Who is a Business Analyst?
Business Analysts help businesses implement cost-effective technology solutions by identifying the needs of a project or program and reporting or communicating them to the stakeholders, customers, facilitators and partners in a simple and understandable manner.
There are certain skills that a Business Analyst must inherent or possess in order to stand apart and excel in their career. Let us look at some of those essential skills.
- Understanding the Objectives
Understand and analyze thoroughly what is being asked from you. Not completely understanding what is required might throw a risk of delivering an incorrect result. Be clear and never hesitate in clarifying anything.
- Developed Communication Skills
A Business Analyst must be a good communicator. It is essential to make yourself clear and ask relevant and important questions from stakeholders to be able to deliver the desired output. For example, a Business Analyst must not use acronyms or jargons while communicating to avoid any miscommunication or confusion.
- A Good Listener
A good Business Analyst is a good listener too. It is important to listen patiently to what is being said and understand the context completely. A Business Analyst must be able to absorb any kind of information.
- Problem Solving /Critical Thinking Skills
A project can itself be considered as a solution to the problem. Business Analysts are required to understand the problem, think about the possible solution, and figure out the scope of the project. They must also evaluate multiple options before settling for a final solution. This is where critical thinking comes into the picture.
- Negotiation Skills
A Business Analyst is an intermediary between teams and stakeholders, and other people such as clients and users. This responsibility requires a lot of negotiation to be able to come to a mutual and common profitable outcome. Thus, negotiation skills are utmost important for a Business Analyst to offer a mutual solution and maintain professional relationships.
- Technical Skills
Technical skills are essential for a Business Analyst to communicate with technical stakeholders. Also, these skills are essential to analyze technical projects or problems. This doesn’t mean that Business Analysts are required to run code or database queries. This totally depends on an individual and also at times on the responsibilities that a Business Analyst is provided with.
- Great Presentation Skills
The job responsibilities of a Business Analyst also include conducting workshops or presenting a piece of work to either stakeholders or a project team. The content of the presentation must include all the important points and match the objective of the meeting. Good presentation skills enable effective communication and further clarification on the most critical aspects of a project.
- Time Management Skills
A Business Analyst is also required to manage time and deliver solutions well within the stipulated time frame. This ensures that the projects do not fall behind schedule. It is also important not to compromise quality while managing time. Time management also includes managing other people’s time if a Business Analyst is dependent on other people for a project delivery.
- Documentation and Writing Skills
A lot of documentation is required at a Business Analyst’s end. The documents must be written in a clear and concise manner so that they are well understood by stakeholders or anybody involved with the project. This requires strong writing skills and of course, the experience improves these skills at a later stage.
- Stakeholder Management
A Business Analyst must also be an expert in managing stakeholders. Stakeholders can act either as the strongest supporters or biggest critics. Stakeholder management includes tasks such as conducting regular meetings, generating reports and creating influence, among others.
Certifications in Business Analysis
There are some well-known Business Analysts certifications to enhance and improve the skills. Some of the most popular certifications have been listed below:
- IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
- IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
- IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
- IREB Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)
- PMI-Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) Certification