What Is A Business Analyst?

What Does A Business Analyst Do?

I sometimes got the question of what do you do and who is or what does a Business Analyst do?

According the IIBA, the International Institute of Business Analysis,
A business analyst is any person who performs business analysis tasks described in the BABOK Guide, no matter their job title or organizational role.

The IIBA goes on to say:

Business analysts are responsible for discovering, synthesizing, and analyzing information from a variety of sources within an enterprise, including tools, processes, documentation, and stakeholder. The business analyst is responsible for eliciting the actual needs of stakeholders – which frequently involves investigating and clarifying their expressed desires – in order to determine underlying issues and causes.

Business analysts play a role in aligning the designed and delivered solutions with the needs of stakeholders. The activities that business analysts perform include: understanding enterprise problems and goals, analyzing needs and solutions, devising strategies, driving change, and facilitating stakeholder collaboration.

Other common job titles for people who perform business analysis include: business architect, business systems analyst, data analyst, enterprise analyst, management consultant, process analyst, product manager, product owner, requirements engineer, or systems analyst.

Sometimes I feel being a BA is that all encompassing “other duties as assigned” role. I liken it to the middle person, that bridge, between the business stakeholders and developers; translating the business needs and requirements into terminology the developers can understand and vice versa, taking the developers technical terminology and translating for the business users. As a BA, you definitely wear two hats, one that resides in the business world and one that resides in the information technology world.

So here are some of the typical tasks a BA does:

  • Define, analyze and recommend solutions to satisfy business requirements
  • Conduct economic, root cause and gap analysis, as well as perform evaluations
  • Develop business cases and requirements documents by identifying needs, conducting research, analyzing results and making recommendations
  • Work closely with project managers and developers to bring projects to successful closure
  • Train, guide and mentor fellow team members
  • Prepare reports, use cases, user stories, process flows and other documentation addressing various audiences
  • Communicate orally and in writing by making presentations, interviewing, negotiating, marketing ideas and conducting workshops
  • Know and understand the dynamics of group and individual processes and are skilled in using techniques to keep focus, encourage creative thinking, build consensus and invoke involvement in order to capture ideas, requirements while keeping spirit positive and productive
  • Improve business processes by applying problem solving techniques and developing new procedures or by conducting business reengineering
  • Develop training materials and deliver training sessions
  • Perform data quality monitoring and data governance

How Can A Business Analyst Benefit Your Project or Organization?

Here are just a few of the many ways you can benefit from having a BA:

Increased ROI

BAs increase the benefit achieved through an investment in technology be it software implement or some other technology product, as well as reduce cost to implement it. They lower costs by finding cost-efficient solutions and increase benefits by determining needs within the organization, prioritizing those needs by value, and making necessary changes.

Successful Projects

A BA is a critical component of a project and could save a project from failure. While the project manager (PM) oversees the project and keeps it on track, a business analyst makes sure the PM leads the right project, i.e. is attaining the right goals for the organizational needs within the project.

Lower Costs

A BA reduces project rework, under-utilized functionality and requirements churn.

Eliciting Requirements - A significant portion of project spending is wasted on rework caused by errors in requirements. By collaborating with stakeholders, BAs reduce the amount of rework on projects. One of a BA’s main functions is to determine the complete and correct business requirements at the start of the project so that development can occur properly throughout the project.

Implementation and Testing

The BA plays a significant role in implementation and testing, working closely with the testing team to review features and overall functionality of the product as it is being built. The BA ensures that the developed product meets all the requirements from the product backlog and technical documentation during application walkthroughs and other testing activities in each release cycle.

BAs are agents of change, as they introduce, manage, and facilitate the necessary changes to your business model. They serve as a valuable communication channel between stakeholders and the project team. But maybe I’m a little biased.

I hope this blog has helped you see the value that a business analyst can add to your Sitecore implementation or upgrade project.

👋 Hey Sitecore Enthusiasts!

Sign up to our bi-weekly newsletter for a bite-sized curation of valuable insight from the Sitecore community.

What’s in it for you?

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest Sitecore news
  • New to Sitecore? Learn tips and tricks to help you navigate this powerful tool
  • Sitecore pro? Expand your skill set and discover troubleshooting tips
  • Browse open careers and opportunities
  • Get a chance to be featured in upcoming editions
  • Learn our secret handshake
  • And more!
Sitecore Snack a newsletter by Fishtank Consulting