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An analyst is a role that will appear every time a company or project is growing. Maybe not from the beginning, but at a certain moment for sure. As you grow, you will one day need someone who is entirely focused on gathering requirements and statistics, analyzing and explaining them. It can happen naturally, with one person accepting the task, or you can hire someone specifically for the job. I find the second option to be preferable: the person will be more qualified and experienced, and will not make obvious and avoidable mistakes.

Here are some signs that your company currently lacks an analyst and needs one:

  • The team does not have a complete understanding of the product, industry, or project.
  • Many requirements are lost in the process
  • There is no clear understanding of what you are doing and why.
  • The “I feel like it” mentality is dominant

In general, analytics are now needed in all areas of modern business, from marketing, finance, and sales to software development and implementation. There are many types of analysts in the market, and it is possible to choose someone who is a perfect fit for you, depending on their skills, interests, or background.

Here are five different types of analysts you should know about, especially in the IT world.

Type 1: Requirements Analyst

There is a fundamental manual, an encyclopedia and a set of rules for business analysis. It’s called BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge). This book was developed by the International Institute for Business Analysis. All business analysts trust him.

In short, a business analyst is a person who performs the tasks described in the BABOK manual, regardless of their position or organizational role. This person is responsible for discovering, summarizing, and analyzing information from various sources within the company.

In a nutshell, a business analyst is a person who is a kind of bridge between the business world and the development team. The main objective of it is to collect and identify the product requirements, document them and translate them into a language that the development team clearly understands.

The requirements analyst must know:

  • project development methodology

  • Methods for writing technical documentation

  • requirements classification

  • requirements management methods

I recommend reading the Karl Wiegers software requirements. It is practically mandatory for all analysts of this type.

Related: Top 5 Business Analytics Certification Courses

Type 2: Systems Analyst

The systems analyst focuses on analyzing the needs of users. His responsibilities often include organizing and supervising the implementation of additional functions in an existing information system or the development of the system itself. The latter includes a set of various components and services focused on automating internal processes and, consequently, increasing business efficiency.

In my opinion, a systems analyst can be characterized as a “task manager”. Although it is quite difficult to talk about something specific: the activities of these specialists are very different, the limits are very diffuse and differ according to the organization and the project.

The systems analyst must:

  • have a technical education and understand technology

  • know the basics of programming (including object orientation), software design, development, and documentation

  • have a systems thinking and analytical mindset

  • know the notations IDEF0,IDEF1X and EPC

  • be able to write SQL queries and work with a database

  • Quickly understand and prioritize requirements, as well as discuss technical solutions and their business impact in language understandable to the customer

Type 3: UX Analyst

The UX analyst, or user interface/user experience analyst, is a relatively new profession. Its main goal is to improve the interface in such a way that it is intuitive and easy to use.

UX analysts put themselves in the user’s shoes and figure out exactly how the interface should work. Such a specialist must know the field of human behavioral psychology and understand the tools that allow him to analyze it (for example, Google Analytics, Woopra, Clicky, Keen and Mouseflow). He must be a very logical person with the ability to interpret rather vague and unclear data.

A UX analyst must be able to:

  • collect data and analyze it

  • make recommendations for product development based on data received

  • qualitatively and reasonably present their decisions

  • be able to design an interface and understand how to make adjustments to it

  • ideally, have experience in marketing

Related: Why user experience is vital for quality SEO

Type 4: Integration Analyst

The integration analyst is a role for large projects where it is necessary to develop software with the ability to exchange data with other information systems. They are also sometimes used when there is a need to connect an additional service to an existing information system. They solve many different problems related to integration and analysis.

An Integration Analyst is responsible for connecting different subsystems/services into a single complete system. They typically receive requirements from a business analyst or systems analyst. They understand the processes of information exchange between systems and, together with the architect or developers, work in a smooth and appropriate connection. Most of the time, this results in creating mapping tables from one information object and converting from one format to another.

An integration analyst must:

  • be able to analyze business processes

  • understand XML markup language

  • be able to develop XSD

  • be able to read and develop an API description

  • be able to work with testing/debugging tools for web services (Postman, SoapUI, etc.)

  • understand the principles of REST and SOAP

  • know the basics of SQL and be able to write queries

  • have experience in developing technical documentation

  • have experience with Jira / Confluence

  • know BPMN and UML notations and have experience creating diagrams using them

Type 5: data analyst

A data analyst must be able to collect, structure, store, and transform large amounts of data. Data analysts then present this data in a form that is convenient and understandable to the client. Such analysts are also called mathematicians-programmers, information analysts, and sometimes business analysts, but with skills in working with Big Data. The quality work of these specialists is based on their knowledge in the field of mathematical statistics, data analysis algorithms and mathematical modeling.

These specialists are necessary for companies that need to manage customer demand. I often hire data analysts to large e-commerce projects or banks.

The data analyst must know:

  • tools to access and process data, such as spreadsheets (SQL, DBMS, data warehouses, ETL)

  • programming languages: R, SAS, C++, Python

  • BI analytics, data analytics, and data science

  • statistics and mathematics (mathematical logic, linear algebra, probability theory)

  • machine and deep learning: they should be able to set up or train a neural network from scratch

  • Data engineering: how to properly organize the reception, storage and access to important information.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the 21st Century’s Sexiest Job Profile: Data Scientist

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