Business Analyst and the Scope of the Business Analyst Role

Introduction

 
In this article, we will take a detailed look at who is a business analyst and the scope of a business analyst in organizations.
 

Business Analyst 

 
A business analyst is a professional who is involved in any of the activities under the purview of business analysis. As mentioned in the previous question, the role of a business analyst is primarily branched into strategy analysis, requirement engineering, and IT analysis. More details are mentioned below.
 
“Once charged mainly with defining and communicating requirements, business analysts (BAs) are increasingly expected to contribute everything from decision support, and return-on-investment (ROI) measures to new product development ideas. This high profile within organizations and across industries is in part attributable to its organizational role changing from an often-costly requirement to a potentially huge bottom-line booster. It's also fueled by a growing knowledge of how to better build and maintain the bridge between the IT and business worlds. While requirements remain the focus, business analysts are now expanding into all stages of solution design, development, and implementation.”
 
A business analyst can also be defined as a strategy analyst, stakeholder (one who is involved in strategy analysis), requirement engineer, project manager-business analyst (PM-BA), business analyst-quality analyst (BA-QA), product owner, product manager, consultant, management consultant, business system analyst, system analyst, UAT analyst, business analyst lead/manager (managing a business analysis team), change manager, IT analyst, etc., depending on their role and responsibilities within the organization.
 

The Scope of Business Analyst Roles

 
The scope of a business analyst’s role can be broadly categorized into three main areas:
  • Strategy Analysis
  • ​Business Analysis
  • IT System Analysis
The following is a partial list of the scope within the lifecycle that covers all the areas mentioned above.
 

Business Strategy Analysis - Part I

 
Such business analysts come from a business/domain background to define the business need, high-level solution scope, and present the business case to the sponsors.
  • Business technology optimization and management
  • Process management
  • Define business need (problem or an opportunity)
  • Define solution scope that would cater to that particular business need
  • Define and present business case (cost vs. benefits analysis)
  • Secure funding
Business Analysis
 
These business analysts come from either business or technical backgrounds and start the core business analysis or requirement engineering once the business need is defined or project funding is arranged. These business analysts are primarily involved in eliciting requirements and defining solutions. Besides, they are also involved in identifying the IT team (internal or external) and managing it during solution development and implementation. 
  • Elicit requirements, document them, confirm them, scope them, present them, and get them approved or signed-off.
  • Define solution or BRD or product roadmap
  • Further requirement analysis (FRD, requirement models, etc.)
  • Identify or recommend IT team (internal or external)
  • Finalize solution and its scope

Business Strategy Analysis - Part II

 
Verify and validate the solution against the enterprise need, current ability, and new business case analysis (cost vs. benefit) to accept the solution.
 
IT Business System or System Analysis
 
These business analysts come from technical backgrounds and may possess software coding or testing skills. They primarily collaborate with members of the technical team to communicate requirements. They ensure that the software solution meets the requirements specified in the business solution. They also act as a bridge in translating and transferring business requirements into solution requirements (functional, non-functional, and technical constraints) to help the technical team understand business requirements correctly. In addition, IT business analysts also collaborate with implementation subject matter experts (SME) or production managers to elicit the transition requirements that are needed for moving the software solution into the user community. 
  • Support technical team in requirement and change management
  • Oversee the development and testing activities
  • Ensure implementation of high-quality solutions
  • Closeout documentations
  • End-user training
  • Enrich and enhance the solution during its lifecycle
  • Ensure orderly termination of the solution when it reaches the end of its lifecycle

Business Strategy Analysis - Part III

  • ​ROI to review the business case (cost vs. benefits)
  • ​Lessons learned
Data Business Analyst
 
The business analyst engaged in decision support systems works closely with business stakeholders to understand their roles and needs in terms of reports needed for effective decision-making. They also work with the market research team in projecting trends in the past, present, and future. In addition to business analysis skills, they are required to be well versed in SQL, data warehousing or other tools, and advanced MS-Excel and MS-Access to analyze data.
 
These are business analysts who deal with big data and statistics. They tend to crunch the numbers using algorithms and data models. In this sense, their role is similar to that of a data scientist. They tend to indicate the market trends for presenting them to stakeholders to facilitate the decision-making process.
 
Apart from the above, there may be specialized designations assigned to a business analyst, such as business process analyst (who is focused on process engineering) or product business analyst (who is involved in software product development), depending on their role.
 

Conclusion 

 
Now we know many more details about Business Analyst and their scope of roles in the organizations. I hope that this article is useful to you all. Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section.