Many professionals wanting to enter the business analysis field have been seeking my advice over the years.
Here are a few questions I have been asked:
- “How can I launch my career as a business analyst?”
- “Is it possible for someone who is a sales engineer to switch to a business analyst role?”
- “Is it possible for me to become a business analyst with no BA experience?”
- “How do I switch to a business analyst profession if I currently work in freight forwarding and operations?
- “I have been working as a software developer for the last three years. I plan to switch my career to become a business analyst. Where should I begin?”
- “Can I become an analyst in business after graduating with a BBA?”
I replied that even a little business experience would be an advantage because the business analyst role is diverse and not restricted to one field.
According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, Business Analysis is one of America’s fastest-growing occupations with an all-time high annual growth rate of 14%. In comparison, the average growth rate for all professions is 5%.
A business analyst’s work is multifaceted. A Business Analyst takes the responsibilities of a facilitator, mediator, moderator, connector, and ambassador to fulfill all of the enterprise’s business needs. They act as a bridge between each department at every stage of development. BAs need to be good at soft skills like communication, problem-solving, analyzing, and technical skills.
A BA is, in short, the backbone of growth and advancement within an organization.
Below is a list of professions through which it is easier to foray into the business analyst field:
To transition into the world of business analysis, you will need to acquire and refine new skills and master some tools to succeed.
Here are some steps that will assist professionals in carving a path to a rewarding career in business analysis.
1. Learn the Basics of Business
Understanding the business workflow is very important. It is also essential to understand and be familiar with the organization’s background and functions. The APQC is a good starting point to go through a generic process classification framework.
2. Learn the Business Analysis Process
The IIBA Business Analysis Core Standard is the best and most cost-free resource to learn the BA process. This document is highly informative and gives you an idea of how business analysis works.
3. Develop Behavioral Skills
BAs act as a bridge between each department at every stage of development. It is important to improve key skills like behavioral and communication skills, stakeholder interaction and active listening skills, facilitation, conflict resolution, creative thinking skills. The best way to master these skills is to practice them extensively.
4. Learn Requirements Modeling and Management Tools
BAs use many tools to regulate their work and be efficient. Business process modeling, use case modeling, state modeling, and Microsoft Visio are some of the most popular tools. Some free tools such as Lucid Chart and BizAgi’s Business process modeler are also available.
With Adaptive’s Inner Circle you get an opportunity to access essential BA books and tools to practice.
5. Learn the Domain of Your Organization/domain of Interest
You can find great resources on the internet for almost all domains, and maybe even within your organization. It is also recommended that you look for handbooks about your domain. Your stakeholders will be more open and accepting of you as a business analyst if you know your domain and organization well.
6. Participate in Professional Groups and Conferences on Business Analysis
There are numerous professional groups and virtual conferences that focus on business analysis. These events will help you understand the changing landscape of business analysis, trends occurring in the field, and new BA concepts you can bring to the table.
Sign up to be an IIBA member and volunteer at local chapters and events.
7. Use Stepping Stones to Explore Roles That are Gateways to Business Analysis
You can find mid-position jobs while switching from your current job to that of a business analyst. Roles like customer support, reporting, and business process analyst will help you understand the business world and add to your business experience. You will eventually find your dream job if you keep making minor and good career improvements.
8. Get Certified
Along with a degree and work experience, a Business Analyst certification is a significant asset in getting recognized as a BA. Certified business analysts have a more comprehensive view of BA techniques and approaches.
ECBA certification by IIBA is an excellent choice for those looking to get into business analysis.
Adaptive US is an EEP with IIBA that has helped many professionals become ECBA-certified and move into a rewarding BA career.
For more details- ECBA Training
9. Start Within Your Organization
After becoming certified, you can use your knowledge and experience gained in your industry/domain to search for opportunities within your current organization.
First, look for internal transfer possibilities or upgrades. Discuss with your manager about your career goals and seek opportunities to learn and practice BA skills/techniques.
Suppose you are unable to find a job within your current organization. You can update your resume accordingly to highlight your “functional knowledge” in your field/domain along with your certifications.
10. Learn to Network Well and Leverage it.
The right push and motivation help to move up in your career. Surround yourself with passionate professionals of the BA job, share your ideas and get suggestions, and learn from their experiences. This will, in turn, help you identify opportunities and develop strategies on how to advance in your career.
An organization’s best asset is its business analyst. A competent and skilled BA is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
So, it is always good to plan, master the skills required, and forge a bright future with one of the fastest emerging professions.