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A Refreshing Viewpoint from a New Business Analyst Professional

refreshingviewpoint1I think it’s time for every experienced business analyst to go out there and interview someone who’s new to the profession.  It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose your perspective on the industry.  So last Friday I caught one of the newest members of the analyst community unawares and decided to pick his brain on his perceptions after two full months in the trenches of our industry with a pretty simple question:  “After two months doing this, what were your big AH-HA realizations?”

This Thing’s an Iceberg

“It’s everywhere.”  That’s the funny thing about business analysis; it looks small on the surface, but it touches a lot of things beneath the surface.  Business, technology implementation, understanding how processes work, getting people in agreement on how processes are improved, it’s a lot of stuff!  At first you look at it and say, “OKAY, business requirements, got it – it’s about business requirements.” Then you start to see all those other touch points that are wired into the fabric of how businesses work, and you start to realize just how big this thing is.  That is really cool!

The Impact is Huge

Business analysts really change how businesses perform and not in little ways. In a big way!  Business analysis impacts the success of organizations not just on the project front, but it also changes an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives in a meaningful way.  Right down to changing overall corporate financial performance and the speed of response to market, analysts matter.  This is not an IT thing, it’s a business success thing.

There’s a Whole Community Here

There are a whole lot of websites dedicated to this stuff, tradeshows, a professional certification, consultants, software tools.  It’s a community – an industry – and it’s big.  Who knows about it?

The new BA’s final thought was, I think, the one that struck home for me the most:  most people have no idea our multi-billion-dollar industry exists.  He’s right; if you ask the average Joe on the street, what’s a business analyst, he’d probably shrug.  If you ask several thousand university graduates, what’s a business analyst, how many would know and aspire to that profession?  Even as companies realize that the skills of a capable business analyst are the very skills lacking in the executive ranks of so many corporations. How many people see business analysis as the starting point their career path?  Not many.   Perhaps so few of the general population know about business analysts is because it’s pretty easy to visualize the value of other business functions like marketing, sales, operations, HR or finance; but, what’s a business analyst? What do they do?

Isn’t it past time we came out of the closet as an industry?

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