What is a Business Analyst?
Traditionally, a business analyst (BA) has not been widely recognized as a profession in its own right. Like its generic title, the role of a business analyst may differ from job to job. However, a good business analyst connects the dots for the technical team and upper management by:
- Defining a company’s business needs, strategic goals, and objectives
- Extracting requirements that will fulfill those objectives
- Document those requirements via data models, process diagrams, etc.
Simply put, a business analyst helps to facilitate solutions and implement change for stakeholders involved in a project
Key Roles of a Business Analyst
- Requirements Management
BAs help manage the scope of requirements. This helps to keep the project on time, in scope, and on budget. Scope creep is a major factor that could cause detriment to a project; when the customer keeps adding features or requirements to be implemented that is out of scope, this would cause constraint on the time and budget factors. Other times, requirements may be unclear, but the BA will bring clarification to the table and ensure proper, explicit documentation of the necessary requirements. By doing so, the design team will have a clear understanding of what to code.
BAs may also be involved in modeling processes through the use of data models, process flow diagrams, use case, and business processes modeling. These analyzing techniques help convey the detailed requirements to the software developers and technical teams so that they can code appropriately. They establish context and create clarity for users on both sides of the project. For instance, a process flow diagram is an intuitive way for stakeholders to understand an organization’s fundamental processes, through analyzing each step in the workflow ultimately appreciating the value delivered.
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide), which is a community-based and consensus-driven global standard in business analysis, also states, “A business analyst is any person who performs business analysis tasks described in the BABOK® Guide, no matter their job title or organizational role.” So technically, an employee may be conducting business analysis if they are performing one or more tasks that a typical BA does, even if they are not titled as one.