Business Analyst – What You Need to Know About the Job

A business analyst plays a role in the seamless flow of the company’s business process. He works closely with the company’s stakeholders in order to get a better grasp of the structure, operation and policies of the organization. This will allow him to see the areas that need improvement. Upon seeing these areas, he will recommend solutions that the organization will implement to achieve its objectives.

Job Description

A business analyst acts as the bridge between the management and Information Technology department of an organization. He works closely with both parties in order to see that all the stages in the business process are working to achieve company goals.

If he sees a stage that needs improvement, he will propose changes that will enable the company to achieve its desired results. BAs may also touch areas that involve human resources, finance and technology.

Business analysts are a hot item in the job market right now. Many companies need them because of the growing dependence of businesses on technology.

Why is There a Need for BAs

It’s natural for businesses not to invest in an IT project unless it is backed by solid business data. Based on these, a reliable BA works to create a solution to a present problem by acting as the bridge between the management and the people or department that can make it happen.

The chief information officer of a company relies on the BA to design and manage a project to solve a problem. Without the BA, a project might become too costly or plagued with mistakes. These can have a damaging effect on the company’s credibility and reputation. A business analyst should always be around to monitor the system flow of the business, manage a solution to problems, and propose methods that can help to improve productivity and reduce costs.

Expected Skills

A good candidate for this position should have an undergraduate degree and at least five years of experience in a specific industry. Important skills include problem solving, risk assessment, negotiation, software development, good communication and attention to details. Programmers and systems analysts who have become BAs are the most competent candidates for any open position.

Where to Find Good BAs

It might sound unethical but it’s true – companies can find some of the most competent BAs in other companies that do similar business. A BA who is trying to find a similar position in another company must consider companies that do similar business as their present employer. This can help to shorten his job search as well as his adjustment period once he finds work.

Who Makes The Best Systems Analysts?

Systems are logical, programming is physical.”

– Bryce’s Law

Over the last four decades I have met a lot of Systems Analysts in a lot of different industries. Some impressed me greatly by their knowledge of their business and the systems they designed, but I have also met a lot of duds along the way. When I think about the better ones, I consider the attributes they share which I can narrow down to three areas:

1. They are in-tune with their business. This doesn’t necessarily mean they graduated with a business degree, although some did, but rather they took the time to study the business and placed themselves in the shoes of the managers, clerks, and other workers they were charged to support. In other words, they took the initiative to assimilate the duties and responsibilities of the end users.

Conversely, the duds tended to take technical solutions and tried to jam it down people’s throats with little thought of the applicability for solving specific business problems. As a result, personnel in the user departments tended to resist such technological solutions, even going so far as to sabotage efforts for its implementation.

2. They can conceptualize and possess an analytical background. Although they appreciate the need for detail, they are able to think big and look for pragmatic solutions. In contrast, the duds tend to get sidetracked easily over minutia.

3. They possess strong communication skills, both oral and written, allowing them to effectively interview people, articulate problems and solutions, and be very persuasive. The duds have trouble communicating at any level.

You’ll notice I didn’t include a knowledge of technology as an attribute. The better analysts understand the need for monitoring technology trends, but are not driven by it. Basically, they understand technology is physical in nature and changes dynamically. Instead they are more focused on the logical business problem and how to solve it. In essence, they realize “there is a million and one ways to skin a cat.”

There is an old argument as to who produces the best Analysts: the Business Schools or the Computer Science Schools. Although I have seen some good people from both ends of the spectrum, some of the best Analysts I’ve met do not come from either school. Instead, I have seen them come from entirely different backgrounds including Library Science, Music, Engineering, and Mathematics; disciplines based on a governing science yet allows for the expression of creativity.

Frankly, I haven’t met too many successful Analysts who graduated from the ranks of programming as they typically only see things through the eyes of the computer. They tend to believe the only valid business problems worth solving are those that can be addressed using the latest technology; everything else is considered inconsequential. I refer to this as a “tail wagging the dog” philosophy.

One of the best Analysts I ever met was a young woman from Wisconsin who worked for a government agency there. This particular agency was trying to overhaul a major financial system, an effort that stalled after several months and using quite a few people on the project. To break the logjam, the Director assigned the young Analyst to the project, but gave her latitude to operate autonomously. In three months time she had methodically documented the existing system, noting its strengths and weaknesses, defined the requirements, and designed a totally new system which was then turned over to programming for implementation. In other words, she had been able to accomplish in three months by herself, what the whole project team hadn’t been able to do in twice the amount of time. She was organized, she could conceptualize, and she was disciplined.

After reviewing her work, I asked her about her background. I was surprised to learn she possessed a degree in music, something she took quite seriously and claimed helped her in her work. “What was her instrument?” you might ask; the piano (with a working knowledge of the harpsichord to boot). Her forte though was in music composition which she found analogous to system design; interestingly, she considered playing musical instruments as essentially no different than programming. In other words, she grasped the significance of logical and physical design, and the difference between Systems Analysis and programming.

What Does a Social Media Analyst Really Do All Day?

Social media sites are fun places to hang out (over 500 million on Facebook as of this writing seem to think so anyway), and most people are using them to stay in touch with friends from school, family and to play games like Farmville. At first glance it might, for some, seem fanciful to make a career out of what, for most, is nothing but a pastime.

The truth is that careers in social media are becoming more and more mainstream. Look around Facebook and you’ll notice that companies like R+L Carriers and Ford (to name a couple) are embracing social media as legitimate marketing channel. Ford experimented by launching their new Ford Explorer exclusively on their Facebook page. R+L Carriers uses its presence to create relationships with followers by posting shipping tips, industry news and articles to help the businesses that use their services thrive.

So we’ve established that careers in social media do exist, and that they are becoming more mainstream. But you’re still probably wondering where Social Media Analysts come from, and what they do all day.

