A business analyst is involved in the preparation of the requirement documentation, analysis of the functional issues, supporting the project team throughout the project life cycle and successful delivery to the client. The basic skills which a business analyst aspiring for a BA job in the finance domain should have are:
- a) Functional knowledge : the finance domain as such is huge and has immense potential for the right candidate to grow. There are several subsets of the finance industry wherein you can be in the banking industry, financial services or the finance or accounts department of a user company. Wherever be the financial job role be, the functional knowledge required is broadly the same. The requirements include the basic knowledge of financial accounting and management, understanding of the primary KPIs(Key Performance Indicators) if required, basic knowledge of the operations in the front and the back offices of the financial organization.
- b) Management Skills : A prospective business analyst in the financial domain should have be proficient and experienced in people management, good communication and leadership skills, excellence in project and change management. As a business analyst is a conduit between the users and the technical team, its vital that the BA has professional experience in handling such project teams and resources
c)Technical skills : Right from being brilliant in MS Office tools such as Word, Excel, Access, Visio to being hands-on in the programming languages. A business analyst should be up to date in the latest technology trends and the software packages launched recently, so as to be capable of providing a viable and innovative solution.
- d) Educational background if the prospective business analyst candidate is from a management educational background or has had a finance related education.
In case of a financial industry like the banking domain, there are several types of banking like retail, corporate, investment etc . The business processes of each of these industries are somewhat different and the business applications and other technology tools being used are also varied. We can discuss in the detail the knowhow required for the various categories here:
- a) Retail Banking:basic know how required are the financial operations, payments and trade transactions, AML(Anti Money laundering), Fraud management
- b) Investment Banking: functional experience in FX(Foreign Exchange) processes either Options or Cash, Front and back office operations, Hedge Funds and derivatives, Asset management, Risk management
- c) Private Banking/Wealth Management : expertise in treasury or cash products, traded instruments, vendor management, regulatory requirements, related applications based on technologies or tools such as SWIFT, Basel II
So, in case financial organizations are interested in a business analyst to join their ranks, they will prefer that the business analyst will come to them with minimum of few years in a similar industry and preferably from a business analyst background. If so then, the business analyst can bring with him the perfect mix of technical know-how and domain knowledge specific to that industry