The Business Analyst

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A business analyst is someone who has been appointed by an organization to analyze its systems of operation. A business analyst is normally tasked with acting as a liaison between various stakeholders within the given organization.

Businesses exist in competitive environments. Day in and day out, competitors come up with competitive marketing strategies that need to be countered if a business is to remain relevant. What’s more, besides the actions of competitors, technologies change rapidly these days. The business analyst should thus evaluate total business operations. They should analyze both the macro-environment as well as the micro-environment of the organization. A professional body known as the International Institute of Business Analysis says that a business analyst plays a liaison role for stakeholders in order to validate and communicate the need for changes to business systems.

A business organization normally starts out small and grows with time. Large business organizations have various departments. Some of the departments that exist in such large organizations include human resources departments, sales and marketing departments, and financial departments. Other than these departments, there is the decision making office know as the chief executive officer’s office. A business analyst’s job is to ensure that these departments and offices work in tandem to accomplish the overall company objectives.

The system analyst is thus a tactical advisor to both the chief executive officer as well as the board of directors. Other stakeholders such as the customers are also included in the business analyst’s job profile because, for a business organization to succeed, the needs of the customers have to be met. Other than the owners of the business, customers are the second most important stakeholders in a business organization.

Business analysts’ jobs have no standard qualification requirement. A background in a technical field -- for example, computer science or information technology -- can enable one to succeed as a business analyst. Experience in the business world -- for example, if you have held a senior position in a business organization -- can also help make you a prime candidate. Experience is important because you have to have thorough knowledge of how a business organization operates. It all boils down to systems. A system is a set of interrelated activities in which if one of the activities in the system breaks down, the whole system collapses.

In this modern age of information, efficiency can change a lot of things. The consumers of commodities are aware of their rights. They know exactly what they want and exactly how to get it. Automation is currently a major buzz word. Thus, an organization that is able to efficiently and effectively automate its systems will find favor among its customers, and it is therefore a big challenge to business analysts to find effective systems to make their organizations efficient. Though knowledge of planning, designing, and implementing systems is a must for business analysts’ jobs, hands-on experience in information technology is a definite plus for a business analyst.

The average salary for a business analyst job is ranges between $50,000 and $72,000 annually depending upon experience. A business analyst is one of the management team members. The business analyst’s salary will thus be similar to the salaries of other top managers.

Projects successfully executed under the given business analyst’s supervision will help determine his or her marketability. Business analyst jobs are normally given on a contract basis. When a contract is subsequently renewed, a business analyst may negotiate for a higher salary. The strength of his or her argument for an increase in salary will almost certainly be based on his or her past performance.

There is typical career progression in business analyst jobs. While a business analyst will normally report on customer needs and wants to the information technology department, they don’t shape the overall strategy of the company. The overall company strategy is shaped by senior functional managers. A business architect is therefore the next port of call for a business analyst. A business analyst who performs exceptionally well in his job can be promoted to become a business architect. This has the effect of increasing the business analyst’s circle of influence. A business architect has the responsibility of defining the overall strategy of the firm. Whereas a business analyst acts in a tactical manner, a business architect acts in both a tactical as well as strategic manner.

In conclusion, one is not wrong to say that the tactical operation of a business normally lies with the business analyst. Tactical issues in the business world are very challenging and interesting at the same time. A business analyst should therefore be someone who has the ability to think fast, make sound decisions, tactically apply business ideas, and be extremely focused. These things, when it comes down to it, are what make up a business analyst’s job.
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 organizations  International Institute of Business Analysis  businesses  environments  analyst jobs  objectives  customers  operations

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