Business analysis covers a multitude of roles. Some require specific skills but there are a number of attributes common to all business analysts. They need to be able to examine systems to ensure that they are efficient, they need to be able to communicate with all levels of staff in the company and they need good financial and computer skills.
Business analysis involves, inter alia:
- Strategic planning – analysing the company’s strategic business needs.
- Business model analysis – study of the company’s policies and market approach.
- Systems analysis – studying interacting entities to facilitate required outcomes.
- Process modelling – describing the development process to provide guidance for method engineers and developers.
- Data analysis – studying and modelling data to support business hypotheses and decision-making.
One of the most common requirements of business analyst jobs is the translation of business processes into a flow chart form so that IT departments are able to create computer programmes that can facilitate the processes. On the other side of the coin, sometimes business managers have little understanding of IT processes and make impossible demands of their IT departments. The business analyst’s job in these circumstances is to explain the problem to management from the IT point of view, so that the best outcome is achieved. And, once a system is revised or a new system is introduced, the analyst is responsible for ensuring that it is fully tested before it is put on line.
Another common function is that of systems analysis. In this role, the analyst has to examine the various departments of the company to establish if there is any duplication of functions and responsibilities. Duplication causes inefficiencies in the use of labour and resources that must resolved.
Clearly business analysis can be approached from many different angles. It engages professionals who deal with changes in business and IT processes. In the IT sphere, it may also involve the integration of various software systems, the creation of new systems and the modification of existing systems
Business analyst jobs are highly sought after. Their roles are crucial to the performance of any company, so you will need to be appropriately qualified if you plan to a career in business analysis.
Typically business analysts will require a degree in a financial or related field, preferably at post-graduate level if you really want to stand the best chance of winning the job. Other required skills often include accountancy, knowledge of tax laws, computer applications (such as spreadsheet) and experience in business analyst roles. You also need to be an excellent communicator and team player.
If you believe you are suitably qualified then you should look at websites like that of well-known recruitment agents Randstad. There, you will find jobs for data analysts, systems analysts and the whole range of business analyst jobs. It could be your fist step on the road to a challenging and rewarding career.