Business Analysts play a key role in the success of an organization. In the world of business, the expectation of analysts varies widely from organization to organization such that it is not possible to come up with an overall comprehensive description of what a business analyst does or what they are expected to perform.
So who is a Business Analyst?
First, we look at what business analysis is.
Business analysis is defined by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) in their book A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) as follows;
“…the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysis enables an enterprise to articulate needs and the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that deliver value.”
The BABOK goes further to define a business analyst as;
“…any person who performs business analysis tasks, no matter their job title or organizational role.”
The business analyst also knows as BA is responsible for talking to business users to understand their needs. Rather than producing plans, the business analyst provides requirements which state the business needs and aligns them with the business processes.
Roles of a Business Analysts in Software Testing
Among other roles, the BA is expected to undertake the testing of the outputs in a project. Testing isn’t a stage in a sequence, but an ongoing activity that takes place throughout the life cycle of a project. Test tasks such as User Acceptance Testing are some of the components of the overall Quality Assurance process that takes place since the launch of a project and ceases during its implementation and handover to the organization. User Acceptance Testing is conducted to evaluate whether the system can support the business and user activities and ensure that the system is sufficient for business use.
The role of Business Analyst in Testing can be described as follows:
- BAs have the knowledge to validate the system to assess whether the solution meets the business needs or not. Testing helps to determine whether the system can be used in a real business scenario.
- Software testing offers the users a chance to confirm that it meets the business needs. BA can help to assess and confirm the correctness of a system and make improvements for future projects. Users need to test their systems to make sure they work as expected.
- BAs understand the requirements need for any change and they suggest the most suitable way to meet the business needs.
- Users need to understand how the system works so that can test it effectively. So, when BAs who have good knowledge of the how the system works are involved in testing, they help to train on how to use the system and answer all the user’s questions during the test sessions.
- The BA may sometimes be brought in to help the team is an assessment of the defects that may exist, discover their impact on the business and what steps should be taken to minimise the risks of these defects.
Depending on the role, the BAs help to determine the requirements needed for the solution to be met. Users are therefore expected to come up with their own test scripts, but BAs have to support this process or write the test scripts themselves.
How to Become a Business Analyst
Most time, we come across the question “How do I become a business analyst?” There are so many different answers to this question, but it depends on your current status and past experience. In this section, we look at the top five steps on how to become a business analyst.
Understand the business analysis well
Having the right knowledge of business analysis is a crucial part of your career change. The first step in becoming a business analyst is accumulating enough knowledge about the topic and there are several ways to do this. You can read the BABOK guide for business analysts.
You will get to gain more knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of the business analyst. If you decide to become a business analyst, learn enough and discover if the business analysis is the right choice of career for you.
Discover your transferable skills and develop your position
To be considered a professional, you must qualify for a certain sub-set of BA jobs. Don’t feel left out. Even the most qualified BAs do not qualify for every BA job. The best thing is to identify your transferable skills and work on your qualifications to make it easier for you to be considered.
Transferable skills can be got from previous experiences that entail the use of business analysis techniques in other roles rather than those related to BA. The skills can be used to develop your position and become a potential candidate for being a BA.
Collect tangible feedback
After you have gained confidence in your skills, move to the next stage which is getting tangible feedback. You can start sharing your career goals with other people and seek more opportunities to sharpen your skill as a business analyst.
The main aim of this exercise is to get feedback about your career goals and how other people perceive those goals. They can give an honest opinion on whether they are in a position to hire you or not.
Focus on getting your first opportunity
After a lot of time and effort spent in building your BA profile, you may be eligible for a business role or position in your organization. But not all jobs offer the same privilege. Some business analyst finds themselves searching for their first job outside their organization. Whichever the case, always remember that you are in charge of your success, so work hard until you get it.
While the role of a BA may vary from time to time, there are a few things that keep them focused. Some of these things are highlighted above and they will be of help to anyone who wants to become a business analyst. So, understand them and build your profession as a business analyst.
Bria Pierce is freelance writer and content manager at 123writings.com. She believes in the necessity of incessant personal development, passion for work and top-notch texts that can change our lives. Follow her on twitter.