Where does a Social Media Analyst come from?
They typically come from a marketing background with a heavy reliance on web based technologies. Some come from Internet or IT positions, some from traditional marketing positions and some from web design. A communications or journalism background is typical too. Most have a mix of traditional marketing and Internet technology skills with a strong writing or communications skill set.

What is a typical day like?
The first thing most analysts will do each morning is check all channels to see if there are any mentions of their company or brand. Since conversations on social media require an immediate response, an analyst will follow up immediately or reach out to various company departments to develop a response tailored to the specific information needed. There is a real time sensitivity to this activity, so timeliness is priority.

After initial conversations are addressed, analysts may spend time brainstorming or writing blog or web site content, planning and strategizing future campaigns, meeting with department heads to ensure strategies are on-track with marketing and customer service, and tracking campaigns and reporting. A portion of their day will be spent reading trend reports and business articles to stay in touch with the latest technologies and marketing theories.

Reporting is a huge part of any marketing campaign, and social media is no exception. Of course analysts will track basic stats like followers, click-throughs, fans, comments and traffic, but we also monitor conversations happening around the brand both on and off our pages and carefully structure responses that are in line with the company’s strategy. Often, analysts will meet regularly with multiple departments to educate staff about the focus of the social media channel and the ways in which they can contribute and support the efforts.

The take away? Social Media Analysts do more than tweet and post to Facebook. They are responsible for a multitude of company functions and must create relationships within the company to support their efforts.

Is this simply a new fangled marketing position?
This position is part marketing, yes, but it’s also much more. It includes elements of customer service, product knowledge, company culture and employee relations, and a typical day might involve all these elements at once. These various responsibilities require good communication skills and the ability to gather information from multiple areas within the company.

At the end of the day…
In a nutshell, a Social Media analyst position is about promoting a company’s brand and company culture through new technologies and non traditional platforms while interacting with current and potential customers in a real time environment. It’s more than just posting to Facebook and Twitter. It is a fast paced and challenging career that continues to evolve, and since the internet is never turned off, it can often be all consuming. So rest assured Mom, I do have a real job – honest!

Sue Reynolds is a full time Social Media Analyst for a global transportation provider. She also consults with non profits, small businesses and public sector organizations on social media and web marketing and is the site administrator for several government, small business and non profit sites.

Leaping Into the 6th Technology Revolution

We’re at risk of missing out on some of the most profound opportunities offered by the technology revolution that has just begun.

Yet many are oblivious to the signs and are in danger of watching this become a period of noisy turmoil rather than the full-blown insurrection needed to launch us into a green economy. What we require is not a new spinning wheel, but fabrics woven with nanofibers that generate solar power. To make that happen, we need a radically reformulated way of understanding markets, technology, financing, and the role of government in accelerating change. But will we understand the opportunities before they disappear?

Seeing the Sixth Revolution for What It Is

We are seven years into the beginning of what analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research call the Sixth Revolution. A table by Carlotta Perez, which was presented during a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research luncheon hosted by Robert Preston and Steven Milunovich, outlines the revolutions that are unexpected in their own time that lead to the one in which we find ourselves.

1771: Mechanization and improved water wheels
1829: Development of steam for industry and railways
1875: Cheap steel, availability of electricity, and the use of city gas
1908: Inexpensive oil, mass-produced internal combustion engine vehicles, and universal electricity
1971: Expansion of information and tele-communications
2003: Cleantech and biotech

The Vantage of Hindsight

Looking back at 1971, we know that Intel’s introduction of the microprocessor marked the beginning of a new era. But in that year, this meant little to people watching Mary Tyler Moore and The Partridge Family, or listening to Tony Orlando & Dawn and Janis Joplin. People would remember humanity’s first steps on the Moon, opening relations between US and China, perhaps the successful completion of the Human Genome Project to 99.99% accuracy, and possibly the birth of Prometea, the first horse cloned by Italian scientists.

According to Ben Weinberg, Partner, Element Partners, “Every day, we see American companies with promising technologies that are unable to deploy their products because of a lack of debt financing. By filling this gap, the government will ignite the mass deployment of innovative technologies, allowing technologies ranging from industrial waste heat to pole-mounted solar PV to prove their economics and gain credibility in the debt markets.”

Flying beneath our collective radar was the first floppy disk drive by IBM, the world’s first e-mail sent by Ray Tomlinson, the launch of the first laser printer by Xerox PARC and the Cream Soda Computer by Bill Fernandez and Steve Wozniak (who would found the Apple Computer company with Steve Jobs a few years later).

Times have not changed that much. It’s 2011 and many of us face a similar disconnect with the events occurring around us. We are at the equivalent of 1986, a year on the cusp of the personal computer and the Internet fundamentally changing our world. 1986 was also the year that marked the beginning of a major financial shift into new markets. Venture Capital (VC) experienced its most substantial finance-raising season, with approximately $750 million, and the NASDAQ was established to help create a market for these companies.

Leading this charge was Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Beyers (KPCB), a firm that turned technical expertise into possibly the most successful IT venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. The IT model looked for a percentage of big successes to offset losses: an investment like the $8 million in Cerent, which was sold to Cisco Systems for $6.9 billion, could make up for a lot of great ideas that didn’t quite make it.

Changing Financial Models

But the VC model that worked so well for information and telecommunications doesn’t work in the new revolution. Not only is the financing scale of the cleantech revolution orders of magnitude larger than the last, this early in the game even analysts are struggling to see the future.

Steven Milunovich, who hosted the BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research lunch, remarked that each revolution has an innovation phase which may last for as long as 25 years, followed by an implementation phase of another 25. Most money is made in the first 20 years, so real players want to get in early. But the question is: Get in where, for how much and with whom?

