How to Successfully Launch Your Business Analyst Career
Free Training (Part 1 of 3)

Modules include…

Part 4 – Join live: Virtual Open House –
Tuesday, January 26, at 3 PM Eastern

 


Full text of What Successful Business Analysis Actually Looks Like

Hi. I’m Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap.

I’m guessing that you and I have a few things in common.

  • We want to do work we enjoy and be well compensated for our efforts.
  • We are good at solving problems and communicating with others.
  • But we also get nervous when we are doing something new and can feel like an imposter sometimes. This sense of self-doubt can really hold us back.

In this part of the workshop, I’m going to share more about the opportunities available to you in the profession of business analysis. But first, I want to give you a bit of an insider perspective on who I am and where I came from.

Because while today I’m leading a virtual training organization that’s helped thousands of business analysts succeed in their careers, there was this time early in my career when I was incredibly stuck. I was frustrated with my work and I felt like I was here to do more.

I had just graduated with a degree in Philosophy and English and I was fortunate to land a job as an assistant editor. On the outside, this looked like the ideal role for my education.

But in reality, I was in a very administrative role and bored out of my mind.

My compensation was $22,000 each year. It was barely possible to live on my own in a simple apartment and I was driving a car I’d bought from my parents.

I was surviving but I wasn’t thriving. And I was one blip away from financial disaster as I struggled to make ends meet every month. And the career prospects in my department just didn’t excite me. And I didn’t feel like I was living up to my full potential.

I had this limiting belief that with my background and education, this was the best I could do. So I was stuck and frustrated and generally unhappy with my life.

I kept volunteering to do different types of projects, be on committees, basically anything I could do to broaden my experience and vary my day-to-day work.

Eventually, these actions led to an offer to work on the quality assurance team, which gave me a nice salary bump. Then one day a senior systems analyst stopped me in the hallway and suggested I apply for a job on their team. My first response was, “I can’t possibly leave QA – we’ve got so much to do and I don’t want to abandon my team.”

I’ll always be grateful to her response: “Well, this is a good opportunity. And a lot more money too. You should really think about it.”

I did. And I ended up applying for the position. And I did receive a huge salary increase – 40% on top of my QA salary – right away. That meant a huge deal to me. I got to move into a better apartment, bought a car I really wanted, and I started saving to create a safety net.

Salaries keep going up for business analysts but what mattered most to me was my mindset around work.

Whenever a salary survey is conducted, the average salary for business analysts in the U.S. exceeds $90,000. And senior business analysts with their certifications often make well over $100,000 per year.

What’s more, most new and aspiring business analysts anticipate significant salary increases in their first few years on the job. And the 40% increase I experienced when I moved from quality assurance to business analysis is not uncommon.

But what mattered the most to me when I got my first BA opportunity was how my mindset changed about work. Because I felt like I was finally making the contribution I was here in this world to make, and I was stimulated and engaged every day at work. I was using my mind in a creative and analytical way.

I got to work with a variety of people, solve interesting problems, and affect real change in my organization.

But, to be totally honest, I also felt a little lost at first.

Challenges would pop in out of nowhere, and I had to figure out how to deal with them.

If I hadn’t had the support and guidance of a senior mentor on my team, I don’t know that my first big project would have turned out the success it did.

But at the time, even she didn’t know there was a profession of business analysts and best practices for doing the work we were doing.

Eventually, I did make it through that first big project. And over the next several years, I worked on all different kinds of project teams, from traditional to agile, from co-located to geographically dispersed, from custom software to implementing third-party tools.

I realized that every organization needs BAs.

And that this was an actual career, not just a made-up job.

I started to see a pattern for the work I was doing and developed a set of techniques that enabled me to engage stakeholders to find the actual problem to solve, get everyone on the same page about the requirements, and even make sure we didn’t miss often-overlooked areas of requirements like how the data transfers in between systems.

I kept rising up the corporate ladder and before the age of 30, I was in a director-level role where I created a 15 person team of business analysts, project managers, and quality assurance professionals.

But in my heart, I was a business analyst. I eventually left that role to start contracting and consulting as a business analyst. And that’s when I founded Bridging the Gap, back in 2008.

