Business analysts are typically previous IT professionals on some level. They could be former network engineers or software developers. Business Analysts (BAs) usually have working knowledge of hardware and software systems to make an educated decision for network and software infrastructure changes. BAs and managers work together to build new software designs or workflows that add to an existing system.

Job Description: What Does a Business Analyst Do?

In most cases, a business knows that it needs changes to infrastructure but aren’t sure how to identify the right problems and resolutions. They also don’t know how to translate requirements to documentation that’s readable for developers and software designers. This is where a BA is useful. BAs have some kind of project management or system design skills to recommend the right changes for businesses and to translate requirements to documentation for the developer.

Business Analyst Job Responsibilities and Duties

A BA’s responsibility is dependent on when they start in the project development cycle. BAs are usually called in during preliminary assessment and design. BAs are also required to continuously identify changes to existing systems to help streamline business processes. BAs must be able to work with different platforms to create solutions that fit into current system requirements and standards.

Some business analysts are responsible for designing systems that meet standards such as HIPAA, PCI or SOX requirements. A BA’s job is to communicate requirements between developers and key stakeholders to improve communication between departments.

Some other job responsibilities include:

  • Assisting business managers with understanding applications and business requirements
  • Planning and monitoring software projects and platform changes
  • Gathering requirements from various business managers
  • Organize requirements and put them into useful documentation and design plans
  • Translating business requirements into software design requirements
  • Identifying developer concerns and communicating any design concerns to business management
  • Analyze the best system changes that would create better performance and usability for users

These tasks are similar to project managers, but BAs usually have a better technical background to suggest changes to technical requirements and system architecture.

Because BAs have technical experience, job applicants must start at other positions before moving on to business analysts. BAs start as either system administrators or software developers. Applicants can also start as technical writers taking specifications from business managers and creating technical documentation. Project management is also a starting place for business analysts.