eBook: What is a Business Analyst? ...and why do I need one?


Author: Joseph da Silva

eBook: What is a Business Analyst?  ...and why do I need one?Worldwide, there are between five hundred thousand and one million people working as Business Analysts.  During just one week in February 2011, there were an average of 800 open vacancies for Business Analysts across the UK.

So why are all types of businesses, from charities to investment banks, hiring so many of them?

The simple answer is because all businesses need to change – regularly – and business analysts enable that change to happen. 

But what does that actually entail?

What do they actually do?

To answer that satisfactorily needs a little bit more discussion about the complexities of modern businesses, and in particular about the systems that support them.  Systems in this context can be organisational, process-driven or IT based – and the business analyst needs to understand all three.  The complications of modern business are diverse – some companies have grown through mergers and acquisitions, inheriting multiple systems from organisations that no longer exist. Other companies have grown explosively from small, two man operations to global powerhouses in as little as 10 years.

This growth comes at a price; business does not always have time to do things “properly”. Customers, markets and investors won't wait for you to migrate all your data onto one computer system, to scale up your accounting systems or consolidate your office locations.  They want you to keep going, and keep growing – so you end up running multiple systems, and worry about combining things later. 

The problem with this is that the longer you wait, the more complex the problem becomes. Staff double key information into multiple systems, and as you grow you need twice as many of them. Eventually this becomes unsustainable so you decide you have to combine the systems to cut costs.

But where do you start?

You can't just turn one of them off – they both contain information that is critical to the running of the business, and they need to be used everyday. And it's not as easy as moving the information from one system to the other as they use different formats and support slightly different processes.

This is where a Business Analyst would come in.

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mparab posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 7:19 PM
How do I download the book?
Adrian M. posted on Saturday, August 27, 2011 2:53 AM
Just click the "Read More..." link at the end of the article.
Colette posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:27 AM
Thank you for this Business Analysis breakdown, I am new and trying to get a job in the field, it is difficult because I have some experience but not enough. I'm in school but won't have my degree until Dec 2012. But I'm willing to travel anywhere in the U.S. to learn and inquire more skills.
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