There is still market scepticism and uncertainty about the staying power of the clean energy revolution. Milunovich estimates that many institutional investors don’t believe in global warming, and adopt a “wait and see” attitude complicated by government impasse on energy security legislation. For those who are looking at these markets, their motivation ranges from concerns about oil scarcity, supremacy in the “new Sputnik” race, the shoring up of homeland security and – for some – a concern about the effects of climate change. Many look askance at those who see that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in how we produce and use energy. Milunovich, for all these reasons, is “cautious in the short term, bullish on the long.”

The Valley of Death

Every new technology brings with it needs for new financing. In the sixth revolution, with budget needs 10 times those of IT, the challenge is moving from idea to prototype to commercialization. The Valley of Death, as a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance whitepaper, Crossing the Valley of Death pointed out, is the gap between technology creation and commercial maturity.

But some investors and policy makers continue to hope that private capital will fuel this gap, much as it did the last. They express concern over the debt from government programs like the stimulus funds (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) which have invested millions in new technologies in the clean energy sector, as well as helping states with rebuilding infrastructure and other projects. They question why the traditional financing models, which made the United States the world leader in information technology and telecommunications, can’t be made to work today, if the Government would just get out of the way.

But analysts from many sides of financing believe that government support, of some kind, is essential to move projects forward, because cleantech and biotech projects require a much larger input of capital in order to get to commercialization. This gap not only affects commercialization, but is also affecting investments in new technologies, because financial interests are concerned that their investment might not see fruition – get to commercial scale.

How new technologies are radically different from the computer revolution.

Infrastructure complexity

This revolution is highly dependent on an existing – but aging – energy infrastructure. Almost 40 years after the start of the telecommunications revolution, we are still struggling with a communications infrastructure that is fragmented, redundant, and inefficient. Integrating new sources of energy, and making better use of what we have, is an even more complex – and more vital – task.

According to “Crossing the Valley of Death,” the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Whitepaper,

“The events of the past few years confirm that it is only with the public sector’s help that the Commercialization Valley of Death can be addressed, both in the short and the long term. Only public institutions have ‘public benefits’ obligations and the associated mandated risk-tolerance for such classes of investments, along with the capital available to make a difference at scale. Project financiers have shown they are willing to pick up the ball and finance the third, 23rd, and 300th project that uses that new technology. It is the initial technology risk that credit committees and investment managers will not tolerate.”

Everything runs on fuel and energy, from our homes to our cars to our industries, schools, and hospitals. Most of us have experienced the disconnect we feel when caught in a blackout: “The air-conditioner won’t work so I guess I’ll turn on a fan,” only to realize we can’t do either. Because energy is so vital to every aspect of our economy, federal, state and local entities regulate almost every aspect of how energy is developed, deployed, and monetized. Wind farm developers face a patchwork quilt of municipal, county, state and federal regulations in getting projects to scale.

Incentives from government sources, as well as utilities, pose both an opportunity and a threat: the market rises and falls in direct proportion to funding and incentives. Navigating these challenges takes time and legal expertise: neither of which are in abundant supply to entrepreneurs.

Development costs

Though microchips are creating ever-smaller electronics, cleantech components – such as wind turbines and photovoltaics – are huge. They can’t be developed in a garage, like Hewlett and Packard’s first oscilloscope. A new generation of biofuels that utilizes nanotechnology isn’t likely to take place out of a dorm room, as did Michael Dell’s initial business selling customized computers. What this means for sixth revolution projects is that they have much larger funding needs, at much earlier stages.

Stepping up and supporting innovation, universities – and increasingly corporations – are partnering with early stage entrepreneurs. They are providing technology resources, such as laboratories and technical support, as well as management expertise in marketing, product development, government processes, and financing. Universities get funds from technology transfer arrangements, while corporations invest in a new technologies, expanding their product base, opening new businesses, or providing cost-benefit and risk-analysis of various approaches.

But even with such help, venture capital and other private investors are needed to augment costs that cannot be born alone. These investors look to some assurance that projects will produce revenue in order to return the original investment. So concerns over the Valley of Death affects even early stage funding.

Time line to completion

So many of us balk at two year contracts for our cell phones that there is talk of making such requirements illegal. But energy projects, by their size and complexity, look out over years, if not decades. Commercial and industrial customers look to spread their costs over ten to twenty years, and contracts cover contingencies like future business failure, the sale of properties, or the prospect of renovations that may affect the long term viability of the original project.

Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services states, “GE Energy Financial Services supports the creation of CEDA or a similar institution because it would expand the availability of low-cost capital to the projects and companies in which we invest, and it would help expand the market for technology supplied by other GE businesses.”

Michael Holman, analyst for Lux Research, noted that a $25 million investment in Google morphed into $1.7 billion 5 years later. In contrast, a leading energy storage company started with a $300 million investment, and 9 years later valuation remains uncertain. These are the kinds of barriers that can stall the drive we need for 21st century technologies.

Looking to help bridge the gap in new cleantech and biotech projects, is a proposed government-based solution called the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA). There is a house and senate version, as well as a house Green Bank bill to provide gap financing. Recently, over 42 companies, representing many industries and organizations, signed a letter to President Obama, supporting the Senate version, the “21st Century Energy Technology Deployment Act.”

Both the house and senate bills propose to create, as an office within the US Department of Energy (DOE), an administration which would be tasked with lending to risky cleantech projects for the purpose of bringing new technologies to market. CEDA would be the bridge needed to ensure the successful establishment of the green economy, by partnering with private investment to bring the funding needed to get these technologies to scale. Both versions capitalize the agency with $10 Billion (Senate) and $7.5 Billion (House), with an expected 10% loss reserve long term.

By helping a new technology move more effectively through the pipeline from idea to deployment, CEDA can substantially increase private sector investment in energy technology development and deployment. It can create a more successful US clean energy industry, with all the attendant economic and job creation benefits.

Who Benefits?