The Job Prospects for Business Analysts

Since that time, I’ve seen so many other professionals find their heart and soul in business analysis – while also increasing their salary potential.

And they are also setting themselves up in a career with long-term potential. The job prospects for professionals with business analysis skills are outstanding. Projections show that there will be hundreds of thousands of new business analyst job openings in the coming years. Demand for these skills is going up, as organizations know that to thrive they need to grow, change, and evolve – all things that we help them do successfully as business analysts.

And while our profession, like so many, has definitely faced some layoffs due to recent events, it’s proven to be a relatively secure role to be in. Business analysts were able to transition to remote work quite effectively. And organizations are relying on their business analysts now more than ever, as they pivot business models, systems, and processes to survive in these current times.

And inside our Bridging the Gap community, I keep hearing stories of business analysts surviving organizational layoffs, getting hired into new roles, many into their first official business analyst roles.

Amelia McHenry Goes From Technical Writer to Business Analyst, and Receives a $20K Salary Bump

Let’s take a look at how this career progression can work. When I first met Amelia McHenry, she had maxed out her salary potential in the technical writer role and got let go from a position because she was at the very top of the salary bracket for technical writing and she wasn’t moving on. When it was time to do layoffs, they were looking at those factors and she ended up being part of that transition.

She was like, “What’s next for me? If technical writer was the max; I was at the best of the best technical writing, what can I do that’s next so I can keep growing and expanding and fulfilling my potential and making the money I want to make?”

She discovered the career path of business analysis. Then she joined our training program – The Business Analyst Blueprint®. She leveraged her strong communication skills, along with her new business analyst skills, into a contract business analyst position that gave her the Business Analyst job title. Then she leveraged that experience and credibility into a BA Lead role, making $90,000/year in Brentwood Tennessee – a $20,000 salary increase.

Annette Richards Goes From Lead Business Analyst to Manager and Builds a Brand-New Business Analyst Team

Then there’s Annette Richards. Annette was already in a senior business analyst role, but her lack of confidence was holding her back from taking the next step. She went through The Blueprint program, and, as she says, she actually knew a lot more than she thought she knew. But it didn’t matter, because that lack of confidence was holding her back.

I know a lot of you may feel like this – like you are alone on your BA work, with no internal mentor to guide you. Or a bit of fear about what might happen if you asked your internal mentor the real questions you had because they might begin to think you didn’t know what you were doing.

Within a few months of finishing the program, Annette moved into a management role, building a team of business analysts from the ground up. She’s actually training junior business analysts to be successful by leveraging the techniques and best practices she learned in The Business Analyst Blueprint® training program.

In all my work as a business analyst, and in training the next wave of business analysis professionals, here are a few secrets I’ve learned.

Being a Business Analyst Is Not About the Job Title

First, being a business analysis is not about the job title. There are dozens of job titles that represent business analysis responsibilities. When you are exploring the opportunities available, it’s more about what you do than what your title is.

There Is a Lot of Confusion About What a Business Analyst Is

What’s more – there is a lot of confusion about what a business analyst actually is and what they do.

At Bridging the Gap, we help business analysts who literally “bridge the gap” between business and technology stakeholders. This means they help ensure that software solutions actually do what the business needs them to do, and solve real business problems.

There are many other types of business analysis roles, and as you progress in your career as a business analyst, leveraging these tried-and-true business skills to achieve meaningful results with technology, often you’ll progress beyond project work and into more strategic work.

The Core Skills to Get Started as a Business Analyst on a Software Project

Now let’s get back to what it takes to get started as a business analyst. What are those core skills? The techniques I really needed and that enable you to be successful and enabling software solutions to solve real business problems fall into 3 primary perspectives.

These 3 perspectives provide a way to sort through and organize the dozens, if not hundreds, of techniques available and focus on the core skills you need to know to get started successfully.

Those are the business-process view, the functional/software view, and the data/information view.

These views give you multiple different perspectives from which to look at the requirements and allow you to get a complete picture without overwhelm.

Then, in addition to the techniques, you need a business analysis process framework, or a practical approach, that guides you on what to do when, and how to take a project from start to finish.

