A day in the life of a Business Analyst at Amplify Analytix
Featuring Anwesha Pal
Anwesha Pal is a Senior Business Analyst at Amplify Analytix. She was recently promoted from being a Business Analyst (BA) to her new role.
Although a business analyst doesn’t have a typical day, there are certain patterns, types of days, and different expectations of what you can experience.
We asked Anwesha to walk us through a day in her life as a BA.
How did your day start today? (May 6, 2022)
My day started around 10AM this morning. My mornings consist of planning and preparing for the day, organizing my calendar, and making action items for the day. I have had a few meetings so far today discussing what the needs and objectives of the stakeholders are and sharing insights. Later, I will accurately document my findings and track the progress of recommended implementations. At the end of the day, I will check back on my action plans and mark progress.
How often do you have meetings vs independent work?
Meetings are a big part of my day. I have meetings with stakeholders to understand the business context, business problems and priorities. Collaboration is key. To ensure that all teams are functioning as a cohesive one, a business analyst acts as an interpreter to bridge the domain and requirements gap across stakeholders. That’s why, there are internal meetings with developers and Data Scientists to brainstorm solutions and how we are going to tailor them to the stakeholder’s needs. Understanding client’s business context and framing the business goals are a first essential part of our process. Exploratory data analysis and data organization and transformation are the next key parts of the process. A Business Analyst is responsible for ensuring the data models are in place thereby enabling proper project delivery. Although my meetings take up most of my day, I still find them very helpful because of the fruitful outcomes they generate. If I am in the office, I prefer to have meetings in person so that it is more interactive.
Does the time zone difference affect your work?
Not really. I have been working with clients in Western and Central Europe. My working hours are based on the assumption that the stakeholders are in a specific time zone. I try to schedule meetings around the overlap slot so that I have enough time in the morning to prepare.
How is your role as a Senior Business Analyst different from your role as a Business Analyst?
A Senior BA has the similar responsibilities as a BA, but the outlook is more holistic. I now spend more time on strategic discussions at the account level. We’re responsible for owning an entire account rather than just a project. Owning an account means overseeing all ongoing projects are going well and that we are well-equipped to meet our revenue targets. A part of my role is to also help our new BAs and guide them with onboarding. I am also working on improving BA processes on a regular basis.
How do you manage stakeholder relationships?
I enjoy stakeholder management because I love interacting with people. The more I interact with stakeholders, the more I understand their business needs. This helps us to analyse the data from the business lens and come up with actionable solutions that bear the most relevance for the client.
While solving a business problem, I try to put myself in the stakeholders’ shoes and think from their perspective and translate them into details that developers can comprehend. You should bear in mind to always update stakeholders on any project progress and news because it saves time, rather than just reporting about the milestones. Trust will be built through more consistent communication. Any roadblocks should be immediately communicated to the stakeholders, who are usually understanding of your hard work and dedication.
What is your favorite aspect of being a BA?
Speaking to stakeholders and stakeholder management is definitely one of my favorite parts of being a BA. The fact that we’re able to solve problems and the positive impact it has on our clients’ business motivates me.
What tools help you stay on track on a daily basis?
Our agile methodology and team meetings definitely help keep our project goals aligned. For my personal productivity, I use my planner notebook and the Microsoft OneNote application. The notebook is great for writing down to-do lists and tracking progress throughout the day. I have been using OneNote since the start of my career, and it is useful for keeping notes of important details or for drafting emails.
What is your favorite part about the agile methodology?
Agile helps my teams combine forces in a more effective way. We have daily standups for the projects. The biweekly agile sprints and scrums keep us aligned towards the goal and warns us of potential bumps on the way. If someone is struggling with a task, they can reach out to the team for help.
How do you motivate your team members?
I am lucky and blessed to be working with a talented and hard-working team. My team members know what they’re doing. Rather than simply telling them what the tasks are, I try to explain why they are important to the process. In this way, they can get clarity on what we aim to achieve rather than just being handed a task.
How do you keep a healthy work-life balance?
At Amplify, I have been able to achieve a good work-life balance. This is something I have consciously worked on since the start of my career. I try to take a hard stop after I work 8-9 hours. I know that if I stretch too much, I’m not productive enough to deliver anything. I try to log off after 8-9 hours of working and try to switch off my laptop and my mind from work. The “switch off” helps me be more productive the next day. Thanks to the one-of-a-kind culture we have at Amplify, I not only have the opportunity to grow professionally, learn and bring out my best, but also, I am able to find the work-life balance that keeps me happy and fulfilled.
What are some of the skills you need to have to be a successful BA?
The business analyst position requires both hard skills and soft skills. A problem-solving attitude is a must. You need to understand the business and have an analytical mindset when looking at data. There is a lot of stakeholder management involved, so staying on top of deadlines and having excellent communication skills are important. You should also master the art of active listening as you can get insights from anybody. Communicating (verbally and non-verbally) means to understand the requirements and explain them back to people. The business analyst must clearly explain complicated change processes to help business owners better comprehend the required improvements. They should also concentrate on what matters in order to contribute to the continued success of their companies. Business analysts must be able to gather, analyze, and report data trends, as well as communicate this knowledge in simpler understandable way with the stakeholders. Therefore, good documentation skills are essential throughout the process so that you can keep track of findings and take notes for future reporting. The bottom line is to be concise in your communication, avoid ambiguity, attempt to illustrate facts with graphics or other visuals, and finally, practice effective storytelling.
What is your advice to someone who wants to become a BA?
Anyone who loves a challenge and thrives on the thrill of bringing value to an array of fields by solving business problems should take the leap of becoming a Business Analyst. This role allows one to continuously learn new techniques to find innovative solutions in today’s technology-driven economy. Helping is a reward by itself and is worth pursuing
This is just an overview of what you can expect from a ‘typical’ day of a BA. People that excel at business analysis like the diversity that comes with the fact that no day is ever the same, that they get to plan their time well, and that they get to move things along with purpose and intent. So, if you have an analytical brain, an appreciation of business values and goals, and enjoy finding better ways to do things, then the role of the Business Analyst might be a good option for you.