Business Analyst profession based on my personal experience and I would appreciate if you can also contribute by sharing your thought in the comment section of this article. Before I start with prerequisite for Business Analyst, let’s see who Business Analysts is;
Business analysis is a research discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a software systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development.
Below are the basic prerequisites for the Business Analyst position, however, other skills will be learned and developed with the experience.
Domain knowledge (like Healthcare, Banking & Finance, Payroll, Oil & GAS etc.) plays a very important role for Business Analyst position as it helps to take decisions and also to understand the business requirement in order to propose the quality solution. Lack of domain knowledge can make Business Analyst’s life miserable (Generally company hires BA professional if they have minimum 3 years of domain experience). I would encourage to have enough domain knowledge if you are looking for Business Analyst position.
One of the major role of a Business Analyst to analyze the business requirement and for that BA should be expert in understanding what client is trying to say and also should be able to frame and divide in business requirements. BA should have the skills of qualitative analysis skills to analyze the record, finding patterns for organization’s growth and take strategic decisions.
Being a BA, you need to prepare various documents, hence you should have documentation skills and articulation skills to create self-explanatory documents. You should be able to understand the business requirement and able to write each requirement in simple language (without any technical jargon) so that it could be used by any business stakeholder..
we should have excellent communication and listening skills in order to fully understand client’s requirement, drive meeting and other requirement gathering sessions. This is the must-have skills for the Business Analyst because most of the time you will have to play smart in order understand Business Requirement and baseline the same. Any miscommunication can make the bad impact in the later phase of the project, hence Business Analyst should be smart enough to communicate properly to keep every stakeholder on the same page.
Most of the companies prefer B.E. or MBA degree with at least 2-3 years of experience for BA position. However, experience and domain knowledge matter a lot in Business Analyst profession but some big companies specially MNC CMM level 5 prefer MBA. Don’t worry if you don’t have MBA degree, there are a lot of companies which prefer talent and experience, hence keep gaining experience and skills. You can go for some certifications specially designed for Business Analyst.
Having a certification for BA professional is always a plus point to get qualified for the BA position and it also helps to get the higher position in the current organization as you stand ahead in your peer group. Some of the famous certifications for the BA are CBAP Certification – IIBA, Certified Software Business Analyst: (CSBA) etc.
These skills will help in proposing the suitable solution for the business even if the client is not willing to accept it. Business Analyst should be able to sell the product in order to be successful in Business Analysis field. This is a must have skill especially when you are working on Business Case.
Being a BA, you will have to create various diagrams to show requirements in pictorial format, hence BA should know UML diagrams to achieve the same. UML diagrams help to demonstrate the requirement for Business stakeholders and could be one of the best tools for quality requirement gathering.
Business Analyst should be proactive and willing to take ownership of various tasks. Business Analyst should also have leadership skills in order to manage projects. These skills are self-explanatory, however, continuous improvement may get you the best position in the professional world.
BA should have the training skills as well as basics of testing in order to contribute to product development. In IT industry it’s BA’s responsibility to perform functional testing and assist clients to perform UAT. Hence, start learning if you don’t have these skills. Sometimes getting UAT sign off becomes the challenge to deploy your projects, hence with little knowledge, you can get this phase i.e. UAT of the project completed.
You should have MS office skills, especially Excel and PowerPoint for reporting and presentation purpose. You will be responsible for maintaining records and preparing various presentations, especially for Business Case.
Some technical skills would be plus point (especially if you are looking opportunity in IT sector) to grab BA position, however, it’s not mandatory. Having some technical knowledge will help to prepare many important documents in IT projects.