The BA Guide Blog

Bringing you the very best in educational, engaging, and insightful articles, and business analysis industry news. Here, we keep learning approachable and accessible while providing helpful, practical information to help you excel in your career.

In the realm of business analysis, one crucial aspect often determines the success or failure of a project - stakeholder buy-in. As Business Analysts (BAs), it falls upon us to bridge the gap between stakeholders and change objectives, ensuring alignment, understanding, and enthusiasm for the solutions we’re pursuing. In this article, we'll explore strategies to not only gain stakeholder buy-in but also to ignite excitement and engagement throughout the change, setting the stage for a successful transformation.
As technology continues to advance at a ridiculous pace, Business Analysts (BAs) find themselves at the forefront of digital disruption, playing a crucial role in creating a symbiotic relationship between technology and business. In this article, we’ll explore the evolution of the traditional BA role, analyze the impact of digital disruption on the role, and I’ll provide insights into the skills and mindset required for Business Analysis Professionals to thrive in this ever-evolving business landscape.
At The BA Guide, we believe in the power of shared experiences and the wisdom gained through first-hand professional challenges. Recently, we reached out to you - our community of Business Analysts - and invited you to reflect on your career journeys and share stories of growth, challenge, and success. The responses we received were inspiring, showcasing the resilience and determination of our community members. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of your shared experiences, delving into the notable challenges our contributors faced and the strategies they employed to overcome them.
Over the years, the Business Analyst (BA) role has evolved significantly. Traditionally - and still, today - BAs are known as the interpreters of data, the elicitors of requirements, and the changemakers that help organizations make informed decisions. However, with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the landscape of business analysis has been transformed. BAs now have tools that are more powerful than ever before at their disposal to help us augment our traditional methods and techniques, automate repetitive tasks, and minimize human error.
As Business Analysts (BAs), we need to be experts at translating data into actionable strategies. To excel in this role, we need the right tools in our toolbelts —software that not only simplifies our tasks but also empowers us to make critical decisions and propose valuable solutions with confidence. In this article, we dive into the arsenal of tools and software that can help you increase the efficiency and accuracy of your data and, therefore, your insights. We'll explore how these tools cater to various aspects of the BA role and help you navigate the landscape of business analysis, empowering you
These days, organizations are constantly evolving to keep up with market shifts, technological advancements, and ever-changing customer demands. These ongoing change initiatives usually call for meticulous planning, precise execution, and, perhaps most importantly, the effective management of organizational change. This is where Business Analysts (BAs) play a pivotal role. We act as the bridge between business stakeholders and solution teams, ensuring that changes, ultimately, align with an organization’s goals and objectives.
When it comes to competitive business landscapes, change is not just inevitable - it's necessary for survival and growth. Considering this, Business Process Reengineering (BPR) can be an effective strategy for helping organizations improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase profits, and stay competitive. But the success of any BPR effort heavily relies on the involvement of skilled professionals who can analyze, strategize, and execute changes effectively. Cue the lights, it is time for the Business Analyst to shine.
Our new website didn’t just get a facelift, we’ve built a foundation that will help The BA Guide continue to grow. And we’ve added some amazing new features that balance fun with super helpful functionality. So step right up and let the tour commence!
In the world of change initiation, the role of a Business Analyst (BA) is crucial for ensuring value and success. However, the specific responsibilities of a BA during the project initiation phase can vary greatly across organizations. In some companies, BAs are brought in very early in the process - they might even initiate it! - but in other companies, Business Analysts are brought in much later in the process.
