Career Project (Business Analayst) Essay, Research Paper
Business AnalystPart I – What I know, assume, or imagineI assume that studying to become a Business Analyst there will be a program in college or in the computer science program that provides this area for me to study. There has to be some type of curriculum that I can follow for this job, some requirements that must be met to help me onto this path of becoming a Business Analyst. I can probably go to school for two years at a trade college, and specialize in this area. In the future, I picture that there is only documentation involved, although that is no small feat. I could enjoy a desk job with high pay in a great working environment. I do not see myself interacting with people a lot with this job. I prefer interacting with a terminal because it is fast and efficient. The terminal and I are all that is in my future in this business, and it is really all I am looking for in a job. I do not always deal well with people and their computer problems, but I love to teach the computer, and all its components, I would not wish to do that all day. The computer has its parameters that you set, and control. It does not nag, or give orders. Being behind a computer all day will be the best thing for me. It is a dream of mine to do anything in the field of computers. The cubicle is a place to hide your troubles, and lock yourself in a self-contained world. I do not think that there is a middle liaison role to cover business needs and technology. I do not see a middleman, to help me along with my job. An asset would be having another degree, either in programming, or finance, or even economics to do the job of a Business Analyst. I just want one focus, and something that signifies that I can only do something that my degree allows me to do, and no highbred college students can. Although the degree would provide a foundation, most business systems are constantly updated and on the job training would be most significant and keeping current with the technological advances.I also do not believe that I create any new processes or business roles, I only document them. I know it is very single-minded, but that is what I want. I cannot always handle a hundred things going on at once. I do not have the self-discipline in my mind to do that type of demanding job. It is very stressful, and I am looking for an easy way out of working for the rest of my given life. This is the way I see myself doing that; documenting. There should be great benefits, because people in technology are in high demand, and will continue to be in high demand. The future is computers, and computers are the future. People like me will always be needed, and therein lies my job security. I will always be in demand, because technology is not for everyone. It itself is a specialized field that is still to this day a myth to most people. It is a great void in so many people’s lives. They do not know what they are missing out on. The salary will be awesome and I will be getting great benefits because this job is in high demand. I will be able to ask for more and push more weight around because this job is not a widely known. It took me forever just to find an interview in this field. That shows me the job of Business Analyst must be in high demand, which I can see everyone must have some type of documents, what can be different from the rest but experience in documenting different fields. The certification for this type of job must be small, and confined, i.e. there is a certain number of certifications to get, and that is all you can get. Your type of salary, and recommendation for your next job after getting your qualifications would be experience. The technical field is so broad it cannot encompass everything in every minute detail. There are limitations to every job. Alternative strategies to cope with Year 2000 problems, including mitigating risk through planning and strengthening relationships to minimize service interruptions. (Grant pg. 34) The Search The search has been long and a very arduous task. Many pitfalls befell this project and search for my career. The one thing I learned about this job was that the public really does not hold this part of the technological chain in high regards, although businesses do. I have gone to three different libraries in my great search for information. I came up with every time with the same thing, which was with nothing. This was very frustrating, because I not only went searching for books; also I looked for videotapes, occupational pamphlets, and audiotapes. I looked for ANYTHING to do with this job, only to come up with nothing. I was getting very desperate, because I was sure the library at least would have some type of information about being a Business Analyst. At the third library, I stumbled upon a telephone number of a certified Business Analyst. I called her, introduced myself, and informed her of my dilemma of not finding any information at the library. She was not very surprised. Marina conceded that while it is a job that is prestigious and in very high demand in the business world, and looked highly upon as a very hard and defined job. The public eye hardly ever sees the people that work behind the business scene. She went on to tell me the necessity to have a Business Analyst for not only documentation, but the role needs imagination, and a focus for the rest of departments, and helps with, “how the product will be shaped, and molded.” (Goudjabize Interview) She gave me a ton of information, from the huge demand, and how vital one of her profession is needed in any company, to the very basics the very high-end