How to start your business analyst career, if that’s the question, you have in your mind, then you have reached the right place. Business analyst is one of the most promising career options in the modern era. It offers career growth, satisfaction, and good remuneration. The world of business analysis is vast and has many dimensions. One must start small and upskill regularly to reap the benefits of this field.
In this guide, we are going to provide a primer on how to get started with your business analyst career.
Who is a Business Analyst?
Before we start discussing who is a business analyst, you must understand that we will be talking about the business analyst who works in the IT industry or who is a part of software projects team. So first let us understand the software project team and then we will understand who a business analyst is.
In a software project team, we first have a project manager/director who leads the team. However, if it is a big team or an organization, then there will be a senior project manager and under that, there will be multiple project managers.
- Now under a project manager, there is a testing manager, business analyst, and a tech architect.
- These people all are responsible for their own roles and responsibilities, and the project manager monitors everyone.
Now, let’s just pick business analyst from this team and talk about its crucial role in the software project team.
So before starting a project, the very first step is to identify the kind of software that is to be developed and the kind of features it will have. So in order to identify these needs and requirements, we go to the business or the customers. Now the question is who goes up to the customers to understand their requirements? Well, yes you are thinking right, it’s the business analyst who goes up to the customers for discussion, understands the needs, and elaborates it.
When we say elaborate, the business analyst now identifies the fine details such as what kind of data will be presented on the screen or when the data will be entered, then what kind of rules will be presented such as the format of date (Whether it will be DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY. )
So, these are the kind of fine details that a business analyst is responsible to understand and then record all of it in a document, which is known as requirement specification document.
In this document, one can come across the following:
- The features required by the customers
- Prototype of the software
- Formatting of the software prototype
After the business analyst is done detailing every requirement in the document, he or she handovers the document to the technology team. Once the technology team receives the document, they commence work on the software. After the software is developed, it goes straight to the testing manager. Once the software is tested, it is again sent back to the business analyst for quick check whether the requirements and needs of the customers are incorporated or not. If not, the business analyst again sends it to the tech team for iterations. Finally, the business analyst takes it to the customers and get their final approvals or reviews.
Skills of a Business Analyst
Here is a set of skills which every business analyst must have to perform their day-to-day activities.
- Soft skills: As we have discussed before, you need communication skills to interact with the customers as well as your technology team. So, communication, interaction, and behavioral skills play a crucial role in your business analyst career. For example, presentation skills are also a part of communication skills, as it involve how effectively you can convey the information to your customers or your team.
- Core BA skills: This includes your ability to create process diagrams, work on SRS documents, understand agile methodologies, learn about the software development process, understand requirement elicitation techniques, and learn about skills relevant to core BA skills such as UML, agile, process modelling, elicitation, and so on.
- Domain knowledge: However, as an entry-level business analyst, it is not a mandatory skill but is considered good to have skill. For example, if you are working on a banking project, then you must have an understanding of banking terms and terminologies as it helps you to understand the business and the customers better.
- Finally, we have Functional testing: It means that software that your team develops, then you as a business analyst must have the ability to validate the software. This way customers receive the final version of the software and do not feel dissatisfied.
Types of Business Analysts in the modern era
We have heard from many training participants at Techcanvass that when they look at the business analyst profile and the job descriptions, they find that the companies are expecting different kinds of skill sets for the same JD title which is a business analyst and is very confusing for everyone as to why in some of the cases we need to have python R and similar kind of skills, whereas for some of them, they look at the reporting skills, for example knowing about the Power BI and the Tableau and so on in some of the cases even they need the SQL skills whereas in some other cases they’re only looking at requirements modeling, jira, user stories, use cases and the knowledge of agile.
So why there is so much confusion in the industry about types of business analysts, so let us clarify all the types of business analyst employed by the IT industry.
Let us start by understanding first that business analysis is a function. It is not just a designation, there are several aspects which are related to business analyst, right from participating in the strategic analysis to execution of the project and the type of the projects which are being executed by the IT industry
Let us start by looking at the three different types of business analysts which work with a project.
1. IT Business Analyst
Here is a business analyst which is a completely non-programming role where as a business analyst you interact with the stakeholders for what for capturing the requirements, for detailing it out for modeling, creating prototypes, creating process diagrams, and putting it into a document called SRS or BRD.
This profile is advertised most of the times and the certifications like ECBA and the Business Analyst training programs primarily focus on this type of business analyst but apart from that you will also encounter types of business analyst where you are looking at programming skills so this is one of the primary types of business analyst which is employed by the IT industry which is a non-programming non- tech business analyst.
2. Business Analyst – Data Analytics
Another one is a business analyst who works on data analytics project or data analysis project. There you need to have skills which are related to data analytics like you need to know machine learning basics, you need to know artificial intelligence, you also might need to have our Python or programming skills.
