Business Analyst

What Makes a Great Business Analyst? A Few Key Traits

Editor’s Note: This guest post is by Esta Lessing (CBAP®) & Tim Mackinnon of Business Analysis Excellence Pty Ltd

We all have greatness within ourselves as people, and our challenge and mission must be to also live out our greatness in our role as Business Analysts.

So what makes a Business Analyst GREAT?

Sense of curiosity

In my opinion there are very few qualities that come close to the importance of having a real sense of curiosity about people, problems, and ultimately, requirements. A Business Analyst who has a strong sense of curiosity about the requirements that are presented is the Business Analyst who will end up with a great set of quality requirements.

Asks important questions

This attribute sits up there with a sense of curiosity. A Business Analyst who is also willing to ask the questions that others may not want to ask is the Business Analyst who has real substance. Asking a stakeholder the “why” questions is key to being a great Business Analyst.

Can put themselves in others’ shoes

A great Business Analyst will always look at requirements from the perspective of not just one stakeholder, but all of them. They consider how a requirement will impact different stakeholder groups and will consequently shape the requirement to ‘fit’ these different perspectives.

Builds strong relationships

None of us live in a bubble. As Business Analysts, we must build great rapport and have strong stakeholder relationships as part of our role—we cannot isolate ourselves from these things. A great Business Analyst will have strong relationships with stakeholders because they will be working on them every day. A great Business Analyst will see this practice as a habit that every Business Analyst must have.

Focuses on outcomes

Very few Business Analysts have a clear focus on where it is they are heading with their careers. The Business Analysts who have a clear picture are those who have a plan with defined outcomes and goals. These are the great Business Analysts who will also be achieving their project deliverables and outcomes with success.

Knowledge, skills, and tools

Finally, it should be mentioned that a GREAT Business Analyst will also have a good understanding of their role, understand the core foundation concepts of Business Analysis, and have a solid set of tools and techniques in their back pocket. This attribute is essential for greatness! You don’t necessarily need to have all the knowledge, all the tools, and all the qualifications to be a great Business Analyst! Ensure you have the tools you need, and know how to use them—this will help you to be a great, and happy Business Analyst. 

Sound like the career for you? Ready to up your game? Get training!