What does a Customer Expect from a Business Analyst?

21 November 2013
By Nadezhda Tarasova, Busines Analyst

In order to answer the question in the title of this post, we have performed research based on data from different recruiting sites.

The research was performed by looking at job offers published in LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com and on the following job boards:

USA

UK

Russia

Ukraine

After analyzing more than 100 vacancies, we have selected the most common responsibilities, requirements, tools, and personal qualities that are listed in the job offers.

Responsibilities

  • Close collaboration with the client for design and management purposes (requirements gathering, analyzing, documenting, confirmation, elaboration and etc.);
  • Facilitation of effective communication between business stakeholders and the technical team and making sure that everyone is on the same page;
  • Determining business needs and choosing the optimal business solution approaches.
  • Project documentation design (Project Vision, Business Requirements Specification, Functional Requirements Specification, Use Cases, User Stories, Non-Functional Requirements Specification, …), wireframes/mockups design.
  • Control of correct implementation of business requirements;
  • Participating in the User Acceptance Testing;
  • Proposals analysis, description and development for business processes optimization in a particular industry.
  • Providing help with test documentation writing (test plan, test strategy, test cases).
  • Participation in the planning, solving controversial issues, risks assessment.
  • Training of users to work with the product, writing instruction and support services.
  • Educating the team members the basics of business analysis and improvement of the development process.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher
  • Experience in BA / PM / QA
  • Knowledge of the client’s industry (at least basic)
  • Communication skills, spoken and written literacy
  • Knowledge of the basic theory for business analysis (BABOK)
  • Knowledge of UML, IDEF, EPC, BPMN notations
  • Knowledge of the basic techniques of requirements gathering (brainstorming, interview, workshops)
  • Experience in various diagrams creating (activity diagrams, data flow diagrams, use case diagrams)
  • Experience in wireframes and mockups creating
  • Knowledge of the basic models of the project life cycle (especially demanded in Agile)
  • Knowledge of standards of work with requirements
  • Ability to professionally convert unclear and not structured information into clear requirements.
  • The theory of databases, SQL.
  • Knowledge of programming languages.
  • BA certifications (very rare).

Tools

The ability to work with specific tools is not often mentioned among the other requirements. But it is nevertheless possible to identify the most popular.

  • MS Word,
  • MS Excel,
  • MS Visio,
  • MS Project,
  • MS Power Point,
  • Enterprise Architect and others.

Personal qualities

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to solve problems, be proactive and offer ideas for improvement of product / process
  • Self-confidence
  • Stress resistance
  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to sudden changing requirements
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Positive attitude

Judging by the various job advertisements, business analysts must have a higher education, work experience, be sociable and competent, active, stress-resistant, positive and result-oriented. A business analyst must not only have knowledge of the client’s industry, but also understand the technical aspects of the implementation. The main responsibilities of the analyst include the identification of requirements and their management for communications between the customer and the executive team, monitoring the correct Implementation of the requirements involved in all stages of development, and more. Quite often in a variety of jobs the analyst role includes product owner, project manager, and QA manager responsibilities.

As we can see, the requirements for the BA are vast and varied, so if you are willing to become a great specialist in this field, there are various ways of improvement and so many things to learn.

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