In the 21st century, the role of the business analyst has emerged to be an important one in improving performance and in bridging the gap between the company’s business goals and its information technology capabilities. Business analyst can have specializations in technology structure, corporate management or inventory management, but the core skills required by one remains the same that is defining a challenge faced by the company, collecting and analysing data applicable to it, evaluating company’s processes and procedures, and ultimately recommending and deploying strategies designed to solve the issue.
The skills required by the company to stay competitive can only be attained by a thorough analysis of the market which assists the company in keeping pace with the rapid market changes. This is only possible through the skills and capabilities of a business analyst. However, the capabilities of a business analyst are evolving and involve a broad range of responsibilities including:
- Analyzing and solving business challenges through recommendations, by evaluating collected data and reviewing it.
- In order to increase the efficiency of business functions such as sales, production, and marketing, the business analyst need to engage in market research. Market research can provide an insight into the working of the competition, and on the same findings, the business analyst can provide recommendations to the company in order to have the edge over its competition.
- Business analyst in large corporations usually specializes in a specific area or work under a particular department which would limit their involvement to that certain sphere. However, the business analyst appointed in small corporations generally have flexible job roles.
- Identifying required changes, and communicate them to stakeholder, partners, and top management of the company.
- Creating IT solutions using IT resources, and enabling companies to achieve business goals by bridging the gap between IT and business goals.
- Providing solutions to senior management and assisting in employee training.
- Developing an overall management strategy for the company.
Without a surprise, hiring a business analyst can be a puzzling task for the HR of the company, as it requires such diverse and hard to define the skill set due to its ever-evolving job description. Moreover, a business analyst is a very narrow term. There are various types of analysts depending on departments such as sales analyst, or IT analyst or they can be categorized depending on the type of analysis such as process analyst or finance analyst. But here are a few tips which can make the task of hiring one for your company, irrespective of the type, a much smoother process:
Hire Fresh From Campuses For Analyst Roles
Many companies appoint fresher for the role of the business analyst. Even though HR cannot judge the candidate on his experience, it is essential to look for a candidate who is comfortable with the core task of a business analyst – Collect, analyse and solve. The candidate should be well versed with skills such as performing research, identifying the target audience and competition for the company and depicting all this information through charts, presentations, and documents. So ensure that the business analyst you hire has all the skills required to carry on the core task of the job.
Develop An Internal Analytics Team
Existing employees can act as a great choice for such positions. The reason they can be given preference over hiring new employees is that they know the company and its employees which saves the company from the initial time span it takes a new business analyst to interact with the existing employees. Similarly, every organization functions differently, with a new employee, it requires resources and time to train the employee regarding the functioning of the organization, which is not the case with existing employees.
One of the key roles included in a business analyst’s job description is analysing deficiencies and providing corrective measures. It is important that the candidate is able to document her/his views, because the solutions being in his head, won’t be of use to the company. So if the candidate is not able to structure his solutions, then he would not be able to perform to his optimum level.
Problem Solving Ability
Problem-solving skills cannot be tested by a looking at the resume, to test problem-solving ability; assessments are the way to go. Skill Assessments which could test candidates problem-solving skills through case studies, guesstimates and logical ability assessments.
Essential skill set
There is a need to concentrate on the basic yet necessary skill-sets required by a business analyst. Majorly, creating presentations, data analysing skills with MS Excel is a must. If such key skills are missing then performing tasks such as conducting training, presentations and analysis can become an issue.
Other important qualities include excellent written and communication skills plus the ability to work well with employees at all levels of an organization.
A business analyst has to be a people person as they have to deal with employees, stakeholders, facilitators, and management on a frequent basis. To test their communication and people skill, HR should ask questions related to how well they can handle criticism, conflicts in interest and articulacy of their speech. They can be given an on the spot case study (fiction or an old event which actually happened) to test their problem solving and people skills.
Job role blueprint
To ensure that you hire the right business analyst for your company, it is usually helpful to draw a blueprint of the activities the candidate would carry out during the job, such as:
- 40% Interaction with the stakeholders, top management, employees and facilitators
- 20% Market research and Data analytics and synthesis
- 25% Working on providing optimum business solutions
- 15% Documenting the changes required and the progress so far
Once, you have the blueprint (which means you have prioritized the skills essential for the job) it would be easier to seek through numerous applications.
Personality Test or The Fit Test
Besides looking for excellent communication and analytic skills, candidates can be tested on the core competencies of the company as well. Such an assessment would help to filter out the candidates who wouldn’t fit into the work culture of the company. It would also give an insight into candidates collaborating and dealing with ambiguity power.
The business analyst should understand the business need, business capabilities, and provide robust solutions to such complex business challenges with adequate justifications. These solutions can help the company in overcoming their shortcomings, improving themselves in the respective sector and developing an advantage over its competition. Today, many business organizations are waking up to the value a business analyst adds to the company in terms of potentially improving their overall performance.
Topics: Domain Skill Assessment