The BA Skill Set
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While a masters in computer science will certainly give you the technical expertise you need to become a business system analyst, being one involves much more than that. Here is what you should keep in mind if you want to pursue a career as an analyst:
- Do you have good communication skills? Are you a clear and concise communicator?
- Are you able to understand business processes and see the “big picture”?
- Are you able to perform data analysis? Are you able to extract relevant pieces of data from a large data set and make sense of it?
- Can you ask the relevant questions from stakeholders, and do you have the negotiation skills to work with them?
- Are you comfortable working with data models, design documents, and can work closely with technical architects, developers, and testers?
- Are you able to think analytically and perform gap analysis?
- Are you able to organize information and document it in a user-friendly way?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you have the right skill-set to pursue a career as a business system analyst. As my colleague, Amee Sheldon, stated in her blog post, being a detail-oriented, resourceful, and a critical thinker is a huge plus.
Being an analyst is one of the most exciting roles you can have in the software industry. In this role you act as a bridge between the business users and the technical teams – which gives you an opportunity to work with both sides of the organization. (Another colleague, Shauna Neva-Tuleu maps this out well in her blog, “Why are BAs like grey matter?“) This, in turn, enables you to see business processes from a whole different perspective, and it helps you make recommendations on process improvements that organizations can implement for better efficiency and productivity.
On its list of best technology jobs in 2015, US News ranked computer systems analyst as #2 and stated that the Labor Department predicts a 24.5 percent employment growth for this job through 2022. Such high growth suggests that your skill set as an analyst will remain in high demand. So, if you possess these skills and are looking to work in the technology sector, becoming a analyst may be a great decision for you which could help you get into the industry and make a lasting career here.