Carol: “I’m a Senior Business Analyst—are there opportunities for me other than project management?”
Jafar: “I’ve got four years of BA experience—is there a senior role that utilizes my experience in Business Process Management?
Vinnie: “I have tons of experience in IT sales—could I become a business analyst?”
Lynne: “I’m an Enterprise Architect—are there opportunities for me to advance in the practice of business analysis?”
The Business Analyst Career Road Map from International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) maps business analysis opportunities for those wishing to enter this growing profession. It also provides direction for business analysts looking for senior positions, and includes the emerging roles in business architecture and business intelligence, roles which are in high demand.
The BA Career Road Map recognizes experience outside of the realm of business analysis. If you have experience as a subject matter expert (e.g. insurance, finance, health care), or, software testing, or project management or sales—just to name a few—then your transferable skills are an important foundation for business analysis.
Once you have a few years of experience in business analysis, agile projects, systems analysis, and are Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) certified, moving to a senior role is definitely a good option. If you currently hold a senior position and the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) designation, there are opportunities for skill and career development.
Your BA career is a journey, with many entry and exit points. Identify your current position from the many role families listed; keep in mind that you probably have expertise in more than one family. For example, a functional analyst can also have process analysis experience, therefore your options for career growth have multiple entry and exit points. Then find out more about the role(s) by visiting the Business Analyst Career Road Map page under the “Careers” tab at www.IIBA.org
1. Business Focused Role Families
Business Requirements Analyst: The business requirements analyst is tasked with helping the business to meet its objectives and goals. He/she will understand how work is being conducted, and through analysis, determine solutions to the issues. He/she will have in-depth business knowledge typically related to a department (e.g. customer service, manufacturing). This role may conduct a feasibility study or justify the investment in change through a business case.
Business Process Analyst: A business process analyst specializes in bringing change to organizations through the analysis, design and implementation of the business processes that keep organizations running and the management of changes to those processes. Business process analysts have deep competencies in identifying the current state of processes, eliciting useful and harmful attributes of them, documenting models of the processes and facilitating stakeholder groups to consensus regarding new business process designs.
Decision Analyst – In Demand
The Decision Analyst (often referred to as a business intelligence analyst)
The decision analyst utilizes technologies, methods and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning. The decision analyst will help the business to develop new insights and understand business performance based on data and statistical methods.
2. IT Analyst Role Families
Business Systems Analyst: The business systems analyst will utilize broad IT and in-depth business knowledge to implement IT solutions which address business needs. He or she will identify, develop and implement effective technology solutions that address business needs.
Systems Analyst: A systems analyst performs business analysis tasks through specialization in understanding the business usage of information technology (IT) and helping technology add value to the business. He or she understands and is comfortable with a variety of technical architectures and platforms, and understands IT capabilities and which applications in an organization deliver various capabilities.
Functional Analyst: The functional business analyst performs business analysis tasks through specializing in a specific technology product and its features and functions capabilities. The functional business analyst has deep knowledge of the technology product (e.g. SAP, PeopleSoft etc.) and has experience in a variety of implementation contexts in varying organizations, and sometimes industries. He or she helps organizations and stakeholders define the usage and integration with other systems and implements the features and functions of the technology product to meet business requirements.
Service Request Analyst: A service request analyst performs business analysis tasks by specializing in supporting stakeholders of a specific system application, maintaining the system, and handling user inquiries, user issues, and enhancements to the system. This analyst has a deep understanding of a specific application or set of applications he or she supports, how users use the application, and what other systems integrate with the application.
Agile Analyst: In the agile world, software requirements are developed through continual exploration of the business need. Requirements are elicited and refined through an iterative process of planning, defining acceptance criteria, prioritizing, developing, and reviewing the results. Throughout the iterative planning and analysis of requirements, business analysis practitioners must constantly ensure that the features requested by the users align with the product's business goals, especially as the business goals evolve and change over time. Agile analysis is a specialty often held by Business Systems and IT Analysts.
The following are a list of roles within this family:
- BA Project Lead
- BA Program Lead
- BA Practice Lead
- Relationship Manager
- BA Manager
Enterprise Level Roles
Enterprise Architect: The enterprise architect aligns IT infrastructure with IT and business strategy supporting the goals and objectives, and the successful implementation of change. He/she develops formal standards, manages the enterprise architecture processes and provides guidance to the architectural team, CIO, CEO and Business Architect.
Business Architect: This role works to create and maintain the business architecture. He or she leverages enterprise capabilities and efficient usage of process, technology, data and people, and aligns these capabilities to the business strategy.
Your future: Director, Vice President, YES even C level positions are on the BA path! The Business Analyst is the perfect candidate!