ⓘ Business analyst

Business analyst

ⓘ Business analyst

A business analyst is someone who analyzes an organization or business domain and documents its business or processes or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology. Business Analyst helps in guiding businesses in improving processes, products, services and software through data analysis.

The role of a systems analyst can also be defined as a bridge between the business problems and the technology solutions. Here business problems can be anything about business systems, for example the model, process, or method. The technology solutions can be the use of technology architecture, tools, or software applications. System analysts are required to analyze, transform and ultimately resolve the business problems with the help of technology.


1. Areas of business analysis

There are at least four types of business analysis:

  • Process design – to standardize the organization’s workflows
  • Business model analysis – to define the organizations policies and market approaches
  • Systems analysis – the interpretation of business rules and requirements for technical systems generally within IT
  • Business developer – to identify the organizations business needs and business opportunities

The business analyst, sometimes, is someone who is a part of the business operation and works with Information Technology to improve the quality of the services being delivered, sometimes assisting in Integration and Testing of new solutions. Business Analysts act as a liaison between management and technical developers.

The BA may also support the development of training material, participates in the implementation, and provides post-implementation support. This may involve the development of project plans, dataflow diagrams, and flowcharts:

  • Roadmap, a strategic plan
  • Data models, i.e. data requirements expressed as a documented data model of some sort
  • Business case, a financial analysis containing shareholders risk and return
  • To-be processes, e.g. dataflow diagrams, flowcharts

The BA records requirements in some form of requirements management tool, whether a simple spreadsheet or a complex application. Within the systems development life cycle, the business analyst typically performs a liaison function between the business side of an enterprise and the providers of IT services.


2. Industries

BAs work in different industries such as finance, banking, insurance, telecoms, utilities, software services, government and so on. Due to working on projects at a fairly high level of abstraction, BAs can switch between any and all industries.

The business domain subject areas BAs may work in include workflow, billing, mediation, provisioning, reporting and customer relationship management. The telecom industry has mapped these functional areas in their Telecommunications Operational Map eTOM model, Banking in the Information Framework IFW and Emergency agencies in the Prevention Preparation Response and Recovery model PPRR.

Finally, business analysts do not have a predefined and fixed role, as they can take part in operations scaling, sales planning, strategy devising or the developmental process.

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