Durga Patil on Being a Business Analyst in the Insurance Domain

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Durga Patil Business AnalystI had the opportunity to speak personally with Durga Patil, a business analyst with L&T Infotech. Durga has been a business analyst for over three years and prior to becoming a business analyst held various roles in software development and testing. Below is a snapshot of our discussion.

Laura: What is the BA role like in your organization?

Durga: In India, the BA role has become much better defined and valued in the last 3-4 years. In my organization, the BA role used to be part of the project manager’s or project lead’s responsibilities. Now it’s a separate role and that enables the business analyst functions to be much more valued by management. In my organization, the BA manages the client and the PM manages the team.

Laura: Tell me about how domain experience impacts your role.

Durga: I work in the insurance domain and I came into this role with a technical background. The business advised that to jump in my career, I should gain domain expertise. I pursued an academic degree in insurance which taught me much of what she needed to know and helped me understand my customer’s perspective. I chose this academic path because the SMEs I was working with all had it. The rest of the domain knowledge came from experience with different projects.

Laura: That sounds like a great piece of advice. If domain experience is required to advance your career, talk to experts within that domain about what training and education they would recommend. I can imagine each domain would have different requirements.

Durga: Yes. It really made a difference in how I am respected within this organization.

Laura: Tell me about business analyst training opportunities and how that helped your career.

Durga: I was lucky that early in the formation of the business analyst role at this organization, they provided fairly comprehensive training on how to be a business analyst. That training provided a solid base to start working within the role. We learned how to elicit requirements and convert requirements into a language that technical professionals could work easily with. Such a training session sets a strong foundation towards developing strong business analysts in the organization.

Laura: What advise would you give to new business analysts?

Durga: As a new BA, I advise you to leverage others’ experiences. Allow experienced people to help/guide you learn how to use the BA skills and techniques to improve how you do things. Also network extensively to meet BAs outside your organization because you can learn so much from their experiences. My mentor always used to tell me “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

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Comments

  1. Hi Laura,

    I purchased your e-book “How to start a Business Analyst Career”. The book was real good for the BA aspirants like me. I am holding a masters degree in management subjects. I always dream about to become a Business analyst. Unfortunately i am not having any domain knowledge. Lot of training Institution suggest that we need a prior industrial knowledge to take a business analyst post in an organisation. If this is true what are the books available in the market to gain the knowledge which helps to handle the BA role. appreciated and thanks.

  2. First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!

  3. I really was suggested ta diabetic’s website along the my cousin: I an not sure whether thspecializes post dependes written by her own as no one else know such detailed amatch up against my problem. opt to are wonderfulxd Thanks!

  4. Venkateswarlu Vempati says

    Hi Durga Patil,
    I am seeing most of BA postings on Career Websites in Insurance Domain, they are preferring technical People only. Will this course is really helpful to Non -Technical candidates?. I am 46 years old having 8 Years experience in Life Insurance sales. Prior to Insurance i was into Pharma Marketing. What way this experience is going to help me to become BA?. Can you please guide me ? I want to become BA in Insurance Domain.Really i am under confusion.I am a B.Sc graduate from Andhra University.Can I have your mail id Please.
    Regards,
    Venkateswarlu Vempati,
    Mobile:+91 80082-63567,
    Hyderabad, India

    Hyderabad.

  5. Ravi Chitturi says

    Hi Laura,

    I am having 8 yrs of experience in Sales and Business Development and last 6 years I am with a General Insurance Company as a Business Development Manager . i Done My MBA and basic qualifications is Bachelor of Commerce..,Can I able to make in BA career.

    Regards,
    Ravi Chitturi

  6. Nutankumar K says

    Laura,

    A very nice post which brings a question but first a short background about me:

    I work as a Business Analyst in Web Application Development for past 2 years.
    I don’t have any knowledge of a specific domain. If a client wants to build a web application of Construction website then I need to know first the basic terms about construction and home building that gets difficult for me to advice any client. I feel that staying in a web application development which has no specific domain will make me jack of all trades. So I tried searching jobs in other domains but most of the companies prefer a person who has a domain specific experience . So now, how I can over come the domain knowledge also how can I figure out which domain to choose as there are plenty out there.
    Please Advice.

