Career as a Business Systems Analyst

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First, I'm a project focused software developer, team lead, designer, architect, jack of all trades, who has been on projects that have used various methodologies over the years, including of late some agile projects. I'm not a big blog reader, or a big blogger, but like most people I have an opinion on things, and for some reason that opinio...
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A project manager's first task after being appointed to an IT development is to seek out a business analyst to gather requirements. After that, it's on to the development and then the implementation. It's the way it's done. It's the way it's always been done. But business analysts are not used optimally if they are only used to "gather" require...
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Recently I wrote a paper on the general state of craftsmanship which was geared more for public consumption as opposed to any specific industry. To my way of thinking, craftsmanship is a universal concept that touches all industries, regardless if they are product or service related.  This resulted in a flurry of e-mails to me questioning how it pertains to specific types of work, including Business Systems Analysis (BSA) which, of course, is applicable but I question whether we have truly realized craftsmanship in this field.

From the outset, let me say unequivocally that business systems analysis is not a new concept and has been with us for a long time, actually predating the modern computer era of the 20th century.  Prior to this, companies had formal "Systems & Procedures" departments with analysts focusing on streamlining business processes and primarily using paper and manual procedures.  As tabulating and other office equipment emerged, they were responsible for their integration into the business.  But as computers were introduced, a new function was devised that greatly impacted the future of analysts, namely programmers. 

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Before we go further, let's examine what exactly we mean by the term "craftsmanship":

"The practice and pursuit of excellence in building/delivering superior work products by workers."

This implies craftsmanship is a universally applicable concept for any field of endeavor, be it producing a product or delivering a service. Basically, it is a commitment to excellence which is most definitely not the same as quality. Quality simply relates to the absence of errors or defects in the finished product or service. In other words, finished goods operate according to their specifications (customers get precisely what they ordered). Although quality is certainly an element of craftsmanship, the emphasis on "superior work products" means the worker wants to go beyond the status quo and is constantly looking for new and imaginative ways to produce superior results. This suggests the craftsman is personally involved with the work products and treats them as an extension of his/her life.

Craftsmanship can be found in either the overall work process or a section of it.

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Business analysts often end up in this role by accident, as their careers evolve. They are perhaps called on to work jointly with the business or computer department, and end up linking the two. Two major sources of BA professionals can therefore be considered: the computer world (e.g. architects, developers) and the business world.

What is the best background for becoming a business analyst? The debate is still ongoing in the community. Both have their qualities and their faults—computer people have a tendency to anticipate the solution while mangers sometimes lack the knowledge to interact with IT.

I believe that good business analysts are above all specialists in business analysis. They have backgrounds in both disciplines and act as a bridge between the two worlds.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for systems analysts will increase at an above-average pace through 2014, as organizations continue to build and implement increasingly complex technologies. If you've been wondering whether you'd be happy in the role of systems analyst, take a look at the following list. If you see...
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U.S. News and World Report published their list of Best Careers for 2008 - and Usability/User Experience Professional is one of the listed professions.  This is a business analysis related discipline with many business analysts also playing the role of UI designer. "Usability specialists make sure that products, especially technical on...
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 The US News and World Report published their list of best careers for 2008 and Systems Analyst was one of the professions in the list. "The Ace Widget Co. has an ancient computer system. It'd like to upgrade to an Oracle-based operation with wireless capabilities, so employees can access the system with their BlackBerrys. The systems ...
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Business analysts go by many titles one of them being Management Consultant.  In this article, Tony Jacowski talks about the management consulting career.

Author: Tony Jacowski

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The qualified business analyst wears many hats. He or she is a negotiator, a skilled listener, a motivational speaker, and a team leader. His or her title may include that of systems analyst, requirements analyst, or project manager. The business analyst may or may not have a degree in business analysis. He or she may not be able to write code. However, the business analyst is educated in the process necessary to produce the code. He or she may even come from an IT department. But what is it they do?

Author: Tony de Bree

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There are several key points one needs to understand before deciding whether or not to become a business analyst. You may be qualified to do the job you were hired to do. Yet is it the job you wanted to do? Some analysts find themselves locked in a cubical writing reports all day, only to find the report was not used or even read. They realize they are in a dead end job going no-where fast. This is not the usual dream one has when becoming a business analyst.

Author: Tony de Bree

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The role of a business analyst can be very difficult. He or she must wade through the mass of information presented to determine the underlying problems. This information may or may not be correct. The business analyst much research to comprehend the true situation of the business. The information supplied to the business analyst is given from many perspectives. Opinions can influence how one perceives the related issues. At times, the opinions can add unrelated information which only complicates the role of a business analyst.

Author: Tony de Bree

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Business analyst is not a new term in the business world. It has become extremely popular over the past few years. With businesses expanding world wide more emphasis has been put on the IT teams and departments to monitor and or expand with corporate peers. This has brought about changes in how business operates. A need for business analysis and systems analysts was born. Stakeholders wanted to know the money being spent was worth the expenditure. They needed someone to come in and tell them where to invest within the company to raise profits. The business analyst job was created.

Author: Tony de Bree

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Each day businesses call upon a business analyst to determine what must be done in order to accomplish a certain task. Each avenue must be explored and analyzed for a project proposal to be implemented. The project scope determines what the course of action may or may not be. Each person involved must answer to another until management is satisfied all has been done to rectify the situation. Everything stays on task. The project as a whole is coming together. Teams are co-ordinating with each other to apply the objective into the code. It is all going according to plan. At the end, it all falls apart. Nothing is as it seems. The project has failed to accomplish what it set out to do. The business analyst is hung out to dry. Every finger points to him or her. In actuality it is not the fault of the analyst.

Author: Tony de Bree

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Analysts used to be the ones who had a technology degree but were able to back it up with some basic business knowledge. Now the times are changing. Business analysts are business people who specialize in technology. They can work both spectrum's of the field.

Author: Tony de Bree

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