Have you ever found yourself in the midst of “techy guys”, feeling completely out of place? Non-technical folks can easily get lost in a sea of jargon-filled technical conversations. This situation is even more daunting for business analysts with a strictly business background.
While knowledge of IT is not a prerequisite for all business analyst positions, sufficient understanding of how modern technology works would definitely add value to the recommendations proffered by the BA. The more difficult question would then be, "What level of IT knowledge is sufficient?" or "How technical do we have to be as business analysts?". The answer will vary depending on which projects you work on. Having a basic understanding of common technical terms can however, go a long way to help you interact with technical team members.
There are thousands of educational resources on technology out there but knowing what’s relevant to business analysts will save you a considerable amount of time. This post is a compilation of websites with resources that can boost your technical skills, and help you become better at your work. If yours is one of those organizations that have cut back on training programs; you've been assigned to a new project or perhaps it's just out of your pure interest in the world of techies, you’ll certainly find these websites useful.
If you want to learn the various technologies that power the modern world, Microsoft Virtual Academy has you covered. The website is aimed at students, developers, IT professionals, and those who deal with data, such as analysts. Everything is neatly organized into various learning paths that you can follow step-by-step. Let's say you're working on a project that involves business intelligence solutions, you could sign up for a course for free on this site to learn more about it.
Want to get your hands dirty with the basics of programming? Perhaps, all those things the developer told you are not possible, actually are! Even though business analysts can get by without any coding knowledge, understanding the basics of programming makes communication with developers much easier.
Also, you may want to take your analysis skills to the next level, here's a course on SQL to explore, all for free:
Another website that offers massive open online courses is Coursera. Compared to Codeacademy, the scope of subjects offered by Coursera is much broader. You can learn programming, data science, digital marketing and just about everything else. The courses offered on this website have been created by prestigious universities, such as the University of Washington, Stanford University, Princeton University, or the University of Toronto. Just search for whatever concept you are interested in and keep yourself up-to-date.
Aimed at professional adults who want to add new skills to their resumes or explore new topics, Udemy is an excellent way for business analysts to learn a wide variety of technology-related topics. The website was founded in 2009, and it has since grown exponentially in size, now featuring almost 50,000 courses. Besides technical courses, Udemy also features several full MBA courses as well as focused courses covering finance, management, sales, strategy, operations, project management, and business law, to name a few.
Featuring courses from the world's best universities such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and others, edX offers certified programs that can help you advance your BA career and secure your dream job. Unlike other massive open online course providers, edX courses are recognized by virtually all progressive HR departments and organizations.
Reddit is a massive social news aggregation and discussion website that strives to be “the front-page of the internet.” All content is curated by users, who vote submissions up or down to organize the posts by how interesting they are. There is a dedicated subreddit for business analysts, r/BusinessAnalysis, where business analysts from all over the world exchange ideas, share interesting news, and help one another, even on topics related to technology.
Which other websites do you think should be on this list?