Business analyst responsibilities normally focus on the examination of a company’s operations to determine its strong points and flaws. She traditionally studies each department’s operational systems and personnel and recommends avenues for improvement. Her job may be as an employee of a business services firm, or she may work as an independent contractor.
A significant number of business analyst responsibilities require the use of multiple evaluation tools. To facilitate gathering information from throughout the company, a business analyst frequently begins her job by distributing questionnaires to all employees to be completed and anonymously returned to her. This candid survey often aids the analyst in discovering problems that may be unknown to or overlooked by management.
Subsequent to studying the survey results, business analyst responsibilities commonly include proceeding to the next step of interviewing management personnel and department supervisors. These oral interchanges typically help the analyst determine the general attitude of those in charge. This information is often instrumental in the paths for improvement she recommends to enhance the business’ daily operations and increase its profit margins.
Creating a flow chart of the responsibilities of each department and how they interact is often the next step of the business analyst. Although different company divisions may believe they understand these internal processes, seeing a visual depiction of how work is distributed often reveals duplication of work. Understanding these hindrances to productivity commonly initiates changes in manpower allocations or job descriptions.
In addition to using information gained through internal auditing, business analyst responsibilities customarily include the utilization of tools and information from outside sources to perform the job. By comparing a company’s performance and goals to past clients in similar situations, the analyst can ordinarily apply the concepts for success to her current client. She can also generally apply statistics and data from similar industries to support her recommendations for improvements.
At the conclusion of her evaluation, a business analyst normally prepares a report for management outlining her recommendations. Depending upon the terms of her contract with the company, she may present only one plan or several options. After reviewing her proposal with management and answering any questions they may pose, the analyst typically schedules a follow-up appointment for a few months later to assess the effects her recommendations have had on the company.
Excellent communication skills are ordinarily required to achieve success as a business analyst. The ability to elicit honest answers from people in sensitive positions is important for her to conduct a productive analysis and make sound recommendations. Knowledge of commonly-used business software applications and their integration is often helpful in performing this job.
A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required for this position. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, systems management or business administration is generally preferred. Successful experience in helping businesses improve and prosper is considered a plus for an aspiring business analyst.