There has been something of a debate in the industry in recent years over what a Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, Business Process Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Data Analyst etc. actually is.

If you ask ten organisations what a business or systems analyst does you are likely to get ten different answers. Job titles and descriptions for analysts vary widely between organisations.

A generic “Modern Analyst” definition seems to be emerging, where one must possess a combination of some or all of the following skills:

  • The analyst works with the business to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes
  • The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems
  • The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject mater experts in order to understand their problems and needs
  • The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements
  • The analyst solved business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions
  • The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system
  • The analyst interacts with system architects and developers to ensure system is properly implemented
  • The analyst may help test the system and create system documentation and user manuals

The overarching imperative is to be flexible, adaptable and not get too dogmatic about it all. Though having said that, you must equally defend your position and have an opinion.

Personally, I’ve never been too concerned about job titles.  As the article here explains brilliantly:

“It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you do.”.

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