Nobody is perfect in this world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert in a subject. Yes! We are talking about a widely known job role known as SME or Subject Matter Expert.
You must have come across a few notifications that go “Hiring SMEs” at least once in your life, but have you wondered who a subject matter expert is? If you have been looking for the answers to these questions, I am happy to tell you that you have reached the right place!
This article will talk about Subject Matter Expert’s roles and how they are different from business analysts. To know the answers, give this article a read, and by the end, you will know everything about business analysts.
What Is a Business Analyst’s Role?
Business analysts are professionally trained individuals who use data to gain business insights into the company. After gaining insights, business analysts suggest certain changes within the organization.
Business analysts also go by the name of management analysts, as they are in charge of understanding a business’s key requirements and helping it grow and flourish.
These professionals are also in charge of providing technical solutions to the business so that it can enhance normal business and overall system functionality. A business analyst acts as a good link between the business and its IT departments.
Business analysts invest a lot of time finding barriers or loopholes or the areas that need improvement to maximize efficiency and strengthen the business processes. Here are the roles that a business analyst plays –
- Identifying and prioritizing the company’s technical and functional requirements
- Compiling documents, tables, charts, and other elements that are used for data visualization to get a detailed analysis of the business
- Understanding, prioritizing business needs, frame the best business strategy to work towards the goal with efficiency.
- Creating and presenting financial models to justify and support business actions
- In charge of analyzing huge sets of data using Microsoft Excel and SQL
- Planning the structure of the business which is also known as enterprise architecture
What Is a Business Analyst SME Role?
Now that you know that SME or Subject Matter Expert is typically someone who has deep knowledge and experience in a particular job, department, process, machine, material technology, etc.
You head to a subject matter expert if you intend to leverage their unique expertise to solve specific doubts and problems. Besides that, subject matter experts also act as expert witnesses, especially in lawsuits and other legal actions.
You are most likely to find them specifically in technical disciplines, although these professionals can be found in various departments. However, it is much more likely for you to see them in IT, software development and customer support, marketing, and almost every business area.
Here are some of the most common duties or roles of an SME; read on –
- Subject Matter Experts prescribe a certain process that can help employees perform the tasks confidently and help in running the business efficiently and consistently
- Client consults with Subject Matter Experts when there is a need of examining a company’s technology, software, and equipment infrastructure
- Subject Matter Experts analyze or look after how the company is utilizing its resources, and they can suggest more efficient ways as well
- Subject Matter Experts are hired for developing a company’s training modules as per their requirements, and SMEs also act as instructors as they are found to train newly employed individuals
- Not just Its, even the pharmaceutical companies do approach SMEs with a prime purpose of contributing to documents or medical journals
- When it comes to legal actions, the Subject Matter Experts usually present themselves as a witness and testify cases, and these generally happen in case of lawsuits
- The industries that specifically focus on digital marketing hire SMEs for training all the members of their marketing team, Subject Matter Experts provide them the key knowledge of hosting large social media campaigns
- These professionals also help with data management, such as marketing models and marketing techniques
- Again, companies that focus more on innovation often approach Subject Matter Experts to help them resolve their business challenges and barriers related to advancements or new technology
- Also, Subject Market Experts help companies with SEO by boosting the web traffic
What Is the Difference Between the Business Analyst and an SME?
As you have read in the above sections of the article, you know how both careers differ.
The role of a business analyst can vary a lot depending on the type of organization; however, the most common role of a business analyst in an organization is all about the project deliverables. Yes, a business analyst has to look at it all, right from the start to proper execution in the middle and testing the prototype in the end.
The role of a business analyst just does not end here; it has more! Sometimes, you can see a business analyst looking after numerous areas of an ongoing project, and these are –
- Scope assessment
- Mapping business processes
- Assessing the probability of risks
- Business cases, and
- Documentation of business processes
On the other hand, the majority of the business analysts do not work within a business that needs help with changing or adding features to a product. And guess what, this is when you would need an SME or Subject Matter Expert by your side.
The primary thought behind assigning a Subject Matter Expert or SME to a project is to provide detailed information about the business’s current status and the changes that are being requested from this project.
You own a business, and you plan on learning about the changes occurring within the company, how exactly business processes work, or how departments work. For this, you need to consult with a Subject Matter Expert or SME, as these individuals have the inner knowledge of departments.
Subject Matter Experts have this knowledge because the majority of the SMEs have started their job from an entry-level position and made their progress. Eventually, they know how a department works, how these business processes are implemented, and how they work.
In short, Subject Matter Experts are no less than priceless and irreplaceable resources for understanding how change affects a department and what could be its possible consequences. These individuals have the right knowledge of implementing changes so that the changes positively affect the business!
This is why Subject Matter Experts are invited to attend every business meeting to determine the current status of a business.
Now that you have read this article here, you must have thoroughly understood what a Subject Matter Expert is? And what do they do? They are subject expert professionals with deep understanding and special expertise in a specific subject and have authority on their subject.
A Subject Matter Expert’s job is to ensure a piece of specific information or content concerning their subject and make accurate remarks. They should possess great research skills; they should be very expressive and articulative, with a pretty observant, interesting, creative, and innovative personality!
Some may confuse SMEs with business analysts, but these professions are different from each other!
We hope this post helped you clarify the profession of Business analyst and the roles related to Subject Matter Experts.