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Business Analyst

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System or business analysis is generally a liaison function between the business side and the service side of a business. These two titles are the same in function, but not the same in their output even though sometimes they are used interchangeably due to the nature that most companies with this position are IT (Information Technology) related. Both operate using the system development life cycle. A business analyst or "BA" is responsible for analyzing the business needs of their clients and stakeholders to help identify business problems and propose solutions. Analyst often report to project managers, lead analyst or managers involved in the businesses services. Typical responsibilities include analyzing data, defining business requirements, improving business processes, and identifying and resolving issues. As more businesses require IT related processing and services, there is a current increase in demand for this type of work.

Specifically why does a business need a skilled Business Analyst? Businesses waste billions of dollars every year due to failed projects. Creating something that is used is efficient, cost effective, and profitable. Some solutions will be great, but customers will not use them, or they do not meet the business requirements, or cost too much, too complex, or do not meet scope and time constraints. Finding this balance can be difficult and there is not always a clear process to achieve the best results. By having analysts and project managers you create a field based around this concept of having a liaison that justifies the large salaries by saving the company money. Some typical techniques used by a Business Analyst: structured analysis, data modeling, information engineering, mathematical model building, sampling, and cost accounting to make sure their plans are efficient and complete. They also may prepare cost-benefit and return-on-investment analyses (ROI) to help management decide whether implementing the proposed technology would be financially feasible. They prepare specifications, flow charts, and process diagrams for computer programmers or Quality Assurance Analyst to follow...Why? Because they are the business liaison! Once the designs are approved, a QA (Quality Assurance) Analyst who will look over it and test it if it was created in-house and will modify it heavily before testing if it was purchased from a software company. If this position does not exist then the programmers will serve this function.

There is not one-way to becoming a business analyst. Sometimes the business analyst has a business background with familiarity with information technology, or a computer programmer with a computer science degree (CS), or a business student with a Management Information Systems Degree (MIS). Other times the analyst has no IT background at all, their status as a subject matter expert and their analytical skills make them suitable for the role. Business analysts may overlap into roles such as project manager or consultant. In this field experience reigns supreme, even though most employers require a bachelors degree in MIS or for complex roles a MBA with IT focus for business roles and CS or related degrees for a scientific or technical position. Other than degrees there are recognized certifications such as International Institute of Business Analysis' Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) certification or the PMI Institutes Certification, Project Management Professional (PMP). These are just some of the certifications that take skill and experience to measure effectiveness processes.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Business Analyst (OOH uses the title System Analyst) held 504,000 jobs in 2006 with that number expected to grow 29% by 2016. With employment growing this much, it is important that today's training will teach tomorrow's technology. Falling technology prices will encourage companies to expand computer and information related systems. Wi-Fi, web services, data services, and network security



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