IT Business Analyst Job Description
IT business analysts work closely with business leaders and IT departments to determine an organization’s critical information technology needs and to implement forward-facing solutions to help businesses scale their operations and run efficiently. This role balances extensive familiarity with business needs and practices with the technical aptitude to understand project requirements and scope and ensure that IT products and services meet these requirements.
IT business analysts must effectively communicate with both IT teams and executives. They also need to be highly skilled at determining technology needs and deciding how to incorporate technical solutions into daily operations.
IT Business Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
While the specific duties of an IT business analyst can vary between organizations, the postings that we analyzed shared several core responsibilities:
Assess Business Needs
One of the primary duties of the IT business analyst is assessing a business’ current and future technology needs, usually by meeting directly with stakeholders to gather information and understand organizational or departmental objectives. The IT business analyst examines the organization’s current technologies and capacities to determine where they can be enhanced or modified to help the business run more effectively.
Determine Project Scope and Requirements
While making decisions regarding IT improvements and enhancements, the IT business analyst also plays a vital role in determining the scope and requirements of each IT project. In this aspect of the role, the IT business analyst works with both the IT department and business leaders to prepare reports that outline the project specifications and scope and ensure that they align with the overall project goals.
Communicate Between Business and IT Teams
Throughout the IT enhancement process, IT business analysts support communication between team members and stakeholders. They may work with managers or executives to gather additional information about project specifications, then work directly with project managers or team members to translate these new needs into deliverables. In many cases, the IT business analyst helps foster communications and clear up information between teams.
Oversee System and Project Testing
Many IT business analysts also take an active role in system and project testing procedures. They may oversee periodic system testing to ensure that it continually meets functional requirements, oversee usability and user acceptance testing throughout the organization both before and after deployment, and gather user data to make recommendations to improve functionality or reliability.
Provide Hardware and Software Advice
In many organizations, IT business analysts provide direct advice to stakeholders and executives on IT equipment or service procurement. They may identify a software product that could easily resolve a business-critical need and make recommendations to decision-makers, providing information about costs and benefits as the company’s leaders consider various software, hardware, or service options.
Direct IT Implementation
Finally, many IT business analysts work directly with IT teams during the deployment and implementation processes. They may provide direct oversight and guidance based on their own recommendations and experiences as well as information gathered from users and business leaders. The IT business analyst may also create an implementation road map and check to see that the IT department is following their guidelines during implementation.
IT Business Analyst Skills and Qualifications
IT business analysts act as liaisons between business leaders and technical teams. Companies tend to hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree and the following skills:
- Analytical thinking – this role requires the ability to successfully assess a business’ technical and operational needs, so strong analytical and data assessment skills are vital
- Requirements gathering – IT business analysts play an important role in gathering data related to requirements and specifications, so they should have a strong grasp of best practices and validation processes
- Technical aptitude – because this role balances IT and business coordination, the IT business analyst must be very familiar with the technologies and processes that their organizations use every day
- Team coordination – IT business analysts work closely with both IT teams and business decision-makers, so they should have strong team leadership, collaboration, and coordination skills
- Communication skills – this role requires excellent written and verbal communication to successfully prepare reports and interact with team members and key decision-makers
IT Business Analyst Education and Training
IT business analysts typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science or information systems, although some companies prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree if the role involves working with particularly complex IT systems. IT business analysts also need significant experience with both business and information technology in order to make informed decisions and recommendations regarding an organization’s IT needs. There are few opportunities for on-the-job training for IT business analysts, so a background in the fields related to this role is very important.
IT Business Analyst Salary and Outlook
According to Glassdoor, IT business analysts earn an average annual salary of $76,549 based on 2,506 reported salaries. PayScale estimates that IT business analysts earn $67,617 per year based on 9,935 reported salaries.
Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has not collected job and salary data related to IT business analysts, it doesn’t have job outlook information for this role. However, the BLS expects the broader category of management analysts to grow 14 percent by 2026.
We searched the web and found several resources if you’d like to read more about working as an IT business analyst:
BA Times – this website features blog posts about industry developments in addition to webinars, templates, and white papers that support successful business analysis
Business Analyst’s Mentor Book – this essential guide explores topics relevant to business analysts in the IT field, including agile and waterfall methodologies and requirements gathering
International Institute of Business Analysis – IIBA is a membership organization offering certification and educational opportunities for business analysts, along with conferences and events to connect with others in the field
Requirements Gathering for the New Business Analyst: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Business Systems Analysis – this book discusses the changing role of the IT business analyst with real-world case studies and hands-on examples
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