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Probably you must be wondering what exactly a business analyst is. After all those stereotypical definitions of a business analyst, you still must have some questions as to what exactly does a business analyst do and how does he fit in a firm. Well, this article will let you know how a typical day looks like in the life of a business analyst.
A business analyst needs to have knowledge of both the business and the IT of the firm. Business would include policies, processes, business models and infrastructure while the IT part involves the implementation of these. When firm is facing a strategic or organizational obstacle- that is where the business analyst jumps into action. A business analyst needs to have the right blend of both in order to carry out his tasks effectively. Hence a BA is required to have both the IT skills to understand the current implementation and also knowledge of business to remodel it.
When a BA is presented with a case, the following would be the typical steps that he would take to solve it:
Defining the problem will include doing the initial analysis of the case to give it more clarity and to eliminate possible miscommunications between the BA and the client. This would require setup of meetings with stakeholders either for clarification or follow-up, getting hold of relevant documentation pertaining to the problem and documenting your analysis and findings. Making a business decision requires hard data along with wisdom and leadership. While defining the problem, the BA will require to couple quantitative analysis with strategic thinking in order to arrive at the way of approach to solution.
While staffing the team, one must remember that it is not necessary for the entire team to be present at one location. Teams could be divided by geographic location and time zones. In such cases, proper communication with all sub-teams forms an important part for everyone to stay in the same page. Another task of the BA would involve getting an heads-up from different teams in different time zones. Also while leaving for the day; they would have to inform the next set of duties for the team in a different geographic location. This show why being able to work in a team and proper communication is some of the required key skills in a BA.
A BA distills his discoveries into solutions creating an impact in the way the client organization will function from now on. A simple example of the role of the business analyst could be in the task of cost cutting. In the current economy, many organizations and firms would have implemented cost cutting in their business models in order to survive the bad times. A BA is the one who identifies the issues (in this case, the extravagant expenditures), forms various hypotheses and analyses, distill their conclusions into recommendations and present it to the client management who will incorporate that into their business. A BA could either work closely at the client side or at the parent organization, but in any case his job would be to get as much information about existing systems from the client, have brainstorming sessions with team to input ideas and help build effective solutions.