How Do I Move from IT Trainer to Business Analyst?

I have been an IT Trainer for 12 years and am currently an in-house trainer in a large international law firm.  I would like to move into the BA field. I would like to stay with my current firm and move into a BA role.  As far as I can see, there are currently no BAs in the organisation.  How can I make the transition from Trainer to BA within the firm?

I’d really appreciate any advice you can give me.

Many thanks.

Laura’s response:

Based on my prior experience working with IT Trainers, I typically find that they have a deep knowledge of the organization’s business applications and a good understanding of the business processes that leverage those applications. Because you are training new users on the system, you are a bit of an expert. I’m going to assume that’s also the case for you!

Does your company enhance the business applications or improve its business processes? Most do. If so, how does that work happen today and who is involved in making these decisions? This answer should point you to the person or persons in your company who are performing the business analysis activities, or lack thereof.

One does not need to have the title of “business analyst” to be a “business analyst.” You’ll often find under-the-radar business analysts if you start looking at the make-up of a project team and find the person ensuring everyone is aligned on the project goals and negotiating between competing interests.

Then, as you look at the process for how changes are made, then what are the pain points? Are there frustrations in the connections between the business users and the IT changes? Is there a lot of rework due to misunderstood requirements? In those pain points is where you’d start to make a case for a more formal BA role within your firm or at least to expand your responsibilities to include business analysis tasks. Or, if those pain points don’t exist, then who is responsible for the relative success? As you find that answer you might find your business analyst to reach out to for coaching and mentoring.

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Comments

  1. The person who posed this question didn’t mention who creates the training that they deliver, but if he/she is that person, many of the activites associated with training needs assessments are those business analysts use to elicit requirements. You need to determine where something is lacking (business need) and develop training (procedures or a system) to address the deficiency.

    As Laura has stated, a trainer often has unique insights about a business’s operations and why a business may be operating poorly. Those same insights will serve you well as a business analyst. It would behove you to indentify those traits in your own job and include them in any proposal to create a business analyst role for yourself.

  2. mohammed Zarroug says:

    Very interesting choice of CAREER change
    My self was an IT-trainer for 11 years I made to training supervisor but then I left With BA in mind as Career change , Unfortunately the training firm was sinking I had to abandon the ship sort of speak , so the next good thing was a Polytechnic (mechanical) – I join as academic consoler- coz they don’t teach IT but they cam make use of Student relationship management skills that I have , I start help in some other areas like developing GPA Application and another for transcripts handling then merge them also I took part in troubleshooting and administration of student management system software , soon management start to realize that I can serve well in other areas –(but they still can’t change m title for they don’t have a post open – assuming that IT guys will handle it when they drop this as hot potato – they have more thing to worry about ,3 poor guys) I had the potato falling in my lap  and now I see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel – hope am handling this right –

    Just want to share this with you guys

    ::

  3. Ryan Yokoyama says:

    About two years ago, I went from IT Instructional Designer to IT Business Analyst. It was a very easy transition, since both require analysis, documentation, working with users at all technical and management levels, designing a solution, and validating the solution.

    In the I.D. world, it is known as the ADDIE model. Analysis, Design, Develop, Implementation, and Evaluate. You go through the same process, except you are designing a different type of solution. However, you will still work with SMEs, developers, users, and business people.

    The largest leap between the two professions is the technical portion. You need to be alot more technical in order to understand architecture, platform constraints, and software development life cycle.

    If you are strictly a Technical Trainer and don’t create the materials, then you are still close to users and know how to lead large group discussions. These skills will come in handy, but you would need to build those foundational analytical, communication, and business relationship skills.

  4. I have done my graduation in Banking and Insurance. I used to work as an IT trainer before my graduation. I have 1year exp in coporate training. Now im an inhouse trainer in an engineering firm. I want to pursue the career path of an Business analyst. I want to do a master’s degree as well,Could you please guide me as to which degree would hellp me in becoming a Business Analyst. Please let me know if any certifications or training would help for the same.

    • John Sarra says:

      Akruti, rather than pursue your Master’s, I would recommend seeing what opportunities might exist for you in a BA role within your own firm, and then see what training opportunies are available through the IIBA (http://www.iiba.org/). Unforntunately, experience counts more than education in this profession.

      Once you are in a BA role, then by all means, pursue your Master’s (an MBA is appropriate if you want a business career, but a masters in Finance is certainly on target if you are working in the banking and insurance industry). Besides, you’ll get more out of your education once you get more work experience under your belt.

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