March 24, 2024

7 Powerful Insights: Discover What Business Analysts Do and How They Transform Companies

Unveiling the Role of Business Analysts: What Business Analysts Do

If you ask ten different HR professionals what business analysts do, I bet you'd get ten different answers.

In essence, that’s one of the problems facing the fast-growing field of business analysis. To clarify, let’s divide analysts into two major categories:

  • Business analysts (non-technical)
  • Technical analysts

These two main divisions within the title can be misleading. You might find yourself working on both sides or being required to on occasion. This example demonstrates how varied the role of a business analyst can be. Understanding what business analysts do on a daily basis can help demystify this role.

Let’s start with the business side. Business analysts apply specific methodologies to increase the value of a company or business. They identify improvement opportunities in processes or operations and analyze business needs and requirements by gathering, documenting, and analyzing them. Essentially, they work with businesses to solve problems and implement solutions that enhance business performance.

IT is Opposite

The IT or technical side of business analysis is the opposite. Technical analysts apply methodologies to solve technical problems, making the company more capable and increasing its value. Understanding what business analysts do in this context involves recognizing their role in bridging the gap between technical solutions and business needs.

In many cases, business analysts are hired not only to find problems but also to solve them. This role differs from that of a project manager. Companies generally hire analysts or firms to tackle a specific issue or problem they are facing.

The analyst collects data from the business, applies methodologies and principles, and creates a solution. A requirements analyst may assess needs during this process, which may or may not be included in the initial solution.

Then a Project Manager takes over. It’s up to the PM to follow proven methodologies and techniques to get the job done on time and within budget.

Characteristics of Business Analysts

Business analysts do a lot of work, so it’s essential to describe what business analysts do. The defining trait of an analyst is their systematic approach to problems and solutions using predefined methodic principles, whether they’re a business analyst, processes analyst, requirements analyst, operations analyst, business systems analyst, systems analyst, consultant, or programmer/analyst.

“The BA solves company problems.”

One key characteristic of a BA is their ability to work with businesses to identify improvement opportunities in processes or operations. They analyze business needs and requirements by gathering, documenting, and analyzing them.

IIBA - What business analysts do

Standards of practice in business analysis are created by various organizations, such as the International Institute of Business Analysis and the Object Management Group.

These organizations adhere to specific methodologies that, when properly employed, lead to successful outcomes for both the analyst and their clients.

A firm’s or analyst’s methodology may vary considerably depending on their discipline. It’s important to note that several well-defined sets of disciplines can be verified through a simple internet search.

Be cautious if an analyst claims to use a particular method or discipline. There’s even a role called a Salesforce Business Analyst, who focuses on BA disciplines related to Salesforce CRM. (Also, see our article on why you might need Salesforce and what CRM is)

To summarize, a business analyst is someone who performs specific tasks to improve your company’s performance. Just as you visit a mechanic for car problems or a physician for health issues, you seek the assistance of a business analyst for company problems. By understanding what business analysts do on a daily basis, you can better appreciate the value they bring to your organization.

Business analysts play a crucial role in navigating the complex landscape of business challenges, making them indispensable in today’s fast-paced corporate world. Whether it’s improving efficiency, implementing new systems, or strategizing for future growth, their contributions are vital to a company’s success.