CRITICAL BUSINESS ANALYST SKILLS

I speak to new and prospective BAs very regularly and it amazes me how many people do not know which skills are critical to the success of a Business Analyst.

As with many professions, the BA profession has a specific set of skills that are key to our success. An understanding of these skills would be useful before deciding to become a BA.

Imagine trying to be an accountant and you can’t stand the sight of numbers and spreadsheets. You may be a good enough accountant, but I’m not sure you will progress much within the accounting career. Similarly, someone who is a BA but not great with people or with bringing together information for people at all levels within an organization. You may get by as a BA for a while, but I doubt you’ll progress much within the profession.

I think it is very important to carry out a self-assessment before deciding if Business Analysis is right for you, by taking stock of your skills and identifying the gaps so that you are able to plan your career more effectively.

According to the Business Analysis 3rd Edition, there are 3 broad sets of skills that a BA should endeavor to develop. Personal Qualities, Business Knowledge and Professional techniques.

Whilst professional techniques are relatively easy to learn, Business Knowledge and personal qualities are relatively more difficult to develop.

 

Personal qualities

Communication

Relationship building

Influencing

Team working

Political awareness

Attention to details

Problem-solving

Leadership

Self Belief

Professional development

Analytical skills and critical thinking

Business knowledge

Business finance

Business case development

Domain knowledge

Subject matter expertise

Principles of IT

Organization structures

Supplier management

Business architecture

Professional techniques

Project management

Strategy analysis

Stakeholder analysis and management

Investigation techniques

Requirement engineering

Business modeling

Data modeling

Gap analysis

Facilitation skills

Portfolio management

Benefits management

Agile thinking

 

Take a minute to review the list above and identify which one of the skills you are proficient in.

Developing these skills is a long-term project for the Career BA, It may sometimes take several years to develop a handful of personal qualities for the level of experience you have as a BA.

However, I always say to my students, there are 3 key skills you need to be confident in, as you start your business analysis career.

1. Stakeholder Management

2. Process Modelling

3. Requirements Engineering

Within these 3 skills, you will find enough to get you through your early days as a Business Analyst.

I will break down each of these skills in subsequent posts, don’t miss it!