Flexibility is extremely critical in today’s dynamic economy. Many job descriptions are meshing separate skills as companies aim for less bloated payrolls and greater productivity. These blurred lines are often seen in the project manager and business analyst roles. For example, the flexible processes of the Agile Methodology aid consensus-building among various stakeholders, which affects both BAs and PMs. As a result, many project managers are involved in results testing, while more business analysts are leading initiatives at a macro level.
From a career standpoint, BAs can leverage their diverse skills in many promising fields.
Here are two fields in which business analyst skills can be utilized:
BA skills: Consensus-building, Stakeholder Management, Knowledge of Agile Processes and Requirements Elicitation
Baby boomers have triggered an increasing demand for financial planning. Since time horizons and the risk tolerance of investors run the gamut, financial advisors must elicit the unique requirements of their clients.
Many investors concentrate on chasing performance returns. This means analysts are needed to advise and justify why certain choices/investment options have longer-lasting value than others. They are also required to identify multiple stakeholders (beneficiaries or family members). Investment options and possibilities change with time and other extraneous factors, which need to be reviewed constantly to examine their impact.
Investing is both technical and qualitative. The analytical skills of business analysts can be applied to stock and bond analysis. Financial advisors frequently partner with CPAs and compliance departments to ensure client procedures are met. Business analysts with a history of collaboration are likely to excel in this vital aspect of financial services.
Technically inclined business analysts may also veer towards institutional work as equity analysts or traders. If you are a consensus builder and enjoy managing people, a financial advisor career may be achievable on the long run. Just as business analysis skills can be applied to the banking and investment sector, financial analysts can also transfer their skills to the business analysis world.
BA skills used: Agile methods, ROI analysis, resource allocation, requirements elicitation, managing multiple deliverables and stakeholders.
Website advertising and social media have been changing the nature of marketing for quite some time now. Shifts in search engine rankings and increasingly diverse platforms require the ability to adapt quickly. Business analysts and project managers who manage expectations based on time, budget and other constraints will be able to transfer their skills to optimising marketing strategies effectively. The incremental processes of the agile methodology also translate well to pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns.
Much like designing and testing IT processes, PPC involves ongoing analysis. A marketing manager deals with various stakeholders at different levels of influence or support. The ability to communicate value beyond short-term results is needed as it takes time for most campaigns to deliver a positive ROI. PPC campaigns require continual results’ testing to make ongoing tweaks. They require making budget and campaign changes as well as learning how to influence conversion rates.
SEO has similar needs for versatile project management. Search engine algorithms that determine how websites rank are not clearly defined. The need for original and value-added website content is a best practice that requires buy-in from stakeholders. Analysts are expected to manage costs and expectations, since building a more user-friendly website does not readily translate into quick profits. Mobile advertising trends have also created a revolution in delivering adverts to mobile users. Resources must be budgeted wisely in order to adapt to these trends. Becoming familiar with Google analytics in particular, provides insight into how available marketing resources should be allocated.
Your BA Skills are in Demand:
Understanding how your experience can open other doors will provide you with increased flexibility and security as a BA. Evaluating your present skills and training will also help you plan your career better, regardless of your career choice.
Contributed by Brittany D. For over 5 years she has been a content Marketer and PR Manager for online journalism.