And it’s important to look at the different perspectives to get a complete view of the requirements. It seems like every year there is a new study released blaming project failures as the direct result of requirements gathering. One of the more famous ones is a 2016 study from the Project Management Institute, up to 37% of project failures are the direct result of poor requirements gathering. And most of the other issues had requirements as a secondary contributing factor.

What’s more, defects in a project already launched cost way more to correct than defects found during requirements. So a little bit of improvement in your requirements process goes a long, long way.

Don’t let these numbers scare you off – they are easily addressed with good business analysis and industry-standard best practices. And they are also why organizations are increasingly seeing the need for talented, experienced, well-trained business analysis professionals on their teams.

But There’s Still One Problem…You Need Business Analyst Experience

So perhaps by now, you are thinking that a business analyst career is right for you. And you are ready to make this an intentional career path – one that gets you unstuck and creates a path to fulfilling intellectually engaging work, that’s also financially rewarding.

If you aren’t currently in a BA role, the next thing you’ll need to do is starting building business analysis experience. The vast majority of business analyst roles require 3-5 years of experience. Entry-level BA jobs are few and far between and are often reserved for recent college graduates with no experience, not for mid-career professionals like you with some work experience behind you.

Since the business analysis profession is getting more well-known, the expectations are also going up. Employers are not often looking for quick starts that can learn on the job. They want experienced, trained, and often, certified professionals ready to hit the ground running.

And More Experienced Business Analysts Need to Bring Leadership to the BA Role

If you are currently in a business analyst role – the next thing you’ll need to do is bring some leadership to the requirements process and ensure your techniques help you avoid missing requirements in a way that actually engages your stakeholders.

This is incredibly important right now in these challenging times. As your company and leadership pivot to stay relevant, they may not know exactly what they need you to do, but that doesn’t mean you are not needed. Staying relevant professionally means leaning in and finding ways to add value to the current set of priorities.

I’ve always had a knack for engaging stakeholders and getting to the crux of problems, and the technique I’ll teach you next is one of my go-tos in my BA toolbox.

In the next part of the workshop, I’ll be teaching you one industry-standard technique that solves both of these problems – helps non-BAs kick-start their BA careers, and helps practicing BAs engage stakeholders even in uncertain times while also avoid missing requirements.

Then I’ll walk you through what a complete BA toolbox for a successful “official” business analyst looks like. We call it The Business Analyst Blueprint®, and it covers all 3 perspectives of requirements analysis, plus our business analysis process framework. This will give you a baseline to complete your own skills assessment and discover your gaps and capabilities.

Comment Below – What Does Being a Business Analyst Mean To You?

In the meantime, please scroll down and leave me a comment below. What would being recognized as an official business analyst mean to you? And given the times we are in now, what are the 1 or 2 most important things you could be doing to ensure your success in the next 12 months?

During this workshop, I’ll be reading all of your comments, and responding to as many as I can.

And we only make the workshop available for a limited time – so keep your eyes out for part 2.

I’m doing this because since I left my corporate work as a business analyst and started working full-time building Bridging the Gap, helping BAs find their confidence and gain recognition for their contributions has become my purpose and passion. I’m so absolutely grateful to have you here, on this journey with me – with us.

This is Laura Brandenburg at Bridging the Gap and we help you start and succeed in your business analyst career.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing these. Very informative. I am so excited to be signed up for the ACBA course starting next month. I can’t wait to see what it brings. I will be starting a brand new role at the same time so hope to bring these new skills along with me.
    Thank you again!

  2. Hi Laura,

    I have been following your videos for a while and really love the information that you share. I am currently in the IT field doing an application support role. On the back of my mind, I am curious if I wanted to try being a BA and if that could move my career further. I always love analyzing business problems and providing process improvements, Though right now I am on the development end of the cycle.

    Kris

  3. Hi Laura,

    I am currently unemployed and getting reskilled in Data Sciences. I have a previous Work ex of 2 years as a Business Development professional for a Tech startup along with a short entrepreneurial stint in Manufacturing Sector. Please let me know if this could be the right transition as I’ve not explored the technical side before

    Thanks You.

