Who can be a Business Analyst?
If it is to be, it is up to me
You can be a Business Analysis (BA) professional and a successful one at that, if you choose to be. The future is bright, but it starts with a change in mindset. You can become a BA if you choose to, irrespective of your certifications. In fact, business analysis is one job role that does not depend on certification but expertise.
You don’t need to be a technical expert in order to become a successful BA but it helps to have certain degree of domain knowledge and expertise. It is important that you do a self-assessment of your own qualities and understand whether you are cut out to be a BA or not.
BAs are people who are very analytical, who can get to the root of an issue, uncover the problem, find solutions and often find opportunities. BAs will help you understand your real need and with that potentially help you save a lot of money and maximize the value of dollars for the company. The role of a BA is to be analytical – ask critical questions that helps a customer see the blind spots and unravel the opportunities. They are often the intermediary between business and technology aspects of a project which makes it imperative that a BA has effective communication skills.
Business Analysis career: Is it for me?
Yes & No. It is not about can you do it, but do you want to do it?
Again, have an honest conversation with yourself – look deep within. If you have left everything behind and have moved to a new country, you are probably open to working hard, learning and creating a new path for yourself.
If you have no prior experience in the field and you are hesitant to take the plunge, here are the points to consider.
- Meetings: Are you comfortable with meetings? If you don’t like meetings, then it’s not for you. You need to enjoy being in one and leading a meeting. The role will require you to lead discussions.
- Ambiguity: Are you comfortable with ambiguity? For a BA you need to be comfortable with ambiguity. As a BA the role will require you to be confident in digging, unearthing, following unknown routes, and creating a work structure for yourself. Nothing will come prescribed. There will be a lot of unknowns and constantly changing priority and you should be flexible to work around that.
- Good writer: You need to be able to write and communicate eloquently. If you have no interest in writing down projects, cases and scenarios in a way that makes sense, the BA role is not for you.
- Independent worker: BAs are pretty much on their own. Nobody is looking over your shoulders, providing a map on how to set and achieve your goals. Are you comfortable with working alone?
- Objective: BAs are required to have an objective point of view, can listen, analyze, and hold a neutral standpoint.
- Asking questions: As a BA you cannot be shy about asking questions rather you should enjoy it. You should be able to ask questions that will make people stop and think and provide them with a different dimension of a situation.
- Friendly: BAs are your friends in projects. People need to be able to trust you and you will need your social skills to earn friends or clients if you will.
- Lifelong Learner: You need to enjoy learning and picking up knowledge all the time because the landscape of the work is constantly changing and evolving.
- Problem Solver: Enjoy being a problem solver. If you enjoy seeking solutions to people’s problems, then you will be able to help and offer constructive solutions and put them in the right frame.
- IIBA Certification: While it is not a critical determinant of how successful you will be on the job; certifications can stand you out when you apply for job roles. It is like the icing on the cake. This is where the IIBA certification can be of help – for demonstrating your expertise and experience. However, along with certifications come expectations hence you need to be ready to meet those expectations. Do I need to have a technical certification in addition to IIBA certifications? BAs generally do not need technical expertise but if you want to grow in the industry and command higher compensation, you will need to be able to pick up new systems and be comfortable with technology.
These are fundamental questions to ask and ponder over that will help you decide if this is the field for you or not.
Listen to the Immigrant Life Podcast series 79 where host Dapo Bankole deep-dives into BA and helps you understand the nuances about BA.
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This article was written by Meena Kaini.