details of her job. She was kind enough to provide me also with a sample of her work, and what she does, along with templates of what she might give a business to follow. It is like a huge guideline that is detailed to specifics for every part of a project. “A Business Analyst, or I should say all Business Analysts are currently working with the government in some part of the day on the Y2K project. Not many people can grasp at what we Business Analysts might do during a period of time, and what type of work we do. It surprises a lot of people the responsibilities we have, and we are hardly heard about in public circles.” (Goudjabize Interview) This is a great example of what they might encounter in a day s work, and a look into how they see everyone else looking at them. The unawareness of the profession struck me after our conversation. I learned a great deal from her, and at the end of the conversation, I was reminded that I could ask any of my other informants in the computer world also, because they also deal with Business Analysts on a daily basis, and work with people in other fields. She also mentioned to think of them as the Jack of all Trades sometimes, because they must do so much, they need to learn a bit of everything to get a grasp for what everyone in the department they are working for can do. I quickly called up an old. Retired friend of mine, and he gave me a telephone number to a Computer Programmer. I finally was getting somewhere in my search; one great interview, and another yet to go, and another option of one, to call back with any questions about the job. The Computer Programmer quickly filled me in on another slew of things that had not even come to mind. In some cases Business Analysts know code, the building blocks of computers, so they know the parameters of their ideas. They sometimes come up with ideas, ask if it is possible on different platforms, and deal with databases to make the product or program run smoother. I was also surprised when he told me they were also responsible for beta testing some programs. I have extensively beta tested many programs in my time, and its really an enjoyment to sit down, and find all the bugs, and what might be wrong with the product and tell the company. He told me this is not the type of beta testing they do. He explained, ” They take other similar programs that are out on the market, use them and look at them inside and out to find out who our competition is. They find how they can make the product, and I improve what options we might need to put it for the user to want out product more. They sometimes have to be the marketers, and advisors in a way, to make sure the company is making a product people wish to buy.” (Hinks Interview)The interview ended, and finding all the information I needed for now, I quickly compiled what I found. It was hard to find out about this job, and I would have been sunk if I had not found that one number in the library, and jumped on it. I do now have a great way to find about other jobs I might be of interest. In addition, for the future, I know how to search for them, research them, and maybe make a better decision on what type of job will make me happy. What I discovered In the process of investigating the professional field of Business Analysis, I found the field is not well known by the public. However, the contributions to businesses by these professionals influence daily transactions of every major company and the public. The field s main purpose has remained the same, which is to bring business needs and technology together in a profitable arrangement. In addition, I discovered that there is a broad range of business analysts that span different industries, different areas within the same industry, and level of technical knowledge. This highly specialized field has grown in demand, however the number of business analysts in the field has not grown to match the demand. This has resulted in the field growing in providing business analysis consulting service to accommodate the demand since there are fewer skilled people in this arena to fill full time positions offered by companies. In addition, there is a higher demand for business analyst to keep up with the rapid growth in technology and business. There has been a huge surge for business analysts with Year 2000 issues and the latest trend of e-commerce online. The field left a significant lift due to the new markets that opened for businesses due to the Internet. The importance of Y2K contingency planning for organizations that has a contingency plan in place. It details the thorough re-evaluation of organizational resources and processes, and identification of potential risk factors. (Grant pg. 64) The profession is mostly obtained by experience; there are no certifications or Charter programs to become a Business Analyst. The reasoning behind this is the broad range that this profession serves and the array of different skill sets that are required; therefore training can not be molded into a form to educate on even the basic requirements. A Business Analyst can work can work in any industry and any department in a company. In addition, the types of responsibilities that are assigned to the role of Business Analyst also vary from being technical to being in more of a supportive role. Therefore, the level of technical skill required varies from the type of experience and knowledge each individual possesses. There can be a group of Business Analysts supporting a department in a company and their jobs will vary tremendously. (Koster) An example of the specialization in the field is there could be several Business