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Once you’re certified, the journey of becoming an accomplished business analysis starts in that moment.
There are things to learn even before landing that first job — simple truths that are beneficial to know. Each one can affect how you solve organizational problems. Because an analyst’s job is about more than just data.
1. Goals can shift halfway through the job
Stakeholders will explain their goals and expect you to pave the road to success.
What you may not expect is for the goals to fluctuate as you’re working on them. Businesses are flexible. The people in charge decide where efforts should go. And sometimes? They don’t have the full plan laid out yet.
While you’re setting up targets and investigating potential risks, it could happen. You get a new documentation. And it says that everything you’ve been working on isn’t necessary now. The stakeholders declare, “We’re starting something new!”
Is it frustrating? Yes. If you’re lucky, this will only happen once. It’s not exactly something that can be predicted. However, by facilitating consistent communication with stakeholders, you have a better chance to not be blind sighted.
2. Communicate effectively with many methods
You remember in school how people were visual learners, auditory learners, or kinetic? The people you work with are made up of all kinds of learners.
Some will appreciate a hard copy of written documentation. Others will “ooh” and “ahhh” over visual charts. And some will refuse to work with you – even though you’re trying to make everything better for them.
While the stakeholder or manager is the one you’ll directly report to, the chances of having converse with team members is high. You may have to schedule meetings, re-schedule meetings, meet again and again.
Each person is different in how they communicate, so be ready to use various techniques and tooling to get the info you need.
3. The type of analysis doesn’t matter — only results do
It’s an analyst’s job to sniff out inconsistencies and correct them.
All stakeholders are concerned about is ensuring their primary objectives are met. But it’s rare they already know which analysis is needed. They hired an analyst for a reason.
Like, they might not have the time to fix issues themselves. Or they lack the proper skill set. Or they know it’s important, but also know their team isn’t equipped to handle the job.
That’s why it doesn’t matter what analysis you choose — PEST, SWOT, STEEP — so long as the job is done. We know some studies work better than others. For example, assessing risk damage? Risk analysis is the tool for the job.
The point is — it’s up to you, expert.
4. You’ve got to be a puzzle lover
Not literally, of course. But an analyst is expected to take pieces of information and use it to solve the problem.
It requires information. And then taking analysis results and communicating to stakeholders. You’ll be handling massive amounts of data — some necessary, some trivial, and some to keep in your back pocket for later. But you have to decide which data is relevant to the job then disclose it to the necessary parties.
Analysts must adapt to new changes. They must be excellent communicators and know how to read the situation. But the bottom line (profits) are the most important aspect to stakeholders.
And now you have a good grasp on the potential unexpected bumps that happen during a job.