How to Successfully Launch Your Business Analyst Career
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Full text of What Successful Business Analysis Actually Looks Like

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

I’m guessing I’m a lot like you. There was a point in my career where I was 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.

Eventually, I made the transition to quality assurance got 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 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.

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 BA Lead position, and has now moved on to manage 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.

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 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.

And I believe that my ability to engage with people, while also being incredibly analytical and solution-oriented, is why I never had trouble finding new work as a BA. You might even say it makes the requirements process fun for them. I’ve always had a knack at engaging stakeholders, 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 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. 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 does being a business analyst mean to you? 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. Nabanita Fad says

    This is great information Laura. I am working as a BA in my organization but the work I am doing is analyzing technical requirements, understanding data and creating BCD ( Business change Document). Also I am giving support to Development and QA, making bridge between user and the development team. But there is no precise technique used . Now I am facing trouble to get a new job as they want more experience. Please suggest how to make myself suitable.

  2. Christian Fleming says

    Laura,

    Thank you for this whole program! I will be graduating college at the end of this year and have been looking into a career in Business Analysis and really appreciate the information your love and passion for it makes me feel it is something I will really enjoy! Can’t wait for the next couple videos to help start adding to my toolbox to become a BA!

  3. Syed Qaiser Yusuf says

    Good Information and looking forward in learning more good things.

  4. Neeta Bhat says

    Hi Laura,
    It was very motivating and encouraging to hear the Part 1. I enjoyed it.
    Laura I need help. I am looking to start my career as a BA. I have total BA experience of 2 years from about 9 years back. I quit for personal reasons.
    I recently took a BA course and also passed the ECBA exam. But I still feel lost as I do not have a recent experience to show.
    How do I go about finding a job? Any pointers that can help my situation.
    Thanks.

  5. Kerry Helgason says

    I really enjoyed part one of your program. A business analyst means to me, someone who is driven above and beyond expectations and likes to see results that will truly help their clients.

  6. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for this course!

    For me, BA is finding the right way in the collapsing traffic knot.

  7. William Church III (Bill) says

    Laura

    Thank you for this information. Additionally, I want to thank May Busch for sharing you and the training you are providing. I have interviewed and considered transitioning to a BA role from a corporate advanced quality lead role. My wife and I are launching a business solutions company. Our services include bookkeeping, copywriting/content marketing. We would like to add other legal services or BA services in addition to the existing services. I am evaluating time and cost of adding each.

    Best of luck with the rest of the training. I am looking forward to the subsequent videos.

    • Welcome William! I also transitioned from QA to BA, and it was a great career progression for me. Your new company sounds fantastic, and there is such a need for business analysis services in smaller companies, as they set up foundational processes and systems so they can scale. Stay tuned for part 2 on analyzing a business process, which is one of the core offerings you may want to provide.

    • May Busch says

      Glad you are finding this valuable! There’s so much to learn from Laura and I know you’ll enjoy the next video too. Wishing you well in your new business solutions company – very exciting!

  8. Business Analysis to me is initiating change in an in organisational context by defining needs and recommending IT solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

    Looking forward to the next phase of your workshop.
    Thanks Laura.

  9. Richard Little says

    Hi, Laura. Thanks for an engaging “Part 1”. I tend to tell people how to build clocks when they ask me what time it is, so I’ll try to stay focused here on some initial thoughts.

    First, in answer to your actual question, analysis, generally speaking, is a disassembly process in which a thing is divided into its component parts and the relationships between those parts are studied. This is in contrast to synthesis, which is the assembly or reassembly of components to create a new system. Business analysis, therefor, in its most general sense, is a process wherein the components of a business enterprise are analyzed as to their relationships to each other and their purposes with respect to the whole. “Relationships” here is used generally and can refer to organizational hierarchy and personnel relationships and interactions, data flow and processing, and pretty much any and all connections between these component parts. The process can be used to help solve business problems whose “roots” lie in more than one “component”.