Analysts in the financial industry, and they all are specialized in different areas such as banking, brokerage, insurance, reinsurance, accounting, consulting…etc. In addition, within these areas a Business Analyst is specialized in a particular department. (Vale)Accompanying this there are other criteria s, such as knowledge in different technology. A combination of these elements helps fit particular Business Analysts to their respective jobs. There are training classes and certifications in different technology or businesses that can help advance a Business Analyst s career. There is no program on how to become a business analyst. The majority of knowledge is learned through experience. The business analyst is specialized in one or both of the technical areas of full product life cycle or business process redesign (BPR). A business analyst that works in the full product life cycle arena usually helps in developing the plan of a new project from the requirements all the way to preliminary training. A Business Analyst that works in the BPR arena usually is involved in implementing new workflow for an area that is either being downsized or being created due to mergers or expansions. In defining the job requirements and responsibilities of a Business Analyst, the common elements are knowledge of a particular industry, and working knowledge of the operations of a particular company in that industry. This can further be concentrated into knowledge of a particular department for a company in a specific industry. In addition, a business analyst need excellent communication skills, both oral and written. There also needs to an understanding of the systems or technologies used by department, company, and industry they are in. They also have to keep abreast of trends and contributing factors such as economic, technological, industry to be able to plan. The purpose of all these requirements is to play liaison between the business and the technology side. A Business Analyst must be able to interpret business needs and work closely with the department/company to help obtain them. This can occur in many fashions with implementing a process to an existing area to save money or generate more revenue. It can also be in a supportive role to make sure that technology and the business grow together and not apart. The role is to make sure that the two work together. A business analyst needs to make sure they understand the business, work closely with the area, and in addition work closely with the technology side to make sure. It s a job consisting of conducting research on the needs of the business, what is required, the cost benefit, the technology required and deliver it all to meet the businesses expectations. BPR Online Learning Center)
In order to be able to perform the responsibilities most Business Analysts use some standard tools. In conducting interviews with the people that will actually be using the system, they need to write documentation supporting the current situation and the expected results. Most business analyst user Project Scope, Business Requirements, Functional Specifications, Test Plan, Test Cases, Release Notes, and Cost Benefit analysis documentation as the work flow through projects. These documents vary on an individual level, however most use some common elements. Other detailed methodologies for analyzing and designing Business processes have been proposed for organizations embarking on BPR initiatives. (Scherr) Once sufficient information is gathered, the documentation process begins. This is done to disburse the information gathered to the technical people involved and validate with the business area that their objectives are clearly defined and understood. In addition, the Business analyst then must meet with the technical people involved in either designing or enhancing the system or application. This process is to define clearly what is required on the technical side to reach the business goals. The business analyst during this process represents the business side and at the same time advises in the methods used in the technical design. The degree of technicality on the Business Analyst s part usually depends on the individual s personal knowledge and job requirements. Once the process of designing or implementing the enhancements are underway, the business analyst acts as the check point making sure the functionality and graphical interfaces used meet the business needs. This includes running tests to make sure the specifications the business area made are in place. In addition, the business analyst uses this period to put together test plans and test scripts for the business area to properly test the system. They then enhance the new application to make sure it fulfills the requirements and will allow a seamless transition into the work environment of the area. Having the business analyst due presentations or preliminary training can follow this phase. Business process re-engineering results from a fundamental rethinking of the most effective way to conduct business. (Barton) The workflow a Business Analyst follows for a project starts with conducting interviews with the area of business, finding out the current situation and obtaining staff support of this business function. How long it takes to perform the business process and where the result of this process is shared with other areas may be originated in a different area. In addition, they need to find out what technology if any is currently used to support this function and what the goals are for this area are and their expectations.This job is very demanding mentally as well as physically. There