Skip to content My Journey to Becoming an Experienced Business Analyst

My Journey to Becoming an Experienced Business Analyst

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the perspectives of IIBA.
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The Domain Business Analyst

While the project delivery model has evolved in the last twenty years—from traditional waterfall to agile—business analysis professionals remain in demand. What has changed though, and what will continue to change, is the breadth of knowledge we must possess.

As an IT professional and business analysis consultant for over 12 years, I’ve always said I’m a business analyst first. Every other role is built on it. That’s probably why I’ve never warmed to the term “domain business analyst.” It makes me feel like my wings have been clipped, like I’m being placed in a box, with limited capabilities.

I prefer “experienced business analyst,” which implies the opposite, as it’s better suited to the reality of the practice.

A case in point is my career trajectory. When I started out in telecommunications, public service, and health research, I was able to hit the ground running. The solid footing of my core business analysis role has always allowed me to develop supplementary skills. And my credential list, which now includes solution architecture, project management, and cloud architecture, is still growing to keep pace with IT.

As business analysis professionals, we need to keep tabs on what’s out there and prioritize self-development. The term “experienced business analyst” reflects that scope and ambition better than any alternative.

The Experienced Business Analyst 

“Domain knowledge” refers to the understanding of the processes, workings, and key aspects of a business. A business analyst has many tools to acquire it, including stakeholder engagement, research, document analysis, surveys, and job shadowing.

While the process is the same, regardless of the industry, the understandings gleaned from it differ substantially. And that’s a crucial distinction because it ultimately contributes to the richness of experiences that business analysts acquire.

If the understanding of a domain varies, it follows that accessibility is enhanced. This is because two business analysts will acquire different understandings of the same domain, rather than one domain-specific understanding.

For that reason, business analysis professionals should be comfortable moving into any domain where they have no prior understanding. There isn’t one correct way of understanding it, and that’s an advantage. It’s what allows us to be well-rounded—and dare I say “experienced”—business analysis professionals.

By embracing the variety of domain understandings, an experienced business analyst can hit the ground running in any domain. So why limit them with an exclusive and inaccurate title?

The Case for Self-Development

As experienced business analysis professionals, we shouldn’t hit the brakes after acquiring the CBAP® (though it is the global gold standard for business analysts). Foraging into other spaces will ensure we build on that foundation, acquiring domain understandings and IT and project delivery approaches.

But it isn’t enough to have practical industry work experience. You should also have it validated with the stamp of an applicable credential. While seeking certification to validate your vast work experience, strive to make it targeted and not random. Not everything deserves our time and attention, and the credential’s popularity should not be the reason for acquiring it.

Define your career path with a business analysis certification that is globally recognized. Then, decide what other credentials to add to it. The important thing is to ensure the knowledge you acquire is systematic, sequential, and aligned with your own career goals.

To expand your skill set and optimize your business analysis job opportunities, consider earning the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP ®) certification. The CBAP® designation is a professional certification for individuals with extensive business analysis experience.

About the Author:
Olabisi Adesina_.jpg

Olabisi Adesina is an IT professional with a core emphasis on business analysis; every other role supports this. She is an ardent practitioner of business analysis and provides consulting and mentorship in this space. She has leveraged business analysis experience to acquire experiences in other roles such as solution architecture, cloud architecture, career counselling, mentoring, and real-time job role support.

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