To become a successful business analyst, you require a set of skills that suit the requirements of the role. Moreover, you need to be adaptable to the highly dynamic modern-day business environment. The following three skills define a good business analyst and you should be able to highlight these skills when you are on the job as well as at job interviews.
1. Business Knowledge
Other than having strong business acumen, you should have specific knowledge about the company you are working for. For example, you have to understand the company’s culture, organisational structure, stakeholders, objectives and strategic direction. You also need specific industry knowledge such as the main competitors, customer segments and government regulations. Such familiarity informs the business analyst of relevant and reliable information for the development of business cases for future projects. Industry knowledge will also help you explain how external environmental factors affect business operations.
2. Excellent Communication
As a business analyst, you’ll need to work together with stakeholders. For instance, you may need to interact with subject matter experts when eliciting requirements. You are also expected to communicate business requirements to executives/sponsors to gain their approval. Some critical communication skills for a business analyst include active listening, good writing skills, confidence, clarity, as well as the ability to interprete non-verbal cues. The application of these skills will help you communicate effectively and pose insightful questions when clarifications are needed.
3. Knowledge of Software Tools
Business analysts use a variety of tools for different purposes such as wireframing, systems modelling, data crunching and presentation of facts. The ability to understand and use these tools will determine your efficiency in presenting recommendations to the business. You therefore need to hone your expertise in the use of common software applications such as Microsoft Visio, office productivity tools and requirements management software, at the minimum.
All in all, a business analyst applies their skills to bridge the gap between the company’s problems and available solutions. With these three essential skills, you will significantly improve your proficiency in business analysis and deliver superior business value.