It’s not always easy to love and hate the same thing at the same time. Business analysts, however, find themselves in a unique position as they view their job both as an end in itself and also one of society’s most important contributions. This duality largely comes from the fact that business analysis is a uniquely ambiguous occupation.
Even the business analysts salary tells the knowledge they have. And although it’s always important to remember that no occupation is perfect, there are quite a few things which most business analysts can agree on.
Five things to love business analyst job
1. Accepting the unknown
As a business analyst, you get to be part of a group of people who are statistically some of the best at coming up with new solutions and problem-solving. This means that you will usually have to look at situations which don’t yet have perfect solutions and create them on the fly. In this way, you get to be as much an artist as a scientist as what you do will be judged not just in terms of its effectiveness but also in terms of its beauty and elegance (or lack thereof).
2. Copying others
While this may sound like a negative aspect of the job, it’s actually a positive thing. You will often be working on data or analyses that are being copied from somewhere else, whether by other analysts or from outside vendors. This means that you need to be able to take someone else’s work and make it your own.
3. Revealing our feelings
Business analysts often have a lot of knowledge about complex systems and how things work. This means that when you present your work, it is often expected to be factually accurate but also emotionally evocative. Business analysts are rarely asked to tell the audience that they love their products or are excited about the future of their industry, but this is exactly what the majority of us will do. We love the world we live in, we love playing an important role in shaping it.
4. Working with a team
Business analysts are often working with other analysts or a group of stakeholders to come up with potential solutions. This means that we can get frustrated when our ideas are not accepted and may feel as though we are being looked down upon because they don’t seem as creative. This can be difficult, but also provides an opportunity to be constructive in your criticism. Use the feedback you get to improve on your abilities and results rather than to feel bad about yourself; each new business analyst is only going to get better from the inputs their work gets from others.
5. Changing the world
The most important thing to remember about being a business analyst is that what you are doing is probably more useful than whatever else you could be doing. You often have the opportunity to create or apply analytical techniques in ways that other people didn’t think were possible, and you get to do this for a living! No matter how convoluted the process can be, we can all agree that our jobs are meaningful; whether it means helping companies make more money or helping doctors make their patients healthier, we all get to work in fields that contribute positively to our society.
Five things you will hate about business analyst job
1. Feeling like an imposter
You will often be working alongside other people who are more experienced than you. These people might be actual experts in the discipline, but more likely you will be working with analysts who just have more experience than you. This can be an especially difficult situation for new analysts. While it is always valuable to learn from the work of others and improve your analytical skills, it can be very difficult to know how to do that when you feel like a fraud for not knowing what an artist is.
2. Getting stuck in the details
While business analysis is an important part of the creative process, it is not the entire thing. The best analysts know that even though they may be great at what they do, their job is to make sure their results are as easy to understand as possible. And this means knowing when to stop and say that yes, it’s all here, or no, we need another level of detail and a summary table before you can request approval.
3. Losing sight of what’s important
Business analysts can get so caught up in proving that they are right that they forget about the objective of the work being done. Asking for approval or for clarification on every little point can sound clunky, but it’s just communicating your understanding of the problem being solved. If you don’t think your stakeholders understand what it is that you are working on, they won’t be stuck in endless discussion with each other; they will just stop asking if you are ever going to get on with it.
4. Being treated like a child
It is common for business analysts to feel like they have been asked to do something huge and important, and also like they are annoying their managers by doing so much work to confirm everything before they can say yes or no. But remember that this reaction only happens because this is a unique profession. Most of the time, people will count themselves lucky to have your help.
5. Having to tell people what you do
People do not understand business analysts; in most cases, other members of their company will see them as either administrative or just another kind of designer. This can feel like a negative thing, but in fact it means that you get to be an evangelist for the concept of business analysis and its importance within industry. Be proud of your work, learn to communicate its value and you’ll find that it gets easier to be a better business analyst!
Success as a business analyst relies on your ability to work well with others, whether that means trying to understand their goals and needs or just being available when they want you. It also means communicating your understanding of those goals and needs in a way that is both helpful and not overwhelming.