What Makes A Good Business Analyst?

The first question you have to ask is “what is a business analyst?”  Quite simply, a business analyst is a person who works with business owners to understand and help improve the business.  Since every type of business has its own nuances, many business analysts have specialties.  For example, a financial business analyst will know specific items, such as financial formulas, that the normal business analyst does not know.  This knowledge can help the business analyst get a jump on understanding the business needs.

It’s important to know that the business or group that the business analyst is supporting does NOT always know what they want.  This is particularly true when it comes to information technology or databases.

A key requirement is the willingness to ask questions.  A good business analyst must be willing to ask the stupid question as well as the hard question.  You are working people with different levels of knowledge than you and if you are afraid of asking questions then the job isn’t for you.  You will never understand the business if you don’t ask questions.

One of the other key requirements for a good business analyst is communication.  They must know how to effectively communicate between groups who have different levels of expertise.  You must also be able to calmly and effectively communicate via different communication channels whether written or oral.

A final requirement is relationship building.  As a business analyst, you will run into all types of people. Some people will not mind answering your questions, while others will fight giving you the information you need.  It takes patience, ingenuity, and good people skills in order to be a good business analyst.

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