Where Business Analysis Skills are Used

AnalysisWho uses Business Analysis Skills and what is Business Analysis? IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis)™ defines the discipline of business analysis as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining business needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” The definition describes work which could be performed by almost any employee in an organization. Anytime an employee puts an idea in the suggestion box, it is possible they analyzed a need and are recommending a solution.

From its beginning the IIBA® has consistently preached that your job title does not need to be Business Analyst for you to be a person who analyzes a business. Initially many people who joined the IIBA® were called Project Managers or Systems Analysts. But because the association used the phase Business Analysis, the job title Business Analyst has grown significantly with career paths including titles like Junior BA, Senior BA, IT BA, etc. Yet beyond these obvious titles Business Analysis Skills are used by many more people with varied titles. At the risk of missing some, I have identified many disciplines which share business analysis skill sets and responsibilities.

BA SKills Used

Discipline
Skills Shared with Business Analysis
Related Business Analysis Tasks
Agile teamsBrainstorming/discovery, problem solving, communication skills, systems thinking, conceptual thinking, team workConduct stakeholder analysis and engagement, conduct elicitation, analyze elicitation results, organize requirements, specify and model requirements, assess proposed solutions, validate solution
Business and enterprise architectureBusiness and organization awareness, systems thinking, conceptual and visual thinking, communication skills, technology systems/platforms/data structureDetermine solution approach, prioritize requirements, assess proposed solutions
Business intelligence/data analyticsDecision making, research/investigation, adaptabilityDefine business need, assess capability gaps, conduct elicitation
Business management and operationsCommunication skills, business and organization knowledge, industry knowledge, solution knowledgeAssess risks, evaluate solution performance, define business need and business case
Business relationship managementCommunication skills, leadership and influencing, storytelling, political acumenPlan business analysis communications, conduct stakeholder analysis and engagement
FacilitationCommunication skills, group management, negotiation and conflict resolution, emotional intelligenceConduct stakeholder analysis, prepare and conduct elicitation
Market analysisMarket/competitive awareness, research/investigation, organization awarenessDefine business need, assess capability gaps, build business case
Organizational change managementCommunication skills, group interaction skills, teaching, organization knowledge, storytelling, political acumenAssess organizational readiness, define transition requirements
Portfolio management/demand managementBusiness acumen, industry knowledge, organization knowledge, political acumen, storytellingDefine business need and business case, assess organizational readiness
Product ownershipCommunication skills, business knowledge, visual thinking, political acumen, team work, collaborationDefine business needs, assess capability gaps, assess risks, define business cases, validate requirements and solutions
Project and program managementCommunication skills, organization and time management, political acumen, teamwork, conflict resolution, organization knowledgeDefine solution scope, assess proposed solutions, manage scope and requirements, define transition requirements
Quality assuranceBusiness awareness, organization knowledge, technology awarenessTrace requirements, verify and validate requirements and solutions, evaluate solution performance
Requirements engineeringModeling techniques, problem solving, technology systems/platforms/data structureSpecify and model requirements, assess proposed solutions
Risk management/cyber securityBusiness and organization awareness, research/investigation, critical thinkingAssess risks, evaluate solution performance
Software design, development, and maintenanceProblem solving, systems thinking, conceptual and visual thinking, technology systems/platforms/data structureSpecify and model requirements, assess proposed solutions, trace requirements
Strategic planningLeadership/influence, business and political acumen, industry knowledge, organization knowledgeDefine business needs and business cases, assess capability gaps
Systems analysisProblem solving, technology systems/platforms/data structure, methodology knowledgeAssess proposed solutions, specify and model requirements
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designOrganization knowledge, communication skills, technology systems, presentation skillsConduct stakeholder analysis, conduct elicitation, specify and model requirements, validate requirements, validate solution, evaluate solution performance

I’m sure I’ve missed some. For example, attorneys use elicitation, stakeholder analysis and technical writing. I didn’t include them because I decided to stay in the “business” arena. Please comment below with your title/role if I missed it.

If you see your discipline here and aren’t familiar with business analysis tools and techniques, take a look at our Business Analysis Fundamentals class, you might be surprised to find out how much business analysis work you are doing.

“IIBA®, the IIBA® logo, BABOK® Guide and Business Analysis Body Of knowledge® are registered trademarks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.

Barbara Carkenord

Director, Business Analysis at RMC Learning Solutions
Throughout my career my passion has been to enable people and organizations to succeed through analysis. Analytical thinking allows organizations to increase their process efficiency and improve the quality of their products.

My passion for critical thinking and providing business value drove me to help define the business analysis profession. The business analysis profession is made up of individuals who excel at evaluating problems, identifying possible solutions, and assessing costs and benefits before recommending a change. As an early IIBA® member, I worked on the development of a worldwide standard for business analysis, the BABOK® Guide. I continue to volunteer with the IIBA mentoring, writing, presenting, and promoting the organization and its principles.

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About Barbara Carkenord

Throughout my career my passion has been to enable people and organizations to succeed through analysis. Analytical thinking allows organizations to increase their process efficiency and improve the quality of their products. My passion for critical thinking and providing business value drove me to help define the business analysis profession. The business analysis profession is made up of individuals who excel at evaluating problems, identifying possible solutions, and assessing costs and benefits before recommending a change. As an early IIBA® member, I worked on the development of a worldwide standard for business analysis, the BABOK® Guide. I continue to volunteer with the IIBA mentoring, writing, presenting, and promoting the organization and its principles.
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