In the world, it is a very natural feeling to leave your current job and take up something else as a profession. Almost every one of us has been through this, and it is alright if you feel the same!
As days pass, people are getting more curious about the role of a business analyst, especially the people who belong to a developer background. Are you among those people stuck at a crossroads, and you cannot decide if it will be better to take a different profession like a BA?
Well, of course! If you want to switch to BA from a developer background, this article is for you! Let’s see if a developer can become a business analyst.
Who Is a Business Analyst?
Business analysts are professionals who evaluate current systems and develop plans. These individuals are in charge of bridging the gap between business and Information Technology. BAs can use data analytics to assess processes, determine business needs, and make suggestions and reports to stakeholders and executives.
The IIBA considers these professionals as the agents of change, as the primary job of a business analyst is to introduce changes within the organization. The changes made by a business analyst can be opportunities for reducing costs, or the changes can be of a much higher level, like introducing changes in the policies. No matter what changes a business analyst brings to the organization, it will help the organization grow and prosper.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
Before you decide to make the switch, how about gathering some more ideas on what a business analyst does?
A business analyst examines data to find new ways to increase efficiency within the organization. This is why people say that business analysts often act as a bridge linking different departments in an organization, discovering ways to modernize processes in the organization.
Another important thing that a business analyst must do is – should be able to communicate well with all the organizational groups. Business analysts sometimes also act as diplomats and present solutions to business barriers to colleagues and stakeholders.
Here are the most common roles of business analysts that include –
#1 Researching on Existing Business Systems
A business analyst examines the elements that impact the development and performance of the business. The professional also needs to explore and examine the current condition of the business system and create a business model.
#2 Identify Opportunities for Improvement
Using the previously designed business model or “as is” model, the business analyst tries to identify or discover loopholes or gaps. After finding gaps or loopholes in the business model, he focuses on strategizing a plan of action to remove the gaps. The strategic plan to remove the gaps is the “to be” business model.
This “to be model” is the plan that will provide the organization with potential ideas and suggestions that can change and enhance the current status of the business.
#3 Documents Business Needs and Other Requirements
It is also the responsibility of the business analyst to work with the business users, as they can help the business analyst to collect information about the needs and other requirements of the business for documenting and planning the project further.
The business analyst working in the organization also considers technical limitations.
#4 Facilitate Product Acceptance through UAT
The business analyst needs to host the acceptance test as the project progresses. This is also known as UAT, i.e., User Acceptance Testing.
The UAT ensures that the product is according to the clients’ requirements. The business analyst sends the prototype to the clients to test the product’s interface.
Now, as the business analysts get a hold of the clients’ feedback, he tries to improve the product even more by making some changes.
How Can a Developer Become a Business Analyst?
Switching from a developer background to a business analyst profile is not a cakewalk. And just because I said so, it does not mean that switching from developer to BA is pretty hard.
Numerous individuals started their early careers being developers and then switched to business analysts later. Of course, you can do it, but what you need is dedication, courage, and determination.
Without these three, it will be hard for you to switch careers! I am not discouraging you, but it is what it is. Now that you are ready to switch careers, let us discover how a developer can become a business analyst –
Validate You Want to be a Business Analyst
You cannot change careers overnight; you need to plan things out! If you want to be a business analyst, you need to validate it first. To do so, you need to understand the key differences that make these two professions stand apart.
You should validate your interest in being a business analyst.
Connect the Business Analysts with a Development Background
If you want to switch from the developer profile to the BA profile, you might consider interacting with business analysts with a developer background.
You can learn essential details from them, like what they did, where they started, how much time it took them to be a BA, etc.!
Keeping touch with such individuals will help you get the guidance you need!
Get Training and Education in Business Analysis
Suppose you have been working as a developer, but now you are looking forward to switching to being a business analyst. In that case, you need to consider getting an education and training in this field.
Having the required skillset is not enough to be a successful business analyst.
