The Business Analyst Career Roadmap

BA career is a journey, with many entry and exit points. The current position of BA has many role families; BA can expertise more than one role .For example, a functional analyst can also have process analysis experience. Therefore your options for career growth have multiple entry and exit points.

Role Families 

1. Business Focused Role Families 

  • Business Requirements Analyst: The business requirements analyst is tasked with helping the business to meet its objectives and goals. He/she will understand how work is being conducted, and through analysis, determine solutions to the issues. He/she will have in-depth business knowledge typically related to a department (e.g. customer service, manufacturing). This role may conduct a feasibility study or justify the investment in change through a business case.
  • Business Process Analyst: A business process analyst specializes in bringing change to organizations through the analysis, design, and implementation of the business processes that keep teams running and the management of changes to those processes. Business process analysts have broad competencies in identifying the current state of processes, eliciting useful and harmful attributes of them, documenting models of the processes and facilitating stakeholder groups to a consensus regarding new business process designs.
  • Decision Analyst – In Demand: The Decision Analyst (often referred to as a business intelligence analyst). The decision analyst utilizes technologies, methods and practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning.  The decision analyst will help the business to develop new ideas and understand business performance based on data and statistical methods.


2. IT Analyst Role Families 

  • Business Systems Analyst: The business systems analyst will utilize broad IT and in-depth industry knowledge to implement IT solutions which address business needs. He or she will identify, develop and implement effective technology solutions that address business needs.


  • Systems Analyst:  A systems analyst performs business analysis tasks through specialization in understanding the business usage of information technology (IT) and helping technology add value to the business. He or she knows and is comfortable with a variety of technical architectures and platforms, and understands IT capabilities and which applications in an organization deliver various capabilities.


  • Functional Analyst: The functional business analyst performs business analysis tasks through specializing in a particular technology product and its features and functions capabilities. The functional business analyst has deep knowledge of the technology product and has to experience in a variety of implementation contexts in varying organizations, and sometimes industries. He or she helps organizations and stakeholders define the usage and integration with other systems and implements the features and functions of the technology product to meet business requirements.


  • Service Request Analyst: A service request Analyst performs business analysis tasks by specializing in supporting stakeholders of a particular system application, maintaining the system, and handling user inquiries, user issues, and enhancements to the system. This Analyst has a deep understanding of a specific application or set of applications he or she supports, how users use the application, and what other systems integrate with the application.


  • Agile Analyst: In the agile world, software requirements are developed through continual exploration of the business need. Requirements are elicited and refined through an iterative process of planning, defining acceptance criteria, prioritizing, developing, and reviewing the results. Throughout the iterative planning and analysis of requirements, business analysis practitioners must constantly ensure that the features requested by the users align with the product’s business goals, especially as the business goals evolve and change over time. The agile analysis is a specialty often held by Business Systems and IT Analysts.

BA Leadership 

The following are a list of roles within this family:

  • BA Project Lead
  • BA Program Lead
  • BA Practice Lead
  • Relationship Manager
  • BA Manager

Enterprise Level Roles 

  • Enterprise Architect:  The enterprise architect aligns IT infrastructure with IT and business strategy supporting the goals and objectives, and the successful implementation of change. He/she develops formal standards, manages the enterprise architecture processes and guides the architectural team, CIO, CEO, and Business Architect.
  • Business Architect: This role works to create and maintain the business architecture. He or she leverages enterprise capabilities and efficient usage of process, technology, data and people, and aligns these capabilities to the business strategy.

One thought on “The Business Analyst Career Roadmap

  1. Abhinav…..This is a good article.

    As a practitioner, I feel that in some cases, one person will be playing multiple roles. For example – For a critical department or a business initiative, a Business Analyst may be playing all 3 roles in Business focused roles (Business Requirements, Business Process and Decision Analysts).

    Also, I am not too sure whether we should call a BA as an Agile Analyst – There were no Waterfall BAs, so why should there be Agile BAs?

    Agile is not a new or relatively recent concept. Before Agile was being used, there were many variations of Rapid Application Development, Incremental and Iterative development and so on. In practice, a hybrid of these classifications were followed. Their goal was also similar to the goal of Agile – produce working software as quickly as possible, make changes quickly, release in increments, involve business folks in eliciting requirements even when you do not know the requirements and so on. I do not recollect BAs being called Incremental and Iterative BAs or Rapid Application Development BAs and so on. So, why should Agile be anything different?

    Is IIBA or some other body introducing the term Agile BA? Curious to know where it originated from and where it is being used.

    Thanks Abhinav for posting a thought provoking article.


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