IT Business Analyst
Career Path, Salary, Qualifications, Responsibilities
An IT business analyst (IT BA) builds a winning partnership between business and technology. A competent IT BA puts together a bridge that effectively integrates the business requirements of a client with the best technology solutions.
Here is a look at the tasks, qualifications, typical employers and salary, career path, and job outlook for business analysts in IT.
What does a Business Analyst do?
Your main responsibility as an IT BA is to find out the project requirements of the client and convey these needs to the software developers and testers.
As an analyst, you will ensure the involvement of all the project teams and also learn their individual requirements in order to implement the project.
After fully grasping the requirements of both the client and the project teams, you will interact with the business and finance teams of your organisation and find out the viability of the project.
Once the project viability is confirmed, you will start documenting the requirements and assist in drawing out a project management plan, with deadlines for each module, along with the project manager. This completes the initiation stage of the project.
The next stage is project execution, and here your role is to clarify any doubts of the developers regarding the project requirements as spelled out by the client.
Often, you will notice clashes between the spheres or interests of some of the teams, and you will have to ensure that these differences are resolved.
You will also keep an eye on the progress of the project (though project schedule monitoring is the job of the project manager), and get the developers to carry out any mid-course corrections in case the client makes any minor changes in the project requirements.
In the final phase of the project, you will facilitate testing and previews of the project by the client. You will then organise the handing over of the new facility to the clients and collect feedback.
You will prepare user and instruction manuals for the client, and will also document project experiences for your own organisation.
It has been said that business analysts often may have a good understanding of technology and business management, but they should not take upon administrative duties such as organising meetings or technological functions such as testing software.
Qualifications for Analysts
Employers are known to prefer candidates with a degree in computer science or information technology with experience in project management or consultancy. A management degree often gives you an extra advantage.
Personality traits include listening and communication skills, negotiation skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills, and presentation skills.
IT BAs also require interviewing skills to gather information from clients and project teams, and the ability to organise and prioritise data.
Average salary for Business Analysts
IT analysts are in demand in software services, telecom, banking and other finance companies.
They usually earn salaries between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh in India ($46,000-$102,000 in the US).
The work environment and facilities are excellent, but the fact that the clients keep changing can make the job stressful. You will also be constantly pressed for time.
However, if you are able to manage your time and keep your knowledge and skills updated, you can dramatically minimise your stress levels.
If you have a good background in IT, your career stream can take you to project manager, senior project manager, programme manager, and senior programme manager.
If your business management talents are as strong as your technology expertise, you can rise to senior business analyst and business consultant.
If you are a talented IT BA, you are probably up to speed with the best practices in both technology and business, and companies greatly value this knowledge and your skills.
Your job prospects are therefore very bright, and are expected to improve even further.
Back to Careers in Information Technology.