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How to Assess and Hire a Business Analyst

BUSINESS-ANALYST

Want to hire business analyst?

To hire a business analyst you need to look for variety of different skills and adaptability to contribute in increasing company’s productivity, efficiency and profitability. A great business analyst acts a bridge between business capabilities and stakeholders to understand the business needs and provide a solution to meet those needs.

So, before we get in to the hiring and screening we must understand the roles, responsibilities and skills of a Business Analyst

  Roles of Business Analyst

 Primarily, a Business Analyst is responsible for the following:

Unearthing Business Needs – Discovering the business need and project requirements by keeping the communication channels open between stakeholders and the team.

Studying Requirements – The business analyst understands the business needs and analyzes them thoroughly

Documenting Requirements – Documenting the requirements accurately and in such a format that can be shared with all stakeholders and it depends on type of project, the needs and preferences of business and stakeholders.

Getting the Requirements Approved – After documentation the requirements must be approved and understood in the same sense by all the stakeholders to prevent mistakes, get more inputs from them and ultimately reduce costs.  

Skills of Business Analyst

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Communication Skills

Business analysts must be effective communicators. The Business Analyst will need to engage with stakeholders and organize meetings. The Business Analyst needs to probe deeply to unearth the business problems through open and closed questions. The ability to listen and absorb is crucial. A business analyst should be able to communicate the information at the appropriate level is vital.

A business analyst needs excellent communication skills:

  • To facilitate work meeting
  • To ask the right questions
  • To build good relations with stakeholders
  • To communicate things like project requirement, changes, and testing results to the team members.
  • To communicate efficiently in person, on conference calls, in meetings, and through emails.

Critical Thinking Skills

Business analysts need critical thinking in every task they accomplish; from start to the end of the project as they are responsible for outlining and evaluating multiple options before helping a team arrive at a solution.

A business analyst needs critical thinking skills:

  • To understand stakeholder requirements
  • To allocate resources
  • To identify requirements and their priority.

Documentation Skills

Documentation is one of the most important job functions of a business analyst. Throughout the course of a project business analyst creates clear and concise documents to support communication amongst stakeholders and teams. The Business Analyst should be able to generate accurate, clear and easy to understand documents.

Type of documents a business analyst creates:

  • Project charter
  • Business Requirement Document
  • Project Scope Important
  • System Requirement Specs
  • Release Notes
  • Product Brochures & Presentation
  • Project/Product Proposal
  • Requirements Traceability Matrix

Analysis Skills

Business analysts use a variety of techniques such as business process models to analyze the problem and the solution. Business analyst conducts analysis to measure the impact of a change or new solution.

A business analyst needs analysis skills:

  • To analyze the business process
  • To conduct requirement analysis & documentation
  • To do solutions assessment & validation
  • To conduct SWOT analysis

Visual Modeling

As we understand that eliciting requirements, gathering information and conducting analysis is important for business analyst but the way information is communicated also has a significant impact on how much of it retained. When the discussions, presentations and elicitation events are re-presented in an effective way, they can help to break the ice and increase stakeholder’s

A business analyst should have ability to create visual models such as:

  • Activity Diagram
  • Business Domain Model
  • Competitive Comparison Matrix
  • Data Flow Diagram
  • Feature Roadmap
  • Organization Chart

  Relationship-Building Skills

Stakeholders are the people who have a significant impact on success of your project. Since the business analyst acts a bridge between the user and teams; he/she needs to build a strong relation with both. Different stakeholders have different needs, interest, attitude and priorities. Building a good relation helps to understand their respective requirements and ensure that all parties work together to delivering a valuable outcome

A business analyst should build good relations with stakeholder:

  • To work in a constructive and productive way
  • To build trust.
  • To understand stakeholder’s interest and attitude
  • To anticipate potential problems and manage expectation of stakeholders effectively

 Technical Skills

To identify the solution, a business analyst should know the IT software are needed. How new possible outcomes can be achieved using current platforms and how latest technology will help.

A business analyst needs following technical skills:

  • Technology
  • Research
  • Data Review/statistical Analysis
  • Financial Planning

Tools Used By Business Analyst

Business analysts use various analysis tools in the process of requirement elicitation, documentation, analysis, visual modeling. The use of these tools leads to increase productivity.

Here are a few tools a business analyst comes across:

  • MS Word- Microsoft Word is a word processor developed by Microsoft
  • MS Excel- Microsoft excel is a spreadsheet application by Microsoft
  • MS PowerPoint- Microsoft PowerPoint is a slide show presentation tool developed by Microsoft.
  • MS Visio- Microsoft visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application
  • DOORS- IBM Rational DOORS is a requirements management application by IBM.
  • Balsamiq- Balsamiq is a wire framing and mock up generation tool used to create user interface and sketch-style wireframes.

 

How to assess and hire a business analyst?

To separate the wheat from the chaff we must assess the candidates based on their skills, knowledge and experience in handling critical situations. Assessing the skills of business analyst  before recruiting can be a tricky task. Business analysts fill an interesting role in IT organizations. They act as a bridge between the users and the IT department. They are not involved in the hands-on work of the users or the IT team but act as a liaison. Business Analyst’s often get criticism from the IT department for not appreciating, understanding their work or not able to provide guidance. The users invariably accuse them when the IT department's solution is properly executed but in spite of that it does not meet their requirements. So quite often they are at the receiving end from both the sides.           

Managing this interface between IT and users can be a huge challenge for Business Analysts. It is equally difficult to hire someone to effectively do the job of a Business Analyst. Identifying the criteria to effectively hire a business analyst candidate is somewhat complex.

We have already discussed the skills which are essential for successful performance in the job role. But to assess the skills in face to face interview is a difficult task. It requires time and money. Assessing candidate’s skills before interviews saves time, money and helps recruiters or hiring managers to select quality candidate.

A Strongly Recommended Business Analyst Test

In order to screen and hire a candidate, it is vital to design a test which covers all the above skills.

  1. Business Analyst Test- The test must contain well balanced and meaningful questions on Analytical Thinking, Data Interpretation, Data Sufficiency, Listening, Comprehension and Writing Skills to accurately assess the basic, intermediate and advanced knowledge of each test taker.

           An ideal business analyst test would contain the following sections -

  • Analytical Thinking – Questions on analytical thinking to assess the candidate's ability to successfully analyze and solve a wide variety of business problems. If any candidate is good in analytical thinking then he is good in problem solving and requirement analysis.
  • Data Interpretation –  Data interpretation is part of daily life for most people. Interpretation involves understanding numerical data and graphical data.
  • Written Communication – Questions on sentence correction, selecting words, spotting errors, and reading comprehension
  1. C-ACT Test- (C- Customer focus, A- Accountability, C- Communication, T- Team collaboration)

           In today’s Digital and continuously changing world, IT organization which are growing big and                 generating constant value are all driven by ‘Customer excellence’. All the processes and                           stakeholders at the organizations are aligned towards understanding and delivering customer               value.

       This test will help you to assess customer focus, accountability, team collaboration and                              Communication skills of team members who are

  • Interacting with customers
  • Handling teams
  • Interacting with other team members within the organization

You can assess the candidates for the BA post based on their customer centric approach, accountability, team collaboration ability and communication.

With Interview Mocha’s business analyst assessment assess and hire Business Analysts and make your hiring process easier, better and faster.

 

 

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Pankaj Deshmukh

Pankaj Deshmukh is in the field of digital marketing. He works with Interview Mocha and produces content for the variety of blogs that cover topics from recruitment, social media hiring & candidate assessment. He believes that learning is never ending process and stays updated with the latest trends that are useful for producing valuable content.

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