  4. Tiffany Mills says

    I believe I may have some of the qualifications necessary for an entry-level BA but I would like to know how to most effectively convey that to a prospective employer. I am attempting to get back in the workplace as we anticipate Covid to be wrapping up & as I am applying, I am looking for ways to stand out among the reams of applicants.
    Thanks for your assistance

    • Hi Tiffany, Great question! We are definitely seeing employers hiring right now, so it’s a great time to be pursuing new opportunities in the job market. I suggest starting by analyzing your relevant work experience, even if it wasn’t in a formal business analyst role, and looking at how you can position it in a business analysis context. The skills assessment we’ll be providing in part 3 will help with this.

      Also, depending on your career background, an entry-level role may not be the best path. Many times we see mid-career professionals feel they need to step back into an entry-level BA role when their best opportunities are in mid-level BA roles.

  5. Tinuola Ajayi says

    Hi Laura,
    I’m sincerely grateful for this workshop, it lightens up my hope and inspires me to move on.
    I would describe an official business analyst as someone who majorly facilitates change in people/system and recommend a solution that delivers value to the stakeholders.

    The answer to the second question is that:
    1. I start using more BA techniques right now in my day-to-day operations especially the investigation technique, communication skills.
    2. To look for any opportunity or volunteer service to explore all the acquired knowledge.

    Please, Laura, I request that you support me throughout the requirements process. I really want this to work!!!

    • Hi Tinoula, You are so welcome and I’m so glad you are here. These are great next steps to be focusing on, in particular applying the BA techniques right now in your day-to-day, as that’s where we see momentum in a BA career build, often quite quickly. We’ll be supporting you in taking these steps in the following parts of the workshop so please stay tuned and engaged! So much more to come.

  6. Porchia Hannamon says

    Hi LAURA

    I am a practising BA and I am really looking forward to part 2 of your training . How not to miss requirements ? What the correct processes are that you must follow ? How to keep both I.T. and Business happy .

    Thank you

  7. Hi Laura,
    First of all, thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge with us. I`m super excited to take part in your workshop.
    I`m a beginner BA with an extensive background in the finance domain, management, and in the activity close to business analysis. I have reached the “glass ceiling” at a bank, graduated from the business analysis courses and now I am looking for a first job in IT.
    What would be recognized as an official business analyst mean to me? The Stakeholders` words after the demo or after project acceptance “It turned out even better than I wanted!”:). I`d like to ask the right questions in interviews with Stakeholders, elicit and document good requirements, find out the pain points and wishes of clients and come up with top-notch solutions for their problems.
    What are the 1 or 2 most important things you could be doing to ensure your success in the next 12 months?:
    1) never stop learning new things in BA and apply them in practice,
    2) make English a daily habit because I am not an English native speaker (from Belarus).
    I wish you health!

    • Hi Irina, So great to have you here. Based on the goals you shared I can tell you have a passion for the business analyst role, and that will serve you so well. Please stay tuned as we go through the workshop, as I’ll be sharing more tips on breaking that glass ceiling and setting yourself up for that first business analyst role.

  8. Mary Ranf Munz says

    Hello Laura
    I took part in the BA Course last November and due to personal and business reasons I think I made it through 4 modules. I would really like to start again and complete the entire course – could you offer a discount? Thank you for considering my request. Warm regards, Mary

  9. Hello Laura,
    Thank you for this amazing session and all your YouTube videos,
    First, I come from IT back ground and worked as application consultant after my graduation in CIS for almost 2 years.
    But during last 10 years i became chief accountant in one of the projects that i have implemented 10 years ago, and since more than 10 years I’m more in accounting role and as stakeholder for the projects that we are implementing internally in the company to serve company business needs only.
    As you’ve said exactly, I’m stuck in this role with no major improvements or achievements either in career or financially and I’m constantly regretting leaving my job as BA.