is a lot of over-time involved, and this job is not for everybody. There are a select few, in my opinion, that are the best suited for this job, and even then, it would take years to make them into a great Business Analyst. Almost everything I assumed or imagined about this job was wrong, other than it is in high demand, although I thought it was in high demand for different reasons. I have a new great respect for these people that do this job, and I hope this project can A five-year plan for becoming a Business Analyst is very strenuous in its own right. When you look at this, you might keep in mind what the job stress might be.College (overview): Major in MIS/Computer Science ManagementIntern in either Banks or Brokerage company, Insurance, Reinsurance companies in their product development or Business Process Information Technology areasCollege (in-depth):Summer 1999: Look into any type of certification classes that deal with Microsoft, any type of database programs, or programming applications in C++ language. Find a great college to go to with a Management Science and Information Systems course, you could also use a Computer information Systems, or Computer Science as a major.First Year of College: You should take all appointed classes as a freshman. The classes offered by one of the major above shouldn t be taken until your second year of college when you have finally declared your major, and are taking the required courses. Set short, and long-term goals for yourself in your studies, and what you want for a job and salaries for all your jobs in the future.Summer of 2000: Start to look into places where you might want to have an Internship at, and bring together a semblance of a resume so you are partly prepared for an interview. Second Year of College: Congratulations! You ve made it through your first year of college, and a big step on the road to becoming a Business Analyst is about to become real. Now is the time to start to your appointed major in the Computer field. We are going to focus on the M.S.I.S for practical purposes. Here is a list of courses to choose from in that major: (I will state the major, and then in parenthesis next to it, the amount of credits you can expect to gain from the class, with a description of the class under it) 33:623:370 Management Information Systems (3)Prerequisite: Admission to School of BusinessFundaments of computer technology, including hardware, software, telecommunications, and basics of the Internet. The role of computer-based information and executive decision support systems in the modern firm. Design, normalization, creation, and querying of relational databases. Management of information and data. Elementary system development principles. 33:623:385 Statistical Methods in Business (3)Prerequisite: Admission to School of BusinessReview of principles of hypothesis testing, chi-square tests, one-way and two-way ANOVA, simple and multiple regression analysis, correlation analysis, nonparametric methods, indices, time series, forecasting, and applications to business. 33:623:386 Operations management (3)Prerequisite: Admission to School of BusinessTheory and applications of linear programming (the simplex method, Sensitivity analysis, duality), transportation and network optimization problems, project management (critical path methods), inventory models, queuing models, and simulation. 33:623:388 Business Applications of Structured Programming (3)Prerequisite: Admission to School of BusinessStructured programming, systems development, and intermediate data structures using the C programming language. Object-oriented programming concepts and the C++ language. Emphasis on exercising these tools on business problem solving and business systems development. 33:623:400 Advanced Operations Management (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:386A continuation of 33:623:386. Topics include process selection, demand forecasting, production planning, periodic-review/continuous-review inventory control systems, materials requirement planning, quality control, assembly line balancing, and Japanese manufacturing systems. Computer applications. 33:623:405 The Human Factor in MSIS-Business Reengineering (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:370,385,386Language and concepts necessary to understand information technology and human systems; impact of social and cultural dynamics on information technology and human networks; Joint Application Development (JAD), change management, prototyping and rapid application development, team processes, human networking, and reengineering. Readings and case studies. 33:623:410 Telecommunications Network Systems in Business (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:370Emerging telecommunications systems in a business context, with emphasis on the Internet and World Wide Web. Network structure, information browsing, and transfer of commercial information across networks; advertising, security/privacy, computer crime, and intellectual property. 33:623:445 Simulation (3)Prerequisite:33:623:385Use of pseudorandom number generation on a computer to design and implement Monte Carlo methods to study stochastic models. Model implementation in a high-level simulation language. Model validation and statistical analysis of computational results. 33:623:470 Advanced management Information Systems (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:370Systems analysis, design, and development for transactions, management, and decision support; structured programming and elementary data structures; query languages, relational and nonrelational database models; relational operators and calculus; data concurrence, integrity, and security issues. 