As the global market evolves and becomes more complex, companies require innovative and efficient solutions to help them grow in multiple directions and communicate the entire process to the relevant stakeholders. That’s where Business Analysts (BA) enter the scene. Besides understanding business needs and handling communication between stakeholders and teams, a BA must recognize, analyze, and document the requirements and follow their development.
Although business analysts come from different backgrounds and have experience in various roles, their core skills remain the same. Below is a list of characteristics and skills you should consider when hiring a business analyst.
The central part of the business analyst’s job is based on the ability to communicate the company’s needs to all relevant parties. The BA is always part of critical discussions regarding any changes within the company, acting as a liaison between the teams, stakeholders, and anyone else involved.
A BA also must ensure everyone understands their tasks and answer any questions to avoid confusion and establish a seamless workflow.
Although communication is a soft skill, it’s essential for a successful business analyst.
A business analyst must be analytical. Through detailed analysis, a BA must be able to assess the current situation within the company and examine various processes and systems to identify where progress can be made. They also heavily rely on analytics to measure the impact of a new solution or a change within the system.
Besides assessing and documenting process improvements, a BA conducts SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to evaluate a company’s competitive position and develop strategic planning.
A good business analyst is also highly resourceful. Their proactive approach typically involves poking around the company’s resources to gather enough information and finding innovative solutions to guide the business through difficult times. BAs know how to use the team’s knowledge and experience for the company’s benefit while remaining aware of past conflicts and obstacles.
A great business analyst highly appreciates teamwork and understands that the company’s success largely depends on it. A mutual desire for improvement and goal achievement exists in the relationship between a BA and team members. However, success is often out of reach within companies lacking mutual trust and respect.
A BA will spend hours trying to meet the teams’ and stakeholders’ needs — however, not every solution will work. A good BA will know how to build a solid rapport with the teams and leverage that relationship to conduct in-depth discussions regarding growth opportunities, limitations, and potential approaches to meet the company’s requirements.
Problem-solving and critical thinking go hand in hand. A good BA should be data-inclined and investigative in their approach. At the same time, they should always be open to new ideas and possible solutions from unexpected sources.
Critical thinking will help a BA resolve daily and long-term tasks, including assessing all options to help the team reach the solution, participating in resource allocation, identifying and prioritizing requirements, and addressing stakeholders’ prerequisites.
Besides being part of key projects within the company, a business analyst will have to devise the necessary documentation detailing crucial data and present it to stakeholders. Documentation is more than a simple brief of the latest developments — it involves precise data, such as release notes, project proposals, system requirement specifics, business development requirements, and so on.
As a result, the BA must possess outstanding communication and writing skills that will allow them to clearly convey ideas, developments, problems, and solutions to team members and stakeholders.
Top BA candidates should possess multidisciplinary knowledge that covers various fields. Companies want to hire someone with experience working in similar industries or projects. Having a person from your niche will simplify the onboarding process, as they’ll already understand your business’s foundation.
At the same time, a BA with similar roles in their resume will identify growth opportunities and know what needs to be done to achieve them, even if it includes some difficult decisions.
Additionally, a person with broader experience will capture and process information more efficiently, build better relationships with the stakeholders, and be open to new ideas. A BA that fits this profile can deal with any problem.
As mentioned, stakeholders play a crucial role in a project’s and company’s success. However, since they aren’t necessarily directly involved in a project, the BA’s job is to keep everyone informed about any developments and setbacks while being aware of their concerns, needs, and requirements.
By building and maintaining a strong rapport with the stakeholders and team members, a business analyst will create a trusting environment where everyone involved can communicate freely and work together towards a common goal.
An excellent business analyst candidate should possess practical and soft skills. While a BA’s primary responsibility is accomplishing the company’s goals, success wouldn’t be possible without the people — team members and stakeholders.
However, you must always remember that every business analyst is a person with unique characteristics. Some candidates possess outstanding practical skills but need more time to connect with coworkers and stakeholders and vice versa. That’s why you should always consider your company’s needs before starting the recruitment process — this will help you find suitable candidates without difficulty.