To understand what exactly to expect and require from a business analyst, let’s approach the issue from the other side. For an example and ease of understanding, let’s draw an analogy with other professions.
The analogies are rough, but I tried to pick up the simplest ones.
Do electricians have their own language? There is. These are electrical circuits, for example. This is physics. Do mathematicians have their own language? There is. These are mathematical formulas. Do doctors have? There is. They have their own language, their own schemes, let’s call them that. Various cardiograms, and so on. And business analysis has already developed its own language. These are the so-called business process description notations (BPMN, IDEF3, and others) and the IDEF0 functional analysis notation.
And if these two things are taken and combined, it turns out that a business analyst must describe business processes and / or functions; that is, in terms of process or in terms of function, describe how it is and how it should be. Those. the business analyst examines the work, creates a description “as is”, and then, from the point of view of logic and experience, creates a model “as it should be.” I also wrote about this more than once, I will not repeat here.
Accordingly, a business analyst is a person who can analyze the situation in an organization, describe it in a language accessible to the consumer, and provide, if possible, a vision of how it should be.
Requirements for business analysts
Now I propose to figure out what a good business analyst should be, i.e. determine the basic requirements for a professional. In fact, there are only four of them:
Communication. And this is not an empty word. It is very important that the specialist was able to talk, hear, understand other people. And also convey to them your idea, explain the essence and advantage of your proposals. Moreover, he will have to talk not only with the head of the business, but with different people.
perseverance. A business analyst must be able to listen, sometimes even for hours. I know this for sure from my own experience. You have to sit for a long time, find out, think about how and what.
Knowledge of basic notation. In my opinion, these are BPMN, IDEF3 and IDEF0. These are the notations that are now considered the standard. At least in my activity.
Model building skills. A business analyst must not only know, be able to read or change, but he himself must be able to build models in basic notations.
The rest is not so important.
I would also like to add that one of the types of work that a business analyst does is the creation of technical specifications for automation. Now, in the conditions of mass business automation, this work is in great demand, for many specialists it even turns out to be the main one. How to draw up technical specifications, I also wrote earlier. You can read the article how the terms of reference should look like.
The second important area of work of a business analyst is the reorganization of work and increasing productivity.
About Business Analyst Certification
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that on the RBC website, a lot of emphasis is placed on the certification of specialists in the field of business analysis. From my personal experience, I can say for sure that if a business analyst is able to solve the task, all these certificates, by and large, are not needed.
On the one hand, in practice, I have never heard of anyone requiring these certificates from a business analyst when applying for these certificates. On the other hand, even the presence of such a document says practically nothing to your potential employers.
In our country, business analysis is a relatively new direction. Only a few specialists can check the quality of your knowledge and understand what is behind the certificate. Therefore, the decision-making is influenced, first of all, by your initiative, the presence of interesting ideas and, of course, the portfolio, i.e. successful work experience.