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The business analysis profession is broad and continues to evolve at quite some pace. The expectation from a business analyst varies widely from one organization to another. It is from one project to another within the same organization. There are various different roles played by Business Analysts across different industries.


In this blog, we will read on for a few pointers on how to become a business analyst without it. We'll go over how to construct a route for yourself if you don't have any BA experience.

Needless to say, the IT business analyst profile is one of the most prevalent and rewarding profiles today. Even if you aim to work as a business-focused and not technology-focused business analyst, there is a strong possibility that the initiatives you will work on will require you to gain or polish some technical skills.


So, if you are from a non-IT background, the natural question in your mind would be whether I can become or play the role of a business analyst without an IT background or detailed knowledge around IT.



Why The Demand for Business Analysts with IT Backgrounds?


Business analysts with IT knowledge and background have a strong demand and a good future too. If you have made a decision to make this switch, you have made the right decision.


It’s true that there is a demand for technology-focused Business Analysts but is it for the long term? Let me give you a few important reasons for the growing demand for Business Analysts with IT backgrounds:

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Can a Non-IT Professional Become a Business Analyst?


The position of business analyst is found in the IT sector and involves interaction with both clients and the software development team. This has given rise to the misconception that business analysts require programming knowledge. Non-IT professionals believe that becoming a business analyst is quite challenging. But it couldn't be further from the truth.

The majority of business analysts are generalists who are more likely to have backgrounds in business administration, finance, data analytics, marketing, or project management, while others may decide to specialize in information technology and become business systems analysts. To help firms enhance their technology and workflow processes, business analysts are therefore expected to have some familiarity with IT and important business applications.



Roadblocks Faced by Business Analyst Without IT Background


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Below are some of the major roadblocks that non-IT Business Analysts face in getting select for and carrying out IT BA role if selected.

Lack of Technical Know-How –

Technology has touched upon all industry segments and whosoever is underutilizing technology is lagging behind. The advent of artificial intelligence, analytics, IOT etc. have fast changed the way business is done and it won’t be an understatement that it has become a core strategic part of business.



Unable to Communicate with Technical Stakeholders –

Business Analysts working on technological projects need to communicate with architects, developers & other technical stakeholders to discuss and describe requirements.

Also, Check out How Savita become a Business Analyst from Non-IT background in this Techcanvass Interview Series



Lack Of Experience with Diverse Software Development Methodologies –

One common problem Non-IT professionals face in IT projects is that they are not conversant with various software development methodologies like Waterfall, Agile, Feature Driven Development, Spiral Model, Rapid Application Development etc.



Steps For How to Become a Business Analyst Without IT Background


Here are the steps you need to take to become a Business Analyst. Steps are similar for IT as well as non-IT professionals.
Note: This article is based on my book How to Become a Business Analyst: With Business analysis basics tutorial available on Amazon.

Steps to BA

Step 1. Conduct Skills Gap Analysis


You need to evaluate your skills against the required skills for an entry-level Business Analyst. Which are these skills? We have created a CRAFT framework to map the top 4 skills for becoming a Business Analyst.



Steps


You can download this Competency Evaluation Matrix to conduct a Skills Gap Analysis.


Step 2. Plan to Upgrade your Skills


Once you have completed skills gap analysis, you would know the skills you need to acquire the skills. Now it’s time to determine the approach you would like to take to acquire these. What do you need to consider:

Acquiring the Business Analysis Skills

Acquiring the Soft Skills


Step 3. Skills Acquisition plan


Your skills acquisition plan must include a certification. The most reputed entry-level Business Analyst certification is IIBA ECBA Certification. You can plan to go for a self-learning approach or an instructor-led training approach. Do keep in mind the gaps in your skills. Your learning approach must include those specific gaps. You can also read about the ECBA Preparation approach.


Timelines: Our experience suggests that you should plan for 100-110 hours of study to achieve your goal. So if you are working or having an extra workload you need to plan accordingly. A 7-10 weeks plan works for most people.


Step 4. Action Time


The next step is obviously to get started and start learning. Focus on learning the concepts first and then apply them to your area of work. That will help you in relating to the concepts better and will also lay the foundation for the interview.

Also, do practice and visualize. For example, Once you have learned use cases, create use cases for your projects/area of work and get it checked. That will give you a lot of confidence.

Communication and presentation skills are also important. If you feel you need to improve in that area, it’s a good time to work on that as well. Join a course.

Basically, you need to put in the effort for all the skills to reach the desired level.

As specified previously, earning a certification can help you acquire & enhance these skills and potentially increase your eligibility for business analyst positions. Below are some highly recognized certifications in the field of business analysis offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) –


Certifications

  • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) – For Instance, It is for individuals who are planning their career in business analysis and reflects that one has significant knowledge of business analysis concepts and techniques.

  • Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA) – It is for BA practitioners with 2-3 years of business analysis experience. So, It certifies that one possesses business analysis capabilities in terms of detailed knowledge and skillset.

  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) – Since, It is for seasoned BA professionals with 5+ years of business analysis experience and is a testimony to the fact that one has extensive know-how, skills and experience in the field of business analysis and is well equipped to work on most complex business initiatives.

Certifications

Moreover, attaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree or any other form of advanced education not only helps in acquiring some essential skills. It also helps meet the mandatory eligibility criterion of business analysis openings. Bachelor's degree in fields like finance, computer science, information management, or a similar field. For instance, It can prepare you for business analysis-specific job openings. So, a Master's degree in business administration, computer science, information management, or a similar field could help enhance your skills & knowledge, and give you a competitive advantage in the job market.


Step 5. Work On Projects to Gain Practical Business Analysis Skills


While you are in the process of acquiring skills or have already put in the best of your efforts. There is no better way to apply the learnings and even enhance the acquired skills than working on a practical project initiative. If you are already a working professional, try in order to explore the possibilities of gaining useful experience by performing a business analysis role or assisting a full-fledged business analyst. Hence, as you work on a real project, you are learning and practicing essential soft skills and hard skills that are required to perform business analysis in an effective manner.


Step 6. Reshape Your Resume


Resumes are windows to you and your personality. Make it count. An employer looks at the resume first in order to evaluate you. A good resume will help you in getting shortlisted for the interviews.

What Should Your Resume Include?


Build your LinkedIn profile as well. Employers look at your LinkedIn profile these days. Why should you have a LinkedIn profile?Don’t forget to provide the link for your LinkedIn profile in your resume. Upload your resume to the job sites and start applying.


Step 7. Prepare For The Interviews


In the software industry, we use the term Dry Run. A dry run is used to refer to trials before the actual go-live day. You should also use a dry run of interviews. Use a couple of interviews as dry runs. Use the experience to assess your preparedness.

I always used these strategies while searching for jobs. Believe me, it is very effective to prepare you for your best day.

All the best for your Business Analyst journey.

Will A Business Analysis Certification Help?


A business analyst certification from a trusted institute is definitely a good idea to gain the required skills & competencies. Project yourself as a promising candidate for an entry-level business analysis position.

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) from the International Institute of Business Analysts is one such renown certification. It recognizes individuals ready to develop their business analysis skills and knowledge as practising business analysis professionals. Here it prepares and equips business analysis professionals with expertise and key competencies and improves your marketability and employability. It is applicable for entry-level BA professionals. It is irrespective of whether they are looking to get into business analysis roles in the IT or Non-IT space.

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We offer an ECBA Certification Training program to help non-IT professionals clear ECBA certification. The transition to a business analyst role without having an IT background.

Conclusion


Business analysis is a critical practice with key skills & competencies to perform this role effectively. Whether you are looking to get into an IT or Non-IT business analyst role. There are certain key specialized skills that need to be obtained. It Requires in order to transition to this role and perform as per desired expectations. These skills need to be mastered to be able to become eligible for the BA role. To gain a distinct advantage over other candidates. Try and understand where you stand in terms of these skills and work towards procuring them as needed.

Hence, In terms of IT-specific skills, make an attempt in learning the core IT concepts. So, Foundational IT know-how, key tools, and techniques to carry out IT business analysis roles with self-assurance. In the wide area that IT is, everything you cannot learn in advance. It would be wise to understand the core IT areas/concepts up front and gain in-depth knowledge. While working on the specific area in question.

Moreover, aim towards achieving a professional BA certification like ECBA to increase your chances of a transition to business analyst without having an IT background.

About Techcanvass


We are an Information Technology Certifications training Organization for professionals. It offers internationally recognized certifications in the fields of Project Management and Business Analysis. It is a premier Authorized training partner (ATP) of Project Management Institute (PMI), USA and a premier Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) of International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Canada.

About Author


Author

Abhishek Srivastava
-Senior IT Professional , CBAP Certified

Abhishek Srivastava is a seasoned IT professional with diverse experience in Banking, Insurance, Utility and Education domains. Managing large accounts, Program management & Business Analysis has been his forte, having done so for customers like ICICI Bank, NTPC & many other International customers.

In the past, he has been associated with companies like Mastek and 3i Infotech Ltd (erstwhile ICICI Infotech Ltd). An NIT (Erstwhile REC) / IIM Kozhikode graduate, now as an entrepreneur, he is pursuing his dream of creating an organization for providing quality training in the fields of Project Management and Business Analysis. His other areas of interest are Business Analysis consulting and mentorship. Over the years, he has mentored and guided more than 1000 professionals

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