Probably the most arguable moment in understanding who is actually a business analyst – is the question of differentiation between business and system analysts. Let’s have a look at two existing Points of View in this respect.
Point of View #1
Suggests that all analysts can be divided into business analysts and system analysts (depending on the specific knowledge and practical skills in corresponding spheres). Thus, business analysts determine business requirements and hand them to system analysts so that they can work further on the system/product requirements.
However, to suggest solutions that will meet the needs of business automation, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of all development/exploitation aspects of IT systems and products. Alternatively, to automatize business processes, one need to get a sense of its essence, problems and environment. Apparently, both analysts work closely together: the later consumes the deliverables of the former, and the responsibilities between two of them are shared.
While discussing the nuances of such division one may suggest a different point of view (#2).
Point of view #2
Suggests that all analysts serve as business analysts at the same time. However, they perform different functions on a project: business consultants, business process analysts and system analysts.
It is again clear that all the specialists work closely together. Still, if at a certain point a business analyst, who serves as a system analyst, for example, is not able to perform a high-level strategic and marketing analysis – his primary goal would be engaging a corresponding expect on time(for example, business analysts who serve as a business consultant). Along with that, he still oversees the issue from a business point of view (though he serves as a system analyst, he is still a business analyst). He does not consume the deliverables provided by the business consultant unconsciously. Therefore, engagement of the necessary stakeholders on time is one of the major goals and competences of a business analyst.
In general, experts who participate in requirements development process perform identical tasks in both cases. However, I would say that the Point of View #2 can be considered more accurate from a system approach perspective.
Suggested differentiation helps us to understand system processes of business analysis and business analysts’ areas of responsibility better. At the same time, I should note that irrespectively of the described Points of View the tasks the analysts perform do not change.
Pleases feel free to share your thoughts on the two approaches in the comments!
Author: Veronika Baeva, see original resource in Russian.