Have you come reached a crossroads in your career life where you feel that you need to do something else or take up a different professional journey? We all have those moments in our life. Some of us get the opportunity or the right guidance to do so, while others fail miserably. If you are one such person who is looking to switch from software developer to business analyst profile, this article will act as the perfect guide for you.
Moving to a business analyst profile from a software developer is not a walk in the park. However, that does not mean that it is not possible. There are many good business analyst professionals who have started out as software engineers and have switched in the later part of their professional life. This is not to discourage but to show that without dedication, you cannot hope to make it to the other side.
Let us take a step-by-step approach to fulfill your wish to become a business analyst. This guide is not for those who have joined a B-school or a business analyst post-graduation program, though we will touch on that topic briefly. So, let’s dig deep and get to understand how you can become a business analyst:
Step 1: Understand the role
The most important step is to understand the role of a business analyst. To be able to successfully perform the role, you need to have cognizance of what are the differences in profiles of a software developer and a business analyst.
The major role that a business analyst plays is to act as an intermediary between the IT department and the business users who are requesting the development of software. Apart from that, a business analyst also performs requirements analysis, documentation, project management, and data analysis.
In short, you are to act as one of the “business people”, communicating, negotiating, and motivating the team. You need to shed your software developer outlook and maintain a completely different persona. If you are not up for that or get irritated by “business people”, this is not the switch you want to make.
Define clearly from the beginning of the project the scope of the work you will do. Understand –
- Your role in the project
- Level of responsibility
- Which resources will be available to you?
- What would be your reporting line
- What is the objective or goal of the project?
- What are the specific expected deliverables?
- What is the expected time of completion for the project?
- What are the risks related to the project, known so far?
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Step 2: Gain the required skills
There is no glory without pain. In other words, you need to gain the extra skills and knowledge required to function fully as a business analyst. You can gain the requisite interpersonal skills by yourself. However, when it comes to technical nous, it is always a good practice to learn from someone who has expertise in the field. For this, you can enroll in a professional business analysis training program or a course that will help you become a fully-functional business analyst.
To have a fruitful career as a business analyst, you must showcase the following skills –
- Analytical thinking and problem solving
- Strong documentation skills
- Ability to run stakeholder meetings
- Attention to details and high accuracy
- Excellent communication and consultative skills
- Impeccable time management and organizational skills
- Knowledge of the business structure
- Knowledge of processes modeling
- Understanding of networks, databases, and other technologies
Step 3: Develop the desired transferable skills
By now, you have understood the roles of a business analyst. Now, what about the skills? As a software developer, you will have one advantage of being able to understand the technical requirements. However, can you translate them into something which everyone understands? This is where your business analyst role will come into play.
Next, comes your communication with the other “business people”, who have sent the request in the first place. This is where your communication skills will do all the magic.
If you have transferrable skills like –
- Excellent communication skills
- Good negotiator
- Team player
- Good at building relationships
you are already completed 10% of your journey of becoming a business analyst.
Also Read: How To Become a Business Analyst?
Step 4: Assess the opportunities you have in hand
If you are in luck, there may be times when your organization may create a position where they require a software developer to act as a business analyst. This will provide you with the perfect condition to learn and start your career in this profile.
Most of these profiles are not core business analysis profile. However, you can get the opportunity to get a hang of some of the responsibilities associated with a business analyst. It may be as simple as documenting a process. However, as you build your profile brick by brick, you can go for a certification in business analyst and establish yourself in the industry.
Step 5: Understand the business
One of the most difficult areas of work of a business analyst is defining the software development process. You need to build a business solution that is favorable and has a high chance of becoming successful.
It is great to have an in-depth understanding of the business to make an effective business solution. If you are a software developer in the e-commerce industry, it will be easy to understand the business processes of your current industry. This way you will gain a certain amount of initial expertise in that particular business. Some tips to help to understand your role better would involve –
- Incorporate regular social activities as soon as possible
- Take time to learn something non-work related to your most critical stakeholders
- Hold some sessions outside of the workplace
- Provide as much information as possible to stakeholders
- Consider stakeholder concerns or concerns
- Be honest with stakeholders
Step 6: Get hands-on experience
Development Business analysts use real-time user analytics and data programs to identify user trends, successful features, and potential user adoption issues with applications. As data becomes more valuable to organizations, so do business analysts.
Business analysts generally rely on software such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, SQL, Google Analytics, and Tableau. These tools help graduates collect and order data, create charts, write documents, and design visualizations to explain findings. Programming or database skills won’t be strictly necessary for a business analyst position, but if you already have these skills, they will come in handy. The type of software and tools you will need to use will depend on your job title and what the organization requires.
Acquiring hands-on experience is the best way you can think of making a complete switch to a business analyst profile. You can build a strong resume when you have the requisite practical experience in handling business analyst related work.