The question "What Do Business Analysts Do?" is an interesting one. The only correct answer is "It depends!" First off, it depends on what you mean with the title "Business Analyst". There are Financial Business Analysts who do financial evaluations of organizations. What do they do? I have no idea, and in my universe having no idea what someone else does equates to "Magic". They simply do their magic and they get paid (I assume) for it.
The Information Technology (IT) Business Analyst
This is my world; IT Business Analysis is where I live. So for me the question is "What do IT Business Analysts Do" and for that, I have a couple of answers. The first one is, "It depends". Actually, the only people who can answer the question correctly are those doing the work. Every organization defines IT Business Analysis to be whatever they need it to be based on their organizational structure. That means there is no clear-cut answer to the question. Nonetheless, there are some relatively common denominators. The information presented below comes out of a survey of over 1700 people who understood the question and could relate. They had job titles such as "Business Analyst", "Systems Analyst", "Business Systems Analyst", "Technical Analyst", "Functional Analyst", "Requirements Analyst", "Requirements Engineer", "Requirements Manager", and several others too exotic to remember.
For an entertaining and equally informative view of these results, watch the short KnowledgeKnugget™ (or, as the industry calls them, "explainer video"), Business Analysis Techniques presented by our strategic partner, BA-EXPERTS. If you prefer a chart to a video, you are here.
|#||Topic||% of respondents who do this as part of their assignment.|
|1||Identify and Model Process Requirements*||80%||
This chart combines results from multiple sources (including our data).
It reflects about 1700 IT professionals who consider themselves IT Business Analysts.
|2||Identify and Model Data Requirements*||
|3||Identify Business Rules Requirements*||75%|
|6||Facilitate Requirements Sessions (JAD)||65%|
|7||Help Scope the Project||60%|
|8||Write Use Cases||55%|
|9||Improve Business Processes||50%|
|10||Design Screens (Prototype)||40%|
|11||Write System (technical) Specifications||40%|
|13||Lead (manage) Project||25%||
* sometimes we saw this as "Help identify . . ." |
** this includes many levels of testing and it would be interesting to split out the percentage by testing type, but alas, the data was not there.
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