33:623:471 Information Systems Analysis (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:370Analysis phase of information systems development, with an introduction to process models of the design phase. Development of data flow diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, data repositories, and normalization principals. 33:623:472 Information Systems Design (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:471Design and implementation phases of information systems projects: principles of information systems, design, effective project management, and characteristics of effective design teams; analysis of effective and ineffective systems projects. 33:623:490 Case Studies In Management Science and Information Systems (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:385, 400, and 470Use of analysis in the management of operations, and logistics, choice, and evaluation of methods. Reading and discussion of written case studies, a discussion with industry analysts, and class projects. 33:623:492 Projects in Information Systems (3)Prerequisite: 33:623:410 or permission of departmentAdvanced information systems projects in collaboration with industry. Special emphasis on databases, business telecommunications, the web, and electronic commerce. Communication skills are developed via class presentations. 33:623:495,496 Honors Program: Management Science and Information Systems (3)Prerequisite: Permission of department. Open only to department honors students.Research and reading program under the guidance of a departmental faculty member. 33:623:498,499 Independent Projects In Management Science And Information Systems (3,3)Prerequisite: Completion of core curriculum; senior status; permission of department.Individual research project under the guidance of a departmental faculty member.(All courses seen are as they are from the Rutgers Catalog 1999-2001)These are the courses that will fill the next 3 years of your life, which will place you in the position of a Business Analyst.Summer of 2001: Update your resume, and place it up on the web. Then you should start to contact your schools Administration and ask about Job fairs, and internships available to you. You could think about taking some summer school classes to keep up your studies if you re not one to burn yourself out in the school year.Third year of college: You should have a pretty good idea now of what Business Analysts do, and are about. Keep up your studies, and keep in mind your goal that you set in the summer of 1999, and you must pick your courses carefully, those that would broaden your horizons. You should also be aware in the area of electives that will benefit and complement you on your resume. Such courses as C++ compiling, Business Writing, histories, Quantative Analysis, more programming classes, and speech classes.Summer of 2002: You should have your first internship, and hopefully you ve pick a respectable company or firm to work for. You might also want to make strong contacts during your time there, because it s a great way to secure a job for right after college.Fourth Year of College: Congratulations! You ve finished your whole course, and are ready to jump into the world with both feet. I hope you feel good about what you ve accomplished, and have reached your goals, good luck in your life!After graduation: Obtain a job with a company that supports this function and provides training for upcoming technology and certification or training programs for this particular industry or area of business to become more specialized industry wise and more diverse technology wise.
Barton, R.S. (1993), Business Process Reengineering , Business Quarterly, Vol. 57, No 3, 101-103. An article explaining in details the advantages and disadvantages of Reengineering for large scale Businesses. Schrerr, A.L. (1993), A New Approach to Business Processes . IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 31, No 1, 80-89. A great in-depth look at the new concepts to Business Processes in the everyday work world. Porter, M.E. & Millar, V.E. (1985), How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage , Harvard Business Review, July-August, 149-160. This Article gives insight how to come to the top and employ your skills to the best advantage you might get. CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR THE YEAR 2000 by Thornton, Grant; Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), 1999. A book of renown interest, its put into a form, where you can understand where large scale Businesses will be heading over the next two years. Koster, C.H.A., Object-Oriented Design, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Lecture Notes, 1995. These notes are on the Object-Oriented Design concepts of a Business Analyst. It is very vital that Business Analysts learn this skill fluently. Dalen, D van, Logic and Structure, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 1983This great piece had been one of the leading books of Computer Science in its time. It is a little outdated, but still contains a cache of information that you can build upon. BPR Online Learning Center; sponsored by ProSci. CD-ROMProSci. Copyright 1994 – 1999. All rights reserved. A comprehensive CD-ROM that gave me business contacts information, so I might interview a few more people over the phone. Rutgers New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog 1999-2001 published 1999.A university Catalog to find all majors at Rutgers University. Also included with these majors are the classes, with a brief description.