Here are some tips and good practices before making the leap into a career to start as a business analyst… and being successful!
Do you have a problem-solving approach? Are you a good communicator? Do you exercise critical thinking? Do you excel in process modelling and mapping? If you answered affirmatively to most of these questions, you should be successful to start as a business analyst.
First of all, be aware that a business analyst is a role within an organization and not a title. That’s why it can be defined in several ways, depending on your experience, your specializations, your skills and the employer’s needs.
Skills and experience
First identify your so-called “transferable” skills. They come from your prior professional experience and your education and may be applied to business analysis and information systems. For example, your in-depth knowledge of an industry may be used in analysis and your mastery of information systems will lead you to find solutions for customers.
You may already be in the role of a business analyst without knowing it or being identified as such. Discuss with your current colleagues and supervisors the possibility of creating such a position before looking outside your organization.
Training and certification supplements
Once these skills have been identified, the gaps must be filled in. Don’t hesitate to take online courses in information technology or management to go beyond your specialization by supplementing your professional development. Techniques to improve business processes, lead team meetings, establish use cases, develop prototypes, identify the problems, solutions and risks related to a project as well as all the techniques for collecting information are important.
Obtaining a certification early in your career from the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) will demonstrate your abilities to practise this profession and also that you are serious in your approach. The degrees of these certifications will evolve over the course of your career and they are recognized globally.
The world of business analysts is vast and changing. Sign up for newsletters, professional groups on the networks and webinars to make sure you are at the cutting edge of developments in the field. In addition, consider mentoring and learning activities, especially at the beginning of your career.