Although the field of Business Analysis offers a lot of exciting opportunities for those seeking employment, the best opportunities only go to those who not only have the required skills, but also the skills of the future. The growing importance of business analysis is not hidden from anyone. In the ever-changing business and regulatory environment, business analysis helps an organization to grow in a manner defined by the management. It is a blanket term used for all the activities performed to identify business problems and define appropriate solutions for them.
Sometimes business analysts are confused for project managers and the other way round. However, it must be noted that both these roles have well defined boundaries and skill sets. Even with all the cross functional teams, requirement validation, and automation testing in place the direction in which the entire team will go is decided by the BA. It is tough to become a good BA just by education alone as most of the critical qualities that make up a good BA are difficult to develop. Still here are some of the top skills that you must learn in order to become eligible for business analyst jobs of the future:
In an organization there are multiple priorities each competing with each other. As a BA your role is to decide the current focus of the team and make judgements accordingly. Also you must be good at time management and should be able to get things done without multiple reminders. A BA who communicates ahead of deadlines is a real asset as the team can rely on him for completing commitments.
Eye for detail
Another critical trait for everyone aspiring to become a business analyst is attention to detail. The best BS understand the importance of maintaining perfect records and documentations. A missing column in a report may seem like a trivial matter but once the backend is built it can waste weeks of hard work. Business analysts are always overloaded with large amount of information and therefore you should be able to balance it out to be able to provide the right business advice. Since there is little room for error and so you should be able to capture exact business requirements without leaving anything to chance.
As a BA, one of your primary responsibilities is to ask questions. Critical analysis is extremely necessary before deciding solutions for businesses. If you are not doing critical analysis, not asking questions, not attempting to know the five ‘Ws’ (What, Why, Where, Who, When), your role in the organization will become redundant and irrelevant. You should have a solid strategy about how to go about eliciting business requirements and methodology. The employer wants a BA who won’t simply write down requirements as it is, but also conducts some analysis in terms of benefits, costs, significations, impacts and other issues.
Good business analysts should always have an innate ability to create effective visuals, more so in the present times as the use of visual communication become more prominent. While earlier, visual communication was used to make a point or simplify choices, modern visuals are more about learning new concepts, and exploring new information. With loads of information at our disposal, we need to consistently develop better visuals having distinct purposes. With better visualization skills, Business Analysts can help team make more sense of the vast information and understand where does value lies.
To some this, data security skills might feel far-fetched for business analyst role. But the way in which the role of BAs is evolving there will soon be time when data security will also become one of the major focus areas. Business analysts will need to have an understanding of which data assets are more important to organizations and how the company can protect that data. For example, a strong emphasis on protecting data privacy can sometime lead to sluggish business performance. Maintaining this balance is the choice that BAs will have to make. There are people who won’t take an application which takes too much time to load, however secure it might be. Then, there are others who will not compromise their security for anything. As a Business Analyst you have to consider all these situations, and be prepare to go deeper in this subject so as to understand the impact of the decisions on solutions.
Although these skills are not the end of the story, developing them will be a good place to start when talking about getting the business analyst jobs of the future.
Saurabh has written this article keeping in mind the needs of the job seekers community, to help them be a better professional. His write-ups extensively cover all the aspects of job searching and working life, right from subscribing to new jobs, to getting ready for interview, and working at an office. If you want to read more of his articles, follow him on, LinkedIn and Twitter