Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst

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Have you recently accepted your first business analyst position? Are you starting a new business analyst role and wondering what skills you should work on first? ...what follows are the 10 skills that new business analysts tend to need to work on first.

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In this article, I’ll show you how you can apply three specific business analysis elicitation or requirements gathering techniques as part of facilitating all or part of a meeting even if you aren’t in a business analysis role.

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Many words have been written about the process of business analysis and how it can be performed on different types of projects. There are a multitude of tools and techniques which can be used plus methodologies and frameworks to suit a wide variety of circumstances. This makes it all too easy to get absorbed in the day-to-day detail and forget about the real purpose of business analysis – to fix a problem or provide the organisation with a new capability.

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Enterprise analysis (also known as strategic enterprise analysis or company analysis) is defined as focusing “on understanding the needs of the business as a whole, its strategic direction, and identifying initiatives that will allow a business to meet those strategic goals.” 

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Many run into the problem of differentiating between a systems analyst and a business analyst. The differences in some organizations do not exist. In other companies, the comparison is almost an insult. Depending on the business or corporation, there are many differences. The job title is not the only thing with which to compare these two separate roles. The problem occurs when the title is not so conclusive. The business systems analyst or the systems business analyst can actually be one or the other or both. Job description is the only way to tell when this happens. There are differences, though.

Author: Tony de Bree

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You walk into your local IIBA meeting and introduce yourself to a new attendee. They ask you what seems to be one of the toughest questions in the world: “How do I become a business analyst?” Hmm…  How do you become a business analyst?
 

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Worldwide, there are between five hundred thousand and one million people working as Business Analysts...  So why are all types of businesses, from charities to investment banks, hiring so many of them?...  What do they actually do?...

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So you want to be a better requirements analyst. Or maybe you’re completely new to business analysis and you just want to learn what requirements analysis involves, period.

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We BA's are occasionally asked, "What do you do?" I try to make a joke out of this innocent question by replying, "Well, what would YOU do with English and writing degrees? I'm a Business Analyst of course." People don’t laugh.

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In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the practice of resume writing is not what it used to be. Resumes must be more clean, concise, and convincing than they were in recent years. Today’s business analysts need every edge they can get.

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While my co-workers know me as a manager of Business and Systems Analysis, others know me as a Triathlete (A triathlon is multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events; most commonly swimming, bicycling, and running).  It was while reading a recent article about Triathlon that I began to draw a strong parallel between achieving career goals as a business analyst and achieving goals as a triathlete. 

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The structure of business analysis documents isn't a commonly discussed topic. This article will show what documents are produced by a BA and the main sections they contain.

These are the main documents produced by a BA over the course of a project...
 

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There are as many types of business analyst personalities as there are organizations and projects. The million-dollar questions is, how can a manager match an analyst’s unique skills to the projects that can really benefit from them, helping to ensure a project’s success? How can a manager build stronger, perhaps more suitable skills in his analysts?

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Taking a long lens approach to looking at 2011 is an apt metaphor that should serve as a reminder to BAs of the perspective they need to take to in terms of both their professional development and their role in the organization. There’s no better time to take stock and strategize on how to best prepare for the opportunities and the challenges you’ll experience ahead.

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As I look back on the last nine years of my BA career, I realize just how well that initial reason for leaving the call center, that desire to make a difference for my customers, has served as a guiding light for me as a BA. Providing my customers with tools and processes that anticipate problems they may have has been a goal throughout my years as a BA.

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