The majority of Business Analysts work alongside a variety of people like developers, project managers and programmers. So, you may be wondering if you need to learn some technical skills to become a business analyst. The good news is, you do not need to be technology literate to become a business analyst. Although they work alongside people who are technology illiterate, they are not expected to be an expert in programming and systems.
However, there are some tech skills that a business analyst would need to know and understand so they can be more proficient in their job. The following IT skills for a business analyst are listed below.
IT skills for a Business Analyst
Data base structure
Business Analysts need to be familiar with technology such as OOPS or OOAD, a data base concept. The concept helps business analysts to create real world entities that may arise in a business such as invoice, product or contract etc.
Modelling tools are specific software used to make business analysts lives easier when it comes to mapping a project. The UML modelling software allows for business analysts, data modelers and developers to work together in one tool. This way they can share business requirements and can all track them throughout the development process. The most popular tools are Rational Rose, Star UML and Enterprise Architect.
Testing tools are used by Business Analysts before the release of a system or application. They test on behalf of stakeholders and sponsors for an application. If there is something wrong with the system or application, then the business analysts cannot release it and it will have to go back to the developers.
Business process management (BPM) tools are used to improve business processes from start to end by analysing it, modelling how it would work in different situations, executing and monitoring improvements. BPMs that business analysts can use are MS Visio and BiAgi so they can have a visual representation of the process flow and to communicate it to others on the project.
Reporting mechanisms are beneficial to business analysts as it enables them to execute a project to several people at once. Using internal tools like IcCube and Domo can help a business analyst to keep track of their performance.
Software engineering methodologies
Being able to understand and know software development life cycles (SDLC) will help business analysts as SDLCs are constantly changing. Business analysts should be aware of methodologies like Waterfall and Iterative as it will help them to plan their activities better and according to the SDLC.
Prototyping tools are an excellent way for business analysts to collect and evaluate feedback on features and requirements of a project. Tools such as Pencil, iRise and SmartDraw are a few popular tools used by business analysts.
Being proficient on MS office and using the whole package i.e MS Excel, MS Word and MS Powerpoint is essential for a business analyst. Investing time into understanding these tools and how they operate will help you throughout your life as a business analyst as they are used daily.
Throughout your life as a business analyst you will be responsible of the requirements needed for the projects that you are working on. Therefore, there are some requirement management tools to help you manage what is needed. Popular tools in the market are Open Source Requirement Management Tool (OSRMT), DOORS and Rational Requisite pro.
Lastly, although this isn’t classed as a technical skill for a business analyst, mind mapping is a technique that can be used effectively. Business analysts are expected to explore more details about a situation or solution and that’s why they mind map. There is software that can help business analysts with mind mapping, such as iMindMap.