Various qualities distinguish business analysts even amongst themselves. To be a successful business analyst, you need to pay attention towards developing certain qualities and skills, and they include:
1. Knowledge: Business analysts need to have vast knowledge to be able to carry out certain projects. If required knowledge is lacking, it will hinder their ability to perform any high level project satisfactorily. To be successful as a business analyst needs a broader and deeper skillset.
2. Specialist knowledge: As a business analyst, you need to have specialist knowledge and experience in an area. While an analyst may not be required to know all there is to know about solving a problem, his/her efforts can complement the knowledge of others towards finding the solution to a problem.
3. Experience on various projects: To be successful as a business analyst, you need to acquire experience working on different or multiple project types. With such experience you will have developed various skills and techniques, which will enable you to be effective on various projects that you may be involved with later in your career. When involved in different projects in the same company, it gives you experience in strategic thinking, knowledge of certain overlapping functions, and interdisciplinary dependencies, offering the opportunity to begin to create solutions to problems affecting the whole organization, rather than a section or the area you are involved in.
4. Effective planning: Having an intelligent work plan is also a characteristic of successful business analysts. This helps answer the question about how long a project will last. You need to think about the people you will be working with, identify the stake holders, and understand them and the important characteristics that will work for them. You also need to think through the size of the project, risks involved, the guidelines that need to be paid attention to and followed, the methodologies being used, and the importance of the project. This gives you an idea of the tasks involved in the project, as well as the time needed to get it done with.
5. The big picture view: You need to understand where a project fits into the organizational goals. Having the big picture in view is an important trait of successful business analysts. It helps understand how certain projects of the organization relate to each other and the impact of those projects on other areas of the organization.
6. Proffering solution: As a business analyst, you need to begin to see yourself as a solution giver to organizations. You need to understand what is most important about any upcoming project, and be able to mediate in business affairs when there is a conflicting situation. You need to understand the pains of staff in any project and their value systems.
7. Understanding each project: To be a successful business analyst, you need to make extra efforts to know about new projects you are involved in. When working on a new project, you should take the time to find out and read up all you can about the project. A number of ways can help you gain new knowledge; Google the subject matter and go through the information, and ask members of your network. It is not mandatory that you must have all the knowledge, asking those you socialize with officially about the project can help gain some knowledge about it. Continue to increase your network. Experience can also help in understanding or gaining new knowledge. Even if you may not have been involved in the project before, observation or putting a few things together may create an idea about what the project is all about.
8. Negotiation skill: The business analyst needs to be a good negotiator; since he/she is working directly with the project customer, he/she should be able to make important decisions and negotiate certain requirements.
9. Confidence: The business analyst must be confident in taking decisions. The complexity of working with a number of different component members to achieve a project may require quick and accurate decision making skills, especially when the entire team may not be required to make important decisions all the time.
10. Technical skills: A business analyst who brings technical skills to the table when handling a project usually receives a favorable rating. This is because he/she shortens the amount of time required to plan, and helps ensure that important requirements are captured.
11. Thinking: A successful business analyst thinks on the go. This is because for a project to successfully remain on track, he/she has to continue to understand the implication of every phase, and how it affects the project, especially when issues and challenges that need critical decision arise.
12. People skills: As a business analyst, you need to be engaging to be successful. You need to have the ability to make people commit their time and effort towards achieving a project. Analysts often learn to convince, beg, or cajole stakeholders to make available all that is needed to complete a task.
Having a successful career as a business analyst may not be easy, however, developing certain qualities and skills as presented in this post will definitely help you achieve the goal.