Career as a Business Systems Analyst

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The reason why top performing business analysts tend to be so effective in complex projects, even when their domain knowledge is limited, is because of their ability to see things from a higher angle and with more nuanced colors.
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A business analysis consultant might perform three types of roles when working with clients: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. This article, adapted from my book Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone, describes these three modes of consulting engagements, which apply both to independent consultants and to internal consultants who work in large organizations.
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The ability to build and exude self-confidence can contribute to success in many areas of our lives from personal to professional. Unfortunately, many business analysts who are beginners or experienced but new to an organization are not provided with the tools and recourses to be confident in their ability to add value to their organization. As a BA, self-confidence facilitates the ability to build relationships, gain respect, and influence others. Below are some of the most effective tactics that I have taken throughout my career to bolster my confidence as a business analyst. Once I became confident in myself, I started noticing that other people’s confidence in my abilities increased as well. Hopefully, these tips will help you recognize your true potential and the value you bring as a business analyst.
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I like to compare a business analyst to an architect. While the architect asks questions about design, budget, and personal preferences of a person who wants to build a house; similarly, the business analyst interacts with business owners to know and understand their needs.   A business analyst also produces requirements which clearly state the needs of a business and ensures that those align with its business processes, just as an architect would draw up plans and have an agreement with the owner before reaching out to builders.

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We live in a time when business in many industries offer similar products and use comparable technologies. One of the last points of differentiation are processes, and the evidence is clear, in sector after sector: companies that figure out how to combine business domain expertise with advanced analytics to improve their internal and customer-facing processes are winning the market.  Let’s take a look at three of the many opportunities that the advanced analytics technologies developed over the past decade are creating for business analysts..

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With the increasing growth in knowledge and information about the aspects of Business Analysis and technical analytics domains, there is a notable increase in confusion when it comes to the real difference between Business Analysis and Technical Business Analysis. In fact, the two are often used interchangeably. However, the differences between the two practices are prominent. In this article, we will discuss each practice and the set of skills required to claim being a business analyst or a technical business analyst.

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As more organizations move toward agility, development and project management teams still struggling to define a common language and standard regarding the agile framework. In addition, many organizations that are implementing agile approaches have not fully planned the transition and are still unclear on how to fully optimize the approach. One area that continues to remain vague is the role of the business analyst (BA). Below are some steps to help business analysts navigate their way through the transition to agile and add the most value to their agile teams.

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Surely facilitation is an important part of a business analyst’s job, but it is far from the only part. Analysis in itself should always form the core of a business analyst’s responsibilities.  We are called ‘analysts’ for a reason! Facilitating information gathering and translating it to ‘requirements’ doesn’t make you an ‘analyst’. Go above and beyond, and add value by ‘reasoning backwards’ and ‘reasoning analytically’.

 

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Every profession in a sophisticated business structure has a certain mission attached to it. This mission includes the job duties and deliverables, but that’s not all.

The only way to really encapsulate the essence of what the profession of a business analyst is all about is to understand the Business Analyst Mission. In other words, the Business Analyst Mission is definitive of the value created by business analysts.

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The relationship between a business analyst and the stakeholders is one of the fundamentals to the journey of delivery. If the relationship is dysfunctional, the process of delivering the solution will be negatively impacted... Each one of us is blessed with a different personality that makes us unique. In the case of business analysts, personality plays an important role, thus making it a key to survival. Business analysts are adaptive survivors. It is imperative that every impacted stakeholder is engaged and collaborating. It's fundamental to a robust requirements analysis process. Having mentioned the need to bond with your stakeholders, let’s see what skills are needed to be a successful business analyst.

 

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Many professionals and organizations understand the value of a business analyst (BA), however, the role itself is still ambiguous to many. There are numerous articles and resources that outline business analysis and the general role of a BA so I won’t be focusing on those aspects. Every organization and industry is unique therefore the needs and expectations for a business analyst can vary greatly. However, there are a few core competencies that remain consistent. The goal of this article is to give BA practitioners (especially new practitioners) an approach to determine what their specific organization expects from them in order to get on the path of success throughout their career. Below are some steps you can take to define your role in the organization you serve.

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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

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This post describes my transition from working as a BA in a large, public sector organisation to an IT consultancy, the challenges I faced and some helpful tips if you find your BA career at a bit of a crossroads.  Are you, or have you been in a situation where you feel that your career as a BA is a bit ‘on hold’? 

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How do you become a business analyst and where do you begin?  So you want to cross over to the land of analysis? A land of ‘schizophrenic’ people who need to possess multiple skills and make meaning out of ambiguity. You'll need to break down complex problems into bite-size chunks that can be easily understood. You'll also need to manage different stakeholders and break down knowledge barriers formed by these stakeholders. (Most having been in their organisations for decades) Finally, you'll need to develop a thick skin to stand in the firing line.

 

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In his classic book Flawless Consulting, Peter Block described three types of roles that consultants might take on: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction when working with clients and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. Business analysts can engage with clients in the same three modes. This article describes some of my experiences with these three modes of consulting engagements.

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