Previously, when information was scarce, and the world was not so globalized, every manager knew everything about his company and competitors. Today it takes an individual to do that.
Hi, my name is Mykhailo Marshalok. I am a Junior Pre-sales Business Analyst at JMind. I want to tell you a bit about what a business analyst is and what it's all about.
I will start this article with my own story. Somehow after graduation, I became disillusioned with my previous job and decided to think about what I wanted to do in the long run.
My goal was to find the position that best suited my nature.
I began to study the offers on the market and saw the coveted words: Business Analyst. Something inside me trembled because analyzing everything from music to the physics of elementary particles is my favorite pastime. So I began frantically googling the deep meaning of this profession. My initial research started!
The elders on Wikipedia say that once upon a time, people got their information from the text printed on pieces of paper and stared for hours into huge shiny boxes that showed the same thing. But then computers came along, and everything changed. The Internet has connected us, and the amount of information increased exponentially. Information technology began to permeate all areas of life, and in many companies, some programmers spoke an incomprehensible language.
At this point, there was a need for someone who would understand what was going on and explain to others what programmers wanted to say. And to programmers — what is required of them. That's how the business analyst came about.
It is clear from the name that a business analyst is a person who analyzes business. An analysis is one of the basic functions of the brain. We like to gather information into the big picture and draw conclusions. Previously, when information was scarce, and the world was not so globalized, every manager knew everything about his company and competitors. Today it takes an individual to do that.
In simple words: a business analyst should know everything about the business, competitors, partners, and customers of the company, constantly keep abreast of what is happening in the market, explain it clearly to colleagues, and share tips on improving the company.
In more complex terms, a business analyst's job can be very different depending on what field they work in. First, there are so many fields: from the financial sector to industrial companies, from consulting to healthcare. Secondly, there are often different business analysts in each area, depending on the type of analysis required.
Today you can find a business analyst in every IT company. But by these words, different people are meant. This is because a business analyst solves different tasks at various stages of project development. It's not uncommon to find analysts with very diverse functionality, knowledge, and experience in one company. Here I will try to list the most popular ones:
IT Business Analyst analyzes a wide range of aspects of a company's business processes and looks for ways to improve them. They are the link between the stakeholder and the programmers.
The System Analyst must understand the customer's tasks and requirements, translate them into technical language, and, if possible, figure out how to implement them. This role requires the analyst to be a link between programmers and customers. Unlike the IT business analyst, the System Analyst focuses on analyzing and developing a narrower range of specific technical tasks.
Requirement Analyst works with the requirements described by the systems analyst: explains them to the team, details, checks the feasibility of their implementation, and prioritizes them.
Functional Business Analyst specializes in one technology: analyzes the system of working with it, looking for ways to improve its performance, writing documentation, making plans, explaining to the development team who work with this technology the importance of their tasks and the product.
Pre-sales Business Analyst is involved in the sales process: they analyze the market, look for potential customers, and study their strengths and weaknesses to offer them the product they need.
Business Intelligence Analyst and Data Analyst works with massive amounts of data from the collection and analysis stage to the point of visualizing and presenting the results. This requires more technical skills in big data collection and processing, which requires a solid mathematical base. The tools of Business Intelligence Analyst and Data Analyst are quite similar, but the goals are different. The first analyzes data to suggest the most appropriate solution here and now. The second one works with the data to find correlations and "predict the future" based on them.
UX Analyst studies data from sites and applications to understand user psychology and propose an interface layout that will be most user-friendly and bring the most money to developers.
All of these types of business analysts are pretty abstract. They often overlap, and depending on the situation and skills, a business analyst in IT can combine several roles simultaneously. As the industry evolves, new tasks and tools to solve them appear — so do new roles for business analysts.
I hope I was able to explain who a business analyst is, at least partially. Suppose you still have questions after reading this. In that case, you can always do your own investigation, analyze many sources, figure out which ones are more true, understand all this obscure vocabulary, and write your own article. In a way, you will "try on" the job of a business analyst.
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