CEDA funding could be seen as beneficial for even the most unlikely corporations. Ted Horan is the Marketing and Business Development Manager for Hycrete, a company that sells a waterproof concrete. Hardly a company that springs to mind when we think about clean technologies, he recently commented on why Hycrete CEO, Richard Guinn, is a signatory on the letter to Obama:

“The allocation of funding for emerging clean energy technologies through CEDA is an important step in solving our energy and climate challenges. Companies on the cusp of large-scale commercial deployment will benefit greatly and help accelerate the adoption of clean energy practices throughout our economy.”

In his opinion, the manufacturing and construction that is needed to push us out of a stagnating economy will be supported by innovation coming from the cleantech and biotech sectors.

Google’s Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, has been a supporter from the inception of CEDA. He has testified before both houses of Congress, and was a signatory on the letter to President Obama. Google’s interest in clean and renewable energies dates back several years. The company is actively involved in projects to cut costs of solar thermal and expand the use of plug-in vehicles, and has developed the Power Meter, a product which brings home energy management to anyone’s desktop-for free.

Financial support includes corporations like GE Energy Financial Services, Silicon Valley Venture Capital such as Kleiner, Perkins Caulfiled and Byers, and Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Energy Capital including Hudson Clean Energy and Element Partners.Can something like the senate version of CEDA leap the Valley of Death?

As Will Coleman from Mohr Davidow Ventures, said, “The Devil’s in the details.” The Senate version has two significant changes from previous proposals: an emphasis on breakthrough as opposed to conventional technologies, and political independence.

Neil Auerbach, Managing Partner, Hudson Clean Energy

The clean energy sector can be a dynamic growth engine for the US economy, but not without thoughtful government support for private capital formation. **[Government policy] promises to serve as a valuable bridging tool to accelerate private capital formation around companies facing the challenge, and can help ensure that the US remains at the forefront of the race for dominance in new energy technologies.

Breakthrough Technologies

Coleman said that “breakthrough” includes the first or second deployment of a new approach, not just the game changing science-fiction solution that finally brings us limitless energy at no cost. The Bloomberg New Energy white paper uses the term “First of Class.” Bringing solar efficiency up from 10% to 20%, or bringing manufacturing costs down by 50%, would be a breakthrough that would help us begin to compete with threats from China and India. Conventional technologies, those that are competing with existing commercialized projects, would get less emphasis.

Political Independence

Political independence is top of mind for many who spoke or provided an analysis of the bill. Michael Holman, analyst at Lux Research, expressed the strongest concerns that CEDA doesn’t focus enough on incentives to bring together innovative start-ups with larger established firms.

“The government itself taking on the responsibility of deciding what technologies to back isn’t likely to work-it’s an approach with a dreadful track record. That said, it is important for the federal government to lead – the current financing model for bringing new energy technologies to market is broken, and new approaches are badly needed.”

For many, the senate bill has many advantages over the house bill, in providing for a decision making process that includes technologists and private sector experts.

“I think both sides [of the aisle] understand this is an important program, and must enable the government to be flexible and employ a number of different approaches. The Senate version empowers CEDA to take a portfolio approach and manage risk over time, which I think is good. In the House bill, CEDA has to undergo the annual appropriation process, which runs the risk of politicizing every investment decision in isolation and before we have a chance to see the portfolio mature.” – Will Coleman, Mohr Davidow.

Michael DeRosa, Managing Director of Element Partners added,

“The framework must ensure the selection of practical technologies, optimization of risk/return for taxpayer dollars, and appropriate oversight for project selection and spending. **Above all, these policies must be designed with free markets principles in mind and not be subject to political process.”

If history is any indication, rarely are those in the middle of game-changing events aware of their role in what will one day be well-known for their sweeping influence. But what we can see clearly now is the gap between idea and commercial maturity. CEDA certainly offers some hope that we may yet see the cleantech age grow up into adulthood. But will we act quickly enough before all of the momentum and hard work that has brought us this far falls flat as other countries take leadership roles, leaving us in the dust?

THE GREEN ECONOMY is an information company, providing timely, credible facts and analyses on companies adapting to meet the challenges of a green future.

Definition of a Business Analyst

According to Dictionary.com website a Business Analyst (BA) analyze the organization and design of businesses, government departments, and non-profit organizations. BAs also evaluate business models and their integration with technology.

Fundamentally, the responsibilities and activities performed by a business analyst are varied, but the most significant objective is always to advance the communication between the stakeholders and the project developers. Business analysts become more successful when they have undergone appropriate requirements training that educate them how to become efficient communicators and how to gather and write the requirements of the stakeholders.

Business analysis has four tiers. These four tiers consist of planning strategically,operating or business model analysis, process definition and design and the technical business analysis.

LEVELS:

There are at least four tiers of business analysis:

Planning Strategically

The analysis of the organization’s strategic business needs of the organization

Operating/Business Model Analysis

The BA definitions and analyzes the organization’s policies and market business approaches

Process Definition and Design

In this level tier refers to the business process modeling (often developed through process modeling and design)

IT/Technical Business Analysis

The BA assists in the interpretation of business rules and requirements for technical system

As you can see, there are a number of characteristics which identify the role of the Business Analyst including:

The analyst works with the business to recognize opportunities for enhancement in business achievements and procedures.

The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems.

The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs.

The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements.

The analyst solved business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions.

The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system.

The analyst interacts with system architects and developers to ensure system is properly implemented.

The analyst may help test the system and create system documentation and user manuals.

ALTERNATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

We proposes the following definition of a business analyst: “An interior consultancy position that has responsibility for inspecting industry structures, identifying opportunities for humanizing business systems and correlating the desires of the business with the use of IT.” The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) describes the role as: “a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.” The Certified Software Business Analyst (CSBA) Common Body of Knowledge defines this as: “uniquely placed in the organization to provide a strong link between the Business Community and Information Technology (IT).”

