The art of business analysis lies at the intersection of understanding the goals of a business, its current state and processes, and the context of the industry. A BA pro can advise a business on how to use software and technologies to achieve a competitive advantage. In this article, we list several titles a person in charge of business analysis of a software product can hold.
What Do Business Analysts Do?
In most general terms, a business analyst is a person who bridges the gap between non-technical stakeholders and IT people in a team and translates the desired business logic of an application from “business” to technical language. Business analysis is important at any stage of the software systems development life cycle.
Titles and Roles of Business Analysts
There are various classifications for titles and roles of a business analyst — depending on the business domain, project goals, and its duration.
- Business Analyst
On the one hand, “business analyst” is an umbrella term for all roles in this list and many more (like “data analyst,” “enterprise analyst,” “process analyst,” “system analyst”). On the other hand, this role has a formal definition in the industry. The key responsibility of a BA is to drive optimization of the client’s business processes by analyzing the current state of the business and suggesting specific tactical steps for improvement.
- Business Consultant
The core responsibility of a business consultant is to build new business processes based on an in-depth industry knowledge. A business consultant advises on strategic steps a business should take to remain competitive, follow industry trends, and achieve higher value by implementing industry-wide best practices.
- Marketing Specialist
Marketing specialists usually work with end-users, research adjacent market trends and competing products, and plan promotional campaigns. They also gather end-user expectations and feedback on a product or service, which places their scope of duties into the business analysis realm.
- Product Manager
The responsibility of a product manager is to envision the product’s business strategy by defining its place in the company’s product line and its positioning against competing products. Product manager oversees the product’s functional requirements within the entire product-market lifecycle and prioritizes the launch of new features.
- Requirements Manager
Key responsibilities of a requirements manager are to identify, classify, document, and monitor the requirements business stakeholders have for the software system and review how these requirements are implemented.
- System Analyst
While the responsibility of a BA is to collect and specify business requirements for the software, the core task of a system analyst is to translate business requirements into technical ones. System analysts formulate specifications and acceptance criteria used by the engineering team.
Business Analyst Skills and Competencies
The core skills any business analysts should possess are analyzing, documenting, and managing requirements, converting vague bits and pieces into structured information. Proficiency in requirements management theory and requirements modeling is also a must. As one of the day-to-day activities of a BA would be communicating with project stakeholders and aligning their expectations, a person in charge of business analysis in the team should have excellent communication and negotiating skills.
How to Choose a Business Analyst for a Project?
The list of skills and competencies as well as the exact title for the person in charge of business analysis depends on the specifics of the project. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for choosing the right person, or this happens quite often, too — deciding that your project could still be a success without a dedicated BA role. At DataArt, we have a strong expertise in business analysis in multiple industries and types of the projects.