    Second, me. I’m not at all sure that this is something I want. I’m “supposed” to be retired but am not. After 29 years in IT, I was laid off in 2003. Unfortunately, I was 51 and because of the work I was doing, my technical skills were largely obsolete. I never did find another job in that industry but had a wonderful retirement until 2014, when, it being clear that I needed to return to work, I took a part time job in a completely different industry, in which I am now full time.

    The description of analysis above is a picture of my whole life. In everything I do, from IT to theater and other varied non-profits, to moving projects to complicated mechanical design projects, I have been the person to whom people come for how to get it done, the mediator who finds agreement in disharmony, and the translator who can make each and every stakeholder understand clearly what is going on and how it affects them and their area.

    So I’m already a lifelong business analyst. Just never been called that. But do I really want to formalize and market myself and compete in a world I barely understand because it has changed so much and changes so quickly? I’m not at all sure.

    Well, anyway, that’s how you build a clock. I’d still like to stay with your process. Maybe I can contribute to it even if it turns out not to be right for me.

    Richard Little

    • Thanks for your comment Richard. You are definitely in the right place to learn more about the business analyst role and decide if it’s a good fit for your next career step. Many of our course participants discover they have been doing business analysis for years under a different title, and so are able to bring all their past experience into the profession with them. And it certainly sounds as if you are a natural business analyst.

    • I don’t have a question, I just want to thank Richard for his comment. It really encouraged me to keep going on this BA track, and one is never too young to learn something new!

  10. Hello and sincerely appreciate you offering free training and certification for Business Analysts. From a regional manager in dc for a division of a F-500 to small business owner, sums my background. Have spent many years working in a business development roll and enjoy business, learning and watching corporations grow and network. Bring certifications and training in proposal management as well as lean 6-sigmas.

    Looking for a fun, challenging roll that has the flavors mentioned above. Excited to learn more and to be part of your first group. Thank you for taking a moment to share with everyone.

  11. Hi I’m super excited about this program. I’ve been stuck career wise for quite some time now and finally decided to do SOMETHING! I’m nervous anxious excited and a number of other emotions all at the same time. 🤪. Business analysis to me means figuring out the best way to get things done/solve problems for businesses…
    I hope this course will provide Answers to so many unanswered questions for me… Both personally and professionally.

    Excited for the journey.

    • Super excited to have you as part of this next session of The Business Analyst Blueprint training program, Mamie! I totally understand your emotions. I feel the same way when I make a big investment in myself and leap forward. We’re here for you and will be answering so many of those unanswered questions.

  12. Hi Laura, I loved this short course. I have been in IT for a long time managing Information & Knowledge management teams earning high salaries here in Australia. I was made redundant from a job I loved in a senior management role where I had worked for 13 years. My confidence was at an all time low. I always knew the work I did was analysing business needs but always labelled it information and data management needs.

    After leaving my job a consulting team I had engaged before offered me my first role as an independent EDRMS business consultant helping the business define the requirements and use cases. I worked there fore 12 months and then was offered a position at a large mining firm where I consulted in a similar role and was then made permanent. I was made redundant after only 6 months but then I landed my first official BA role at an energy company working on a high profile government funded project so lots of media attention. I am looking forward to part 2 as I will be running my first workshop in the coming weeks. Thank you so much for sharing you are really easy to listen to and understand. When will the next course be?

    • Hi Debbie, What an amazing career path, especially with all of your comebacks. This really speaks to your natural abilities as a business analyst.

      The next part of this free workshop will be released tomorrow, and the next session of The Business Analyst Blueprint training program starts in 2 weeks.

  13. For some even though one is analytical and critical thinker and good with documentation and presentations etc., the challenge has been of not being a natural ‘people’ person that a BA professional much requires.
    Second challenge is how during this pandemic even though recruiters are calling candidates for BA Jobs, it doesn’t go any further after that. Either that the job market is really down or the recruiters are just making calls to candidates to keep their own recruiter job safe.
    Third, many jobs are looking for BAs with industry specific knowledge(projects in Healthcare, Finance etc), and even so to be specialized in a certain area /business workflow within the said industry. That makes it challenging to find jobs for those who have bern BA’s dealing with software team /application or work flow improvement projects that were on an old (but thriving) technology.
    Keen if any advice will be discussed on the above issues. Look forward to the workshop!