    Therefore, I’m so passionate about coming back to BA rold and I’m planning to support my previous experience with CBAP in 2021 second quarter, and will try to find any role in IT industry even if this will result to start as junior or intern, as my accounting experience will benefit me only after being recognized as BA which will open the door to me to be more involved in ERP projects.
    Hope you can help me with your opinion and if you see this can be the best path for me to follow in order to achieve BA role in 2021?
    Thanks,

    • Hi Ahmad, So great to have you here! With your depth of career experience, I would not recommend pursuing a junior level role. You’ll want to be looking for mid-level or senior-level roles that leverage your accounting background as well as any specific ERPs you have experience in. I suggest you start using more BA techniques right now in your work as a stakeholder to solidify and formalize your experience as a BA – watch for part 2 of the workshop where we will show you how to do just that.

  10. Laura; Thank you for sharing your knowledge and tested techniques. You asked what does being a BA mean to me; well for starters it would be a way to get back into the workforce, being able to contribute to my familys income. and getting some semblance of self-worth back. I was part of a RIF back 2 years ago and since have not been able to find my next great adventure. I look forward to taking the program and fingers crossed landing a BA role.

    • Sally, Thank you for sharing. Those transitions can be incredibly challenging. I’m so glad you are here for some support. I’m looking forward to supporting you through the workshop and the full program, should you decide to move forward with us.

  11. Lindsey Barbara Chateigne says

    Hi Laura,

    It’s really kind from you to share your experience and tips with us to help us being a good Business Analyst. For me it’s even more important because I am living in a country with only a few Business Analyst professionals profiles and no school that offers courses in that field.

    For me being a Business Analyst means having the capability to traduce non technical words form end-users persons to technical words to the technical team and vice versa in order to implement requirements, give responses to needs and align every persons in the same page at the end of the day.

    • You are so welcome Lindsey! I’m so glad you found this workshop from your country. Because we are an online organization, we’ve helped business analysts from dozens of countries across the world start their careers, and it’s always so interesting to see how similar the challenges and opportunities are across the globe. Absolutely great to have you here.

      Alignment is so important, and a core contribution that BAs make. It’s great that you are able to bring the gifts of communication and alignment to your team.

  12. Tom Laciano says

    Hi Laura, you asked what it would mean to become a business analyst and for me it would help remove the ambiguity I face in my current role. I feel like my career thus far has been some mix of supporting processes, launching initiatives, managing projects and improving processes or procedures but never as an explicit job role. I look forward to learning more about the roles available, the skills and certifications that will help me land roles where I am recognized for the talent I bring.

    • Tom, Thanks so much for sharing. Getting on a well-defined career and growth path can really be a game-changer when it comes to the options you open up for yourself. This is a great reason to pursue this profession. So great to have you here. Keep tabs on parts 2 and 3 and 4, as we’ll be speaking to more of your next steps as we continue on as well.

  13. Hi, Laura,

    Your presentation is just what I needed to hear. I’m stuck in my role. I just became a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP). However, I, like one of your prior students, need to ensure I have no gaps to advance in my career. I am looking to sign up for your BluePrint course. However, I need the actual dates and time of the course. I would appreciate if this information would be provided to me. Thanks!

  14. Faryal M Mirza says

    Hi Laura

    First off thanks for sharing your experince as a BA and how those of us whom are trying to change careers can transition into the roll.
    Myself personal am looking for a new role as a BA is because as a Manual QA and with some knowledge in Automation (Java and selenium) I feel I am not much of a coder and with the QA roles has now converted to a developer role I feel instead of strugling to remeber the coding in any language (sql, selnium , java, python, etc) and making myself always losing my confidence when on a project I must change my career path that will not stress me out as If I am doing Brain surgery.
    I Feel BA is more suited for me since BA is more on a Customer Service level and I feel I have more potential as a people person then coding.

    Any guidence from you to help me piviot my career path and help me land an oppertunity as a BA will be great.
    Thanks

    • Hi Faryal, Great to have you here. This workshop is definitely a great way to learn more about the BA career path. And while you do need to understand technical concepts in business analysis, you do not need to code, and your QA background is a great starting point. Please be sure to check out parts 2 and 3 for more guidance on pursuing this career path, as this workshop is only up through tomorrow.

  15. Emily Lather says

    Hi Laura,

    To me the role of the BA is to understand the business users role, processes and requirements which they then communicate to the IT team via a user story clearly documenting story details and acceptance criteria by persona. The BA is the critical link that understands the business use cases and criteria while also undersanding the system best practices.

