Before we answer the question who is a Business Analyst, let’s try and understand what Business Analysis is. Business analysis is defined by IIBA, the international institute of Business Analysis as
“the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”
What does that mean? At its heart Business Analysis is Change Management. How do we adapt our businesses, our people, and our products to the rapidly changing needs of consumers and markets? Let’s take a simple example. Outsourcing is a key trend of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Because of the emergence of relatively cheap yet skilled labor in emerging markets, and the gradual increase of wage costs in more developed markets, companies realized they could significantly reduce costs by moving certain roles outside the country of business. Banks were among the biggest proponents of this trend. But what does that mean? Apart from identifying the best countries to move jobs too, the company had to first identify what roles they wanted to move. But that was defined on what skill sets were available in the market they were moving the jobs too. Which jobs do we move? Which jobs should stay? What are our core competencies? Who decides? Would you as head of a department ever want your division to be moved outside? No. In comes a business analyst. A business analyst will study the cost and revenue centers of a business and identify which roles can be farmed out, which should stay and which divisions would benefit the most from cuts. Before that, they would ask the question, is there a problem here at all? If so, what is the solution? They will then work with the HR team, the division head, the HR team in the country where jobs are moving too to arrive at a suitable answer or solution to the first problem – Which jobs should we move?
Once they answer that question, they go about monitoring implementation by working with numerous stakeholders. On the ground, business analysts often become project managers, the folks that get are responsible for getting the BUY-IN for a particular idea. They do this armed with data, large realms of data that can convince people that change is for the good.
In our next post will we understand the process of Business Analysis and what makes a good business analyst. Once we do that, we will then address how to become a Business Analyst.
For more details on Business Analysis, enquire with one of our counselors. The Business Analysis Certified Professional (BACP) program at Imarticus is designed for careers in Business Analysis and Project Management across various functions like Technology, Operations and Finance. After completing the IIBA Accredited, 8 week part-time program, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of Business Analysis, with a special focus on Capital Markets.