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Business Analysts come in many different shapes and sizes and although there is a lot of commonality between Business Analysts there are also a lot of variety when it comes to skill level, subject matter experience and work environments. In a general and in the most rudimentary sense, the role of a Business Analyst came forth as a result of the evolution of software solutions within the organization.
However, we are still today defining the role of the Business Analyst and trying to agree on what the profession of Business Analysis truly includes or not. The ongoing challenge for organizations to remain competitive and ahead of everyone else in this ever changing world is driving continuous change and progress within the technology world (and vice verse) which means that a role such as that of a Business Analyst must be adaptable and responsive enough to also continuously change and evolve to remain a value added and essential service within the organization. If we wanted to look at a few examples of what a Business Analyst can be described as today it will highlight some of the difficulties of creating and establishing a precise definition of the role of a Business Analyst. Within the realm of projects the main difference between the types of Business Analysts are their years of experience and how much of their time they are spending doing subject matter expertise work gained within a previous role or as a consequence of being placed in one type of project environment for a long period of time. Some Business Analysts are employed within a more operational role within the organization where they are often concerned with assisting in the development of business plans, business cases for initiatives or feasibility studies of different types of opportunities. In rare cases, the more experienced and senior Business Analysts would also be involved in defining business unit goals and objectives and aligning initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization. Another variance of the operationally focused Business Analyst role is that of the Business Analyst with a financial focus. With the exception of the Business Analyst with a strictly financial focus coming from a financial academic background it is fair to say that both the category of project focused business analysts and operationally focused business analysts can operate and perform their jobs using a similar set of techniques and tools although there will be areas of significant differences as well. There is still a different perspective to be had on the different types of Business Analysts out there in the market. There are a large number of people who currently enter the Business Analyst role with no formal Business Analysis qualifications and minimal experience. Many professionals within the market have learned the ropes of Business Analysis with minimal formal education and mostly through practical work within a specific type of Business Analysis technique range. A reasonably common type of Business Analyst role is that of a professional who is a subject matter expert within a specific domain who gets assigned the role of Business Analyst.
Although this role as a Business Analyst is solid and likely to have a good knowledge base of Business Analysis approaches and techniques, this role runs the risk of transforming into a subject matter expert role because all work is done within the same domain. With this Business Analyst role the individual has completed a formal qualification in Business Analysis through an endorsed type of training provider or a university. Finally, the Business Analyst role which is according to current thinking in the industry closest to the nirvana Business Analyst role is this one. There are a variety of different types of professionals today who are either already placed in a pseudo Business Analysis role but are not really qualified as a Business Analyst or they are planning to change their careers to become Business Analysts.
This article will outline the broad steps with specific examples and ideas for people to follow in order to redirect their careers towards becoming the Business Analyst that they are aspiring to be. Many people who have said that they want to become Business Analysts have not necessarily set a specific goal with a specific timeframe for achieving the role as a Business Analyst. A key part of this goal is to visualize the end goal where you already are within the role of a Business Analyst.
Regardless of your professional background, you must make sure that you get more familiar with what it means to be a Business Analyst. The above is just an example of how you can go about the task of analyzing your previous work experience with that of what a Business Analyst need to be able to do.
Everyone is slightly different and every person has a different combination of factors to put together when shaping their plans to become a business analyst. Update your resume to reflect that you have Business Analysis related experience by using the same terminology that Business Analysts use when you describe your previous experience.
Highlight the Business Analysis training you have completed (if you decided to do some training). Also ensure that you have written a unique and specific Business Analyst cover letter for each job application you do!

