The Business Analyst. Big companies may have a staff of them. Others will hire these experts on a contract basis. But what about developing your own BA skills whether a business owner, leader of people or head of a household. Let’s take a look at their skill set to see how it may benefit you.
First, they have strong analytical skills. This includes training in creative thinking to stay ahead of the competition. Critical thinking allows one to understand the good and bad of an idea and impact of potential change. Overall a good BA is a system thinker looking at the whole picture and how a company can work together to solve problems. Test yourself and think of the last time you were able to develop a new idea that changed the way you or your company accomplished a task. Did it come easily or was it a struggle through the process?
Being able to identify solutions is only the start. A second set of BA skills resides in the area of communication starting with presentation. Are you able to create an engaging power point that will visually get the message across to your audience? Written skills are key to success whether it’s developing a business plan or filling out a college application for your high school teen. And communications is not just about giving information, but also actively listening and taking in. Do you stay engaged when someone is speaking or are you thinking of your next response? Listening is important for the BA to be able to identify and understand needs. We can learn and apply the same skill. Knowing your non-verbal behavior shows your true interest in a person or subject. This includes eye-contact, how you fold your arms and stand or sit; the similar skills used when interviewing for a job. The same goes for audio conference meetings too. Who hasn’t been talking to someone when you know they were checking email during your conversation? Finally, the BA will also know how to lead a meeting effectively and adapt to different personalities that come their way.
To get started, there are many free videos available on YouTube. Social media sites such as LinkedIn Learning are also valuable. And of course, the local library can provide resources to build your business analyst skills.