You’ve just received a request for a Business Analyst hire. This is your first time recruiting for this position. What are a business analyst’s job responsibilities? What are the procedures to follow when recruiting for this position? How will you know if someone has what it takes to succeed in this role if they don’t have any skills? How do you evaluate their skills during an interview that is both quick and effective?
In this article, we will dive into the what is a business analyst’s job responsibilities, the role of a Business Analyst, and the process to hire one. We will also give you tips on how to interview potential candidates and evaluate their skills quickly so that your team can get back to focusing on what they do best: running your company!
Business Analyst Job Description
A Business Analyst (BA) is generally hired to analyze business performance and provide corrective measures to solve organizational issues.
Business Analysts are responsible for understanding, creating requirements, designing technical specifications, testing systems against requirements/specifications, documenting analyses results in reports or other formats, and providing data and information to managers. Marketing, finance, insurance, health care, and technology are just a few examples of the industries that employ Business Analysts.
The responsibilities of a Business Analyst may vary by role and company, but their fundamental objective is to analyze, evaluate, and improve the process.
Is a Business Analyst an IT job?
It is ultimately dependent on the organization that employs the Business Analyst. A Business Analyst is hired for various purposes and departments in an organization. Some focus on the company’s financial data, business requirements, while others focus on other aspects of the business, such as tech data, customer feedback, and more.
The Business Analyst has historically been used in IT departments and software development teams to assist with various phases of software delivery. The Technical Business Analyst acts as a liaison between IT teams, the business department, and management by performing business analysis and evaluation.
If you’re looking for a Business Analyst with technical qualifications, make sure you select one that has good technical skills and is up to date with the most recent technologies so they can provide their project teams with the best solutions possible. They are also familiar with modern project apps and tooling (ie. Asana, Airtable, Notion, etc.)
What are Business Analyst Job Responsibilities?
The responsibilities of a Business Analyst vary considerably depending on their industry, department, and projects. Many Business Analysts, however, are required to interact and collaborate with various departments, teams, and individuals. Each day, BA gathers and documents new suggestions and requests. They must be able to assess whether and when to make a business decision based on the circumstances.
In general, BAs are responsible for the following:
- Examine company processes, gather data, evaluate output demands and formats, and assess performance.
- Gather and prioritize business requirements from stakeholders.
- Communicate business requirements to stakeholders and get buy-in
- Assess potential changes and devise solutions to help the firm achieve its objectives.
- Discover, categorize, and explain business needs; and produce and review/deliver change specifications
- Analyze and review the findings, as well as help the Technical Analysts and development team comprehend the specifications
- Assist in the construction of change management/training plans by documenting system events and identifying roles affected
- Prepare technical business test scenarios
- Conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) with stakeholders
- Keep track of project activity; gather and monitor issues; issue progress reports; propose solutions
- Prepare technical reports by gathering, analyzing, and summarizing data and trends.
What Skills Do Business Analysts Need?
Business Analysts are communicators by and large. They engage with a variety of stakeholders, therefore they must be able to communicate needs, demands, and solutions to a variety of departments. However, that is not all they do; great business analysts have a wide range of abilities, including:
- Demonstrates the ability to position and “sell” reasonable, actionable, and cost-effective solutions, as well as the ability to correctly assess needs and “plug” the appropriate solution
- The ability to think outside the box and use resources to get around the red tape and ensure solutions are implemented and requirements are properly closed
- Communication, negotiation, and relationship skills are essential in this line of work. You’ll be a skilled communicator who can engage diplomatically with stakeholders and convey modifications that may not be in agreement with prior goals
- To write complete specifications utilizing case statements and related documentation, you must be able to problem-solve and apply methodologies including the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Rational Unified Process
- Knowledge of process/functional requirements definition techniques, use case creation, and process flow diagrams
Business Analyst Education Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in a field such as business studies, business administration, management, or information technology is the bare minimum for a business analyst position. An advanced degree might improve job prospects and earnings, much like it can with many professions.
There are several fundamental business analyst abilities required for success, in addition to formal education. These include strong interpersonal and communication skills, significant Excel expertise, sharp observation abilities and attention to detail, and the capacity to think analytically.
How Much Does a Business Analyst Make – Annual Salary?
Every job, level, and industry has a variance in compensation. What is certain, however, is that Business Analysts are some of the highest-paid professionals across all industries. What is equally certain, however, is that Business Analyst salaries are highly dependent on experience and location.
The average salary of an experienced Business Analyst ranges between $70,000 to $90,000 annually (source: Glassdoor Salary Survey). The median base pay for this position was $68K in the United States; overall these professionals earned an estimated $65 – 75k per year.
The higher the degree of specialty and the greater the number of years of experience, the higher the salary you will make. The national average annual pay for a Business Analyst is $77,218 in the United States.
Business Analyst Interview Questions
Here are a few scenario-based Business Analyst interview questions you can start with.
- What is a typical day like for you in your job as a business analyst?
- How would you describe the business analyst role to someone who has never heard of it before?