Now that you have read through the different steps or factors that can play an important part in your career change to business analysis you should also keep the following in mind. Every person will have a combination of these factors within their background and experience that they can use to a greater or lesser degree to enhance their progress towards achieving the goal of becoming a Business Analyst. The person who remains focused on achieving the goal of becoming a business analyst regardless of any challenges or additional efforts required for success is also the person who becomes a business analyst.
As a Business Analyst you will get involved in business projects where there are some talk about the business processes and the fact that one of the outcomes of implementing the next solution should improve those business processes.
Business Process Analysis in the context of Business Analysis is always around Business Process Improvement initiatives. As a Business Analyst working on a Business Process Improvement initiative you should be aware that there are six main stages that any approach around Business Process Improvements should follow. As a Business Analyst it is very likely that you will come across Business Process Improvement activities or projects in your work life. The primary role of marketing is to understand the marketplace, and interpret the voice of customers, to align strategic promotional initiatives with customers now and in the future, positioning organizations to become and remain both competitive and profitable. Operations managers and general managers have similar roles, but their responsibilities are different. Finance and accounting managers play a major role in ensuring the financial health and wellness of an organization by acting as trusted business partners to senior leaders. Successful finance and accounting managers are highly ethical, detail-oriented, and have exemplary math and analytical skills.
The need to be able to express what a business unit wanted a new software solution to do was what created the role that we now commonly refer to as the role of a Business Analyst. We will cover more about these types of variances in the roles of Business Analysts later on in this article. These Business Analysts are typically pre-qualified as Financial Professionals and not really aligned to the mainstream role of a Business Analyst. These types of Business Analysts would be well versed in mainstream techniques such as business requirement gathering related tasks but less well versed in specialized Business Analysis techniques, which they have not had the opportunity to learn within their practical environment. They may well perform some mainstream Business Analysis tasks but is unlikely to be competent as a Business Analyst outside their subject matter area of expertise.
It is an easy trap to fall into and unless the individual wants to become a subject matter expert rather than a pure Business Analyst, they should consider creating more subject matter variety within their Business Analyst role. This type of Business Analyst is closest to the main stream Business Analysts that are defined currently and has a solid knowledge base of all the Business Analysis techniques and approaches available. It is because not only does this Business Analyst role have the knowledge base due to formal education but it also has the proof of applying these approaches and techniques equally effectively regardless of subject matter area or domain.
As a Business Analysis Community we must work together to continue to add business value as our main objective whilst also remain focused on formalizing and establishing Business Analysis as a robust and versatile professional career.
This is an essential first step for anybody who wants to change their careers to become Business Analysts. This is a crucial step because not only will it help inform you about the business analysis profession but it will also enable you to do the next step, which involves analyzing your current career and work experience in detail.
A great place to learn more about Business Analysis is to join the LinkedIn Discussion Groups. It is a great way to start mixing with people who is already doing the role of Business Analysis. Now that you have some understanding of what Business Analysis entails, you will be able to carefully consider all your past work experience to see whether you have skills and experience which is closely related to some of the key business analysis tasks being performed by Business Analysts. The more relevant experience you can find in your previous work experience the easier it will be for you to transfer your skills and experience into a role as a Business Analyst. This can almost always be made good use of by keeping our eyes and ears open for a role, which requires the specialist knowledge you already have as part of the Business Analysis role you are pursuing.

Education is a factor that you can choose to include in your plans to put some proof of formal knowledge in place on your Business Analyst resume. If you think about this task in a different way you may feel more inspired to follow these instructions carefully: Imagine the recruitment agent sifting through hundreds of resumes looking for a suitable Business Analyst to fill a Business Analysis role. You should work towards maximizing as much of each factor as what you are able to because that will bring you closer to the goal of becoming a business analyst. Best of luck in your plans to become a business analyst, it is achievable and a great career to embark on. The reason a Business Analyst will be involved in Business Process Analysis is purely around identifying current Business Process issues, problems and inefficiencies and working towards developing an improved Business Process for implementation using a variety of potential approaches and tools.
This is part of the reason why we still have a wide variety of people with different skill sets, experiences and backgrounds calling themselves Business Analysts.
There are a variety of established and agreed business analysis techniques, which are used to achieve this result.
Even within this role as a Business Analyst there is also the variance of doing reporting and data analytics within the role.
However, these roles are also referred to as being Business Analysts in many organizations today.
This is what the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge prepared by the International Institute of Business Analysis is continuously working on getting defined. This happens sometimes when junior team members in an organization ask to be placed in a project environment as part of their professional development within the organization and this way they get the opportunity to start out as a business analyst. This type of Business Analyst can develop themselves into qualified and experienced Business Analysts with ease.
These individuals do have the perfect opportunity to learn and apply Business Analysis knowledge and approaches within a provided environment quite easily and this way morph themselves into mainstream qualified Business Analysts.
There are many Business Analysis groups on a variety of topics and people are very willing to help answer questions.
Two typical examples of transferrable skills between almost any profession and business analysis include the following: stakeholder relationship management and requirements gathering related tasks.
Your experience in these areas will likely be similar types of experience than that what a Business Analyst do as part of their role.
For example, you may have a background in the health sector where you may not have been a business analyst in before but you have worked in the subject matter area of Health or Medicine.
There are many different ways you could choose to get training but always make sure you consider the important factors of any Business Analysis Training Provider.
You may also get involved in projects where the total focus is on gaining business process efficiency and everything is geared toward business process analysis using a structured Business Process Management approach.
This is a great advantage you will have over other people who may also be pursuing a junior business analysis role in the Health sector based Company. When you have recent training within Business Analysis on your resume, you will appear as if you are serious about the Business Analysis role and having done the training recently will also be an advantage on the resume.
These types of projects are purely about Business Process Improvement and as the Business Analyst you will be following a very structured approach and use specific tools to perform your Business Process Analysis work. This type of scenario will potentially become less frequent in future when the role of the Business Analyst is better defined and understood in organizations around the world but for now it creates an amazing opportunity for many individuals to start building their business analysis careers from.
Regardless of how deeply involved you are as a Business Analyst in the Business Process Improvement aspects of projects, you will need to know at least the fundamentals of what Business Process Improvement is all about before you start. Therefore, use this to your advantage to make the career change to become a business analyst by seeking opportunities for Business Analysts within industries and sectors you already have some experience in.

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