The role of Business Analyst has evolved from someone who was a part of the business operation and worked with Information Technology to improve the quality of the products and services being delivered by the IT organization to someone who apart from gathering Business Requirements, also assists in Integration and Acceptance Testing, supports the development of training and implementation material, participates in the implementation, and provides post-implementation support. Business Analysts today are also involved in the development of project plans and often provide project management skills when these skills are not available in other project participants.

A Comprehensive Guide to Your Business Analyst Career

Business analyst acts as a liaison between the information technology (IT) division of the company and management. He is responsible for analysing the company’s business systems and identifying different options for augmenting the working of business systems. It is the job of an analyst to clearly understand the problems of a company and create viable solutions for the woes confronting the business. While creating these systems, it is his job to provide technological solutions to different business problems.

Duties

1= Defines and records various business functions & processes.
2= Consults with management and personnel to clearly define business needs, procedures, problems and different levels of systems access.
3= Develops new systems and makes enhancements to current systems in order to ensure that it is in close conformity to the needs of the user.
4= Identifies various opportunities for improving business processes through information systems.
5= Provides assistance in training technical staff.

Requisite qualifications

In reality, there are no particular qualifications that you may need for doing analyst jobs. Business analyst job has become synonymous with engineering and IT. As a result, an IT background would be required for certain job profiles. Also, a post-graduate degree in finance is an added benefit. The IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) is offering a certified professional certification, which is recognized across the world.

Remuneration

In the last few years, there has been a spurt in the economic growth. Due to this, there are various business analyst jobs which are available in the market. The package of an analyst is quite lucrative and the job comes along with other perks as well. The package depends on factors like company, experience, work profile, location and skills. The IT sector business analysts are drawing good perks. On an average, an analyst can earn around Rs 5-12 lakh/annum.

Sectors generating jobs are

Construction
Oil & gas
Telecommunication
Insurance & finance
Information technology
Hospitality

In India, there is no dearth of jobs for analysts. Some of the top companies offering business analyst jobs are-

Genpact
Infosys
Wipro
Deloitte
IBM
Oracle
TCS

Career progression

Analysts usually start their careers in entry-level job roles. They primarily focus on information, research and interviews. As an analyst gains more experience, they start working on important projects, which demand an impeccable use of complex tools and knowledge. Once a business analyst has gained work experience and skills within different job roles, he/she may also start own consulting business or move into other managerial roles.

The Various Roles of a Business Analyst in Any Organization

As the name suggests, a business analyst is a person who basically studies different businesses for various purposes. This could be to find weaknesses in the business model or to simply find out whether it is running optimally or not. The one thing that is always apparent is that the role of such an analyst in any business is critical. This is because in all cases, the analyst has to study the business and then suggest ways of making it more profitable or efficient. It can therefore be said that the health of any business heavily depends on the work that such an analyst does, as they determine which direction the business will take.

This means that in order to become a good analyst, one has to be willing to be very critical at what they do. Any mistakes made during analysis or policy formulation (a process in which the analyst is heavily involved in) could lead to massive losses. In extreme cases, it could even lead to complete shutdown of the company.

In addition to analysis of the current business structures, such an analyst is also very useful when it comes to the design of a business process. This is important skill is useful when starting a new company or when restructuring an already existing one. As with analysis, the cost of mistakes when doing the design can also be costly. For instance when starting a business, any major mistake that the analyst makes means that the company would start operations on the wrong foot. Once the organization has gained impetus, such mistakes can be difficult and expensive to correct.

The other important role of such an analyst in today’s business environment is integration of technologies with the current business models. For instance, before implementing a new technology in any business, it is often necessary to get an analyst to study the current business set up, and then try to figure out the effect that the technology would have on business. In the same vein, the business analysts can also suggest modifications of current operations so as to ensure that implementation of the new technology is smooth. If the technology has to be modified in order to fit into the current business, it would be the role of the analysts to suggest how this should be done for maximum effect. As one can see, the role of business analysts is very important and should not be taken for granted.

How to Become a Business Analyst in Top Management

A business analyst is a person who analyzes the function and structure of an organization, to be able to come up with ways to fix the organization’s problems.

In the field of information technology, a business analyst is going to evaluate the organization’s business structure to determine how it integrates with modern technology. The idea is always to establish the organization’s business requirements or objectives, and subsequently improve the efficiency of IT in meeting those requirements / objectives.

Listed here are some of the necessary skills you could possibly find outlined as a business analyst:

Be Analytic
A business analyst needs to be extremely detail-oriented. You must have good analytical skills to be able to understand the different business attributes. You must understand what planning, documentation and assessment techniques or methodologies to utilize. Sharpen your investigative skills to be able to diagnose business system issues and come up with effective solutions.

Make sure that you have top interactive skills.
Different interactive skills like listening, facilitating, interviewing, and documentation skills are a necessity. You should be capable of explaining both technological and business designs to a wide audience (technical as well as non-technical).

You should be distinct, concise and tactful. You should possess great negotiation skills. In fact, part of your job would be to persuade both the leadership of the organization and the employees to accept your plans.

Be well competent in business skills.
Relating to the business side, a business analyst should become aware of strategic planning, business enhancement methodologies, case improvement and business writing.

Enhance your management skills.
A business analyst needs to be adept at decision-making, time supervision and organizational skills. You should have a working expertise in project management approaches and tools.

Stay current with technical skills.
On the technological side, you must have a working comprehension of computer hardware and software employed in the field. If you happen to be on the more technological side of the business, you might be required to be familiar with information technology principles and guidelines, engineering systems, modeling methods, technical writing as well as others.

Have high interpersonal skills.
To be in a position to get the cooperation of all of the levels of the organization, outstanding interpersonal skills are essential. You must be prepared to work with different people and bring them jointly towards a common purpose. Some are employed in multi-cultural environments which means, sensitivity and understanding of various work approaches is as well important.

The Business Analyst Career

Job Of A Business Analyst

A business analyst can prove to be a savior for the business, if it is heading towards troubled waters on account of faulty business strategies. Hiring a business analyst not only improves the working of the company, but also simplifies client interaction. Therefore, if you take a job as a business analyst, keep in mind that you are expected to help the company save money.