- If your manager asked you to find out how much time is spent on a particular project, what steps would you take in order to discover this information?
- What experience do you have with designing reports that support multiple departments/functions within an organization (e.g., financial reporting)? What challenges did those projects entail, and what was the end result like?
- Describe some situations where communication between two groups had failed due to different terminologies. What was your role in this situation? What did you do to resolve it?
- What is the difference between business analysis and project management (in terms of skill sets)? Where do one start and another end?
- Do you find that some departments within an organization are more receptive towards change than others, i.e., how can a BA be effective when they’re working with someone who isn’t open to new ideas or changes in their department’s processes/methods, etc.?
- When dealing with stakeholders during requirements gathering sessions, what if any influence does senior management have on conversations taking place? What other factors must I take into account when communicating these types of requests back up through the ranks so as not to come off as an outsider or be viewed as not playing well with others?
Here are 70 more Business Analyst interview questions and answers you can use.
Top 5 Business Analyst Tooling
There are several modern applications on the market today, but the most common Business Analyst software include:
- JIRA is a super popular project management software that allows you to keep track of and manage your business analysis activities. Create user stories and issues, schedule sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team. Prioritize and discuss your team’s work in full context with complete visibility.
- Airtable is a popular web-based, multi-purpose platform that allows for easy management of data across all levels of business. It is flexible enough to be used in a wide variety of roles, including project management and financial analysis, but can also help with lead nurturing, reporting automation, and email marketing tasks.
- Notion is a full-featured note-taking and project management program that includes databases, Markdown pages, and task management capabilities for note-taking, project organization, knowledge management (KMS), and personal knowledge management using databases. Business Analysts can use this tool to manage business requirements, create reports and share insights with colleagues.
- Asana allows you to track projects in one place, follow workflows easily and collaborate with your team members more efficiently. You can even chat or video conference directly from the app so that your entire team is always on the same page at all times. This platform also features time tracking tools, a task scheduler for assigning upcoming tasks as well as Gantt charts so users have an accurate view of project progress over time.
- Wrike is a powerful project management software that’s ideal for developing bespoke team workflows. From there, you may simply establish a timetable, create visual charts like Gantt views, and readily see tasks and next steps. Wrike also allows you to measure performance with their real-time report creation feature.
Business Analyst Roles
The primary goal of a Business Analyst is to understand and evaluate the changing demands of the organization.
Here are 9 common roles a Business Analyst is hired to do:
- IT Business Analyst – These Business Analysts are responsible for designing infrastructure solutions that meet business objectives while providing a secure environment for all organizational assets.
- Financial Reporting or Budgeting Business Analyst – Their primary role is to provide assistance in developing, maintaining, and reporting financial data used by management.
- Project Management Office (PMO) Analyst – This analyst works within an established project office using their expertise in managing multiple projects simultaneously across different departments.
- Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) Specialist – EDWs allow organizations to aggregate relevant data from various sources into one centralized database allowing businesses to make more informed decisions based on accurate information at any given time.
- Business Intelligence (BI) Specialist – BI professionals play a key role in reporting and analysis of data to enable organizations to make better business decisions.
- Object-Oriented Analysis & Design (OOA&D) Analyst – OOA&Ds work closely with clients, business analysts, architects, and developers throughout the project lifecycle providing support by analyzing requirements based on client needs or existing systems. They are also responsible for designing software that works effectively across different devices.
- Data Warehouse Developer – Data warehouse development is an integral part of working within IT environments because it allows companies to store their data in one centralized location allowing them access at any given time. These individuals develop databases designed specifically for storing large amounts of information making it easier for businesses to retrieve the data they need. Data Warehouse Developers are also responsible for building, modifying, and maintaining all of these systems.
- Business Intelligence Developer – Business intelligence software helps companies gather more accurate information about their internal processes by utilizing financial reports, inventory management information, or customer feedback to help improve business practices. A BI developer’s job is to create new tools that give decision-makers insight into how a company can use this data in order to become better at what they do. They then develop applications that allow them to access the collected information quickly and accurately.
- IT Security Analyst – IT security analysts work within organizations where large amounts of sensitive data are held on computers day after day making it vulnerable if an attack was ever successful. individuals focus on identifying potential threats to the company’s security and implementing official steps designed to avoid these.
The Business Analyst role can be a challenging one, requiring an individual to adapt quickly to new technologies and processes. Business Analysts are responsible for understanding the business’ needs but also adapting them to technology trends that can help accelerate company growth.
Given the importance of this position and its duties, hiring the best candidates for your organization should be a priority.
What does that entail? You can begin by asking the right questions during an interview and then comparing their answers with those of other candidates to make your final hiring decision.
Get the hiring manager on board from the start, since they are more aware of the job than anyone else. They will be delighted to assist you in finding the ideal applicant.
Don’t take our word for it; do your own research and discover for yourself what makes a Business Analyst excellent at their craft. Then, choose a Business Analyst who works for your organization.
Remember, no one Business Analyst is the same. What works for one company might not work for another.