24 February 2010

Nine core Business Analyst skills

In a CIO article, Michael Hugos nominates 4 core skills for business analysts:

  1. Group facilitation
  2. process mapping
  3. logical data modeling and 
  4. system UI design.

Kevin Brennan adds five more:

  1. task analysis (including use cases)
  2. decision analysis
  3. designing metrics and KPIs
  4. business case development and 
  5. role analysis

That's nine so far.  Do you want to add any to the list?


  1. I would remove UI Design, there are many talented designers out there who can handle that.

    I would add: analysis scoping.

  2. UI design is something that I hesitate to remove. A few years ago I heard a great acronym called "I.K.I.W.I.S.I.", meaning "I Know It When I See It." At the company I work for, most of my stakeholders have difficulty visualizing processes and systems, without first seeing a flowchart or mockup. I've found UI Design (if you call my wireframes that) extremely helpful in driving out requirements, but that is something that is definitely related to the background and makeup of our stakeholders. Just food for thought.

  3. Anonymous10:49 pm

    I would suggest an appreciation of UI Design is critical for a BA but with so many brilliant user expereince architects out there who have this as a core skill we need to be careful not to drift into their area of expertise. A BA should be able to work alongside the UE to define better requirements that compliment great UI design.

  4. I agree that there are lots of very talented UI designers, but very few organizations actually employ such people. the BA or even the systems architect often gets to play those roles (for good or ill). would i prefer to let a UI (or even better UX) designer do those tasks? Absolutely, but I usually don't have one of those available, thus my feelings that a BA must at least know the basics.

  5. Anonymous6:07 am

    I would say that Group Facilitation isn't enough. It's facilitation in general. Of so many different things.

    Some other core skills that come to my mind that might be applicable but depend on what the role represents in the organization are:
    - Technology Evaluation? I think this is important and that many BA's evaluate the technology that works/applies to the needs of the business based on their analysis activities.
    - Managing Adoption, Buy in, and Expectations? This is sort of included but is large enough to be a core skill on it's own in my opinion. It is also often something that BA's must do.

    More for sure, but those two stand out to me right now.

  6. To clarify/follow up that post was from Richard Harbridge @rharbridge on twitter.

  7. Anonymous7:48 am

    A list of skills I found useful, as a junior BA:


  8. Thanks anonymous for the pointer to Alex's list at the BA Mentor blog. It has some great pointers.

    What is the common theme in all this?

  9. These skills should be present in a business. You should definitely consider them. Thanks for that list.