How to Turn from IT Analyst to Business Analyst

If you’ve been wondering how you can get started in business analysis without waiting for a big opportunity or a new job, Emily Kong’s story will show you how to blend what’s happening right now with what you want out of your career future.

Over the course of 18 months, Emily has transformed herself into a business analyst, one step at a time. She’s realized the value of her immense skill set and found the words to share it with employers and colleagues. She’s created opportunities to perform business analysis tasks even when it wasn’t part of her formal job role. And she’s made many connections within the business analysis community.

All of this hard and focused work has now created a big opportunity as Emily has recently started a new job in a new company that aligns with her business analysis career goals.

You can connect with Emily on LinkedIn. Now, let’s turn our attention to her story and join her in celebrating her successes.

Laura: Why did you decide to pursue a business analysis career?

Emily: I always like to do something that benefits both IT and business. As an IT analyst, I had to analyse my own customers’ requests and was expected to deliver results. After doing this repeatedly for many years, I found out that without good competency/subject matter expertise, any project would just turn out to be time consuming for both ends. A BA seemed to be the dream job that fits in all my goals.

Laura: What was your job search process like? What challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?

Emily: For me, it was a long process. I had been observing the market for required certifications, skills or even domain knowledge. I tried to self study, attend workshops and read newsletters to gain such required skills. The most important thing is to get your mindset into it and talk the ‘talk’.

One of the challenges that I faced was being asked if I could create a business case which outlines a company issue. According to my knowledge, this is a Senior BA task. I said no to the interviewer. It is better to be honest about what you can do and what you can’t.

Laura: How did you end up in this BA position?

Emily: I have not ‘ended up’ in it. I believe it came to me naturally. The company was looking for a permeable candidate who has business analysis and technical knowledge. Of course, I also love the fact that they can see the potential in me as well.

Laura: Can you tell me a little bit about the BA experience you had before you found this position?

Emily: I had been working as a ‘bridge’ between the IT and business unit in different companies. Some of my tasks included studying the current organization, documenting work flows and requirements, implementation and trouble management. Although the office environment changed, analytical skills never get outdated.

My previous company had stone-age processes and it wasn’t an easy task to educate the stakeholders. By having a background in IT, I could interpret and translate these business requirements effectively. My challenge was always to keep everyone challenged.

One of the most exciting things for me was to observe how other BAs and managers carry out their jobs. There is usually ample opportunity for recognition of experience and making it become yours. My next goal is not only to be a ‘bridge’ but also to build more ‘bridges’.

Laura: What do you consider as the keys to your success?

Emily: I do not easily consider myself a success yet. However, the key is to never give up even if you fail. I kept exploring BA opportunities in my current position.

Like any other job, a BA may have to wear many hats. I observed and learned from people who wear other ‘hats’. They can be my manager, project manager or other team members. The more you watch, the more information you can pick up. Knowledge is the understanding that is gained and the part that you can use.

If you do not see good examples around you, it is better to set yourself as the example for others to follow. I have a loyal group of colleagues who like my quality of work and would definitely want me in their next project.

Laura: What recommendations would you make to others looking to follow a path like yours?

Emily: I would recommend to anyone to start focusing on the big picture rather than small matters. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but it is not if you are surrounded by endless work issues, priorities and errands.

Always ask yourself two questions, “What is my current priority?” and “What should I do next?”  I find these questions helped me focus and hopefully would help others as well.

Laura: Thanks so much Emily for sharing your story. I know it will inspire others wishing to follow in your footsteps. I wish you all the best success in your next business analyst position. Your new employer is lucky to have such a dedicated professional focused on helping the business and growing professionally.

>>Read More Success Stories

Emily’s story is one of many BA career success stories here at Bridging the Gap. We’re honored to have had many readers tell us more about how they leveraged their professional experience to get started in business analyst job roles.

Click here to find more BA career success stories

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