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Companies across the board have started to realize that in order to integrate data engineering or data science products in the business workflow, they must include business analysts as part of the overall team makeup. Business analysts who support digital data projects however differ greatly from traditional IT systems business analysts. Data business analysts should not only have a high degree of business acumen, they must have a strong understanding of data engineering, programming and data science principles.
A business analyst in the data world is someone who can understand the business problem, even do basic data analysis, help explore data sources, help with data mappings and ultimately understand the business process in order to operationalize the data products. A business analyst is also responsible for developing business KPIs and then tracking those KPIs in the real production environment in order to facilitate the creation of a feedback loop for future model refinements.
Successful business analysts possess skills to develop strategic business and project plans, create various use-cases, and engage and communicate with stakeholders at all levels of the organization. They must be able to take a holistic view of business objectives and work with various team members to get the job done.
A business analyst's responsibilities include doing current state assessment, reviewing data availability, assessing data quality, interviewing users to identify business and technology constraints, preparing documents that outline detailed functional requirements needed to address those challenges.
Hiring good business analysts with strong data backgrounds is not easy. This is as a matter of fact one of the most challenging roles to fill. Finding the right candidate who knows data analysis, data science and possesses strong business knowledge is a very difficult task. Therefore it's very important that companies screen the right candidates and objectively assess their skills before bringing them onboard.