Regarding the business area you support, you must understand the jobs they perform and value they provide to the company. For example, if you are supporting the company’s finance function then you should have an understanding of budgeting, financial forecasting, transactional accounting, and the other tasks performed by the Finance Group. Without the understanding it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to understand their business requirements and then convert these requirements into a coherent technical specification that that can be used by the software developers building/enhancing the software. Note that this business understanding is equally important if the software is being purchased or simply connected as a cloud-based vendor because you will (or should) be involved in the vendor selection process. Lastly, if you don’t understand the profession of the groups you serve, they are much less likely to take you seriously as their representative to the internal IT group.
Regarding the industry in which you work, with very little exception, each functional area within a company requires special knowledge and customized processes related to the type of work the company performs. For example, the rules and regulations conferred on financial services firms are very different than the regulations within the health care industry. As a result, internal company processes must be tailored to meet the rules of their industry and the needs of their client base. Therefore, as a Business Analyst, knowledge of the business areas you support is not enough, you must also understand these industry-specific nuances of your company’s specific industry to truly be effective.
Lastly, you should also begin building your professional reputation, which I’ll talk about more in a future blog. For now, just know that you should work hard and try your very best. In the long run, the combination of industry knowledge, professional skill, and a great professional reputation will take you far.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.