The Role of Business Analysts in Website Development
The role of a business analyst is an exciting one. One of the great things about it is that you get to work with a lot of data. If you are someone who loves dealing with numbers, this just might be the job for you. There are plenty of industries that rely on business analysts to ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently. Business analysts are also excellent points of contact with other key people in a business, including managers and executives. Data is the lifeblood of any critical business decision.
In website development, a business analyst just might be the most important person on your team. This guide will discuss this role in particular. You will learn about what education is required to become a business analyst, along with the responsibilities that come with the role.
What are the educational requirements of a business analyst?
Typically, a business analyst will have a bachelor’s degree in business management or a similar field. If they wish to pursue a higher education, such as an MBA, they will open even more opportunities. Business analysts are highly educated and trained to assume their respective roles with the skills and experience they need to succeed.
Since they will be working with numbers, they understand how analytics help business and how they use and interpret any relevant data, passing it on to those who are tasked to make the most critical decisions. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to become a successful business analyst, it is recommended to undertake a Master of Science in Business at a reputable institution, such as St Bonaventure University. Their program equips professionals with the skills to help solve complex business challenges using both powerful data methods and technologies. After all, without a business analyst who is educated and experienced, businesses can be prone to ineffective decision-making, which can lead to such businesses becoming disorganized or, worse, non-functional.
Every critical decision counts in business. Especially when it comes to making the necessary adjustments to keep it running; that’s why when you receive specialized education in becoming a business analyst, you will learn how to develop strategies and learn about optimizing the use of data.
You will also learn about the importance of accurate data. Inaccurate data can lead to decisions that can come back to haunt a business later on. A business analyst can also use their skills to stop any nefarious activities—especially in the financial industry. Fraud and similar cybersecurity threats can be thwarted with the help of a business analyst. Computer science students not only learn about analyzing data but are also educated in being able to recognize different cybersecurity attacks or activities that may be typical of criminal activity. In today’s digital world, a finger on the pulse related to all things cybersecurity is a must.
The role of computer scientists in the world of AI
AI is emerging at a faster rate than ever. For this reason, computer scientists are becoming part of a greater technological development that is designed to make everyday things a lot easier. This allows them to help other scientists and engineers in a variety of functions to make AI better – including solving complex issues.
They also create new tools, languages, and methods to ensure a positive and collaborative relationship between computers and human users. It takes a lot of experimenting, testing, and analyzing data to determine what’s working and what could be improved.
Working in AI is attractive for several reasons. One, because it is an emerging technology, it has the potential to grow much larger. While it’s hard to predict the future, emerging technologies intend on sticking around for the long term as they are developing tend to be excellent career opportunities for those who have the right education.
Furthermore, the AI field provides not only high demand but also salaries that are competitive. The amount of skilled AI practitioners is less than the demand. This means the industry is full of excellent opportunities, with many of them offering higher-than-average salaries when compared to other fields.
What are the general roles and responsibilities of a business analyst?
Here, we will discuss the role of business analysts and how business analysts influence the world of business more widely.
First and foremost, a business analyst must be able to focus on the objectives of a business, which means that they need to understand the business that they work for. In the context of web development, this means that they are focused on building and programming websites for prospective clients.
A business analyst can take a look at data that can be vital for many business objectives. For example, one objective in particular may be to acquire more leads and convert them into paying customers. A business analyst can help implement data mining to decide on the direction of a business’s marketing approach.
Whatever the objective, a business analyst can procure the data to help achieve it. From there, the decision-makers will review the data and decide which direction to take. Business analysts play a pivotal role in determining where a business goes. If the decision-makers are the captains of the ship, business analysts are the navigators.
Gathering and analyzing requirements
Data was made for gathering and analyzing. The real question is: What are the requirements? Well, it depends on the objective.
As such, the requirement process requires addressing a business’s needs. Business analysts need to understand what the goals and objectives of a business are. Furthermore, they need to put together the proper documentation in order to gather and analyze the necessary data.
Let’s circle back to the marketing example as our business objective. The requirements for making such marketing decisions can be based on past marketing campaigns the business has carried out. With a web development business, analysts can take a look at past campaigns. This includes successful campaigns and unsuccessful ones. As a business analyst, you should analyze the how and what regarding unsuccessful campaigns. Was the messaging weak? Was it not hitting its mark with the target audience? Then, gather the data on winning campaigns. What made them winners? How did they convert the leads into paying customers?
From there, you can use the successful campaign’s framework (and the data along with it) and double down. It can be an offer of the same product or service or something different.
Now, let’s go back to the general aspect of the process. Below are some methods business analysts use to gather data.
Interviews: They can do this solo or collaborate with other team members. They can conduct one-on-one or group interviews with past clients about the products or services they’ve purchased.