A business analyst interprets the project terms and simplifies the business requirements of the stakeholder and sponsor. They formulate an effective project communication system. It is the business analyst’s job to gather accurate data and analyze information on clientele, staff and users, in relation to the technology used. Business analysts are needed in all industries, whether banking, telecommunication, software or pharmaceutical. They are employed in consultancies to offer business related solutions to client firms.

A business analyst studies various business-related problems and works toward finding solution for them. The job also involves system and functional analysis. The business analyst is a common link between the department of information and the enterprise. They collate and document the necessary requirements for the business and make it available for the information technology department.

The Business analyst understands the specific needs of the organization and finds a sound technical solution for the same. They interpret the project terms and simplify relations between the IT department and the business as a whole. The business analyst gathers accurate data and information about the staff and users, in connection with the human resources department and the technology at hand. Thereafter, they develop an effective project communication system, keeping in mind the various business possibilities and predicted threats. In larger organizations, there are both Senior Business Analysts and Junior Business Analysts.

The Functions Of A Business Analyst Are:

Strategist – A company should always focus on a winning strategy. Business analysts provide various business strategies that enable the business to survive the constant competition.

Architect – After strategically analyzing the business needs, the business analyst designs a work strategy to run the business efficiently. Afterwards, the business analyst provides the company with a design to achieve the company goals and objectives.

System Analyst – System analysts work towards getting the best returns from expensive IT investments.

The business analyst has to make sure that the business does not face any threat in future. As a part of their job, a business analyst warns the company about the various profit and loss possibilities in the future. This helps management to be able to tackle any kind of situation efficiently.

Benefits Of A Business Analyst Career

A business analyst can prove to be a savior for the business, if it is heading towards troubled waters on account of faulty business strategies. Hiring a business analyst not only improves the working of the company, but also simplifies client interaction. Therefore, if you take a job as a business analyst, keep in mind that you are expected to help the company save money.

A business analyst interprets the project terms and simplifies the business requirements of the stakeholder and sponsor. They formulate an effective project communication system. It is the business analyst’s job to gather accurate data and analyze information on clientele, staff and users, in relation to the technology used. Business analysts are needed in all industries, whether banking, telecommunication, software or pharmaceutical. They are employed in consultancies to offer business related solutions to client firms.

Business Analyst Finance Domain Sample Resume

This is just a sample Business Analyst resume for freshers as well as for experienced job seekers in Finance domain of business analyst or system analyst. While this is only a sample resume, please use this only for reference purpose, do not copy the same client names or job duties for your own purpose. Always make your own resume with genuine experience.

Name: Justin Megha

Ph no: XXXXXXX

your email here.

Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst

SUMMARY

Accomplished in Business Analysis, System Analysis, Quality Analysis and Project Management with extensive experience in business products, operations and Information Technology on the capital markets space specializing in Finance such as Trading, Fixed Income, Equities, Bonds, Derivatives(Swaps, Options, etc) and Mortgage with sound knowledge of broad range of financial instruments.
Over 11+ Years of proven track record as value-adding, delivery-loaded project hardened professional with hands-on expertise spanning in System Analysis, Architecting Financial applications, Data warehousing, Data Migrations, Data Processing, ERP applications, SOX Implementation and Process Compliance Projects.
Accomplishments in analysis of large-scale business systems, Project Charters, Business Requirement Documents, Business Overview Documents, Authoring Narrative Use Cases, Functional Specifications, and Technical Specifications, data warehousing, reporting and testing plans.
Expertise in creating UML based Modelling views like Activity/ Use Case/Data Flow/Business Flow /Navigational Flow/Wire Frame diagrams using Rational Products & MS Visio.
Proficient as long time liaison between business and technology with competence in Full Life Cycle of System (SLC) development with Waterfall, Agile, RUP methodology, IT Auditing and SOX Concepts as well as broad cross-functional experiences leveraging multiple frameworks.
Extensively worked with the On-site and Off-shore Quality Assurance Groups by assisting the QA team to perform Black Box /GUI testing/ Functionality /Regression /System /Unit/Stress /Performance/ UAT’s.
Facilitated change management across entire process from project conceptualization to testing through project delivery, Software Development & Implementation Management in diverse business & technical environments, with demonstrated leadership abilities.

EDUCATION

Post Graduate Diploma (in Business Administration), USA
Master’s Degree (in Computer Applications),
Bachelor’s Degree (in Commerce),

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Documentation Tools UML, MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Project), MS Visio, Erwin

SDLC Methodologies Waterfall, Iterative, Rational Unified Process (RUP), Spiral, Agile

Modeling Tools UML, MS Visio, Erwin, Power Designer, Metastrom Provision

Reporting Tools Business Objects X IR2, Crystal Reports, MS Office Suite

QA Tools Quality Center, Test Director, Win Runner, Load Runner, QTP, Rational Requisite Pro, Bugzilla, Clear Quest

Languages Java, VB, SQL, HTML, XML, UML, ASP, JSP

Databases & OS MS SQL Server, Oracle 10g, DB2, MS Access on Windows XP / 2000, Unix

Version Control Rational Clear Case, Visual Source Safe

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

SERVICE MASTER, Memphis, TN June 08 – Till Date

Senior Business Analyst

Terminix has approximately 800 customer service agents that reside in our branches in addition to approximately 150 agents in a centralized call center in Memphis, TN. Terminix customer service agents receive approximately 25 million calls from customers each year. Many of these customer’s questions are not answered or their problems are not resolved on the first call. Currently these agents use an AS/400 based custom developed system called Mission to answer customer inquiries into branches and the Customer Communication Center. Mission – Terminix’s operation system – provides functionality for sales, field service (routing & scheduling, work order management), accounts receivable, and payroll. This system is designed modularly and is difficult to navigate for customer service agents needing to assist the customer quickly and knowledgeably. The amount of effort and time needed to train a customer service representative using the Mission system is high. This combined with low agent and customer retention is costly.

