What is the holistic vs specialised view of business analysis? Is there a risk of categorising the role out of existence? And, is it ok to market yourself as a ‘BA / something else’? Expert BAs discuss.

What is the future of business analysis?
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In this webinar, a group of people used to asking the right questions (Debra Paul, Adrian Reed and David Beckham) are now tasked to come up with some good answers by host Christina Lovelock.

Watch the webinar to find out the panel’s views on:

  • business and systems analysts being considered the same thing;
  • hyper-specialised BA job role requirements (you must also be a qualified accountant!);
  • how to avoid the trap of being type-cast into a specialism;
  • entry level roles and pathways (is the junior BA role needed?);
  • the ‘BA-in-name-only’ problem;
  • and, what the future of business analysis and the BA role looks like.

Here’s an extract from the webinar:

What’s the difference between business analysis as an activity and business analyst as a role?

Adrian Reed: There are people who have the title ‘Business Analyst’ and there are also people who don’t have the title but who do business analysis. One of the things I find about the wider BA community is that we’re very welcoming of people - whether their role is business analyst, functional analyst - it really doesn’t matter. There are people who discover that they are a BA - whose route into business analysis was just by doing it - who might have had a really different job title at the time.

That’s a significant point, because people often ask, ‘How can I become a BA?’ and the answer is simply: do business analysis, irrespective of what your job title is.

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Debra Paul: One of the problems with the BA role job title is that where it started was relatively limited and where it went was so huge. There is a very extensive toolkit and it covers so many different areas now that sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming. What you can find is that two people with the ‘Business Analyst’ title can be doing very different things.

In a way, as a role title, it’s good if we look at it as encompassing a family of areas, but I don’t think it’s quite as clear-cut as it needs to be; therefore, we probably need to move slightly away from worrying about that too much and think a bit more about the services that we offer. Analytical thinking is what’s important, not the role title.

David Beckham: I used to be rabid about the ‘Business Analyst’ title, because I mistook it for what the job was. As I’ve got older and, possibly, wiser, I’ve come to realise that it’s a title that exists because I don’t know how else you’d define what we do. The closest I’ve got is ‘Thinker’ and ‘Curious Person’, which probably don’t fit into may HR plans! The title is becoming less of a problem - it’s the behaviours, the curiosity, the thinking, the courage to ask the questions, that is the really important thing.

This webinar is the third in a series of BA webinars. Catch up on the previous sessions:

Do business analysts add value?


Is business analysis still relevant?