The success of an IT project largely depends on a Business Analyst – the intermediary between IT processes and a business. Thanks to the Business Analyst, products of the required quality prosper on the market. We’ll tell you what skills this specialist should have so that the above is true.
The Business Analyst’s mission on a project
The Business Analyst analyzes future products to figure out what needs to be improved so that the development is as useful to consumers and as profitable to the customer as possible. The Business Analyst performs the following tasks at different stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC):
- studies the market and competitors to improve the product’s functionality if possible,
- communicates with customers to collect and document product requirements,
- approves the requirements with stakeholders,
- advises the teams on the product, and more.
To summarize, the Business Analyst provides the teams with high-quality requirements, strives to avoid the development of useless features, and maximizes business value.
What skills the Business Analyst needs
The following six skills help the Business Analyst ensure that the project is completed to good quality, on time, and within budget.
IT Business Analysts should possess the following knowledge:
- understand complex technologies and terms and know how to use different tools,
- have a good understanding of the Big Data concept and ways to obtain information to analyze a business,
- have an idea of software architecture, understand the basics of testing and programming, and know fundamental SQL queries.
This knowledge allows Business Analysts to elaborate development plans and strategies for improving the product at all stages of SDLC.
Every project begins with a request from a customer. The Business Analyst is to conduct research of the customer’s business, identify problems or opportunities, and recommend a solution. In the course of their work, Business Analysts study the market and competitors, estimate possible benefits for the business, and suggest the best way to reach the customer’s goals.
The Business Analyst has to study lots of information: statistics, requirements, documentation, market conditions, and so on. The wealth of information that Business Analysts obtain after the research is completed needs to be analyzed. This allows them to estimate risks, forecast success, and choose the best solution for the business.
Since Business Analysts are intermediaries between customers and development teams, they have extensive constant communication with both these parties.
The Business Analyst receives requirements forming the basis of a project through communication with the customer. The documentation that Business Analysts create must be clear, consistent, and without any ambiguity, as the product development is based on it.
As they know all the nuances of the project, Business Analysts also advise other employees. They receive feedback in the course of development and modify the product creation plan.
Business Analysts’ work is tied with management skills because they eliminate problems such as project delays and are responsible for the project results. All SDLC participants go to the Business Analyst with development-related issues as they are an authoritative source of knowledge. After all, it is hard to negotiate with a customer if you don’t have leadership skills.
Negotiation and persuasion skills differ from the ability to simply communicate with teams. The Business Analyst interacts with managers of different levels and convinces them that some or other decision is correct. If the customer wants to have certain features in the app but the Business Analysts see a better option, they must prove their point and strike a balance between customer desires and business needs.
To sum up, we can say that competent Business Analysts balance expertise with interpersonal skills. These specialists combine technical and non-technical competence to ensure the competitive edge of products, which is needed in a world of rapid business development.