Alastair Majury Councillor

Looking to Become a Business Analyst?

Think back to your days in college or university, to those heady days when the future was wide open. You could be whatever you wanted to be: an economist, an accountant, or an IT developer, an advertising consultant, an astronaut! All you needed to do was research the right subjects and start on the right path. If you had decided that you'd wanted to be a business analyst, it might have been unlikely that you would have chosen to examine music, drama, medication, or any other seemingly unrelated topics.

The Business Analysis seminar in the Institute of Directors last June raised an interesting point: analysis is very much about implementing structured thought into the interpretation of data, and also the debate held that those from more creative backgrounds could apply a different way of thinking to arrive at distinctively invaluable insights.

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For many companies, the entry point for most business analysts is the graduate trainee program. The exposure to different business areas within a span of approximately 2 years will provide the individual a thorough all-round comprehension of the business enterprise. By structuring the development program, a robust career route can be mapped out beforehand, allowing the graduate to clearly specify what they want to achieve.

This leads us nicely to the immortal BA question: what do company analysts do precisely? The list below is by no means comprehensive, but should give you some idea:

  • Analyse the overall performance of a Company, i.e. the financial performance, the yield on used capital, along with other data to be able to Offer performance information on investments and business activities
  • review inner preparation, e.g. advertising and internal communications, process flows, and procurement plans, management and amenities
  • analyse and test systems, suppoort and systems growth
  • project management or change management, handling the necessary training and rollout
    analyse project financials, helping stakeholders to create the initial business case, gain support for projects, and quantify benefits
  • strategic planning for company needs
  • additional problem solving

The response to this question is that business analysts can perform all of the above, mixtures there or perhaps additional items that might not be included on the list. The part of a business analyst could be particular to the business labored for, meaning that defining the role clearly is quite difficult. The role is different for every analyst. Business investigation comes in many distinct flavours, from administrative and financial through to technical and marketing. It very much depends on the specific needs of the business. The core components, though, are a logical and organized application of data and information to estimate the functionality, or possible functionality, of a group of actions.

Many in-house small business analysts are actually under-utilised, being seen as needing to deliver test jobs only. An actual business analyst ought to be used as an in-house consultant, able to evaluate the potential effect of all ideas and proposal in their speciality, and then to assist or perhaps lead from the delivery of the proposed alternative where appropriate. Business analysts, in particular, ought to be able to work on an individual and team basis as well as having the ability to work with outside consultancies.

The demand for business analysis is presently largely governed by company size, with large businesses possibly having committed investigation teams and smaller businesses possibly having only 1 source, or partial resource. As markets continue to change and evolve, potential faster because the recession, the need for smart data analysis is much more significant than ever. There's a strong need for all companies to have all direction trained in company analysis fundamentals, ideally supported by a committed business analyst resource.

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