3. Business Analyst – Reporting
The third type of business analyst is more to do with the reporting part so you are asked to work on reporting requirements of the customer. These reporting requirements can be simple to very complex, it could be as complex as creating a data warehouse and creating analytics reports or intelligence reports in that case you need to learn about the visualization tools like Power BI or Tableau or even Python has the libraries to create visual charts.
You also need to understand what are the different data analysis techniques. Something called exploratory data analysis is also going to be very useful. So, these are the primary three types of business analysts who work on different kinds of projects.
Starting your Business Analyst career
Having understood the skills required in the previous section, let us now share the steps needed to start your BA career.
- Assess your skills
- Learn the skills
- Get Certified
- Gain Experience
- Update Your resume
- Prepare for Interview
- Start applying for jobs
Step 1: Assess your skills
Once you have understood the skills required, the next step is to evaluate your skills. You have to check whether the skills you have are relevant for a business analyst role. So the skills which are relevant are known as transferable skills. For example, if you are a relationship manager, then you already have customer handling skills, which is a skill also relevant for a business analyst. Hence, you can use this skill as it is transferable to your business analyst career as well.
Now once you evaluate your skills, you might come across gaps. For example, there may be skills you may not know, like UML or Agile. Then in such a situation, you should start working on these skills.
So how can you learn these skills?
Step 2: Learn the skills
You can always join training programs that offer skill learning sessions like for soft skills, domain knowledge and so on. So you can start by joining a training program. For example, Techcanvass offers ECBA training programs and many other domain training programs, that allow you to leverage their one-on-one training sessions, practical knowledge, and other such features. You can visit the website and check out their training programs in detail.
Step 3: Get certified
The next crucial step towards starting a business analyst career to GET CERTIFIED. Gaining a professional certification will put you 10x ahead in your business analysis career journey and will give you various job opportunities in the market.
Must get ECBA Certified because:
We recommend the IIBA ECBA Certification as it is an entry-level credential for aspiring business analysts and is one of the most renowned business analysis credentials globally. Gaining this certification will validate your skills and knowledge as this credential is not easy to crack as it sounds. So, the employer will feel obligated to look at your resume or consider you as a potential candidate for the job.
Techcanvass offers a comprehensive ECBA Certification training for becoming a Business Analyst and also for ECBA Certification Preparation.
Step 4: Gain experience
Now this step involves gaining as much experience as you could in the business analysis domain. But the real question is how would you gain experience if you are unable to get work?
There are two ways, in which you can try and gain experience:
- Join as an intern even though the remuneration is not – what you want 6 months of internship will go a long way in helping you build confidence and making your resume employable. Few recommended internship portals are- Internshala and Glassdoor.
- You can also approach your seniors, family members to help you get into a job, if they are working in IT companies
Step 5: Update your resume
Now while you are updating your resume, make sure you are using relevant keywords. In this new era, AI is playing an essential role in shortlisting the resumes for the companies. So, AI will scan the resumes for specific or keywords relevant to the business analyst role. If you are not using relevant keywords, your resume might not be shortlisted by the company.
Always remember that AI will scan your resume for experience, keywords, and certifications. Hence, it’s better to use relevant keywords in your resume and correctly mention your experience and list all your certifications.
Step 6: Prepare for interview
The next step is to prepare for job interviews. Here are few of our suggestions on how you can prepare for your interviews:
- You can leverage the question-answer interview series on Youtube by Techcanvass.
- When you enroll for your ECBA Certification training at Techcanvass, you can take advantage of the rigorous interview training sessions.
- You can always network within the business analysis groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to find out the kind of questions other professionals were asked in the interview. So, it is always great to learn from other’s experiences.
- You can go through the internet, skim through different blogs and articles around question-answers for entry-level BA interviews.
Step 7: Start applying for the BA jobs
The last step is of course to upload your updated resume on job portals and start applying to business analyst jobs.
For your ease, we are listing down the top job portals in India and USA for your reference.
Let’s sum up by saying that an IT experience is not required for pursuing a career in business analysis. So, Business analysis is an attractive option for everyone regardless of their educational and professional backgrounds due to its versatility and broad applicability.
Professionals can use their special skills and experiences to forge a rewarding career path as a business analyst and make a significant contribution to innovation and corporate growth by realizing the importance of this function in fostering organizational success.
Now, if you’re ready to dive into the dynamic world of Business Analysis, our ECBA certification course serves as the ideal gateway to a rewarding career. Offering essential skills and knowledge to thrive in any industry, this program is designed for individuals with passion and determination, irrespective of their IT background. Seize the opportunity to enroll now and unlock a future filled with possibilities!