Customer Service Console enables Customer Service Associates to provide consistent, enhanced service experience, support to the Customers across the Organization. CSC is aimed at providing easy navigation, easy learning process, reduced call time and first call resolution.

Responsibilities

Assisted in creating Project Plan, Road Map. Designed Requirements Planning and Management document.
Performed Enterprise Analysis and actively participated in buying Tool Licenses.
Identified subject-matter experts and drove the requirements gathering process through approval of the documents that convey their needs to management, developers, and quality assurance team.
Performed technical project consultation, initiation, collection and documentation of client business and functional requirements, solution alternatives, functional design, testing and implementation support.
Requirements Elicitation, Analysis, Communication, and Validation according to Six Sigma Standards.
Captured Business Process Flows and Reengineered Process to achieve maximum outputs.
Captured As-Is Process, designed TO-BE Process and performed Gap Analysis
Developed and updated functional use cases and conducted business process modeling (PROVISION) to explain business requirements to development and QA teams.
Created Business Requirements Documents, Functional and Software Requirements Specification Documents.
Performed Requirements Elicitation through Use Cases, one to one meetings, Affinity Exercises, SIPOC’s.
Gathered and documented Use Cases, Business Rules, created and maintained Requirements/Test Traceability Matrices.

Client: The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, Parsippany, NJ May’ 2007 – Oct’ 2007

Profile: Sr. Financial Business Analyst/ Systems Analyst.

Project Profile (1): D&B is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. The Point of Arrival Project and the Data Maintenance (DM) Project are the future applications of the company that the company would transit into, providing an effective method & efficient report generation system for D&B’s clients to be able purchase reports about companies they are trying to do business.

Project Profile (2): The overall purpose of this project was building a Self Awareness System(SAS) for the business community for buying SAS products and a Payment system was built for SAS. The system would provide certain combination of products (reports) for Self Monitoring report as a foundation for managing a company’s credit.

Responsibilities:

Conducted GAP Analysis and documented the current state and future state, after understanding the Vision from the Business Group and the Technology Group.
Conducted interviews with Process Owners, Administrators and Functional Heads to gather audit-related information and facilitated meetings to explain the impacts and effects of SOX compliance.
Played an active and lead role in gathering, analyzing and documenting the Business Requirements, the business rules and Technical Requirements from the Business Group and the Technological Group.
Co – Authored and prepared Graphical depictions of Narrative Use Cases, created UML Models such as Use Case Diagrams, Activity Diagrams and Flow Diagrams using MS Visio throughout the Agile methodology
Documented the Business Requirement Document to get a better understanding of client’s business processes of both the projects using the Agile methodology.
Facilitating JRP and JAD sessions, brain storming sessions with the Business Group and the Technology Group.
Documented the Requirement traceability matrix (RTM) and conducted UML Modelling such as creating Activity Diagrams, Flow Diagrams using MS Visio. Analysed test data to detect significant findings and recommended corrective measures
Co-Managed the Change Control process for the entire project as a whole by facilitating group meetings, one-on-one interview sessions and email correspondence with work stream owners to discuss the impact of Change Request on the project.
Worked with the Project Lead in setting realistic project expectations and in evaluating the impact of changes on the organization and plans accordingly and conducted project related presentations.
Co-oordinated with the off shore QA Team members to explain and develop the Test Plans, Test cases, Test and Evaluation strategy and methods for unit testing, functional testing and usability testing

Environment: Windows XP/2000, SOX, Sharepoint, SQL, MS Visio, Oracle, MS Office Suite, Mercury ITG, Mercury Quality Center, XML, XHTML, Java, J2EE.

GATEWAY COMPUTERS, Irvine, CA, Jan 06 – Mar 07

Business Analyst

At Gateway, a Leading Computer, Laptop and Accessory Manufacturer, was involved in two projects,

Order Capture Application: Objective of this Project is to Develop Various Mediums of Sales with a Centralized Catalog. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Mentored and trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards; Gateway reporting system: was developed with Business Objects running against Oracle data warehouse with Sales, Inventory, and HR Data Marts. This DW serves the different needs of Sales Personnel and Management. Involved in the development of it utilized Full Client reports and Web Intelligence to deliver analytics to the Contract Administration group and Pricing groups. Reporting data mart included Wholesaler Sales, Contract Sales and Rebates data.

Responsibilities:

Product Manager for Enterprise Level Order Entry Systems – Phone, B2B, Gateway.com and Cataloging System.
Modeled the Sales Order Entry process to eliminate bottleneck process steps using ERWIN.
Adhered and practiced RUP for implementing software development life cycle.
Gathered Requirements from different sources like Stakeholders, Documentation, Corporate Goals, Existing Systems, and Subject Matter Experts by conducting Workshops, Interviews, Use Cases, Prototypes, Reading Documents, Market Analysis, Observations
Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – which include UMLUse case diagrams, Scenarios, activity, work Flow diagrams and data mapping. Process and Data modeling with MS VISIO.
Worked with Technical Team to create Business Services (Web Services) that Application could leverage using SOA, to create System Architecture and CDM for common order platform.
Designed Payment Authorization (Credit Card, Net Terms, and Pay Pal) for the transaction/order entry systems.
Implemented A/B Testing, Customer Feedback Functionality to Gateway.com
Worked with the DW, ETL teams to create Order entry systems Business Objects reports. (Full Client, Web I)
Worked in a cross functional team of Business, Architects and Developers to implement new features.
Program Managed Enterprise Order Entry Systems – Development and Deployment Schedule.
Developed and maintained User Manuals, Application Documentation Manual, on Share Point tool.
Created Test Plansand Test Strategies to define the Objective and Approach of testing.
Used Quality Center to track and report system defects and bug fixes. Written modification requests for the bugs in the application and helped developers to track and resolve the problems.
Developed and Executed Manual, Automated Functional, GUI, Regression, UAT Test cases using QTP.
Gathered, documented and executed Requirements-based, Business process (workflow/user scenario), Data driven test cases for User Acceptance Testing.
Created Test Matrix, Used Quality Center for Test Management, track & report system defects and bug fixes.
Performed Load, stress Testing’s & Analyzed Performance, Response Times. Designed approach, developed visual scripts in order to test client & server side performance under various conditions to identify bottlenecks.
Created / developed SQL Queries (TOAD) with several parameters for Backend/DB testing
Conducted meetings for project status, issue identification, and parent task review, Progress Reporting.