The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) recently made an important announcement about updates to the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) certification requirements. These changes aim to streamline the application process and make this globally recognized certification more accessible to a wider audience. Let's dive in and explore what this means for you. In their recent announcement, the IIBA revealed two significant updates that went into effect earlier this year on April 26th, 2023. Firstly, the ECBA application and exam fees will now be combined into one fee, simplifying the payment process. Secondly, and perhaps most excitingly, the IIBA will
When you’re creating a change strategy for a proposed solution, there are many factors to take into account. A solution needs to satisfy a need or solve a problem in an organization, but it also needs to fit with the culture, work with technology that is currently available, and be a solution that will be supported by the organization to nurture it and allow it to grow in the future. That said, business analysis projects can be complex and risky, so it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your solution’s scope, goals, and potential risks. One of the best
So often, we focus our articles on how to do everything right; how to drive success in your business analysis project. Obviously, this is important information and insight. We all want to know how to approach projects in a way that promotes success and mitigates risk and failure. But real life isn’t perfect. People make mistakes, things get overlooked, and projects can fail. We often learn more from our mistakes and failures than from our successes. Unfortunately, not all stakeholders or organizations see things with that kind of silver lining, so it’s good for you to know some of the
Before getting started, a business analysis project can sometimes feel like a ‘choose your own adventure.’ As you begin, it can be exciting to embark on a new journey to help improve the company you’re working for in some way. But it can also feel a little daunting. There are a lot of considerations and a lot that goes into a BA project. If you’re relatively new to the game, you may be unsure of where to start. You may be questioning yourself on how to get started, wondering who you should be involving and when, and how to achieve ‘buy
We all want to feel fulfilled in what we do for a living, in the job we work day to day. I found fulfillment in being a Business Analyst (BA) and, now, as a coach who helps ambitious and prospective BAs break through barriers, thrive in their professional development, and open doors for their futures. In this article, I’ll highlight why the BA role is such an appealing career path, so you can decide if it’s the right move for you too! And if it is, I’ll also throw in a little guidance on how you can get started.
The world is in a constant state of change, and as it evolves, trends and demand shift, technology progresses at lightning speed, and external factors such as natural disasters, political instability, and pandemics can significantly impact the supply of goods and services, as well as their cost. This is one of the biggest reasons why innovation has always been a coveted and crucial quality of any successful business.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in rapid technological advancements and conversation about the implications they have on our lives, our careers and jobs, and on society and, truly, the world as a whole. We’ve seen computers and smart devices become sleeker, and we’ve seen increased capabilities and uses of them. We’re also witnessing growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Where we once heard of it mostly used in the military, science, and other government fields, we’re now seeing AI becoming more widespread and built for use in mainstream society.
As a professional - regardless of whether you’re a Business Analyst, Administrator, Developer, or fulfilling another role - it's important to continuously strive for steady professional development and growth to stay current and effective in your current role and as you pursue new roles or ambitious goals this year. Setting professional development goals can help you focus your efforts and track your progress. Here are some steps you can follow to create meaningful professional development goals, whatever your profession.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at The BA Guide! We hope that during this holiday season you’ll be enjoying delicious food, and creating memories with those you hold near and dear. Thank you to all of our students, for your patronage this year and in all years past. We look forward to continuing to support your learning in the years ahead!
Rarely do people take a moment to learn the origins of their professions - let alone pinpoint the exact events that were the inspiration for its creation. Luckily, we can do this with the Business Analyst role! Still a somewhat modern role, we can trace the BA role back to its very beginnings and can even identify the problem that inspired the role and allowed organizations to see the value that BAs bring when enacting change.  Let’s take a few minutes to recognize the genesis of the Business Analyst role and the circumstances that inspired it.