    • Hi Subha! Let’s tackle the first one on people skills. This is an incredibly important skill for a business analyst to have. Successful business analysis is not just about being a good analyst. (We will get to some of the specifics in part 3 of this workshop.) These skills can be learned, but you have to want to learn them. Is this something you are interested in? If not, I would suggest looking at more analytically focused roles, where personal interaction isn’t as key, such as systems analysis and software development.

  14. Natalia Sh says

    I would like to thank Laura for the inspiration, support and hope I have found in her articles about her career story and the role of a BA! Some time ago I took interest in this profession which seems to be so interesting and rewarding. But I felt confused as it was not easy to turn into a BA having an English teacher background. You are my role model, dear Laura!

  15. Natalia Sh says

    Being a BA means helping someone to become better, discover the hidden potential and turn a new page.

  16. Alfred wolobah says

    A business analysis means analyzing a business to determine whether it is profitable, risks and return for owners.

  17. Ali Al Alawi says

    Thanks, Laura for sharing the well structured and informed class in he BA role. I really admire the efforts you and your team place into this . I am convinced just by your words on the importance of thinking seriously about starting a new career. I wish to take your classes very soon

    Best Wishes

  18. BHAGYASHREE DHURI says

    Hi ma’am,

    Reading through this.. I got lot mpre confidant than I was with this role. Being non-BA, how will I be able to get a kick start to this, with a hike in the pay I currently have.. However, now I am eager for this workshop.

    Thanks for the motivation

  19. Laura,

    If the entry-level jobs are going to fresh graduates, how does one build BA experience?

    • Great question Thomas! Most of the mid-career professionals we have (who have 3+ years of career experience) do not start in entry-level business analyst roles. They build BA experience in other roles and then are able to move directly into mid and sometimes even senior-level business analyst positions.

      I address the process in much more depth in the next part of this workshop, so please stay tuned.

  20. Faith I Imagbudu says

    Hi Laura,

    I enjoyed part 1 as it opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities I can achieve with a business analyst role .

    I look forward to the second and third part.

    Best regards.

  21. I always find this workshop very productive.
    Be blessed Laura. I want to get more skills only that am impended by not being able to secure a funding to complete this course and get certified. I earn less to be able to pay the required course fee.
    This free modules are my only way to learn only that I don’t get paper to show my employers that I learned something from you.
    Thank you for free BA course workshop

    • So glad to hear you find the workshop helpful, Lote! I’m grateful that our business model allows us to provide so much high quality content for free to help those that are not yet in a position to finance our in-depth online courses.

      One tip – you can demonstrate what you are learning by showing your employer the work you produce. Especially when we get to the next part on analyzing a business process, you can leverage the template provided (plus your actual application of it, of course!) to show them how you are applying business analysis skills and making meaningful improvements to your business operations. We’ve seen this help open up increased opportunities for others.

  22. Denise Ziehr says

    Thanks Laura for sharing your experience and passion in delivering effective business analysis! For me, being a business analyst means driving meaningful results and delivering ongoing value to the customer. Looking forward to the upcoming segments!

  23. Arthur Sheppard Masoha says

    Being part of the transformative DNA changing the world.

  24. Thank you very much for sharing such brilliant knowledge through ‘bridging the gap’.. we are grateful.

  25. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for sharing this knowledge for people who wants to continue with the business analyst route. I have a business degree in accounting and with limited technical skills, background, and experience. I am in my mid-career and am stuck analyzing what actually should be my next step as a BA and I also feel the need of a mentor to properly guide me on this way.

