Business Analyst

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What does a Business Analyst do?

IT industry offers attractive salaries and a wide variety of professions, and many of today’s students would like to know what options they have for tomorrow’s jobs. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to be a programmer and know how to code in order to get a profitable position and work for an international IT company. In this article, we are going to talk about a Business Analyst (BA) profession, what you need to learn and what certificates to obtain to compete for the best positions, and what salary you can expect.

Who is a Business Analyst?

It is an intermediary chain between the customer and the programmers’ team. He or she examines the problems and needs of the client, creates the solution concept, and transforms it into terms of reference for the programmers. A specialist needs strong knowledge of the industry he or she works with, technical background, and excellent communication skills.

Business Analyst role

The main duty of a BA is to determine the problems of the client and offer them an optimal solution. To be able to do so, a professional must have sufficient knowledge of the subject area. BA works with the client’s requirements at all stages of IT product creation and implements a role of an intermediary between the client and the developers’ team.

The stages of work of a BA include:

  1. Identification of the client’s problems and needs that they seek to solve.
  2. Individually or with the team, formulate the concept of the solution.
  3. Transformation of the agreed concept into technical terms of reference with specifications for the future product. At this stage, different methods of business analysis are used. They include the creation of processes and structures' models, prototypes of the user interface, and scenarios of use. Simultaneously, the analyst performs an accurate assessment of labour costs and the time required for the project implementation.
  4. Creation of detailed technical specifications for each required aspect of the product.
  5. Consulting programmers and testers during product development, solving any arising misunderstandings with the client.

A typical day of a BA consists of:

  • Meetings with the developers’ team and customers;
  • Elaboration of conceptual solutions;
  • Work with the analytic tools, i.e., schemes, prototypes, etc.
  • Work with the customer’s requirements: their gathering, creation of terms of reference, and specifications;
  • Consultations with programmers and testers;
  • Study of standards.

Business Analyst skills

The BA position requires a set of professional and personal skills.

Professional skills include:

  1. Skills in information collection and analysis methods;
  2. Knowledge of the subject area that has to be analyzed;
  3. Comprehension of the software lifecycle;
  4. Knowledge of programming, testing, algorithm creation, and economics basics.

A successful analyst is free of the IT specialist's narrow-mindedness, i.e., he or she is able to see the whole picture, able to find solutions for a company’s needs through technologies.

Considering that the BA profession is closely related to communication, analysis, and the ability to find creative solutions, the skills needed for an expert in this area aren’t strictly professional. An individual should also have certain personality traits such as:

  • Analytical mindset;
  • Ability to quickly grasp knowledge in a previously unknown or unstudied area;
  • Ability to analyze the current situation in comparison with the previous one;
  • Decisiveness;
  • Passion for new knowledge;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Ability to communicate their thoughts clearly and concisely.

Business Analyst qualifications

When speaking about qualifications needed for a BA, it is important to acknowledge that it requires knowledge of several different professions. In most cases, individuals become BA in three ways:

  1. He or she is an IT specialist who enjoys communication more than writing code. A transition from a programmer to an analyst ensures a good comprehension of the development process, the abilities of the software, and what a developer needs for quality work. However, in this case, a person should additionally acquire knowledge about a business area that requires automation.
  2. He or she doesn’t have an IT background but is an expert in a certain subject area. Such an analyst understands all the peculiarities of the industry and speaks the same language as the customer. But he or she will have to figure out what exactly is subject to automation and what data developers need to work on. For this, basic knowledge of programming to understand the abilities of the developers should be additionally obtained.
  3. Commonly, testers become good BA since they understand the essence and backstage of IT. Although they might not have the sufficient technical background to become programmers, they have enough knowledge to distinguish well-written requirements from poorly written ones. However, if a tester decides to become an analyst, he or she should be ready to broaden their knowledge both in technical aspects of the work and the industry that they plan to work with.

Business Analyst certification

To apply for BA jobs, you don’t need any certification. However, many professionals who have been already working in the industry consider obtaining professional certificates. There are several reasons for that:

  • Certified specialists get higher salaries;
  • Preparing for certification exams helps to streamline your knowledge and allows you to identify gaps in the skills and knowledge;
  • It is a way of confirming for yourself your value as a professional, so you could ask for a salary raise or seek a new job setting up higher requirements.

Several organizations offer BA certification. The most valued ones are:

  1. International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) offers CPRE certificates for requirements analysts in IT industry.
  2. International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
  3. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP).

You can get a certificate as a beginner or an expert.

Business Analyst Salary

In this section, we are going to talk about the salaries that are offered to BA. In the USA, the median annual pay for the specialist occupying this position is $69,500. A young specialist with minimum experience can count on $59,500 a year. A professional who works in the industry for more than five years receives around $76,500 annually.

In Canada, the same position is rewarded with around C$66,700 or $55,000 a year. A newcomer in the profession on average receives around C$52,000 or $43,000 annually. A professional with five-plus years of experience earns around C$71,500 or $59,400 a year.

In India, the median yearly salary of a BA is ₹606,600 or $8,400. A young specialist can expect to be paid ₹354,500 or $4,900 a year. A professional with more than five years of experience earns around ₹830,000 or $11,400 a year.

As for the major IT giants, they offer the following salaries for the position of a BA:

  1. Microsoft pays BA from $44,800 to $153,000 a year. In India, the median annual pay for the position is ₹551,500 or $7,500. The junior analysts at Microsoft India receive around ₹374,800 or $5,150 a year, and specialists with over 5 years of experience earn around ₹818,000 or $11,200 a year.
  2. Google offers a median annual BA salary from $32,140 to $220,500. In India, the salary for the position, depending on the level of the position, is rewarded with ₹481,000 ₹2,148,900 or $6,600-$29,500 annually.
  3. Amazon pays BAs on average $82,000 a year. In India, the average pay for the position is ₹782,000 or $10, 745 a year. Young specialists are paid around ₹600,000 or $8,244 a year, and professionals with more than 5 years of experience can expect a salary of around ₹1,400,000 or $19,200 a year.
Responsibilities of Business Analyst
Determination of the client’s needs
Creating a concise list of requirements for the future product
Requirements analysis (application of various methodologies, prototyping, questionnaires, surveys, competitors analysis, etc.)
Analysis of the problem areas and proposals for their improvement
Formalization of requirements (dividing them into business, functional, creating specifications)
Management of requirements (processing changes requests coming from the client, assessing their effect on existing requirements)
Communication of the client’s requirements to the developers
Salary of Business Analyst
junior 500000-850000
middle 850000-1300000
senior 1300000-2000000