Now comes preparing yourself for this profession; you have to start by learning the fundamentals such as –
- Tasks or Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
- Life Cycles of Software Development
- SMART Techniques (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound)
- Managing and Identifying Project Stakeholders
- Techniques of Elicitation
- Uncovering and Documentation of Business Rules
- BRD (Business Requirement Document)
- Concepts for Visual Modelling
- Conducting a Review of the Project
Package Transferrable Skills
Being a business analyst is not easy. You need to master certain skills to become a business analyst. Here are the twelve transferrable skills that act like your career tool belt.
As a business analyst, mastering this skill will help you identify the problem and help you find the root cause behind the problem to find an appropriate solution.
Critical thinking is an essential skill for business analysts. This skill is quite similar to problem-solving but is not alike. Critical thinking is the skill that helps you evaluate and interpret information to come to a judgment, or conclusion, or help decide the course of action.
Leadership is one of the key skills that make a business analyst successful in his career. Leadership is not about managing and supervising a team; there is more.
This skill gives you the ability to take the lead over a project, get your team going, and accomplish common goals. Leadership skills go together with skills like problem-solving, communication, etc.
Sometimes things may not go as planned, and you might adjust the workflow slightly. This skill provides you with the ability to handle unforeseen changes or challenges and get the work done with a positive attitude.
Communication is the key to a successful career. This skill is essential for every type of job. Proper communication skills allow you to present your ideas and thoughts concisely, reducing all the chances for one to misunderstand you.
Active listening skill is a major requirement for business analyst. You cannot overlook this skill! A business analyst has to be very attentive to understand what a person is saying. And this is not possible with poor listening skills.
Employers often look for a business analyst who can think out of the box—efficiently solving problems and approaching tasks.
Attention To Detail
As a business analyst, you will have to pay attention to minute details. Business analysts have to be detail-oriented. You have to keep projects, tasks, and everything in check, and you cannot miss out on single detail, no matter how minor it is.
The role of BA is crucial in project management. When a project comes along with various details and requirements, a BA helps manage the task from the beginning to the end. This skill is very important for being a good business analyst.
Building and maintaining good relationships in the company is one of the key roles of a business analyst. Without forming a good relationship between the clients and other leaders, a business cannot function properly.
You do not have to be a tech wizard but a business analyst, and it is necessary to know your way around the programs that businesses use.
If you thought that management is just about assigning, I want you to think a bit more as I tell you what it is. Management is assigning tasks to people according to their field of expertise. It is about ensuring that the employees complete the tasks efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, the management’s job is to help team members overcome any barriers that impede the tasks.
Get New Work Experience
Business analysts use analytics and other data programs to study graphs, trends, and features. And this professional often relies on applications such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Google Analytics, SQL, and Tableau. These tools help BAs gather data, design charts, and create documents and visualizations.
Now, database and programming skills are not that necessary to get a position as a business analyst, but these skills do come in handy when making a switch to BA.
Hence, acquiring experience is vital before you switch to the BA profession. Having a couple of experience will advance your resume and help you get the job.
Yes, you can start being an entry-level BA and gain experience. Working as a BA will give you the experience of working on different projects.
Update Professional Assets
Today, it is very easy to think of personal traits that make us stand out. But, what about the professional traits?
Honestly, some traits and assets can always help you stay in the good books. Having certain professional assets can make you the go-to person in the organization. Here are some of the assets that can you advance through your career and will also benefit your company –
Being aware of your capabilities is another form of an asset that very few people have; use it while you can!
Experience speaks! If you have experience and very knowledgeable background, you are no less than a treasured asset.
Employees who are readily available for anything are the ones who are worth keeping.
If you have grit, try using it at your workplace! You will not be disappointed; it can take you even further than expected.
Staying dedicated to what you do is one of the greatest qualities recruiters look for in their employees.
Having a reliable decision-maker at work can benefit you and your company.
Adaptation is a greater asset; it helps you balance your workload.
Confident employees have always been the key to the success of any business.
If you are invested and enthusiastic about your role, it can give you the boost you need to advance your career.
It can help develop your relationships, which can incredibly benefit the workplace.
So, now you know that a developer can be a business analyst! As you have read in the article, it is not easy. But, if you have the courage, determination, and dedication, these three qualities can surely get you going!
Now that you know what a business analyst is and his responsibilities, what are you waiting for?
Start preparing today! Good luck!