What does a Business Analyst do? To be precise, a business analyst is someone who studies an organization or industry domain and documents its business structure, processes, or systems and then analyzes the organization’s relationship with technology, examining how the business is integrated with technology or using information to facilitate business. As such, the role of a business analyst in today’s business environment is much more complex than just coding, analyzing, and documenting data for profit generation. Instead, a business analyst will engage in researching new technologies that will help improve productivity, finding ways to implement those technologies, training staff in their use, and implementing training for their employees in new technologies so as to maximize their value to the company.
As with all roles in any organization, business analysts also have their own set of stakeholders. The primary stakeholders are management, which will typically dictate which technologies will be implemented, customers/clients, and competitors. In addition, there will also likely be stakeholders such as vendors, employees, and other employees whose tasks will be hindered by adopting new technologies. These often include managers, staff, and even non-employees such as shareholders, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and regulatory officers. It is important for a business analyst to remember that there are sometimes competing goals within an organization, so it is often important for them to work with a variety of stakeholders to achieve common business results.
Most importantly, business analysts must possess certain technical skills in order to perform their roles and adequately document their findings. Some of the most basic computer skills required including understanding Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, understanding how networking works, configuring computers and peripherals, troubleshooting, analyzing data and presenting findings, understanding customer needs and motivations, understanding marketing, and many other related computer skills. Technical skills are absolutely necessary to be successful in this field as a Business Analyst must be competent in complex technology in order to effectively perform his or her job. As a result, most business analysts require intensive computer skills training at the very least, in order to function competently in this industry. However, there are many business analyst training programs on the market today that provide excellent computer skills training at affordable rates. Thus, those wishing to pursue a career as a business analyst need to consider all options available to them in order to find the best program for their needs.