AMC MORTGAGE SERVICES, CA, USA Oct 04 – Dec 05

Business Analyst

The primary objective of this project is to replace the existing Internal Facing Client / Server Applications with a Web enabled Application System, which can be used across all the Business Channels. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Demands understanding and testing of Data Warehouse and Data Marts, thorough knowledge of ETL and Reporting, Enhancement of the Legacy System covered all of the business requirements related to Valuations from maintaining the panel of appraisers to ordering, receiving, and reviewing the valuations.

Responsibilities:

Gathered Analyzed, Validated, and Managed and documented the stated Requirements. Interacted with users for verifying requirements, managing change control process, updating existing documentation.
Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – that include UML Use case diagrams, scenarios, activity diagrams and data mapping. Provided End User Consulting on Functionality and Business Process.
Acted as a client liaison to review priorities and manage the overall client queue. Provided consultation services to clients, technicians and internal departments on basic to intricate functions of the applications.
Identified business directions & objectives that may influence the required data and application architectures.
Defined, prioritized business requirements, Determine which business subject areas provide the most needed information; prioritize and sequence implementation projects accordingly.
Provide relevant test scenarios for the testing team. Work with test team to develop system integration test scripts and ensure the testing results correspond to the business expectations.
Used Test Director, QTP, Load Runner for Test management, Functional, GUI, Performance, Stress Testing
Perform Data Validation, Data Integration and Backend/DB testing using SQL Queries manually.
Created Test input requirements and prepared the test data for data driven testing.
Mentored, trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards. Set-up and Coordinate Onsite offshore teams, Conduct Knowledge Transfer sessions to the offshore team.

Lloyds Bank, UK Aug 03 – Sept 04
Business Analyst
Lloyds TSB is leader in Business, Personal and Corporate Banking. Noted financial provider for millions of customers with the financial resources to meet and manage their credit needs and to achieve their financial goals. The Project involves an applicant Information System, Loan Appraisal and Loan Sanction, Legal, Disbursements, Accounts, MIS and Report Modules of a Housing Finance System and Enhancements for their Internet Banking.

Responsibilities:

Translated stakeholder requirements into various documentation deliverables such as functional specifications, use cases, workflow / process diagrams, data flow / data model diagrams.
Produced functional specifications and led weekly meetings with developers and business units to discuss outstanding technical issues and deadlines that had to be met.
Coordinated project activities between clients and internal groups and information technology, including project portfolio management and project pipeline planning.
Provided functional expertise to developers during the technical design and construction phases of the project.
Documented and analyzed business workflows and processes. Present the studies to the client for approval
Participated in Universe development – planning, designing, Building, distribution, and maintenance phases.
Designed and developed Universes by defining Joins, Cardinalities between the tables.
Created UML use case, activity diagrams for the interaction between report analyst and the reporting systems.
Successfully implemented BPR and achieved improved Performance, Reduced Time and Cost.
Developed test plans and scripts; performed client testing for routine to complex processes to ensure proper system functioning.
Worked closely with UAT Testers and End Users during system validation, User Acceptance Testing to expose functionality/business logic problems that unit testing and system testing have missed out.
Participated in Integration, System, Regression, Performance, and UAT – Using TD, WR, Load Runner
Participated in defect review meetings with the team members. Worked closely with the project manager to record, track, prioritize and close bugs. Used CVS to maintain versions between various stages of SDLC.

Client: A.G. Edwards, St. Louis, MO May’ 2005 – Feb’ 2006

Profile: Sr. Business Analyst/System Analyst

Project Profile: A.G. Edwards is a full service Trading based brokerage firm in Internet-based futures, options and forex brokerage. This site allows Users (Financial Representative) to trade online. The main features of this site were: Users can open new account online to trade equitiies, bonds, derivatives and forex with the Trading system using DTCC’s applications as a Clearing House agent. The user will get real-time streaming quotes for the currency pairs they selected, their current position in the forex market, summary of work orders, payments and current money balances, P & L Accounts and available trading power, all continuously updating in real time via live quotes. The site also facilitates users to Place, Change and Cancel an Entry Order, Placing a Market Order, Place/Modify/Delete/Close a Stop Loss Limit on an Open Position.

Responsibilities:

Gathered Business requirements pertaining to Trading, equities and Fixed Incomes like bonds, converted the same into functional requirements by implementing the RUP methodology and authored the same in Business Requirement Document (BRD).
Designed and developed all Narrative Use Cases and conducted UML modeling like created Use Case Diagrams, Process Flow Diagrams and Activity Diagrams using MS Visio.
Implemented the entire Rational Unified Process (RUP) methodology of application development with its various workflows, artifacts and activities. Developed business process models in RUP to document existing and future business processes. Established a business Analysis methodology around the Rational Unified Process.
Analyzed user requirements, attended Change Request meetings to document changes and implemented procedures to test changes.
Assisted in developing project timelines/deliverables/strategies for effective project management.
Evaluated existing practices of storing and handling important financial data for compliance.
Involved in developing the test strategy and assisted in developed Test scenarios, test conditions and test cases
Partnered with the technical areas in the research, resolution of system and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).