    At one point in my career, I started as a functional analyst for a niche financials ERP software vendor PeopleSoft. I loved it as I get to work with my team as product management and collaborated with the development team on new product design requirements, development and construction and quality assurance processes on delivering high-quality and timely products to market. I was then transitioned to the quality assurance role where I was passionate about making the product better with each release. When there was an open opportunity for a development analyst role in the same company, I wished there was someone on the development team challenging me to think about this new opportunity and to apply for it. I have the same initial feeling as Laura that I love being a QA engineer, comfortable and passionate in what I do and so I remained in QA without applying for the opportunity and regretted it later. I was then maxed out as a senior lead quality assurance engineer and then got laid off later. There were new methodologies like Agile and Jira implemented just before I was laid off and I did not have the opportunity to learn more about it.

    On my next job as a senior business analyst – PeopleSoft in a city government, I was tasked mainly to provide business analyst and production support role for some part of the PeopleSoft Financials ERP upgrades and support. I wished that I have the mentor, lead expert and coach to guide me through my brief 2-year career as a business analyst with the city government. It was a totally different environment than the corporate world and I had a hard time adjusting to the work environment. I wanted to be successful as a business analyst in general but not just PeopleSoft. I am interested in what is your expert advice on the best route or next step for me to pursue as a business analyst. In your training, do you identify what skills (technical, hard or soft) and experience are needed as a business analyst and how do you go about getting the in-demand skill training and experience?

    Thanks,

    John

    • You are so welcome John, and thank you for sharing your career journey. It can be frustrating to feel like we missed opportunities. I would suggest leveraging your Peoplesoft experience in the short-term for BA-type roles in this area. And then while in that role focusing on building your BA skills specifically, so your experience can be more generalized to other areas. Be sure to check out parts 2 and 3 as well, as I cover the skills you need in more depth. In part 3, I give you a skills assessment to go through.

  26. Hi Laura,
    Thank you for sharing the article to know the BA role and it’s significance in the project oriented world. I work as a BA, but am not able to succeed as the develop team is always on a higher note and if anything goes wrong, then the blame is being to BA which is seconded even by the top management. I wish , i could change this and make them realize the importance of BA role, in any functional areas of the business. Now that i am preparing for the professional courses like CBAP, pls guide me how to proceed in the role more professionally , scientifically and delivering the result.
    i look forward to learn from you.

    • Hi Harihara, Be sure to check out parts 2 and 3 of the workshop. These skills and techniques will give you the professional edge you need to ensure you discover and clarify the true requirements with your business stakeholders.

  27. Hi Laura
    I have been following you for several years now after re-joining the IT world which I left to start my own business (that had absolutely nothing to do with IT!). You gave me the confidence to get started in a BA role through your BA Essentials course which I could barely afford at the time but felt that it gave me credibility.
    I have many years experience in IT (development, consulting, web apps manager) but feel at home as a BA or Business Systems Analyst. I have been employed over the last 3 years on 2 major projects but now find myself unemployed with the last project finishing. In applying for positions, I really struggle with so many advertisers requiring methodology specific skills which I don’t have. I’m definitely a ‘generalist’ but believe that makes me very flexible and adaptable to different work cultures, projects and how I engage with all sorts of people.
    I’m going to use this time (as well as applying for positions!) to go over the BA Essentials course and your other material plus I look forward to parts 2 and 3.
    Thx Julie

    • Great to have you back Julie. It sounds like you’ve developed quite an impressive career background to leverage in this transition. I’m so glad the BA Essentials Master Class was so helpful in moving your career forward. Thank you for posting here about your successes.

  28. darshna patel says

    Hi Laura,
    I’m looking for a mentor/tutor to help me with some struggled which I am facing as a Product Owner/manager. I’m struggling mainly with writing user stories, and defect. and how to prioritize the backlog. Please let me know if this is something you would be able to do as part of your training.

    Thanks
    Darshna

    • Hi Darshna,
      Thank you for sharing. We do cover how to write user stories in The Business Analyst Blueprint training program, but we do not go into depth on prioritizing the backlog. However, I do believe that stepping back to analyze the business process, as well as the business benefits you are trying to accomplish, can really help you prioritize the backlog. These techniques give you a bigger picture view and help you engage your stakeholders. Be sure to check out part 2 of the workshop to learn more about the power of analyzing the business process.

