Skip to content 6 Ways to Unleash Your Business Analysis Senses

6 Ways to Unleash Your Business Analysis Senses

Receive free IIBA updates and exclusive content!    

How many senses do humans have? All of us have been taught about the five senses from an early age: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. You may have heard arguments that there are more senses, such as a sense of balance, a sense of pain, etc. These are still being researched by scientists. I am not attempting to make a medical argument for revamping the human senses in this article, but to illustrate how business analysts use their senses.

Business analysis is a dynamic field that requires various skills and abilities for success (in my words, to become a limited-edition business analysis professional). While many of these skills are technical in nature, a successful business analyst also possesses several sensory skills. It is equally important to discuss sensory skills alongside soft skills and hard skills to highlight their relevance in business analysis. By observing and experiencing these senses, my attempt here is to put into words their application in business analysis. Check it out to see if you can relate to it.

1. Sense of Sight - Vision

The sense of sight has an obvious connection to business analysis. A business analysis professional must be able to "see" the big picture, including stakeholders' requirements, potential risks and opportunities, and the overall strategy of the organization. Visual elements, such as flow charts and graphs, can help communicate these insights to stakeholders and teams in a clear and understandable way.

Also, the ability to visualize solutions will help to communicate ideas with teams and stakeholders. Being able to visually perceive data and information is essential for analyzing trends, identifying patterns, and understanding complex data sets.

2. Sense of Sound - Auditory

The sense of hearing is essential for effective communication, which is crucial for a business analyst. In order to gather requirements and insights from stakeholders, a business analyst must be able to listen actively and attentively and be able to communicate their own ideas and recommendations clearly. Effective listening also involves the ability to ask the right questions to gain deeper insights into a problem or challenge.

3. Sense of Touch – Collaboration/Responsiveness

The sense of touch can be connected to the ability to work collaboratively with others. A business analysis professional must be able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with stakeholders, managers, developers, and others in order to achieve success. Because teamwork is what makes things happen. This requires a sense of tact, empathy, and the ability to work effectively with others.

The responsibility of a business analyst does not end with gathering and analyzing requirements. Throughout the development, testing, and deployment phases, support should be provided. Making yourself available for the team and responding to their queries in a timely manner is also very important in the role.

4. Sense of Smell - Comprehend

The sense of smell can be connected to the ability to detect potential issues or problems before they become major concerns. A business analysis professional should have a "nose" for potential risks or obstacles that may impact a project and be able to take proactive steps to mitigate those risks before they become major issues. The ability to pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues in requirements is invaluable. 

5. Sense of Taste - Judgement

The sense of taste may seem like an odd connection to business analysis, but it can actually be quite relevant. Just as a chef must balance different flavours to create a delicious dish, a business analyst must balance different priorities and requirements to create a successful project. This requires a sense of judgement and discernment of what will work best in a given situation. In other words, can complement the decision-making skill.

6. Sense of Humor - The 6th Sense

This is my personal recommendation to all business analysis professionals out here. You can improve your mental and physical health, boost your influence, and improve your leadership skills through a sense of humour. There is an innate sense of humour in every human being. Numerous studies have shown that humour is a fantastic tension-breaker at work.

Laughter is a key ingredient in creative thinking and reveals the authentic person beneath the professional facade. You will be seen as approachable and trustworthy by others. It can be stressful to deal with requirements, navigate the development phases, meet deadlines, resolve last-minute issues, and bridge conflicts between teams. But remember that the sky is not going to fall (did you get my joke?)

To conclude, this is an interesting take on the use of senses as a business analysis professional, just as our senses help us navigate the world, business analysts benefit from developing their own "business analysis senses" to navigate the complex and dynamic world of business analysis. Sensory skills will enable business analysis professionals to collect requirements, identify potential risks and opportunities, and collaborate more effectively.

Let IIBA Help You Succeed

IIBA Membership provides you with the resources to grow your career including certification discounts, curated publications, online career tools and more.

Get Started Now

About The Author:
Sumi Prasad.jpg

Sumi Prasad is an experienced business analyst based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has a strong product-oriented mindset and loves to think creatively. She holds professional certifications in IIBA®-CPOA, PSPO, and PSM. She is a fun-loving person who is very enthusiastic about learning and advancing in the business analysis space. 

Must Read Blogs From IIBA

Business Analysis Community

20 Amazing Years of Business Analysis

Business analysis has been an essential part of the business world for the past two decades. Celebrate 20 years of business analysis with IIBA.
Read the Blog

Requirements Engineering - A Key Skill for Business Analysis Professionals?

Is requirements engineering emerging as an indispensable skill for business analysis professionals? Find out more.
Read the Blog
Business Analysis

5 Reasons to Start a Career in Business Analysis

Business analysis is a rapidly growing field in the business world and for good reason. A career in business analysis offers numerous benefits. Find out more.
Read the Blog