In the latest post, What Makes a Good Business Analyst?, Rajan Chandras cites some soft items from Forrester’s Business Analyst Assessment Workbook:
- Ability to think abstractly, identify patterns, and generate ideas and solutions
- Understanding of when and how to escalate issues or needs
- Understanding of and ability to delivery the appropriate level of detail needed for each task
- Interest in exploring and understanding new concepts and topic areas
- Emotionally invested in the work
- Ability to learn by shadowing stakeholders
- Ability to clearly articulate technology in terms stakeholders can understand
- Understanding of the organizational culture and its impact on processes and projects (this one seems obvious, but the latter phrase is more profound than might seem at first glance)
- Ability to drive a decision analysis and selection process
- Ability to recognize patterns in requirements and categorize them appropriately
What’s more, there are some suggestions by Rajan Chandras himself:
- Know the organization’s external environment: its competitive position, current state of the industry, geographical & social factors, etc.
- Know the organization’s internal environment: its financial position, organization culture, IT maturity, etc.
- Adapt to the needs (your language, dress etc.), but be yourself. Imperfect, yet genuine, is fine; falsity comes through easily, and will destroy your credibility in no time.
No doubt, no boss can reject such a perfect analyst. But I’m afraid these standards are suitable for every professionals. That is to say, they create a model to explain everything. It is too universal to be served as a good filter to select the most proper analysts. She or he may more marketable in any other business line.