A Day-In-The-Life Of A Business Analyst

To celebrate her recent promotion to Business Analyst within the i-Realise team, our superstar Becky Quille has written a piece on what the role of a Business Analyst entails.   

Working as a Business Analyst is not for the faint hearted. It’s hard work. You often have long days where you feel like you’re going around in circles. Perseverance is one of the key traits you need to have within a role such as this, because a project will almost never be as straight forward as you first think. Ever-changing ideas as to how things should be working, from multiple stakeholders, can sometimes change the goalposts tenfold and you should always expect that there will be differences in opinions.

It can be tricky to listen to everyone’s views and opinions and translate them into a form of negotiation from which a common objective is achieved, but it is most definitely achievable. Once you can get everyone working towards a clear and common objective, for me, the hard part is out of the way. For this to happen, you cannot be afraid to speak up and give an honest viewpoint. Yes, listening to others is a huge part of this work, but being able to voice your own ideas regarding what will and won’t work is also key. I am not the type of person that can sit back and work on something when I know that it could have a negative impact further down the line.

That is where always thinking three steps ahead comes in handy. I’ve always been very diligent when it comes to the finer detail of things - even within my personal life, I cannot commit to a plan unless every detail has been discussed. The plan cannot simply be “let’s go to London for the day tomorrow”, I will need to confirm what train time is best, which will then confirm to me what time I will need to leave my house, which then confirms what time I need to set my alarm for and what time I will need to go to bed to get a decent amount of sleep. This is very similar to most projects. A business may state that they want to simplify their Payroll processes. That is a very broad statement for me. It is to the point and does say what their end goal is, but I will need to learn how they do things currently (the As-Is) and then unpick the processes to find the real root cause of their issues, in order to then piece the process back together in a new way of which should then achieve the client’s business goal (the To-Be).

This then leads onto making sure that you have a brilliant eye for detail. You need to analyse trends in data and how any changes you make could impact the business in the long and short term. You will need to complete tasks such as Root Cause Analysis, Impact Assessments and Risk Assessments in all projects, to understand why certain things are happening and what effect any change to the process could have on the business.

Now for the part I ever thought I’d say I quite enjoy… Presenting! I am a very creative person; I love art and being told a story through pictures and colours. When creating a presentation, I will always try to take my audience on a journey, visually. Personally, I absolutely hate it when I am sat in front of a presentation where each slide just has lots of writing on it - the words on the slides should be information you already know, therefore, why is it on the slide? Take your viewers on a visual journey as well as providing them with the information they need verbally, and this will always be more engaging for them.

I love my job. Being a Business Analyst is a challenge and I love nothing more than for my work to challenge me. There were good points about my previous roles, but I didn’t enjoy the robotic-like nature of some of them. This role forces me to think outside of the box, which makes me think of the more obscure ‘roads less travelled’ within certain processes, the small but vital parts that some people may miss. I am always encouraged to do better, not because I am bad at my job, but because there is ALWAYS room for improvement and no one should forget that. Perfection is what we all strive towards but it is also something that I do not feel can ever be achieved. Nothing is ever truly perfect. Being a Business Analyst makes me feel like I have a proper purpose, I like helping people and what better way to help people than to take their real life pain points and make them better; to take the stress out of their working day so it doesn’t spill into their personal time.

I don’t do my job to gain gratitude from clients, although that is lovely - I do my job to make a difference to peoples’ lives. Life can be challenging enough without having to deal with long, costly, inadequate processes.