What’s in a name? Is it essential to have the Business Analyst job title?

Recently, I met the attendees of an ISEB training course (ISEB is an international BA certification for BA’s – http://www.bcs.org/category/109115) to talk about the Professional Development Mentoring programme (read about the programme here – http://businessanalystmentor.com/professional-development-mentoring-programme/) and get some market feedback.

(they were attending a course run by Metadata Training – they are a training provider owned by Dr Mike Goodland who I respect as a committed contributor to helping BA’s in their professional development)


I met someone working in the field of Biomatics (read more here) who was attending because she saw many parallels between her job and business analysis. She thought that gaining skills through the qualification would help her perform her job better. She liaised between researchers and the IT experts to assist them in setting up ‘virtual’ research using software (sorry for the terrible description to real Biomatics experts!).

This got me thinking about the importance of your job title vs the actual work you do…



Everyone who has the Business Analyst job title doesn’t always do business analysis or, at least, not exclusively.

Some may also be project managers.

Some may do testing.


Many are frustrated because they’re not ‘allowed’ to do what they ‘should’ be allowed to do as business analysts.


On the flip side, just because you don’t have the Business Analyst job title doesn’t mean you don’t do business analysis.

  • Do you solve problems?
  • Do you manage stakeholders?
  • Do you liaise between the business and IT?
  • Do you facilitate workshops?
  • Do you interview users to understand their problems?


If you use any of these, you are employing skills that a business analyst uses. Some, like facilitation, are advanced skills and can become a dedicated job in their own right!


This is good news if you want to move into the role. You may be a lot more qualified than you realise!

(read more about Core competencies for business analysts in this article)


Some real life BA experiences

There are a couple of stories in the Insider’s Guide to Core Techniques Course that touch on this.

One of the students has also talked about colleagues referred to as business leads taking on some of his responsibilities as a business analyst. (Read more about the free Insider’s Guide eLearrning here – http://businessanalystmentor.com/insiders-guide-to-core-techniques-for-successful-business-analysis/)


The point is simple. You should worry less about your job title and more about your responsibilities.

It’s better to do business analysis with the ‘wrong’ title than be a business analyst and be misunderstood and sidelined.

Many employers don’t understand the value and full potential of the BA role (regardless of the job title!).


You have two choices:

1)      Wait for them to realize and/or try to explain that they don’t understand the BA role or what you should be doing.

2)      Offer your help and assistance in performing business analysis activities whenever you can. Your employers and stakeholders will thank you and offer you further opportunities when you do a good job.


Following the second path is one of the key lessons from the Insider’s Guide to Core Techniques for Successful Business Analysis.

Don’t ask for permission, just explain how you can help.

You will soon acquire experience and expertise in BA techniques which will serve you very well.


The lady I met who worked in Biomatics had the right mindset.

She wasn’t worried about her job title. She just wanted to learn the skills because she saw how she could do a better job.


I’d be interested to hear your view and stories about business analysts who do the job but have a different title .


Also, does your organisation understand the BA role?


What have you done to increase your opportunities to do business analysis (regardless of whether your job title is business analyst or something completely different)?

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