“The most important responsibilities of a business systems analysts are as a communication conduit between the stakeholders and the team,” – Scott Ambler, IBM Methods Group
A business Analyst Explained?
The question is often asked: What does a business analyst do? This is a reasonable question, because the fact is a business analyst is not limited to doing one thing.
He or she wears multiple hats. He or she will be skilled in negotiation, listening, motivational speaking and will also be a good team leader.
Some Titles Of A Business Analyst Are As Follows:
Systems Analyst, Requirements Analyst, or Project Manager.
A Business analyst doesn’t always have a degree in business analysis. They also may not have the ability to write computer code. But they will be educated in the processes surrounding the creation of code. Some may be from an IT background or department.
So What Does A Business Analyst Do?
They are capable of solving problems. This means he or she will have the skills necessary to look at data and other relevant information in order to determine where the losses are within a company.
Here are three essential skills a business analyst will utilize:
(1) – Facts and figures
They will compare the past facts and figures to the current numbers, this will give the analyst the information to deduce or predict failure within the company.
They will also examine information from stockholders to assess the risk in specific programs with investment prospects.
(2) – Listening skills
A business analyst is always an objective listener. They will determine the needs that management want by speaking to shareholders. This requires the analyst to ask questions, to find out what is needed, which will more than likely lead to new discoveries that may have been overlooked previously.
A qualified business analyst will always gain information by listening to team leaders and the end user.
Ultimately the decision will be made by an analyst between what’s being developed within a company and what’s actually needed.
(3) – Negotiations
Within business there are usually different departments. A Business analyst will seek to associate and involve them-self with the various departments. This will help them identify conflicts within the various departments, which can be used to bring departments together.
The business analyst will negotiate compromises between departments so that the main project is not put in jeopardy.
The analyst has to have good negotiation skills so that they recognize strengths and weakness in departments and help them overcome them. They will do this by developing a rapport with the heads of departments and stakeholders, this will make it easier to bring teams together to complete the tasks at hand.
Tools A Business Analyst Will Use
There are some distinct tools that are used for conveying his plans to the stakeholders and/or end user. These are in diagram(s) form called UML, which stands for Unified Modeling Language.
These diagrams were developed by Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobson and Jim Rumbaugh at Rational Software in the 1990′s.
UML’s are used to specify, visualize, modify, construct and document the different stages within the project.
There are a range of 7 different UML diagrams, an Analyst will be trained to use, these are as follows:
(1) – Use Case Diagrams
(2) – Interaction Diagrams
(3) – Activity Diagrams
(4) – Class Diagrams
(5) – Sequence Diagrams
(6) – Component Diagrams
(7) – Deployment Diagrams
From the seven Diagrams those that are most popularly used by a business analyst are: Use Case Diagram, Activity Diagram and sometimes, Sequence and Class Diagrams.
The rest of the Diagrams will usually be designed by a solution architect or designers, there is not usually a requirement to utilize all the Diagrams for a project.
UML diagrams are an important tool for the business analysts as they are used to get requirements validated and assessed, they also give clarity to the project and its objectives.
Other Intricate Tasks Of A Business Analyst
As well as the core listed qualities a business analyst must have, they also may be called upon to do the following:
- Centralize services to make tasks and the working environment more efficient.
- Get rid of any duplication processes that may be occurring between departments.
- Develop relationships with the necessary external sources to acquire services for the completion of projects.
The general character of a business analyst are as follows:
- He or she is a visionary and forward thinker, a person that is always thinking outside the box.
- Always up to date with the latest technological advances, especially when it involves what program(s) should be utilized.
- The ability to determine needs at the right time. Which means the company in question is always at the cutting edge in contrast to their corporate competitors.
It is not uncommon for a business analyst to get forgotten about amongst the hustle and bustle of corporate strategies. Even so he or she is always the innovative link between all departments, so is a vital asset to all organizations.
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