Is Business a Good Background for Becoming a Business Analyst?

By Carl Herron, Business Analysis Expert and Instructor

Professionals seeking to enhance their career opportunities through training in Business Analysis come from one of two general areas:  Business and Technical.

Business Analysis is an emerging professional discipline.  Some students with backgrounds in business are initially skeptical about their abilities to master the material in the BA course offered by Sansa Technology.  Some business professionals seem intimidated by the systems and technical aspects of the class syllabus.  On the other hand, professionals with technical backgrounds are more comfortable training to be Business Analysts.

With students who have business experience, I have conversations like:

“My background is in Marketing.  I understand the business concepts we’ve discussed so far in the class.  But will I be able to understand as the class progresses into the more technical topics like the Unified Modeling Language (UML), requirements engineering or writing test cases?”

Or

“I have several years of experience in Accounting or Finance.  Is this experience suitable for learning to be a Business Analyst?  Can I perform as a BA given my background?”

These conversations are great opportunities to clarify the importance of “business” in Business Analysis.

Professionals with backgrounds in Marketing, Finance, Accounting or Operations Management are uniquely qualified to contribute to software development projects in the Business Analyst role.  For example, since one of the basic objectives of Business Analysis is to build a “language bridge” between customers and the technical community, marketers with an aptitude for systems thinking will be valuable members of project teams.  Similarly, with the explosion of data captured to analyze customer behavior and transactions in web-based, retail and other customer facing applications, marketers are naturally positioned to communicate with technical team members about information requirements.

Accounting professionals have deep technical training in the accounting model, transactions and business rules – an excellent background for Business Analysts.  Financial Analysts are typically skilled in budgeting and building decision support models like Net Present Value, Return on Investment and Break Even Analysis – all part of the Business Analyst’s tool kit.  Because Financial Analysts speak in terms that are important to Senior Management, they are key players in Business Analysis.  Operations Managers and Analysts bring skills in executing processes that produce tangible results, the ultimate goal of sustainable organizations.

My experience instructing Business Analysis students at Sansa Technology is that professionals with backgrounds in business find their Business Analysis voices during the class.  Like their counterparts from the technical communities, business professionals make key contributions toward communicating and understanding concepts surrounding software development projects.

About sansatechnology

Sansa Technology is an IT staffing, Consulting and Training company located in the heart of Silicon Valley. If you are a consultant looking for your new gig, send us your resume to us. If you are looking for training in the field of White Box Testing, Java, Java EE, Selenium, DevOps, Android and others, connect with us as well. Visit us at www.sansatechnology.com or email contact@sansatechnology.com
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