When starting your BA career, one of the most important decisions you have to make is about what type of business analyst you want to become. This is a pivotal decision that can stay with you for the remainder of your career.
That’s what I cover in this video.
You can also read the related article that provides examples of the BA, BSA, and BPA
If you are somebody who is interested in starting a career as a business analyst or if you’re somebody who’s already started off your B.A. career and you’re trying to figure things out this is a really important video for you because it sets the stage for the rest of your career.
The Type of Business Analyst You Want to be Sets the Stage for your BA Career
The type of business analyst that you want to be kind of stays with you for the rest of your B.A. career. Understand from a career strategy perspective if you want to be an analyst. Learn more about the three B.A. Career Paths.
If somebody went from a BSA and learned those BPA skills, what I typically refer to those types of business analysts as is the well-rounded business analyst and that is really the goal I think that you should consider having for your own career because those are the types of business analysts that are in most demand in any company that you look at.
What Are The 3 Types of Business Analysts
- The first type of business analyst is what is typically referred to as a business process analyst or BPA. This is the type of B.A. that works a lot more on the business side of the company rather than on the I.T. side.
- The second type of business analyst is what is called a business systems analyst or BSA. Some companies call them the systems analyst. Systems Analysts are typically the polar opposite side of the business process analysts that are a lot more on the I.T. side of things than they are on the business side.
- The third type of business analyst is what I like to call the well-rounded business analyst. A well-rounded business analyst is a B.A. that started off in either the business process area of business analysis or the business systems area and over time they’ve grown their skillset into the area that they didn’t start off in.
Becoming a Well Rounded Business Analyst (Generalist Business Analyst)
For example, Casandra started off as a QA Analyst. Casandra transitioned into a BSA role performing technical systems analysis. Casandra was put on a project where she learned how to work a lot more with the business. She then learned how to do a lot of process design work and a lot of the softer skills like the objection handling and a lot of the other skills that you need to be a good process analyst. Overtime Casandra has grown into a well-rounded business analyst.
How Much Does Each Type of BA Make?
The business systems analyst typically earns more than the business process analysts and there are a few different reasons for why that is.
The main reason being systems analysis work tends to be a lot more gruelling and a lot more difficult to learn than process analysis work. The amount of pressure that a systems analyst typically has to deal with in most companies is a lot higher than the pressure that a business process analyst has to deal with.
That’s not to say that the Business Process Analyst job is easy because trying to help the company figure out how they’re going to function is not by any means an easy task but technically speaking the systems analysis skills are in a lot more demand and they’re harder to acquire.
So in terms of compensation, it’s a systems analyst that wins out on the compensation side of things.
Watch the Business Analyst Salary video to learn more about BA salaries.
Job Difficulty Level For Each Type of BA.
Let’s talk job difficulty level.
The BSA role is typically more difficult and that’s why the compensation for BSA roles tends to be a little bit higher.
Technically speaking, as a business systems analyst you’re going to have to learn some of the what I like to call harder technical skills.
These are skills like SQL for example. SQL is probably the key skill that systems analysts have to know. SQL lets a systems analysts tinker around inside a database without having to work with the application itself. So you can basically open up the hood of a piece of software and you troubleshoot issues or solve problems using SQL.
In terms of difficulty levels, the BSA role is typically a lot more difficult. Obviously, that’s part of the reason why the compensation for it is a little bit higher.
What Type of Business Analyst Are You: Choose Your Type
Let’s talk about the most important thing that you have to consider when you’re trying to make a decision. What is the right fit for you? My advice to you is to choose your BA Type based on wherever your existing strengths are.
BUSINESS PROCESS ANALYST
Chances are you’re going to be a much better fit for the business process analyst role when you’re starting out if:
- you’re the type of person who enjoys talking to people and you like bringing people along with you to certain conclusions about how things should work
- you like to negotiate and,
- you like to work a lot more with people than with software
If your natural instinct and your natural aptitude is to work a lot more with people than with software then you want to go for the BPA role.
BUSINESS SYSTEMS ANALYST
The flip side of that obviously is that if you like tinkering around with data. If you are someone who:
- enjoys trying to figure out how software works or how devices work in general, or,
- If you’re an engineer then you want to aim for the business systems analyst type of role.
A lot of developers who are interested in moving into an analysis role typically go for the systems analyst role because they can carry over a lot of the skills that they have as a developer as you are being probably the primary one.
So when it comes down to choosing the type of analysts that you want to be the advice that I would give is that you go with what wherever your existing strengths are. If you are much more of a people person then you want to go for the BPA Bill. And over time what you want to do is you want to start to pick up some of the more technical skills that you’re going to need to be able to become the well-rounded business analyst.
If you’re not much of a people person at the start but you love tinkering around under the hood of software or under the hood of any kind of device really then you want to try to start off as a systems analyst role. In the system analysts role trying to pick up some of the technical skills before you learn how to do process design for example.
Don’t Waste Your Time
So understanding these three key points are going to help you a lot to really choose the right path for your BA career. This is good advice for people who are really just starting out. And so if you are starting out this is the right time to be thinking about these types of questions because it’s going to affect all of the decisions.
For example, where are you going to invest a lot of your time and effort in picking up skills? What kind of skills do you need? A lot of new analysts have a very difficult time trying to figure out where they should be investing their time and effort. When it comes to skills-building choosing the right type of analyst is going to help you narrow down. The set of options about what kind of courses you want to take.
All right. So the very first question that you should try to answer in the next video I’m going to talk about some of the other aspects of business analysis career development. If you’re just starting off the more things that you should be considering at the time when you are trying to figure out what your career looks like.
My goal here. Is to make sure that you don’t waste your time and effort on things that are not going to help you because if you don’t have direction, the chances of you spending your time and your effort and your money needlessly increases a lot. If you have better and clearer direction you can start to hone in on very specifically on what it is that you need and you can start to achieve your career goals a lot more quickly and a lot less expensively than you would if you didn’t have any career direction.
Look At Job Postings
Looking at job postings is one of the things I would recommend that you do in your spare time. Even if you have no intention of applying for the job. Start to scan some of the job postings that you see that are available on recruiter websites. Go to find a target company that you’re interested in working for and start to scan their career section to try to find job postings because in another video.
I’ll explain to you why and how that can help you. Looking at a company’s job postings it’s like a treasure trove of information about what kind of a business analyst that company hires what are their big needs right.
I’ll start to review some job postings and I’ll help you to decrypt them to start to understand what it is that this employee is actually looking for and what kind of insight the job posting actually gives you about how the company actually functions itself.
So if you want to learn more in the meantime I would suggest that you go over to the website at LEARN.BA
There is an article specifically that I’ve written called The Three B.A. archetypes. Read that article because in that article what I do is I give actual examples of a company that would have a business process analyst a business systems analyst and a well-rounded business analyst and I and I give you a more clear description of some of the types of tasks each of those different roles might do.
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