Who can be a BA (Business Analyst)..Rakesh

Being in software development for few years and then in BI for the last 2
years, I believe I know enough and have seen enough to share my $0.02 with

There are many different kinds of Business Analysts. There are BAs that
focus on analyzing business processes and performances. Very oftens, they
use BI tools like Business Objects and Cognos to assist their analysis. For
those BAs who know how to use BI tools and how to develop reports/metadata,
they can be quite technical as compare to those who do not use any BI tool.

There are also IT Business Analysts. These BAs usually work with Project
Managers to gather business requirements, create functional specs and so on,
and then pass on the information to the development team to write the code.
These BAs have to have some technical knowledges besides business

In these days and age, any Jane, Jack and Harry is an architect. I believe
the term is being mis-used and over-used. A true BI Architect should have
BOTH business knowledges and technical knowledges. This person should have
HAND-ON experiences from end to end of the entire development process. In
another word, not just talk the talk, but be able to walk the walk.

On the other hand, data warehouse is a different world. This area is the
most technical of the whole BI/DW realm. In my humble opinion, it is not for
the faint of the heart. In BI, you can get away without a computer science
or engineering degree. But for data warehouse, you cannot get too far
without a CS or engineering degree because of the lack of foundation. You
must understand databases very well….not as a user (e.g. a software
developer is merely a database user) but as a
administrator/designer/builder. You must know dimensional modeling. You must
know how to write code, e.g. PL/SQL, cron job, Perl scripts, etc etc. You
must also understand the business rules very well or you won’t be collect
the right data.

In order to determine which direction you want to take, you need to do some
1. what is my background (i.e. college degree, work experiences, etc)?
2. what industry specific knowledge (I mean business knowledge) do I have?
3. what type of work fits my personality? Do I like to work with business
users? Do I like to work with data which could be extremely boring?
4. and last but not least, what makes me happy? You won’t last very long if
you are not happy with what you are doing.


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