A business analyst role is a versatile one and can be branched out into different paths and specialisations. A business analyst must have good skills in communication and must have a good mind for analysis, these skills can be transferred over to various specialisations in business and IT.
An IT business analyst is a more general type of analyst that does not specialise in specific areas but is well-versed in all aspects of business and IT, and as such would need even more experience than any other specialist. An IT business analyst organises tech-based business projects in terms of their business, software and IT components. Strong communication skills are a must as they are also the interface between stakeholders.
A test analyst or a quality assurance engineer is an analyst more in the area of IT and is responsible for testing software systems before they are deployed to customers. They find problems with software and document them so that the developers of the software have the information needed for them to be able to fix the problem. A test analyst should have a more detailed understanding of software and the project lifecycle. A test analyst should also have more in-depth technical knowledge and skills.
Another career path in business analysis is project analyst, an analyst who specialises in coordinating and administrating projects. These analysts will be organising team meetings, updating project schedules, reviewing customer invoices and organising team members. A project analyst is someone who supplements a project manager and assists them in keeping a project timeline streamlined.
Conversely, an analyst can move away from the business end of the industry and focus more on the technical aspect, this is where data scientists or data analysts come in. A data scientist analyses statistics and data to extract meaningful information so that the organisation can use the information to make improvements to the system or organisation model. A data scientist needs a strong technical education in fields such as math or statistics in order to excel in their role.
Finally, a solutions architect is a person who develops solutions for an organisation. This requires a certain talent for creativity and technical thinking. A solutions architect is responsible for developing a functional solution that meets the technical requirements to solve a problem. This requires a broad knowledge of the systems the architect will be working with.
In conclusion, there are many ways a business analyst can branch out in the real world. With sufficient technical knowledge, business knowledge and people skills, an experienced business analyst can excel in many fields and fill many different job roles to bring value to an organisation.