A Comprehensive Guide to Your Business Analyst Career

Business analyst acts as a liaison between the information technology (IT) division of the company and management. He is responsible for analysing the company’s business systems and identifying different options for augmenting the working of business systems. It is the job of an analyst to clearly understand the problems of a company and create viable solutions for the woes confronting the business. While creating these systems, it is his job to provide technological solutions to different business problems.

Duties

1= Defines and records various business functions & processes.
2= Consults with management and personnel to clearly define business needs, procedures, problems and different levels of systems access.
3= Develops new systems and makes enhancements to current systems in order to ensure that it is in close conformity to the needs of the user.
4= Identifies various opportunities for improving business processes through information systems.
5= Provides assistance in training technical staff.

Requisite qualifications

In reality, there are no particular qualifications that you may need for doing analyst jobs. Business analyst job has become synonymous with engineering and IT. As a result, an IT background would be required for certain job profiles. Also, a post-graduate degree in finance is an added benefit. The IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) is offering a certified professional certification, which is recognized across the world.

Remuneration

In the last few years, there has been a spurt in the economic growth. Due to this, there are various business analyst jobs which are available in the market. The package of an analyst is quite lucrative and the job comes along with other perks as well. The package depends on factors like company, experience, work profile, location and skills. The IT sector business analysts are drawing good perks. On an average, an analyst can earn around Rs 5-12 lakh/annum.

Sectors generating jobs are

Construction
Oil & gas
Telecommunication
Insurance & finance
Information technology
Hospitality

In India, there is no dearth of jobs for analysts. Some of the top companies offering business analyst jobs are-

Genpact
Infosys
Wipro
Deloitte
IBM
Oracle
TCS

Career progression

Analysts usually start their careers in entry-level job roles. They primarily focus on information, research and interviews. As an analyst gains more experience, they start working on important projects, which demand an impeccable use of complex tools and knowledge. Once a business analyst has gained work experience and skills within different job roles, he/she may also start own consulting business or move into other managerial roles.

Protecting Confidential Business Information – An Important Intellectual Property Strategy

Every business has confidential and proprietary knowledge that must be managed properly. This includes internal business procedures, customer lists, research and development records, inventions, product development plans and marketing plans. Access to this type of knowledge should be controlled to protect the interests of the company. Carefully monitored company policies and procedures are useful in protecting company assets.

Confidentiality Document. An important method of protecting sensitive data involves the diligent use of a written agreement, sometimes referred to as a Confidentiality or Proprietary Information Agreement. These documents are signed by every person who has access to any confidential information of the company. People who may access this type of data include: employees, contractors, vendors, advisors, investors, board members and prospective customers. Establish a company policy that requires individuals to sign this agreement before any confidential data is disclosed.

Assignment Requirement. Additionally, employees, contractors and similar personnel should sign a written agreement to disclose all innovations, creations and related information developed as part of their employment or contractual obligation with the company. This document also requires those individuals to assign their Intellectual Property rights in any innovation to the company. The requirement to assign innovations can be included in an employment contract, assignment document, or the Confidentiality document mentioned above.

Control Access. Another method of protecting sensitive data includes controlling access to that data. For example, only those employees, contractors, advisors, or other individuals that need access to this sensitive information are given appropriate access. Be careful to keep confidential items away from public areas of the company or areas that non-employees visit regularly.

Business Analyst Success Tips: 12 Qualities to Develop

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.

Conclusion

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.

Starting a Home Catering Business – Information You Need to Know

If you are thinking of starting a home catering business, there are many things you should consider. Of course, if you have a great passion for cooking and are really good at it, you are a step ahead of the game. But there are other details you need to think about to be successful!

Before you begin any type of self employment you need to make sure that working for yourself is truly what you want to do. Are you self motivated? Can you make out a business plan? Will your finances suffer if you try to make a go of it on your own? Starting a home catering business can be fun and very profitable, if you do it right.

Make sure that you have the dedication and perseverance it takes to run your own business. In a catering business, you need to find out what all of your costs will be and what your competition is doing before you begin. Writing out a business plan is also necessary to insure your success.

Here are a few things to consider when starting a home catering business:

1. How much is it going to cost upfront? Make sure you include costs for any equipment you may need, such as stoves or other cooking appliances if you aren’t able to do the preparation at your own home.

2. Are you considering mobile catering? If so, think about expenses for buying a trailer to travel with, along with gas and food costs.

3. How will you market your business? Placing an ad online and in your local phone book are good ideas, along with business cards and flyers. You might also consider advertising on the radio if it is within your budget.

4. What is your competition doing? This may be the most important step of all in your planning. You need to know how much your competition charges, and what types of food they prepare.

5. Payment terms – Will your customers pay you before the service, or when completed? Consider how much money you will need to purchase food and other necessary items. You will also need to think about transportation for the meal, and how you will keep it warm while travelling to the event.

These are just a few thoughts about starting a home catering business. You really want to make sure that you have thoroughly considered every detail, so that there are no surprises when you start your business.

This can be one of the most fun and rewarding types of home businesses if done right. The fact that you love to cook will make it much more enjoyable, and when you love your work you are usually much more successful in what you do.

Need more help in starting a home catering business? Visit the links below!