Thursday, 15 March 2018 06:10

Top 10 IT Skills for a BA - grab them today!

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If you are reading this, you are already a business analyst or aspiring to become one soon.

As most business analysts work along with software delivery teams, you may feel that not knowing programming languages will stop you from becoming a business analyst. So, do we need to learn software coding or designing applications?

Not really and that’s good news. Let us understand who a business analyst is.

Business analyst is someone who analyzes, designs organizational systems, assessing the business model and its integration with technology to achieve a certain objective.

Hence business analyst should not be technology illiterate, but at the same time they are not expected to be an expert in any programming language as such.

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That’s indeed great news

However, as business analysts we need to be comfortable in certain software tools. Let us understand the top 10 software concepts and tools for business analysts.


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  1. Software Engineering Methodologies like SDLC e.g. Waterfall, Iterative (Agile/Scrum)
    We should be aware of the concepts related to methodologies like waterfall and iterative. Business analysis approaches differ as per SDLCs followed and being knowledgeable on SDLCs helps us to plan our activities better.
  2. High Level Technology like Data base structure, OOP
    As business analysts, we need to have some flair for technology like OOPS, Data base concepts. A good understanding of data base concepts is a great skill for all business analysts.
  3. Reporting Tools
    Another great area of interest for Business Analyst is Reporting tools, BI and reporting mechanisms etc.
  4. UML Modeling Tools
    Modeling tools are something like a paint brush for an artist; we are going to color our canvas with this skill. So get ourself conversant with this tool today if you have not. The popular ones in use in industry are Rational Rose, Star UML (Free software) and Enterprise Architect.
  5. BPM Tools
    BPM Tools like MS Visio and BizAgi (free software) are great tools to depict the process map in visual manner. Visual representations are great ways to communicate the process flow. The beauty of this is it makes the whole process comprehendible in few mins by having a quick look at the process flow diagram.
  6. Testing Tools
    Testing tools are ultimately going to be the one which is going to make or break the release of the system/application. Business analysts are testers on behalf of the most stakeholders and sponsor for the application to see the light of the day.
  7. Requirements Management Tools
    As business analysts, we are going to be owner of the requirements of the applications/projects that we are part of. Few popular requirements management tool in the market are OSRMT – Open source Requirements management tool, DOORS, Rational Requisite pro.
  8. Mind map
    As business analysts, we are expected to explore details about a particular situation or solution. Mind map is a very helpful technique to elaborate any concept.
  9. Prototyping tools
    Prototypes are great ways to evaluate and collect feedback on requirements and features.
    Prototyping tools such as Pencil, iRise, SmartDraw are few popular prototyping tools. Of which Pencil is a free plugin where as iRise and SmartDraw are licensed products.
  10. MS Office
    Last but not the least, it may sound very generic, however as business analyst s at any point of time we will have to be fairly proficient on the MS office tools like MS Excel, MS Word, and MS PowerPoint. These office tools are going to be handy for all our life, hence definitely worth to invest some good time in these tools.

Keeping one abreast of upcoming technologies, trends and practices in the area of interest or domain is going to keep one in demand.

You can get access to the best of the industry toolkit and templates for business analysis and requirements engineering here.

These templates and tool kits have been designed by experts based on hundreds of years of industry experience in this domain.

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Ananya Pani

My mission is to help business analysts to build a successful professional career.

I have helped 2000+ BAs in choosing a better career and help them achieve professional success.

I co-founded Adaptive US, #1 IIBA V3 training organization. I manage sales and operations at Adaptive US. Under my leadership, Adaptive is now established as a world-leader.

I am also a strong supporter of encouraging women workforce in technology and has helped many women to come back to work after long career breaks.

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