There is no defined way to become a business analyst. Often the BA has a technical background, whether having worked as a programmer or engineer, or completing a Computer Science degree. Others may move into a BA role from a business role – their status as a subject matter expert and their analytical skills make them suitable for the role. Business analysts may overlap into roles such as Project Manager or Consultant. When focused on specific systems, the term Business Systems Analyst may be used.
A BA does not always work in IT-related projects, as BA skills are often required in marketing and financial roles as well.
The IIBA provides a certification program for business analysts (CBAP), as well as providing a body of knowledge for the field (BABOK). However this is not well established yet in the Industry (not a requirement to be certified in order to work as a BA).
BAs work in different industries such as finance, banking, insurance, telecoms, utilities, software services, and so on. Due to working on projects at a fairly high level of abstraction, BAs can switch between industries. The business domain subject areas BAs may work in include workflow, billing, mediation, provisioning and customer relationship management. The telecom industry has mapped these functional areas in their Telecommunications Operational Map (eTOM) model, Banking in the Information Framework (IFW) and Emergency agencies in the Prevention Preparation Response and Recovery model (PPRR).
Finally, Business Analysts do not have a predefined and fixed role, as they can take a shape in operations (technology architect or project management) scaling, sales planning, strategy devising or even in developmental process. Hence, they get a different name for the played role.
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