Five Steps to Becoming a Business Analyst

Five Steps to Becoming a Business Analyst

Five Steps to Becoming a Business Analyst

Step 1: Decide if Business Analysis is Right for You

The first step is to make sure that you really want to be a business analyst. You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

Do you like constant communication with users, stakeholders, and developers?

Do you enjoy participating in, moderating, and facilitating meetings?

Would you have a problem being in nothing but meetings all day?

Can you define business problems as well as solutions?

Can you deal with continuous ambiguity?

Are you curious and patient?

Can you mediate among business units that are in disagreement?

Are you a critical thinker, or do you want to be?

Can you grasp the big picture instead of dwelling on details?

 

Look around at the business analysts in your organization or elsewhere. Talk to them. Get opinions from discussion groups and from the IIBA. Make sure that business analysis is where you want to be first, and that you have a feeling for it, or are willing to learn the skills that you are lacking.

 

Step 2: Identify the Value

This step is important to help you gain a position as a business analyst even if your previous job experience is unrelated. Think back on your career thus far and identify what value you brought to the organizations you worked for. If you were a consultant or contractor, what value did you bring to the client? List every instance along with an assumed measurement, such as dollars saved. Then, assess what you are doing now and determine how that adds to the organization’s value. Continually record the value you are providing to the organization. Be on the lookout to modify your activities so that you are adding more value. Identify business problems to solve. Ask more questions.

 

Step 3: Observe and Do

If you are not currently a business analyst and are working in some non-related field, or if you are totally technical, find those business analysts who are respected in your organization or in the field. Observe their actions and activities. Try to emulate what they are doing. This can have one of two effects: you will start acting like a business analyst and then start thinking like one, or you will dislike what you are doing, which is a good sign that another field of endeavor might be better.

Steps 2 and 3 will assist you in gaining a job as a business analyst because you will have more pertinent information to put on your resume (step 2) and will be more comfortable talking about the position and role during an interview (step 3).

 

Step 4: Join and Research

Become a member of a business analyst organization in your area and attend meetings and volunteer. Most business analyst organizations do not require that you have a job as a business analyst to become a member. Read articles and books on business analysis (such as my book Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success). Subscribe to online periodicals and blogs. Join discussion groups on LinkedIn, Google+, and other social networking platforms. You do not have to participate; you can lurk and read and get up to speed. Absorb all you can about the field and the profession. Talk to business analysts at meetings and conferences. Find out where there are large numbers of business analysts in companies. This will tell you the most likely organizations at which to seek employment. Organizations with large projects or large populations of business analysts are more like to hire novices and have more training available.
Importantly, find a mentor who can assist you in your career choices and progression. Sometimes even an online mentor will help considerably. Find someone who can offer advice and counsel and will take an interest in your career and advancement as a business analyst.

 

Step 5: Start the Transition

Get your resume out after adjusting for the value-adding activities you have performed. Go on interviews with the sole purpose of learning about the state of the industry and what people expect, not necessarily to get a particular job. When you are going on an interview just to find out what organizations are looking for in the way of a business analyst, you can go in more relaxed and have a better interview. You will achieve your goal by learning about the position and organization, and as a bonus you might even get an offer! Plan for this transition period to take a while as you start to learn more, adjust your resume accordingly, and are better able to respond in interview situations.

 

Good luck!
-Steve Blais

 

Culled from Nairaland

ToscanyAcademy
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