Surveys: This is one of the best friends of a data analyst. They can employ these by way of online means such as email or social media. The concept is similar to interviews. This will also help them gather data on what was good in terms of the client’s experience and what could be improved.
Communicating with project managers: A business analyst should collaborate regularly with relevant team members such as project managers. Especially when it’s during the lifecycle of a specific product or service. The data gathered by the business analyst can be crucial for both the decision-makers and the product manager in an effort to make improvements when and where necessary.
SWOT analysis: This is an excellent tool that any business analyst must have in their arsenal. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Business analysts can use this framework to assess any strengths while identifying weaknesses. At the same time, they can use it to identify opportunities that can help improve a business while identifying threats that may harm it (or even the industry as a whole). As a business analyst, a SWOT analysis should be done regularly to help keep a website development business ahead of the curve.
This is a list of things that will help make gathering and analyzing requirements a lot easier. Remember that when gathering data, it all needs to be relevant to the business objective at hand. If we didn’t stress it enough the first time, let’s say it again: accuracy matters most.
Translating business language into technical requirements
Every successful project needs to understand the technical requirements of the brief. The technical side of the business needs to know those requirements and how they can develop a technical solution that will meet a business’s most critical needs. This is often crucial in a business such as website development.
The business requirements serve as the framework of how a website should function for a client. They want it to be as user-friendly and accessible as possible. Development teams ensure websites are accessible on almost any device.
User-friendliness and ease of navigation rely on strong design. That is why it is important for website development firms to maintain regular contact with their clients. Whatever the client needs, the information can be relayed to the necessary team. While translating business requirements into technical ones can be tricky, it is possible. All it takes is breaking it down part by part and addressing each requirement using an organized approach. When this is done, everyone on the appropriate teams can have a clear understanding of each project.
User experience and user interface
User experience and user interface are two of the most important elements of website development. In fact, they should be considered a priority when a firm works with clients in building and programming a website from start to finish. A business analyst and a member of the UX/UI team can work together to develop the best possible solutions for a web development firm’s products and services.
A business analyst can also touch base with clients. Specifically, they can ask clients questions about their overall user experience. They can also ask clients about what they enjoyed about the user interface.
This will allow the client to provide them with information (positive or negative) regarding their overall experience with the product and service. The business analyst can report this data back to the relevant people in an effort to continue providing excellent quality service to new and recurring clients.
If the information mentions the need for specific improvements, the business analyst will use the data in order to address these issues.
Facilitating effective communication
Another key aspect to success is effective communication. While working with numbers is one of their chief roles, a business analyst must also be an excellent communicator. This skill will come in handy when they are in correspondence with members of their team, the critical decision-makers, and the clients, among others.
When an issue needs to be addressed, and there is enough data to provide, a business analyst can procure that data and deliver it to the appropriate person. From there, a data-driven decision will be made. The communication between a business analyst and others must be clear and concise.
In a web development setting, a business analyst may listen to a past client about what they liked or didn’t like about the site. From there, the information gathered will be used accordingly in order to improve the overall client experience in the future.
Tying into the previous point of effective communication, scope management is important for every website development firm. Every client has different needs regarding their project scope. As such, a project scope must provide clear expectations set by the clients themselves.
These expectations should include a description of how those expectations should be met along with the agreed terms by both the website development firm and the client. A business analyst can be tasked to outline the scope and timelines on behalf of the firm. They can also serve as the point of contact between the client and the developers to ensure everything is done the right way.
A business analyst will be responsible for quality assurance. Specifically, they ensure that the service a client receives is enough to meet their standards. Whether it’s in web development or any other business, every customer or client deserves a product or service that is excellent in quality while satisfying their needs.
Some business analysts are identified as business/quality analysts or BQAs. Not only do they assume the duties of business analysts, but they also act as quality analysts to ensure every bit of the project has achieved the level of quality necessary. They may also work with the web development team to test certain aspects of the website development project being worked on.
Keep in mind that not all business analysts are quality analysts. Some can be, depending on the size of the website development firm. A smaller firm may require a business analyst to assume the role if the need arises. Otherwise, a standalone quality analyst will be appropriate. Either way, quality should be of the utmost importance for every web development project.
A business analyst can make a difference in web development.
Data matters in any business—especially for web development firms. It takes a well-educated, highly-trained business analyst to ensure that everything runs like a well-oiled machine. If you’re considering the idea of becoming one, you can explore the options that you have currently. If you have a business administration degree, you can consider higher education to open up the doors of opportunity to becoming a business analyst. Your abilities and skills can help you become a critical team member for a web development firm dedicated to building digital assets for their clients in the digital age.