BA – Business Analyst

A business analyst analyzes the needs and problems of a customer (and their target audience), finds solutions, and creates requirements that will be used to develop the product.

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Theoretically, they ' re able to act on the organizational scale: analyze activities, identify problems, and recommend solutions to effectively achieve the company's goals. In practice, companies most often hire business analysts to work on projects.


A BA is often referred to as a link between the development team and the company management or the customer.


Job responsibilities

  • Collect information from various sources (surveys, market research, articles, interviews)
  • Interview customers, company management, team, and business users to get the necessary information
  • Generate solutions, suggestions, and recommendations for specific issues (from specific product functionality, product development in general to improving business processes, systems, and even the company structure)
  • Identify the goals of an organization or project and formulate business requirements based on them, and then formalize requirements (dividing them into functional and non-functional)
  • Write specifications, maintain documentation, sometimes create prototypes (if it’s necessary to convey the customer's ideas to technical specialists)
  • Manage requirements: analyze and modify them.

 

When using Scrum methodology, the business analyst is often responsible for creating a product backlog (which intersects with the tasks of the product owner).

In some companies, a business analyst takes part in strategic analysis: together with the top management, they make recommendations on the development strategy of the entire organization.


Skills

  • Knowledge of the industry, the business sector in which the company operates
  • Ability to work with large amounts of information
  • Information visualization skills and knowledge of relevant programs (MS Visio, Draw.io, Google Data Studio, Power BI, Tableau, DataHero), standards (for example, UML) and notations (BPMN, IDEF0)
  • Knowledge and experience in applying methodologies for collecting requirements, such as questionnaires, surveys, brainstorming, analysis of public data and competitors
  • Effective communication (ability to ask the right questions and actively listen, highlight essential information in the dialogue)
  • Mastery of software for managing documentation, projects, and processes (a popular one is Confluence)
  • Effective problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking.

FAQ

INDIGO Tech Recruiters often answer our clients ' questions about BAs , so we decided to share the most requested information here. If you need more information, please contact us.

1. What is the difference between a business analyst and a project manager?

Both BAs and project managers are responsible for communicating with the customer and the team and solving problems. Both specialists are called intermediaries between the customer and the team. However, unlike a project manager , a business analyst does not manage the development team. The BA can determine what needs to be done, and the project manager decides exactly how to achieve the result and is responsible for achieving it. The business analyst doesn't plan the project progress and product functionality and does not launch the product. A BA is an expert in analytics. A PM does not necessarily have a deep understanding of the tools and methods of analytics. Also, due to many other responsibilities, they may not be able to spend enough time collecting information and conducting detailed analysis.
A Business Analyst doesn't have to know programming languages. To work in IT, of course, they need to understand the principles of information systems and its terminology. Technical education is not required, but it’s very desirable. It's much easier for a technical specialist who works as a BA to communicate with the development team, and to explain business requirements in their language. On the other hand, many people move into this profession from positions closely related to business processes. Such specialists have the advantage of understanding the business from the inside. They can improve their technical skills as time goes by.
A Data Analyst is usually a mathematician with programming skills who collects, processes, studies, interprets, and visualizes data, often used in interpreting Big Data. A BA uses data to develop solutions, and to communicate with customers and the team.
A Business Analyst’s primary tasks are collecting requirements and creating specifications. Her presence significantly reduces the risk of misunderstandings between the customer and the team. There's always work for a business analysis on a project: you need to find out what the customer wants, formulate it into specific requirements and document them , and develop solutions. If there are no Business Analysts in a company, these tasks are performed by someone else, perhaps a Project Manager. However, a BA can perform these tasks more efficiently.