  16. Hi Laura,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and perspective. I have been in the HVAC field for many years. There has been noticeable delineation between the business end and the technical end of this industry. Large corporations spend millions of dollars hiring 3rd party BAs that use generalized plans to increase revenue, only to end up with a new mission or vision statement and core values that have no action plans. Then the 3rd party BA walks away and there is no accountability for the business model or strategic plan. A few years pass, people are promoted to their highest level of incompetency, and a new manager comes along with a wonderful “new idea” of hiring a 3rd party BA to increase profits, revenue, gross margin, reduce overhead and eliminate waste.
    I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know the questions we need to be asking. I am ready to be the change I want to see. I look forward to your course. Like Sharon, I find it frustrating to watch the shifting back and forth as tho they are changing with the wind.
    Thank you.

  17. Gladys Edungbola says

    Dear Laura,

    I am currently working part-time as a Business Development and Systems Strengthening Manager for a Local NGO. With Human Resources and Management Background, I am looking to make a move in a more complex role using the Business Analyst lens either for Business Development, Project Management, Human Resources Or Organizational Development. I feel like at the cross-road and need strategic guidance.

    • Hi Gladys. Great to have you here. It sounds like the BA skill set would augment your current skills and experience. Be sure to check out the rest of the workshop to learn more, as I offer lots of strategic career guidance in the following parts of the workshop as well.

  18. MANDODJA GPAGNI says

    HI Laura,
    I read all your publication since 3 months now and I get excited all the time I read you. I am confident that I want to become a BA because it is a subject that passions me. I have an us veteran, PMP certified, graduate in economy and I am working presently on another master in applied statistics but I still feel that I need something to organize all the knowledge I have. Your training will be definitively what I really miss based on what I read in your different publication. I am trying to find the time since I am full time student in my master’s degree to enroll for your training.

    • Hi Mandodja,
      It’s great that you are excited about being a business analyst. Being sure you have the time to participate is important. We have had other participants put professional certification programs on hold while they pursue our training. They find we offer a more practical focus that helps their immediate career prospects than what there are learning in other programs. Of course, this is a decision you’d need to weigh carefully. Be sure to check out the full details of our program as well, before making your final decision.

  19. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for this course. Professionally I am a brand marketer with 20 years experience in online and offline channels and have always had an interest in the operational/results side of things. There is always the challenge in marketing to prove how we are making an impact. I’m a bit jaded by it (okay, a lot jaded!). I have worked closely with the Competitive Intel team and with Salesforce Marketing cloud. Seeing your course, I am wondering if a BA focus/re-direct may help with this challenge and help expedite a path to a leadership role. Your thoughts greatly appreciated!

    • You are welcome, Angela. Business analysts also often are challenged to prove their value, and so I’m not sure if this is career is the safe-haven you are looking for. However, it would definitely leverage your interest in the operational side and systems knowledge in Salesforce, etc. Business analysis skills also can help prepare you for leadership roles, as strong communication and analytical thinking are often required to build and lead teams.

      • Laura, many thanks for your reply. This is very helpful. Interesting that even BA’s are challenged proving their value – it must only be the Finance function that goes unchallenged. I will check out the training program.

    • Hi Laura, I am new to BA actually. I have worked as a marketer of IT hardware products for the past 18 years and I need a new challenge. I want to help in finding solutions to businesses and I am taken by all you have said. I want to know about requirements and other BA processes so that I can increase my knowledge base and sharpen my skills.

      • Hi Segun, So great to have you here. The BA role definitely has a variety of work that can make it fun and fulfilling! We’ll be sharing more about the requirements and other BA processes in the upcoming parts of the workshop.

  20. Hi Laura, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. Being a business analyst to me means the opportunity to help mesh problems with solutions using both the analytical and creative sides of my brain. I’m very creative as well as very analytical, and choosing one over the other has always felt incomplete. I have an enterprise technology systems background which evolved into a BA role for a very short time; unfortunately, training and mentoring were very limited. Now that I am unemployed, this opportunity could not be more timely.

