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In today’s data science age, the role of the business analyst has evolved—and is becoming more important than ever.

It’s no longer enough for a business analyst to analyze information and design solutions. It’s vital to collaborate with engineering and technology teams, who will use these insights to drive industry transformation.

Business analyst role first impressions

Before joining my current project as a business analyst, my idea of the role was honestly that it was “fluffy.” I thought they would just learn a few facts around the landscape of the business, as well as have a basic knowledge of the product.

But when I stepped into the role, it quickly became evident that it is an important element of the way engineering teams create solutions. Collaboration between the two teams is critical, and I’ve learned a few ways to drive success.

Three ways to drive collaboration:

1.  Invite the engineering team to business stakeholder meetings.

The engineering team and business analyst will hear the knowledge and business rules firsthand and will have opportunities to ask questions. It leads to less mistakes made in developing new products or solutions.

As a business analyst, the primary job is to understand the business or product landscape and transform requirements into solid acceptance criteria. Before looking at requirements, an analysis activity is needed to understand the current processes and how new requirements would fit into the landscape.

With this knowledge, business rules and logic are created. And translating this into working code requires the engineering team to understand the underlying business logic.

Including engineering teams in meetings where logic is being defined enables a better understanding and less rework to the new product.

2.  Have regular knowledge-transfer sessions with the entire engineering team.

A mutual understanding of the product leads to increased morale within the team, enabling more stimulating conversations and fueling creativity.

There have been multiple studies that show how morale increases with a shared learning environment. Having a base understanding of a product within the team can inspire more creative ideas.

In my own experience, a mutual understanding with the engineering team has led to healthy debates on the logic and innovative thinking, both from a technical and business perspective.

3. Understand and help create test scenarios.

By creating and validating test scenarios, the business analyst helps ensure the validity of testing and that permutations are covered.

In my experience as a business analyst, I conducted extensive analysis around the landscape and business logic. This was further leveraged within the test team.

Because I understood both the business landscape and the test scenarios, I could then validate and help identify different permutations that need to be tested.

After experiencing the journey of a business analyst, my view of the role drastically changed.

Five ways business analysts drive success:

  1. Have knowledge on the wider business landscape and product. Be a point of contact for business-related questions.
  2. Build strong relationship skills. Business analysts need to collaboratively work with internal teams and with clients and extract the right answer, even when knowledge sources are disparate.
  3. Explain complex logic to the wider team, so that the team can understand and translate that logic into code and/or test scenarios.
  4. Support the test team, and be able to create and validate scenarios for the them.
  5. Understand high-level technical concepts like application program interfaces (APIs), data structure and application architecture. This allows the business analyst to also understand if options are viable.

A business analyst is a fundamental part of any team—as the source of truth.

To become a business analyst, you need the desire to absorb knowledge and the ability to relay information succinctly from the client to the internal team, and vice versa. Collaboration and communication are key.

Innovate every day and help reinvent the future of industry. Find your fit with the Accenture team.

 

Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks.

Divia Marwaha

Digital Business Integration Consultant, London

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