8 Steps for a Transition from Banker to Business Analyst

Do you have the 

  • Analytical skills and the passion for building a career focused on bringing technology and process improvement to the organization? 
  • Hunger to build a career where you work with various departments to remove inefficiencies and make the process robust and predictable?
  • Passion for bringing out new systems/applications to help people live better?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then business analysis is the perfect career path for you.

Not only this, do you know that business analysis is one of the fastest-growing professions, with a 14% annual growth rate, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In comparison, the average growth of all professions is only 5%.

According to Indeed’s report of Top 20 Skills in Demand in Today’s Workforce  for 2021 Analysis ranks at number 4 among the top skills.

LinkedIn’s report ‘The Skills Companies Most Need in 2020 – and How To Learn Them, prepared using insights from more than 660 million professionals and 20+ million jobs, Business Analysis skills have made the biggest leap out of all the skills in the 2020s most popular hard skills. It is one of few hard skills that every professional should have as it is required for most jobs for making business decisions.

The SEEK-Australia No.1 Jobs, Employment, and Recruitment site show a projected 20.2% BA job growth between 2019 and 2024.

Organizations today have realized that having highly qualified and matured BAs is essential for improving their delivery capabilities. As a result, they have begun establishing Business Analysis Centers of Excellence (BA COE).

In this context, I’d like to tell you about a Customer and Sales Rep who has 10+ years of experience in the banking industry, talking to me about her desire to transition to a Business analyst position. What drew her attention to the role was the potential impact she could have on the company’s growth by understanding its needs and the opportunities she would have to interact with many stakeholders and create innovative solutions or improve existing ones.

It was immediately apparent to me how she could use her transferable skills and many years of experience in banking to her advantage. I also saw how she could jump-start her BA/BFSI sector career by taking the right steps in her career.

Here are some steps that will assist banking professionals in paving the way to a rewarding career in business analysis.

  • Understanding the basics of business

Understanding how businesses work and what they do is the first step. The American Productivity & Quality Center’s (APQC) generic process classification framework is an excellent place to start. It would be best to read books on foundational topics in business strategy, marketing, and finance. This will give you a broad view of the business and its operations, as well as the goals and objectives of each function.

  • Learn about the business analysis process

Business Analysis follows a process, just like any other activity. The IIBA Business Analysis Core Standard is the best and most cost-free resource. Although it is only 50 pages, this document is highly informative. This document will give you an idea of how business analysis works.

  • Understand the various banking software applications

If you’re aspiring to become a banking BA and have no knowledge about the different banking software applications, your credibility as a banking BA could be at risk. Good knowledge of different banking software applications’ functions can help you suggest ideas, better understand stakeholder needs, and manage banking projects efficiently.

A Handbook of Banking Information could also be helpful to clarify domain-specific information. To gain insight into different banking processes and tools, you could also look at reading materials and additional resources in your company. Additionally, it would also be worth contacting BAs from the Banking Industry to get a feel and learn more about their work.

Although the BFSI sector is a great place to begin, considering the banking experience, it does not necessarily have to be where you will spend your entire BA career.

  • Learn about management tools and tools for requirements modeling.

Business analysts need to be tech-savvy though not performing technical roles or engineering tasks. However, like most professionals, business analysts also use various tools in their work.

It’s recommended to learn tools for state modeling, business process modeling, and use case modeling to be an effective and efficient BA. Microsoft Visio is a very popular business process modeling tool, and you can download a free trial of it. Other free tools, such as BizAgi Business process modeler and Lucid chart, are also available to utilize.

Here’s an opportunity to learn BA tools, BA techniques, BA books, and BA tools to practice.

  • Hone your behavioral skills

Business analysts must communicate effectively with domain SMEs, sponsors, end-users, and other stakeholders on the business side. This includes suppliers, too. Business analysts must possess a good mix of both hard and soft skills. The most important behavioral skills required for a BA include 

  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Empathy 
  • Ability to empathize and appreciate others.
  • Get trained and certified

Earning a Business Analyst Certification is essential to be a preferred BA in the global workplace and increase your chances for success. More and more employers are increasingly looking for professionals with industry-recognized certifications to improve their overall performance, eliminate uncertainty, and increase market opportunities.

ECBA certification is an excellent choice for those looking to get into business analysis domain. It will allow you to stand out from the crowd and give you the extra edge in your career.

ECBA certification from IIBA provides a rock-solid foundation for entry into the BA profession and helps with global certification. The ECBA certification doesn’t require any education requirements and covers all foundational aspects of requirements elicitation and analysis, management, stakeholder management, and techniques used by BAs.

You should receive proper training from a qualified BA coach to increase your chances of passing the exam on the first attempt and enhance your understanding of the BA skills, thereby improving your chances of excelling as a BA in your job. This also shows potential employers your seriousness about the BA profession and demonstrated dedication to obtaining BA skills and becoming certified. Hundreds of professionals have jumped-started their BA career with ECBA training from Adaptive US. Many professionals have successfully made a transition to BA career also with this stellar foundational BA training from Adaptive US

Ineha, an HR professional with an engineering background, got her first full-time BA job in Canada within two months of completing her ECBA training. Ineha’s complete story…

Rakesh has been able to move up in his career successfully from being a travel agent to becoming a product manager and BA in a top global travel company after completing his ECBA training. Here is Rakesh’s full story

Raja relates his story about how his enhanced skills and confidence achieved with ECBA made him a highly sought-after candidate for his dream employer. Also, how he won his first BA position over hundreds of applicants. Raja’s complete story…

Find here more information on how to become ECBA certified and trained.

  • Start from within your company.

After completing the training and certification, using your knowledge and experience gained in the banking industry, you can begin looking for new opportunities within your organization.

The first best option is to look for internal transfers within your bank. This could be from business to IT. Next, talk to your manager about your career goals and aspiration to enter the business analysis profession and look for opportunities to learn BA skills/techniques internally. Be proactive, and look for opportunities to elicit requirements. Finally, you can practice what you’ve learned by shadowing the business analyst on a specific project within your company.

Suppose you are not successful in transitioning to a BA career internally in your organization. In that case, you can update your resume to show your ‘functional knowledge’ of banking and highlight how your experience makes you one of the best BA hires.

  • Learn how to network and make use of it

If you wish to climb higher in your career, you need the right push. However, sometimes the push you need comes from people around you.

As per the popular author James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, Motivation is overrated, and most of the success comes from creating the right environment.

Surround yourself with like-minded people, passionate people about their BA jobs, learn from them and share your experiences, exchange thoughts and ideas, identify opportunities and devise strategies on how you can advance in your career.

LinkedIn and other professional forums are not the only places to go for help. You can also meet new people in various BA events and seminars, attend webinars, participate in the online discussion forum, Join the local IIBA chapter, become a member, and volunteer at local events. This will not only open doors but also expand your professional network.

We are often limited by our own beliefs and comfort zones when switching careers. This prevents us from reaching our full potential. We become overwhelmed by “What-ifs” and get stuck in situations we don’t want to lose. Professionals have shown the determination to make a difference, taken action, and worked hard to get to where they want to be. They have also been highly successful.

If followed with a determination to succeed, the steps given above will allow banking professionals to transition smoothly into a BA position, an inspiring and fastest-growing career.

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