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Skills Every Business Analysis Professional Needs  

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Certain companies and industries value some skills more than others. Depending on your role and the field you work in some skills may be more in demand by employers. Looking back on 2021, the top in-demand business analysis skills  related to statistical analysis software, programming, and database design. Keep reading to discover some of the top skills business analysis professionals should focus on right now for any industry.  

When business analysis professionals link their plan to the organization’s strategy, they get better results. Here’s how to accomplish this.


Top Seven Soft Skills Business Analysis Professionals Should Master  

Top Seven Soft Skills Business Analysis Professionals Should Master  
It’s impossible to lose with soft skills. Because they are transferable skills, they can apply to any role an analyst takes over the course of their career. This makes developing soft skills a fantastic investment for any business analysis professional.  
Soft skills are just as important to the success of a business analysis professional as technical skills, but a number of soft skills are often not required by employers. Nevertheless, most employers value soft skills because they enable professionals to cooperate, collaborate, and thrive within an organization.  
The top soft skills every business analysis professional should master include:
  1. Communication (this is also a required skill for business analysis professionals). 
  2. Problem-solving (like communication skills, this is a required skill for those who practice analysis). 
  3. Listening: to understand stakeholders needs and wants.  
  4. Stakeholder engagement: to build relationships, influence outcomes, create unity, and facilitate solutions.  
  5. Critical thinking: able to distinguish between requirements that add value and those that are lower priority.  
  6. Adaptability: flexibility to change approach, techniques, style, or method depending on the project as appropriate.  
  7. Relationship-building: understanding interactions and building relationships will help you boost productivity 
Soft skills, even those that aren’t required by employers, can give business analysis professionals a competitive edge and ensure that they stay in-demand in their field.  


Top Nine Skills Business Analysis Professionals Require   

There are some skills (especially soft skills) that are helpful for business analysis professionals but are optional. Other specific hard skills are prerequisites for the role. 
Business analysis professionals rank the following skills as the most commonly required competencies and skill sets in their current role performing business analysis work: 
  1. Business knowledge: understanding what customers want combined with your know-how of business operations decreases risks and identifies opportunities. 
  2. Facilitation: techniques such as brainstorming, mind maps, or root cause analysis are applied they help ask the right questions, engage stakeholders, transfer ideas and information to solve a problem or reach an agreement.  
  3. Agile mindset: to focus on the people and interactions, sense and respond to change, and a willingness to learn. 
  4. Creative thinking: helps accept new ideas and think outside-of-the-box to help businesses create competitive products and services. 
  5. Systems thinking: view problems as a larger occurrence, see the interaction between events to find linkages between elements that can lead to better business outcomes.  
  6. Decision-making: ability to enable the right change. 
  7. Conceptual thinking: ability to see a problem from different perspectives and recommend the best solution.  
  8. Organization and time management: deliver project on time and efficiently to achieve customer satisfaction.  
  9. Leadership and influence: able to earn acceptance for strategies from senior leaders and boost unity during a change. 
These aren’t just nice-to-have skills; they are must-have skills for the modern business analysis professional. A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) can help business analysis professionals develop these skills.  

Top Four BABOK® Techniques That Promote the Development of Business Analysis Skills

There are many techniques listed in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) that can help business analysis professionals cultivate the skills they need to succeed at work. Here are the top four techniques used most often, according to the IIBA 2021 Global State of Business Analysis Report respondents:   
  1. Brainstorming  
  2. User Stories  
  3. Interviewing  
  4. Process Modeling  
By utilizing these and other BABOK® techniques, business analysis professionals can develop both required skills and nice-to-have skills, widen their skill sets, and become better at their job.  
A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) is the globally recognized standard for the practice of business analysis guiding professionals in their work and adopted by enterprises to achieve better business outcomes. Learn more about A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) and get started developing the top skills you need as a business analysis professional.    

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About The Author:
Susan Moore

Susan Moore is the Community Engagement Manager at the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). She is a Product Management professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the Finance and Insurance industries. Before coming to IIBA, Susan worked in Business Analysis and Project Management roles, incorporating business analysis leadership and agile practices into the business analysis teams where she worked. Susan also writes on these topics at Susan holds several business analysis and Agile certifications including IIBA’s Agile Analysis Certification


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