  29. daniel Ebhohimen says

    Good day Laura,
    Thank you for sharing this knowledge to assist people like us who desire to take this route. As you said, many of us have been playing this role without knowing. I have over 10 years of experience in the investment banking environment, from being a liaison officer to be a team lead and head, business development. Now, I want to be a certified Business Analyst. How can you help?
    Thank you once for more for sharing these insights.

    • Hi Daniel, You are so welcome. It definitely sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of business analysis. I’ll be sharing more about our training programs this week – please stay tuned. In the meantime, please be sure to check out parts 2 and 3 of the workshop.

  30. Hi Laura,
    For me, acting as a business analyst for my firm means everything other than development.Being in the software field, I have already indulged in Testing, Requirement elicitation, Team Management, Stakeholder Management, hands-on SQL and there might be more things on my plate which I might not know that I actually do 😀
    I am stuck analyzing what actually my next step should be as a BA and I also feel the need of a mentor to properly guide me on this way.

    • Hi Megha, This is a great list, and you are definitely doing some BA work already. Be sure to check out parts 2 and 3 of this workshop – click the icons above to link to them – as they give you guidance on next steps.

  31. I am stuck as a Web developer and saturated working as one.I have 8+ years of tech experience.

    How do I shift from development to BA?

  32. Pamela Payne says

    I work in state government. I was coached by my Technical Lead when she pointed out I was doing Business Analysis. I took advantage of BA Training through a local Community College and completed 105 hours, and a Certificate program equal to ECBA. I am working on studying for the the certification through IIBA. I have enjoyed the couple of webinars I have attended. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    The problem I face is the leadership of the agency I work for, in reality doesn’t believe in providing opportunity within and or promoting from within. Yes, we can do training, but only if it ‘matches’ our current job duties. The majority of hires are crisis hires, from the outside, or if there is an internal opportunity, people who truly have the desire to learn and have (even at a low level) skills that meet the some of the qualification, are often by-passed for as you discussed, ‘lack of experience’. Doing something ‘outside’ of current job responsibility does not open up. I have been in the IT world of things for nearly 20 years. I too spent 16 years as an Executive Assistant, growing my skills and learning all I can from mentors and peers. I was very successful, but got to the point where I knew I wanted to be an IT person, and took an opportunity 4 years ago, to move into an IT Operations position, where I am now. I know I will have to leave to be able to put my skills to work, but it comes back to entry level positions, as you pointed out they are very few and far between.

    I am going to look for opportunities to volunteer and use my current position to exercise some of the suggestions you have made. I really enjoy BA work, now that I somewhat understand it and can say Yes, I am doing that. And at the least be able to speak to it as I search for a new path. My goal is to find a job, mentor that allows me to grow my skills from an entry level to being successful.

    I am reading through your book and look forward to learning more from your book and these webinars. I would welcome any other suggestions for growing and exercising my newly forming skills and knowledge into being a Successful BA.

    Thank you.
    Pam

    • Hi Pamela, Yes, sometimes you do have to change organizations to find the right opportunity. Amelia McHenry was in a similar position, and volunteered at her husband’s organization while going through our program. This helped build up her confidence so she could apply for another BA role. I would also suggest being sure you’ve completely identified and highlighted your transferable BA experience – the skills assessment in part 3 will help with this.

  33. Luis Contreras says

    Hi Laura. For me being a business analyst means, hand on skill set of managing Enterprises system process, by defining the business gathering requirement and the definition of in each step in the process component for : business process, software functionality and data information requirements. Thanks.

  34. Greetings..
    Hi Laura,

    First of all thank you very much for sharing such a wealthy knowledge through ‘bridging the gap’. This is giving more insight to BA Role. Thank you very much..

  35. Sreeni Reddy says

    Hello Laura,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed information.. Can you please keep us updated on the next session. I wanted to be apart of the knowledge session.

