Business analysts have manager jobs that involve setting up requirements for designing business information systems, improving work flow, launching new applications, or helping systems serve new purposes. The overall goal for business analysts is helping their companies be more efficient and profitable.
The U.S. Department of Labor found that from 1990 to 2005 manager jobs in the area of business analysis grew 45%. The outlook through 2014 indicates a growth of 25% or more, which doesn't include self-employed analysts or openings because of turnover. A high number of business analysts work as independent consultants or for consulting firms doing business and systems analysis for other companies. As growth in technology continues it's current pace, demand for IT business analysts is expected to grow as well.
IT business analysts seeking manager jobs should arm themselves with a college degree. For some of the more technically complex jobs, a graduate degree is preferred. Businesses want their analysts who have backgrounds in accounting, business management or economics. Businesses with scientifically directed organizations will value IT business analysts with education in the physical sciences, engineering, or mathematics.
IT business analysts seeking manager jobs should expect to deal with many tasks simultaneously and be ready to pay close attention to details. Though analysts sometimes work independently, sometimes they work in teams for larger projects. They need to have the educational and experience background that allows them to communicate easily with technical personnel (like programmers), managers, and clients and those with no computer background.
In addition, these analysts must keep up with changes in technology, which most likely means continuing education to keep their skills current. The successful business analyst needs business analysis training, plus training in communication, project management, and team building.
Here is an example of the activities of an IT business analyst during a software development project. He or she will:
- Envision the initial requirements and scope of the project
- Translate business requirements into something programmers and stakeholders can understand
- Explain to stakeholders what programmers are doing and why they're doing it
- Help project development teams find the right people for various tasks
- Broker politics among the various project teams
- Assist in writing user acceptance test cases for stakeholders
- Represent stakeholders to programmers and vice versa
1. Strategic planning
2. Business model analysis
3. Process definition and design
4. IT and technical business analysis
In the kind of project that an IT business analyst undertakes, there are manager jobs in more than one sector. For example, business requirements must specify what the business wants from the project; functional requirements describe what the new process or system must do to fulfill the business requirements. The IT business analyst integrates these two into something workable.
In addition, user requirements must be correctly interpreted, quality of service requirements must be defined in terms programmers and users understand, and implementation requirements must be spelled out to allow for a smooth transition from the current state of the process to the desired future state of it. The analyst will create a traceability matrix for recording requirements through each stage of the process, and the matrix will have to be modified to account for changes in scope during the lifetime of the project. When the project is over, the traceability matrix should show every function built into a system, along with reasons that any stated requirements were not delivered.
Becoming an IT business analyst can take many different pathways. Many times the job candidate may come from a technical background, such as an engineering or computer science background. Other times, the business analyst may come from a business background. An IT business analyst doesn't always work on IT related projects, because his or her skills are required for marketing and financial roles as well.
There is, however, a certification program for business analysts through the International Institute of Business Analysis that grants Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) certification. In recent years, the business world has seen an increase in the use of analysts in manager jobs of all stripes: business process analysts, risk analysts, business analysts, and system analysts in an attempt to break down the barriers of communication that often exist between end users and developers. The occupation should see steady growth through the next five years.