    • These are great reasons to be a business analyst, Cindy! I’m so glad you are enjoying the workshop. Many of the BAs we work with have experience but not the benefit of formal training and mentoring.

  21. Hi Laura,

    I am currently unemployed and seeking a career in BA. I am in dare need of ideas ideas to help put into practice the Business Process skills I have picked here.
    Kindly recommend ideas I can leverage on.

    Thank you

    • Hi Qudus, Be sure to check part 2 for many ideas of how our course participants have analyzed a business process to expand their experience even when they were not currently employed.

  22. Arthur Williams says

    Hi Laura
    I was a business analyst without the title at NYT.. I completed the management career program out of graduate school at John J College The City University of NY. After I completed The management career development program at my telephone . At divestiture my boss and I were let go after managing the first successful wholesale billing project. Our strokes were taken by merger partners. I then went I to education administration. I am now looking for a new opportunity in project management.I would like to supplement my retirement.

  23. I’m a data analyst and data solutions developer, and understand that data is the oil that flows inside the business machine and when properly set keeps the engine working. Understand this machine’s mechanism is also essential for the data professionals. That’s when BA steps in.

    • Hi Martin, As you’ll see in part 3, I consider the data modeling an essential skill set for business analysts as well. This enables the BA to be a strong partner with data analysts like you, and be sure they are bringing an understanding of the business perspective to the decisions that need to be made about the data model. You really can’t split these two ways of looking at the business and systems that support it apart.

  24. Being a Business Analyst to me means I am the conduit between the End user and the Technology Team and am the one whom understands the business needs, the process/es and the information that helps bring all this together in a more efficient and effective way. I have been involved in this function for 30 years now but only in the last 15 years have I been recognised and employed in a dedicated Business Analyst role. I now have a degree in Applied Management with a double major – Business Information Processing and Business Transformation and Change. I have a background in finance and administration and a bent for systems, so this became part of my base skill set from the beginning that has developed over this 30 years even thought analyst roles didn’t exist back then. Fortunately my administration and analytical skills took me down this road organically and with a strong focus on data quality – I learnt early on that outputs determine inputs and the requirements of any system/process to ensure the right information is gathered to be able to provide those outputs in a meaningful and accurate way that stakeholders could truly rely on for making the right business decisions. Thank you Laura for this opportunity – it is only in recent years that training and support for BA’s has come to the fore but I do believe work experience and maturity are key requisites for these roles also. We never stop learning and I am looking forward to this course to see what new tips and techniques I can learn even though I am an old hand at this. I have had a recent experience that has not gone so smoothly as the client has continued to change and shift back and forth and change management has been thrown out the window which has been frustrating.

    • You are so welcome, Sharon. This most recent experience sounds like a challenging one. In challenge, lies opportunity. This is a great opportunity to take your business analysis skills to the next level.

  25. “‘Entry-level BA jobs are few and far between and are often reserved for recent college graduates with no experience, not for mid-career professionals like you with some work experience behind you.”

    The above statement got me confused … so Entry BA jobs are not meant for mid career professionals who want to make a career change but don’t have a BA EXPERIENCE ? Or ?

    • Hi Pat,

      That’s correct. If you have a few years of career experience, you most likely won’t be applying to entry-level business analyst roles. You need to transfer your past experience and start building BA experience on-the-job so you qualify for mid-level roles.

      If you haven’t already, be sure to check part 2. I address this process in detail.

  26. Muhammad Suhail says

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for providing this wonderful session.

    I would like to ask more about project failures as a resulf of Business Analysis and Requirements Gathering. Pretty much agrees since Bad or incomplete requirements means incorrect deliverable.

    But what if the project sponsor or project manger’s keep changing the directions and didn’t listen to or follow the advice of Business Analyst or hire a BA but don’t engage the Business Analyst in core BA tasks i.e requirement gathering or stakeholder management.

    How a BA should handle these situations where the project manager or sponsor don’t know what’s the use of a BA.

    • Hi Muhammad, In many organizations, gaining recognition for the business analyst role is an iterative process. It starts with applying the industry-standard techniques so you can bring more leadership to your role. Be sure to check the remaining 2 parts of the workshop for advice on this.

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