Key competences of a business analyst

Every year, companies and organizations around the world struggle with surprisingly high rates of project failure. Some studies have even found that less than 30% of software projects are completed on time and on budget, and only half implement established features. Who is a business analyst, and what skills should they have to turn data into valuable information and support projects effectively? You will find answers to these questions in the following article!

Business analysis and business analyst

According to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide), business analysis is a set of actions and techniques that aim to understand an organisation’s structure and principles and then identify recommended solutions that enable a given organisation to achieve its goals. A business analyst is a person who is responsible for defining the business needs and expectations of stakeholders to select appropriate solutions to business chosen problems. Simply put, a business analyst acts as a translator or link between the client and the project team.

What are the tasks of a business analyst?

  • Obtains requirements – defines business objectives and visions of the company, describes business processes and company functioning principles, defines functional requirements. For this purpose, it conducts talks with customers, analyses previously implemented solutions and systems, looks at the organization of work, brainstorming or meetings with a group of future users of a product or service to be developed.
  • Analyses the collected requirements – verifies their completeness and consistency. Based on the collected data, a document is created that clearly defines creating a given project and suggests business processes or use cases.
  • Defines solutions – based on received information and specifications, the business analyst designs specific solutions. The better they identify the client’s needs and correlate them with the contractor’s capabilities, the greater the chance of the project’s success.
  • Supervises the project implementation – the role of a business analyst does not end with the transfer of documentation. Knowing the client’s expectations obliges them to support the team, consult and dispel doubts. The analyst also supervises the implementation of the project and checks whether the objectives set at the beginning have been achieved.

What competencies should a business analyst have to perform the above tasks effectively?

A business analyst should have a university degree in computer science, technology or economics. An important feature is also the ability to analyse and design business processes. Knowledge in data analysis and IT systems support, which improve data transformation into valuable business information, is also helpful in this position. One of them is Power BI, which in everyday work facilitates data analysis from many sources and improves the work of people involved in the project.

A business analyst must also prepare documentation concerning process modelling, creating use cases or technical projects. This position also includes the ability to think in the process and experience in project management or knowledge of tools and methodologies supporting documentation in project management.

Behavioural competencies include:

  • Thinking globally and predicting.
  • Creativity.
  • Ease of establishing contacts.
  • Achieving goals and everyday confidence.

Indeed, the role of a business analyst is connected with great responsibility. However, this work is so inspiring that its scope of duties attracts many people. Fortunately, today, in new technology development, business analysts are supported in their daily work by several applications and systems that make it easier for them to perform their duties. We are talking about programs used to prepare documentation and describe business processes and those used for data analysis, such as Microsoft Power BI. The ability to properly use the potential of business intelligence plays a crucial role in the functioning of enterprises. Users of business intelligence systems, such as Power BI, analyse and present data in the form of dashboards and interactive reports, visualising complex data in an easier, more accessible and understandable way. Today’s business analytics is more than just data collection, segmentation and graphing.