Business analysts have a critical role to play in the life cycle of project management. This is especially true when projects are related to technical domains. The success of the project depends on the skills of the Information Technology Business Analyst. The analyst is the critical bridge between IT processes and the business and is responsible for the quality of services and products that the IT department delivers.
Some of the critical tasks an IT Business Analyst manages include:
- Running analysis projects
- Supporting initiatives related to the improvement of reporting quality
- Quality of information technology products and services
- Assistance with acceptance testing and integration
- Supporting the development of training material
- Project management and development of project plans
The five critical skills that employers and recruitment specialists in Information Technology look for in a candidate include:
SQL Proficiency (Structured Query Language): SQL is the standardized language in programming used to manage relational databases and to perform data operations. SQL can do wide-ranging tasks including executing queries, data retrieval, record insertion and deletion, creating and updating databases and so on. Proficiency in SQL skills enables a business analyst to understand well the relationship between data sets in the database. Therefore, systems skills like SQL are highly desirable skills for an IT Business Analyst. With SQL, the analyst is able to interpret documents from databases while conducting a more in-depth analysis of stored data in relational databases. SQL proficiency also is highly useful in enhancing data flow understanding in information systems and in better communication with database administrators and developers.
Solutions Development – An IT Business Analyst should possess knowledge of an end-to-end system’s development life cycle. Solutions Development is a process that involves evaluation of requirements, selection of the right solution, proposal of value improvements and implementation of the solutions. Along with a practical understanding of development methodologies, an IT Business Analyst needs to develop knowledge of systems and industry requirements.
Written & Verbal Communication – The IT Business Analyst, is the “translator” between the IT systems and the business. Strong verbal and written communication is absolutely essential to complete tasks like drafting processes, writing procedure summaries, writing test plans or communicating on how a program will impact other parts of an application through reports. Excellent interpersonal skills are fundamental to the analyst’s success, including the ability to adapt different messages to various levels of audiences.
Problem Solving – IT Business Analysts need to be skilled at completing tasks like revising/improving system requirement specs, or modifying complex information systems. They need to work with stakeholders at multiple levels while providing necessary support during and after implementation. While a clear understanding of all data requirements are essential, these professionals need to have critical problem-solving skills to manage multiple tasks. Apart from being creative thinkers who can offer alternatives to proposed or existing solutions, a business analyst needs to be also dynamic, proactive and driven while possessing sound business knowledge.
Researching – This skill is often overlooked and not mentioned but is important for efficient management of projects. Detailed research and fact-finding skills are required to understand how a program works. The IT Business Analyst also needs to be skilled in communicating how a program might affect other programs or users.
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