Business analysts are facilitators, communicators, agents of change and negotiators.
They have to understand the needs and purposes of a business in order to consider technology solutions.
They need degrees and certifications, skills, experience and domain knowledge but they also need critically important soft skills to be most successful and become CEOs in the future. Here are some of the personal skills they need.
1. Good communication skills
Business analysts must have communication skills as they have to communicate with a variety of stakeholders. They need to understand why what they’re doing has value and then articulate that to stakeholders. This includes convincing people to work on activities that may not be their top priority.
For example, a business analyst might have to persuade a Sales Director to help define performance metrics for the upgrade of a CRM database.
Good communication skills involve both verbal and written communication. Business analysts who have excellent verbal communication skills but battle with the written words may decide to receive help from writing services with skilled writers at Essay Mama.
Various forms of communication, such as workshops, meetings and other informal methods may be necessary to bring every stakeholder on board.
2. Active listening skills
Business analysts use active listening skills to make sure that all stakeholders are heard. They understand the importance of making eye contact with speakers and always attempt to identify exactly how they feel about what they are saying.
Observing words and body language is important for them to get to the bottom of what is being said. To do this, they must know how to dial out any internal or external distractions.
Business analysts can keep an open mind and acknowledge different opinions as well as know when to move the subject along. They are able to take all input into account without being too ruffled by disagreements. There will always be disagreeing stakeholders and part of their skill is in being able to handle this.
Holding excessively lengthy sessions is not necessary for them and they understand that these often lead to a lack of interest and attention. They prefer web conferences over traveling to different offices and hold meeting. This saves times and shows that you believe in working fast and don’t mind being tech-savvy.
They and honor confidentiality agreements and are generally seen as being above listening to any office gossip. This enables them to establish trusting relationships where they follow through on commitments.
3. Problem-solving skills
Many business analysts say that what they love most about their work is solving problems. Problem-solving can combine analytical thinking and creative thinking. It involves resolving cases of conflicting information, incomplete information, missing information etc.
Solutions aren’t always simple when problems occur within a company. Analysts often have to examine multiple scenarios and operations to find a solution. Understanding the problem usually involves exploring the overt symptoms, in the form of the effects on costs, sales, and performance metrics.
Examining every aspect of the situation provides context and a greater understanding of the big picture. All parties need to have input and give feedback. They have to answer many questions posed by the business analyst such as “why do you need this?”, “what does this mean?”, and “what happens next?”
Finding a solution involves some kind of change within the organization. For example, putting the change into practice could involve augmenting technology or improving a process. The ideal scenario when solving a problem is not only to solve the current problem but to ensure that it never occurs again.
4. Analytic skills
Analytic skills are necessary to be able to interpret business needs and translate them into practical, operational requirements.
Business analysts have to analyze information from a variety of sources, such as documentation, surveys, existing systems and requirement gathering sessions. EssayHave is a reliable custom writing service that’s available to write papers, such as research papers, if necessary.
Business analysts are passionate about analyzing data and usually have a variety of different ways to analyze it. They want to see what they can do with it and how they can tease different facets of meaning from it.
Everyday interpretations of data can easily fall into patterns that can hide shades of meaning. Critical thinking and valuable analysis are not necessarily straightforward. Good analysts will resist trying to come up with a neat solution to solve the problem before extensively analyzing data. Of course, analysis paralysis can also occur and they have to understand when to stop analyzing.
5. Multi-disciplinary skills
Many business analysts have expertise and experience in IT and their domain. However, it also helps to have experience in performing tasks in unrelated fields across various industries.
Those with such experience are more easily able to elicit information, interact with stakeholders and identify opportunities. They know more about the world, business trends, tech updates and have a deeper knowledge of the processes of business.
They can leverage this knowledge to apply information and techniques to their current project. Their wide range of knowledge affords them with innovative ways to deliver value. They tend to be more versatile and to avoid the thinking that certain tools, techniques and work products are suitable for every situation.
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6. Decision-facilitation skills
In consulting with managers and offering advice to developers, business analysts need to exercise sound judgment. After they have received input from all the stakeholders and assessed a situation, they need to facilitate the making of certain decisions.
The goal is not just to bring about change but to bring about the right change. Business analysts need to help others to make the right decisions so that the right needs are met. If a decision isn’t made, nothing happens.
Good business analysis involves defining all the decisions that need to be made, who will make the decisions and the information the decision-maker will use to make the decision. When multiple people need to make a decision, they are not always on the same page. Getting buy-in from all decision-makers takes some skill.
Finding the best business analysts can take some time and effort. The above traits can help to identify individuals who have the potential to be great, even if they don’t have the experience yet or are in different roles.
Individuals who have a unique blend of the right hard and soft skills are usually most successful as business analysts. They know the importance of communicating and listening properly and are adept at managing and analyzing large amounts of detailed information. They know how to present and articulate value to stakeholders enabling them to make the right decisions.