    Regards,
    Sreeni

    • Hi Sreeni,

      Will do! I’ll be sharing more information about the next session of The Business Analyst Blueprint training program next week. In the meantime, please enjoy the full free workshop. Parts 2 and 3 are available by clicking above.

  36. Hi Laura
    Thank You for sharing this knowledge with the world. I have been thinking on what the next steps is I would like to pursue in my career, I have over 15 years in Customer/Product Support and have been more recently working as an “unofficial support Admin Specialist”. What does that mean, know you’re wondering, me too. To give you the skinny, I work on process implementations, Data management, Training Documentation, Dashboards & Reporting, E-commerce Support & Customer Satisfaction. Know to my question … What would be the best path to peruse as a BA for base on my career experiences

    • Hi Stacey,

      Great to have you here. It sounds like you are doing many BA activities already in your “unofficial” role. I’d suggest going through the rest of the workshop – particularly part 3 – to better understand your transferable business analysis skills.

  37. Hello Laura,

    Thank you for this resource. I am currently working through your book, “How to Start a Business Analyst Career” and it’s been a fascinating read. I started my career as an elementary school teacher. I was ready for a change and moved into an Administrative Assistant role. I now work for a certification board in an assistant role. When a colleague left, I took it upon myself to fill in the gaps. I became an expert at the certification application process and then began taking on new projects. I am working on finding all the ways I am using business analyst skills to help me gain experience. My ultimate goal is to take the CBPA and find a BA career. Any suggestions or words of wisdom?

    Thank you,
    Nicole

    • Hi Nicole,

      You are so welcome. Sounds like you are on the right track. Be sure to check out parts 2 and 3, as those hold my words of wisdom as far as continuing to capitalize on the opportunities you’ve created for yourself. In particular, take an assessment of your transferable skills in part 3.

  38. Shenita White says

    Hi Laura,
    I have been following you and signing up for Bridging the Gap newsletter and webinars for a few years now. But, I am just getting to take advantage of the wealth of information provided. I really appreciate you and your partners for sharing!

    I got my start in IT in 2014 writing communications (newsletters, release notices, training manuals, etc.) and eventually advanced to the roles of a Project Coordinator and Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). As a CRM, I had the opportunity to work with BAs several software implementations and enjoyed it very much. I really want to pursue the path of a certified BA and work on projects involving Salesforce. There are so many offerings for this training that I’m a bit overwhelmed in figuring out the best path to do this to maximize my learning and not deplete my bank account doing so. I am hopeful that the free Bridging the Gap series will help chart the path.

    My background is sales and marketing and I have primarily worked with people in a service or customer facing capacity. I enjoy engaging people and problem solving to their satisfaction. So being a BA would for me mean; clearly understanding my customers’ processes and needs to deliver a product that is useful, flexible and adaptable to their organizations’ future. Addressing the now with an eye on the later!

    • Hi Shenita,

      So great to have you here. Your background is great for business analysis, and I love your goals around the role as well. Salesforce BA sounds like a perfect fit! We’ll be providing a training option with Bridging the Gap at the end of this workshop.

  39. warwick patrick oakley says

    Hi Laura
    Many thanks for your desire to help and assist so many people to realise the ambitions. I’m recently retired and live in Plettenberg Bay on the southern most tip of Africa. Went from salesman to CEO in the corporate world and in 2000 we started our own packaging business and grew it exponentially until we sold it in 2016. I have been assisting some companies especially on the “execution” part of the Strategic ambitions and have know decided embark upon this route more scientifically and look forward to learning from you. I will send you a copy of my latest project and would appreciate any comments and suggestions.
    Best

    Warwick

    • Hi Laura,

      I enjoyed part 1 as it opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities I can acheive with a business analyst role .

      I look forward to the second and third part.

      Thanks once again.

      • That’s great to hear Debby! You are so welcome. There is so much opportunity within the business analysis profession and when you have a solid foundation of business analyst skills.

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