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
What Are The 3 Types of Business Analysts?
The three Business Analyst archetypes are:
- Business Process Analyst (BPA): focuses on the business side of things rather than on the I.T. side.
- Business Systems Analyst (BSA): focuses on the system side of things, typically on the polar opposite side of a BPA.
- Generalist Business Analyst (GBA): started off as a BPA or BSA and have grown they’re skill set into the area they didn’t start off in.
What Type of BA Are You?
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.
Type 1: 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 like bringing people along with you to certain conclusions about how things should work
- you like to work a lot more with people than with software
- you like to negotiate
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.
Type 2: Business Systems Analyst
The flip side of the BPA role obviously is that if you like tinkering around with data. If you’re the type of person who:
- Enjoys trying to figure out how the 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.
Type 3: Generalist Business Analyst
The Generalist BA is what I like to call a well-rounded business analyst. I cover the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a generalist business analyst (as someone who has become a GBA) and it’s not role that just anyone fits in.
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 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.
Career Strategy Perspective
Understand from a career strategy perspective if you want to become an analyst. The type of business analyst you choose to really set the stage for your BA Career. There are many paths for getting into the business analysis profession.
Chances are you’ve already started thinking about the future of your career if you’re a new graduate or have been a BA for a couple of years.
In another video, I cover some options you have for any business analyst career paths you choose to take or have already started but thought about changing.
How Much Does Each BA Type Earn?
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 grueling 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.
Job Difficulty Level For Each BA Type
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a company’s job postings is like a treasure trove of information about what kind of a business analyst that company hires and gives an idea what are their biggest needs.
I’ll start to review some job postings and I’ll help you to decrypt them. Start to understand what it is that this employee or hiring manager is actually looking for and what kind of insight the job posting actually gives you about how the company actually functions itself.
I’ll explain to you why and how that can help you.
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.
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.