The role and transformation of the business analyst profession

The role and transformation of the business analyst profession

The painstaking work of a business analyst: survey, understand, record.

Hello everybody! My name is Maria Nikulina, I am a business analyst at EGAR Technology.

Over the past 5 years, I managed to work as both a Product Owner and a business analyst, and for a long time I replaced the manager of several projects. In 2022, I took several courses at leading companies that provide educational services for IT professionals, where I tried on the role of a systems analyst. In addition, during my studies, I was able to communicate with a large number of expert practitioners in the field of business analysis, which allowed me to understand the direction of development of the business analyst profession.

Today I I will share my opinion on the trends in the development of business analysis. My conclusions and their description can be useful to young specialists who choose the direction of business analysis for their further development in the IT field, as well as to product managers, project managers and HR specialists.

Many external and internal factors influence the way the economy, its spheres and industries develop. Businesses that are ready to adapt to changing conditions adjust their internal processes, products and appearance for the target audience. Exactly nthe need to change makes the question of including a business analyst in the company’s team relevant or even an entire change management unit.

What is the main task of a business analyst?

He collects and analyzes all informationrelating to a particular business process, formulates requirements regarding changes in business processes and information systems and monitors the implementation of these requirements in accordance with the expectations of the business and the specific Customer.

Most often, the position of a business analyst “lives” in the structures of IT enterprises, and there is an explanation for this – modern business uses various information systems and products to solve its daily tasks, and processes are lined up in the contour of these decisions. This means that when changing business processes, it is necessary to change the built-in logic and content of the company’s software products. During such changes, the business analyst is the link between the Customer and the development team.

A business analyst needs to clearly understand what his ideal product is. It is not enough to get this information only from the Customer, it is important to additionally check that your target audience needs this particular product. To do this, you can use the classic approach with the digitization of product and user parameters and determine the result by key metrics. Although earlier this task was usually assigned mainly to data analysts in the field of Data Science, now it is becomes a common and very important function of a business analyst at the stage of pre-project survey and project launch. At the same time, business analysts and Data Science specialists often work together to achieve the best result (at EGAR Technology, they even work in the same department).

In addition to analyzing data, it is important for business analysts to find out what others are doing in the fieldthat is, to study the market, practices of other companies, cases – successful and not so much. Undoubtedly, market analysis and determining the value of the product is primarily the function of the Customer. However, it is important for business analysts to compare both the product and the processes that build the product or its internal functions. Perhaps some of you have doubts about the possibility of doing this exercise. I assure you it is worth doing to gain valuable information, this approach works. Market analysis allows you to choose the optimal implementation option and avoid “inventing the bicycle” in the part where uniqueness is not needed.

The tools of the IT sphere are constantly being improved, the implementation of digital technologies continues to accelerate, and the implementation of low-code program development is actively being carried out. With the advent of programming-free development tools, the function of designing and creating applications with intuitive functions and graphical elements is placed in the hands of business analysts.. The advantages of using no-code tools are obvious: a business analyst in one approach can display the process in his familiar notation and even enliven it by creating a product prototype.

This thesis is easily confirmed by practice: it is difficult to find an IT company that does not currently offer products created according to the low-code model (for example, EGAR Technology has a separate product – the NCW platform, which allows you to create solutions without programming, in a no-code format ).

The growth of the competencies of a business analyst and the regular immersion in the especially technical implementation of processes, the interaction of Cosmos with developers, system architects influence the development of enterprise analysis as a whole. Namely, there is a merger of two functions – business and system analysis – into one. This can be verified if you pay attention to the requirements of companies for the skills of analysts. In addition, it is worth noting that modern training programs for system analysts contain sections that apply to specialists in the field of business analysis. So, there is a certain integration of directions.

Finally, I will note that the merging of several roles is taking place, including in the area of ​​business analysis and project management. This combination is not common in company requests, but it does exist. The combination of these functions can start from a normal situation: if the project manager leaves it at the stage of active development, and the business analyst is immersed in the project and knows its features – including from the point of view of management and the budget component – then this business analysts have every chance to use (or improve) their management skills.

In practice, the project and team management function can become the business analyst function.

I understand that a similar description could be created for other roles of the classic IT team, but such diversity in terms of modifications and development, in my opinion, only applies to business intelligence. Moreover, the trends listed by me are not an exhaustive list and can be a reason for an interesting discussion and new discoveries.

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