7 top tips for Business Analysts

Business Analyst jobs are hard to get in to, so once you’ve landed one it’s key to impress. As a result we’ve put together some top tips for Business Analyst roles.

As well as looking at each job as the chance to find out about a new system make sure you grasp the opportunity to get to know people as well. Although analysis skills are key – your recommendations and reports are likely to meet with resistance if you are not able to connect with a wide variety of people.

It’s great to be able to convince a group of people, but pointless if the one person you need to convince isn’t in that group. As a result it’s important to find out who that person is and to bring them into the process as early on as possible to make sure they are getting all the information they need to help you make your points.

Big chunks of information are hard to digest, so it’s important to make sure you provide regular feedback to ensure what you’re saying can be taken in and considered. Going off and producing in depth reports and documentation can also leave you open to propagating mistakes for example it is very easy to produce too much or the wrong type of documentation without regularly consulting with the stakeholders who are going to be using it.

Projects can suffer huge set-backs or even collapse from untested assumptions. It is important to identify untested assumptions and get them tested early on to keep projects on track. This is especially important for those projects that either you or your organisation have not undertaken before.

It is easy to get carried away focusing on small parts of the business area early on. It is important not to get swept up in to in depth analysis without planning. Starting out looking at the big picture and working your way from the top down as the project progresses usually allows you keep track of time.

The requirements should make sense no matter what the technology solution. This is key as otherwise the requirements will not be re-usable should the technology solution change. This can end up in a lot of lost time and effort.

Human nature dictates that the likelihood is there will be some kind of office politics that will influence your projects at some point. Although there isn’t much you can do about this one, it is wise to keep yourself aware of this fact.

  1. Use every Business Analyst job as an opportunity to learn about other people
  2. Meet the person with ultimate signing authority asap!
  3. Provide regular feedback
  4. Test assumptions
  5. Budget your time
  6. Don’t make the requirements fit the technology solution
  7. There is almost always a hidden agenda

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Helen Bayram