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The focus of a business analyst is to review and analyse an organisation’s business, including its business intentions, business services, business processes and information needs. This analysis may help the business implement changes that lead to business improvements.
A business analyst is regarded as a conduit between the business units, organisational stakeholders and solutions delivery teams. A business analyst will liaise with key stakeholders in an organisation to develop a solid understanding of how the business is currently operating and the future goals of the business. Once the business analyst has gained this understanding, they will then review and analyse the business in terms of its business services, business processes, organisational structure and other relevant information to assist the business in identifying the best way to effect business change for achieving its business goals.
These business changes may include extensive stakeholder engagement activities to improve existing organisational structure, existing business services and service delivery mechanisms, existing business processes and in some cases the introduction of automation using ICT solution.
A Business Analyst exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)[1[, and the Queensland Public Service Leadership competencies for Queensland Framework.
Within the SFIA profile, the benefits analyst has level 4 and 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
| SFIA skills||SFIA skill code||SFIA skill level of responsibility||SFIA skills level descriptor|
|Business process improvement||BPRE||5||Analyses and designs business processes; identifies alternative solutions to exploit new technologies and automation. Develops graphical representations of business processes to facilitate understanding and decision making. Assesses the feasibility of business process changes and recommends new approaches. Manages the execution of business process improvements. Selects, tailors and implements business process improvement methods and tools at programme, project and team level in line with agreed standards. Contributes to the definition of organisational policies, standards, and guidelines for business process improvement.|
|Business analyst||BUAN||4||Investigates operational requirements, problems, and opportunities, seeking effective business solutions through improvements in automated and non-automated components of new or changed processes. Assists in the analysis of stakeholder objectives, and the underlying issues arising from investigations into business requirements and problems, and identifies options for consideration. Works with stakeholders, to identify potential benefits and available options for consideration, and in defining acceptance tests. Contributes to selection of the business analysis methods, tools and techniques for projects; selecting appropriately from predictive (plan-driven) approaches or adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches.|
|Data modelling and design||DTAN||4||Investigates corporate data requirements, and applies data analysis, design, modelling, and quality assurance techniques, to establish, modify or maintain data structures and their associated components (entity descriptions, relationship descriptions, attribute definitions). Provides advice and guidance to database designers and others using the data structures and associated components.|
|Relationship management||RLMT||5||Identifies the communications and relationship needs of stakeholder groups. Translates communications/stakeholder engagement strategies into specific activities and deliverables. Facilitates open communication and discussion between stakeholders, acting as a single point of contact by developing, maintaining and working to stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. Provides informed feedback to assess and promote understanding. Facilitates business decision-making processes. Captures and disseminates technical and business information|
Queensland Government roles align with the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the ‘value proposition’ of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
While a formal tertiary qualification is considered highly advantageous to work as a business analyst, it is not essential. Tertiary courses in information technology, information systems, business management, commerce or corporate systems support are relevant to a career as a business analyst. TAFE qualifications, such as a Diploma in IT or a Diploma of Business Studies may also support entry to a business analyst career. Experience working within an ICT business area is highly regarded.
Business analysts require very strong oral and written communication skills, strong skills in negotiation and customer management, sound analytical and conceptual skills, strong attention to detail, a location approach to problem solving and an investigative and inquisitive mind.
Learning and development
There are a number of ways to develop and improve business analysis skills. Formal training and on the job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills.
 The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management. This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation. Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
 The Leadership competencies for Queensland framework plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms. The competencies can be utilised in talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. The competences can be accessed here Leadership competencies for Queensland