Business Analysts and Data Analysts are professionals who use their expertise to help an organization make informed decisions in various fields, including finance, marketing, operations, and more. While both positions require an understanding of data analysis techniques and of business analysis, what exactly do Business Analysts and Data Analysts do? And how are they different? In this article, I’l break down the difference between the two roles!

Business Analysts and Data Analysts are both valuable to a business, but it’s important to understand how these roles differ. To begin with, BAs contribute to an organization by facilitating change that

The COVID-19 pandemic created deep ripple effects that were far-reaching in virtually every industry. Not only were supply chains affected, but employees at companies all over the world re-evaluated their careers and how they spend the majority of their time.

This led to what we now refer to as ‘the Great Resignation’, with professionals everywhere leaving their current jobs in droves. Ever since this professional exodus - which kicked off in the spring of 2021 - an increase in demand for Business Analysts was created. Professionals across the United States are taking this opportunity to be more selective about

While it is easy to assume that our role as Business Analysts is entirely driven by process - and, let me be clear, processes are a large component of our jobs - there is a large degree of creativity and innovation involved in what we do. We bring organizations new and fresh ideas for processes and products, solutions to problems that they’re experiencing, and creative ways that they can optimize their business.

I was reminded of this after reading an article based on an interview between Koryn Anderson (of the International Insitute of Business Analysis

Throughout the past decade, there have been major social, environmental, and technological shifts that have occurred and influenced organizations to make changes to their products, structure, processes, and teams - either voluntarily or through necessity.

Change in business - as in life - is constant. Whether evolution is occurring as a result of an internal initiative or goal, or as a result of external risks or threats in the supply chain or from the competition. Companies are re-evaluating the way that they run their operations in just about every aspect. To drive significant change in any area, they’re recruiting

When Business Analysts undertake a project, one of the most essential components for success is understanding the needs of the end user and their purpose for those requirements. To aid in this, BA’s compile and analyze User Stories that provide small but powerful input from end users and customers.

User Stories are extremely valuable tools for organizing information and requirements directly from those who will be using the software, processes, or the end result product that you’ll be delivering. In this article, we’ll take a look at the essentials of User Stories and the benefits they generate for project

What would the Business Analyst role be without a commitment to constant improvement and evolution? A little hypocritical, probably. This ability to embrace change and work nimbly are assets for any BA, which makes the Agile methodology a crucial framework for all of us.

In this article, we’ll examine the importance of the agile methodology for Business Analysts, why it’s beneficial (for each party) if we work in an Agile framework, and how to become certified as an Agile BA.

If you’re brand new to Agile, please don’t be intimidated. I break it all down in my <a href="https://courses.thebaguide.com/p/agile-fundamentals-scrum-kanban-scrumban/?product_id=1050339&coupon_code=UPSKILL2DAY1X4O"

On the most successful teams in any field, the individuals who constitute high achieving teams will often share common skills, but with a key difference among them: focus. Where their focus lies is what helps them specialize and excel in their role, and drives success for their team.

Take sports teams, for example. In a hockey team, all must be exceptional skaters, have excellent puck handling skills, and be able to pass the puck accurately. But some specialize in goalkeeping, some in defense, others in offense. For the team to succeed, it needs its individual components to be laser

When it comes to embarking on a new journey, it helps to have a little guidance to shine a light on the path ahead, to help with clarifying confusing concepts and jargon, and give you a little confidence when you’re questioning yourself.

In case you’re new here - and to the Business Analyst role, in general - I’m Jeremy Aschenbrenner, also known as The BA Guide, and I’m so glad you’re here! The inspiration behind why I created The BA Guide was to help aspiring BA’s start their career off on the right foot and to help ambitious BA’s

Some people will observe Business Analysts from an outsider perspective and assume that we’re pretty much just glorified note-takers. But not everyone experiences all of the complex, intricate exercises and initiatives occurring in the background.

Being a Business Analyst is, at its core, about creating value for organizations. It’s about facing challenges, head on, with logic and learned techniques to help you figure out the root cause of problems at the business and create solutions that help the business and its employees thrive.

With the role and responsibilities of a Business Analyst (BA) being broad and diverse across organizations, we must possess and employ a wide range of skills. One of the core skills is communication. Communication is critical for BAs to be successful in our role as facilitators, problem solvers, and value creators.

A Business Analyst flexes their written and verbal communication skills when they…

A requirement is a function that a product, process, or system must do or a quality it must possess. Requirements are a crucial component of the solution that a Business Analyst proposes. They are one of the components that drive the BA to create the solutions that they bring to the table.

Typically, the SMART framework applies to goals. But it has been borrowed and re-adjusted to apply to requirements, making them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Traceable.

“To acquire knowledge, one must study. To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

-Marilyn vos Savant

One of the most powerful techniques to employ for problem identification is Observation. This method is used to elicit information by viewing and understanding someone or a group of people in their environment. This enables you to watch how people accomplish their work, the steps they follow as they move through processes, and the manual entries they make. You’re also able to observe and compare the process they’re following versus the ‘standard or best practice process’ or how others in their role are

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