  7. Venkateswarlu says

    Hi, Laura, I am having 8 Years + Sales experience in Life Insurance . I worked for Different companies as Branch Manager. I am 46 years Old and my basic qualification is B.Sc.Prior to insurance i worked for Pharma Sales for 15 years. Can i become A Business Analyst in Life Insurance domain.
    Regards,
    Venkateswarlu

  8. Zayad Shaikh says

    Awaiting for your valuable reply

  9. Zayad Shaikh says

    Hi Laura,
    Good Post
    I want to become a BA in Insurance domain,I am currently a developer for insurance products.
    Is it a good option??
    What is the requirement to become a good BA in insurance domain and from where can I read docs on the same

    • Zayad,
      This does sound like a good avenue for you to break into the BA role, as you already have some experience within the domain itself. I realize my reply is very dated. Please let us know how your transition has gone since you posted!

  10. Hi Laura,
    I feel lucky for being into BA role and have been in this role since one year..this is my first job., and have done certifications from loma (life insurance management association) and also am AINS(associate in general insurance) certified from CPCU and in the process for doing some more certifications as well.,i hope i have good understanding of the theoretical Domain knowledge but i dont have have technical experience..,and moreover i dont like to get into tech role as i am not at all interested. now my concerns are :
    1)Is Technical experience necessary to advance my career as a BA?
    2)Most of BA’s are MBA graduates..,but em from Mechanical Engineering background.,is MBA really required?or else only with so many certifications and domain trainings can i still excel in my career…

    Awaiting for your valuable reply

  11. I have spend around 15 yrs in Insurance industry working in Administrative, finance, Insurance, & Reinsurace. Now i want to be BA. suggest me and whats the working of BA in ins ind.

  12. Hi Tanmoy,
    You might want to check out this post: http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/can-i-become-a-business-analyst/

  13. Tanmoy Banerjee says

    Hi Laura,

    I am having 8 yrs of experience in Sales and Business Development and last 4 years I am with a Life Insurance Company as a Branch Manager. My basic qualification is B.E. (Electronics) cuurently persuing PGDBM. Can I able to make in BA career.

    Regards,
    Tanmoy

  14. Hi Ashish,

    I suggest you check out the above comments for some relevant links and instructions for the eNewsletter or also consider my eBook How to Start a Business Analyst Career. http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/business-analyst-career-resources/become-a-business-analyst/

    These resources provide concrete guidance on getting started as a BA regardless of your career background.

    Laura

  15. i have 11yrs management Exp (last 7 years were in life insurance as branch/territory head)with masters of intl biz n computer diploma.i want to become Business analyst pls guide

  16. You are welcome. You will get an email with a lot of details on that topic, I promise! In the meantime, you might want to check out Doug Hill’s answer on this post. http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/looking-to-break-into-business-analysis-guest-post/ It mirrors my experience as well.

    Laura

  17. Biswajit Dey says

    Hi Laura,

    Thank a lot for your valuable advice.

    I have sign-up in the email list “I want to be a BA” as your career level.
    Is it possblie to get a BA job without relevant work experince. As I have been asked the same always in the interview.

    Thanks,
    Biswajit Dey

  18. Hi Biswajit,
    Thanks for reading! I believe anything is possible if you work towards it and technical analysis is a great segue role into business analysis. You might want to sign-up for my email list, using “I want to be a BA” as your career level. You’ll receive a series of emails from me about becoming a business analyst.
    Laura

  19. Biswajit Dey says

    Hi Laura,

    I am writing here for the 1st time.
    I am working in an insurance domain as a Technical Analyst. Can I make a entry in BA profile?

    Thanks in advance,
    Biswajit

  20. Hi Laura,
    I recently started reading your blog. Your site is really helpful for people who are new to this area and in process of becoming BA.

    Thanks a lot….!

  21. Hi Oscar, Thank you for reading and commenting! The necessity for domain experience definitely various from industry to industry. Some industries value BA competencies more heavily and others value industry domain knowledge.

  22. Hi Laura,

    First time post, long timer reader:
    Great interview and good information for new analyst. I also work for the insurance industry and had a similar experience as Durga. In our organization advancement in a BA position requires to meet certain domain knowledge requirements. I am not sure if it changes from industry to industry, but I can attest domain knowledge is key to being promoted as a Business Analyst.

    Thanks again for the great post!

    – Oscar

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