical nitty-gritty. They’re the actual implementation partner of the overall business solution. They’re the supporting pillar for the rest of the business analysts. They’re detail oriented and ensure delivery of the solution. Technical business analysts have a subject matter expertise and can shape the solution in the best possible way.

All 4 types of business analysts have a distinct position in the enterprise. However, a problem and situation demand determination of the type of business analyst. It is the responsibility of the senior management to decide utilization of appropriate skills depending upon the right solution of a business problem.

Business analysts are the key players in any organization. They’re the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Author:  Nimil Parih, Business Analyst

Nimil Parikh is a new generation business analyst who transforms business processes by leveraging IT tools and applications. He has over 7 years of experience modeling, analyzing, measuring, improving, optimizing and automating business processes. He adds value by his ability to context switch while providing cross-functional business solution and ensuring timely delivery by managing and streamlining business processes and driving strategic leadership. He is known to introduce IT business transformation and ensure successful implementation. Nimil possess MBA from San Jose State University, MBA Marketing and Information Technology Engineering from India. Nimil lives in Campbell, California. He enjoys challenges and believes in making things right. Reach him via email – [email protected]



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