Business analysts play an essential role in outlining systems, creating innovative ideas, and adopting them. Their skills make them an in-demand part of every business stream, beginning from project management to product management. According to LinkedIn, business analysis is one of the most needed skills of the year 2020. It proves that having business analyst skills helps you in building a perfect career. Hence, knowing the business analyst’s skills will make a significant impact on your future.
So, this article mainly focuses on essential business analyst skills that business professionals must-have. Now, let us start the blog by knowing who a business analyst is.
Who is a Business Analyst?
A business analyst is that person who acts as a bridge between the IT company and the management team and finds ways to streamline the entire business process. He/she communicates with different departments in an organization and recommends solutions for challenging problems.
The main reason why business analysts are in demand is that their job cannot be automated. BAs have a detail-oriented mind and are always involved in analyzing. Their minds are continually thinking through questions about activities they observe. Hence all the work is done manually by themselves.
Now that you are aware of who a business analyst is, we shall directly focus on business analyst skills.
Business Analyst Skills
Business analyst skills include a bunch of hard, soft, and technical skills. These skills help them to improve their productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
Now, let us discuss each skill in broader aspects.
Hard skills refer to job-specific skills, which mainly focus on practical knowledge of the subject. These skills must be present in every business analyst to improve the company’s standards and proficiency. Some of these skills are mentioned below:
Understanding the Industry
Business analysts must understand the trends in the industry and analyze their position in the present market. They also need to have a clear picture of what techniques, tools, methodologies, and skills others are using and implement more innovative ways to make their company’s standards high.
Collaborating With the Stakeholders
The key responsibility of a business analyst is to communicate with each of the stakeholders. He/ she is also required to convince his/her decisions to get the new implementation done right. To make all these happen, they must be in line with stakeholders and always update them with each change that is found. By doing all these, the demands of the stakeholders can be fulfilled.
Understanding Project Management
Business analysts also get involved in the projects. Their work in the stream of project management would be:
- Responsible for gathering all the data required
- Identify the missing parts
- Document all the business requirements
- Implement the action to deliver the plan
- Actively participate in each part of the implementation
Business analysts have to possess some organizational skills for the smooth running of their company. Some of them would be:
- Multitasking ability
- Diplomatic leader
- Assertive in nature
- Time management
- Analytical thinking
A business analyst’s key duty is to check for the problems faced by most of the departments. After gathering the issues, a business analyst must formulate appropriate solutions so that proper implementation of the solution can be done.
Soft skills are those which are essential for the successful functioning of an organization. A business analyst must have soft skills to survive in this competitive world. These are not specific to any job, but one must necessarily have these skills. These skills make any business analyst choose the correct decision and the right path that enhances the organization’s proficiency.
Some of the soft skills that a business analyst must possess are described below.
Creative thinking ability is one soft skill required to input great ideas and plans. This skill makes a business analyst choose a better approach to many problems. They also gain the capability to create new ideas and transformations that are suitable to the situation. Creative thinking skills include inspiring and productively considering new plans, generating innovative ideas for themselves and others, updating existing concepts and ideas.
Good Communication in Verbal and Written Form
Most of the time, business analysts have to interact with many clients, users, stakeholders, management, and developers. Hence, communication is the key element for them. As a business analyst, you are expected to arrange meetings, listen to each query, ask the right questions, gather new data, and build relationships with colleagues. To collectively make all these happen, effective communication is the only method.
Problem-solving is one of the fundamental business analyst skills. In-depth decision-making ability, problem-solving techniques, leadership qualities, etc., are all quoted as problem-solving skills. Business analyst’s primary work is to build a clear understanding of problems, outline aspects of the problem, and determine potential solutions. The various stages in problem-solving includes:
- Identify the problem
- Create a problem statement
- Gather the relevant data
- Identify the cause for the issue
- Propose a relevant solution
- Implement the solutions
Business analysts must have technical competency in their work area to understand the present evolving technologies. Technical aspects include programming and testing the product, using cases for functional requirements, knowing about SQL, wireframes for visual needs, and many more. Let us now see all these skills in detail.
Data Review and Analysis
Data review and analysis are technical skills used by an analyst to help organizations make more effective business decisions by gathering and analyzing data for the business and evaluating them. Business analysts will use data to outline problems, figure out appropriate solutions for businesses, and document them back to their stakeholders.
SQL allows a business analyst to clearly understand and interpret documents that contain results from many databases; It also enables you to perform a more comprehensive analysis of the data stored in relational databases.
As a business analyst, you will be required to work on ER diagrams that consist of the information’s entities and relationships where you need to prepare all your maps; documents, reports, etc. Knowing. SQL basics will help you in dealing with all the aspects mentioned above.
Software testing is a method of validating a developed software system to meet the desired business needs. Any defects identified during testing will be analyzed, verified, and retested by a business analyst to ensure that these are working as required.
A business analyst is also involved in testing because he knows the overall system requirements and difficulties. Hence, any issues will be corrected and resolved quickly by business analysts. Some of the streams of testing where a business analyst works, but are not limited to, are:
- User acceptance testing
- System resting
- Security testing
- Integration testing
- Unit testing
- Regression testing
Use Case Diagram
A use case diagram provides a business analyst a high-level description of what your system must do and who all can interact with it. Use case studies are those communication tools that are used to allow end-users to express their necessity. The stakeholders can also identify how the user interacts with the system and can make the required steps to improve the system using use cases.
Documentation is one of the best technical skills required for a business analyst. It mainly concentrates on writing reports, planning the implementation, documenting, analyzing the details, etc.
The key reasons for writing reports are:
- To understand the instances effectively
- To have a copy for future references
- This also includes parameters such as the target readers and the message you are trying to reach
Another skill the business analyst must be knowing is specific methodology skills. These are the additional add-ons that can make you successful in your workplace. Some of them are:
- Agile business analysis
- Business analysis tools
- Six Sigma
- Modeling skills
- Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
Having a Business Analyst skill is one essential term required in the career path of a business analyst. It can take them from validating directions to creating new solutions. If you are thinking of becoming a successful business analyst, knowing all the skills mentioned above will help you. Upon that, you can also improve your technical capabilities.
Greater the skillet, the higher the chance of bagging jobs that offer high-level salaries. It is estimated that business analysts will grow at a rate of 14%, which is higher than average compared to other professionals. So, choose the right career path and upgrade your skill sets accordingly. One prominent method to enhance your skill is through certification. Invensis Learning provides you two certification courses for business analysis. Enroll for the same, and upskill yourself.