What is a Business Analyst?

The business analyst (BA) is the primary liaison between project/program stakeholders, who understands business needs, structure, processes, policies and operations. The BA recommends and assesses impacts of changes that enable the organization to achieve its goals; captures, analyzes, and documents requirements; and supports the communication and delivery of those requirements to the stakeholders.

The BA is sometimes expected to also play the role of a systems analyst (a subject matter expert for the technical solution) and bridge the gap between the business problem and the technology solution.

How do I define who the business analyst should be?

Skills required for an effective business analyst include:

  • Strong written and verbal communication (including technical writing) skills
  • Understanding of systems engineering and modeling concepts
  • Ability to conduct cost/benefit analysis
  • Development of strong business cases
  • Complete understanding of different modeling techniques and methods
  • Leadership
  • Tactful in difficult situations
  • Problem solver
  • Analyzer
  • Ability to understand and respond to business needs in a rapidly changing environment

What are the business analyst responsibilities?

  • Elicit, translate, validate, communicate, negotiate and manage requirements through techniques such as interviews, walk-throughs, surveys, use cases, specifications, and modeling
  • Scope a project/program to meet business needs
  • Identify, define, communicate, and negotiate for solutions (technical, business process/procedural, etc.) that will maximize the value delivered by an organization or business unit to its stakeholders
  • Act as communication conduit between the stakeholders and the project/program team
  • Translate technical and architectural issues so that project/program stakeholders can understand and make effective decisions
  • Assist in writing user acceptance tests/cases, and liaise between testing resources and stakeholders
  • Represent stakeholders on the project/program
  • Identify and model processes, data, and business rules