Search
Career Spotlight: Business Analyst

Career Spotlight: Business Analyst

For IT professionals seeking to move beyond purely technical jobs, becoming a business analyst can be an attractive option, especially for those concerned about the effects of global outsourcing on the information technology field.

What do business analysts do? In a nutshell, they’re the ultimate facilitators, helping organizations implement technical solutions cost-effectively by determining and communicating technical requirements to a range of players who may be anywhere in the world.

“When you hear about far-reaching innovation, cutting-edge technology and high-growth IT careers, don’t just think in terms of architecture and development prowess,” writes Kathleen B. Hass in “The Business Analyst: The Pivotal IT Role of the Future,” a white paper. “In virtually every organization, the pivotal leadership role of the business analyst is beginning to shape the future of IT. So don’t blink -- or you’ll miss out on the IT opportunity of a lifetime.”

Two main factors are behind the demand for business analysts:
  • Increase in Outsourcing: When companies outsource technical projects, especially to India and Russia, they need tech-savvy professionals who can define project requirements and serve as conduits between far-flung managers and organizations. “I see a transition from technical roles to facilitation,” says Alexander Nepomnyashchiy, a Bellevue, Washington-based program manager with Russian IT firm Luxoft, noting the rise of the analyst role in the US.
     
  • Drive for Efficiency: Even companies that aren’t outsourcing need business analysts to craft processes that determine how technology can serve the business, rather than simply drain cash from it.
Knack for Translation

Business analysts are the bridges between an organization’s technologists and other departments. However, instead of focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of designing a database or managing a network, for example, business analysts develop, document and manage the requirements necessary to meet a business goal; they even help determine what the goal should be. Other business analysts may conduct similar work in less-technical areas such as process improvement.

Kathleen Barret, president of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), says business analysts’ ability to translate -- an ability that’s difficult to offshore -- is crucial to succeeding in the role. “[Business analysts] need to be there with the business,” she says. “It’s very difficult to do a good job virtually.”

Techies in Transition

IT professionals may come to the role of business analyst from jobs such as database analyst, software developer or other positions that require sharp analytical and problem-solving skills.

“Most of our technologists don’t just sit there and code or administer user-security issues,” says Glenn Brule, director of client solutions for ESI International, a business analysis training and services company. “They continuously work with clients at some level trying to understand what the client situation is, and, as such, by default are gathering requirements.”

Because the role requires a shift in mind-set, techies don’t always have an easy time making the transition, Barret says. Rather than working on implementing a solution as techies do, business analysts spend the bulk of their time in the neutral role of facilitating, negotiating, analyzing and information-gathering.

While business analysts don’t need expertise in any one technology, they must be able to understand technical concepts and work with technologists -- one of the main reasons IT professionals are often recruited to become business analysts.

In her white paper, Hass, project management practice leader at Management Concepts, a training and consulting firm, says the skills and knowledge areas in which business analysts should be proficient include:
  • Systems engineering concepts.
  • Modeling techniques.
  • Requirements documentation and management.
  • Technical writing.
  • Cost/benefit analysis.
  • Business case development.
This broad range of technical, business and leadership skills can be a challenge for techies as well as for the organizations seeking to hire business analysts with the right mix of expertise. “[Business analysts] aren’t hatched,” says Brule, adding that many companies are struggling with converting IT workers into business analysts.

For that reason, IT professionals making the transition to a business analyst role should proactively seek out training and resources. “They do have to do more on their own,” says Brule, who suggests getting involved with a group such as the IIBA to connect with analyst resources and professionals. “Don’t get too frazzled. [The transition] can become overwhelming.”

Latest Jobs

Oldcastle Architectural
Posted: 10/23/2014
Austin, TX
Oldcastle Architectural
Posted: 10/23/2014
Cleveland, TX
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope
Posted: 10/23/2014
Covington, GA
Sears
Posted: 10/23/2014
WARWICK, RI, 02886
Sears
Posted: 10/23/2014
KINGSTON, NH, 03848

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-217
eTrustLogo