Business Analyst Training

Corporations are seeking individuals with business analyst training to work with project managers and ensure success of initiatives. One of the fastest growing roles in information technology, these professionals analyze corporate practices to identify problem areas and provide solutions to those problems. Analysts can find jobs in virtually every industry, and the demand for educated and competent professionals are growing faster than university and certification programs can produce qualified candidates. Experts predict that job growth will continue at rapid speed. In order to stay competitive in this emerging market, individuals need business analyst training to stay in top demand.

Companies have been hiring business analysts for decades, but demand decreased as networks of personal computers almost made the position obsolete. In recent years, the need for analytical professionals resurged as a critical element of project management teams. Projects were not clearly being defined. Processes and plans were not clearly communicated. Risk was not properly identified or managed. As a result, projects were canceled before they had the chance to be completed and ended up costing almost double the original estimate financially and in time invested. Millions of dollars were lost. Time was wasted. In many cases, businesses were not able to regain their competitive edge. By hiring individuals with business analyst training, corporations hope to reduce wasted cost and promote greater success within the organization.

Business analysts are primarily responsible for bridging the gap between the corporate clients and the solution team. In many corporations, customer-oriented departments rarely interface with technology-driven departments. Corporate divisions want successful campaigns that bring profits into the organizations, while information technology focuses on new technologies, how they work and methods of implementation. When an IT department is outsourced, the division between the two is even more defined. Business analyst training enables individuals to communicate between the two divisions and bring them into alignment under a common purpose and goal. Competitive professionals must have extensive knowledge in both technology and business, plus communication and leadership skills. Successful candidate can originate in either field. Businessmen who have an adequate knowledge of technology or programs who interact well with customers can successfully intermediate between the departments, identifying needs and promoting solutions. Christ himself became the ultimate mediator between God and man to offer an eternal solution for mankind. "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." (Hebrews 8:6)

Being an analyst may seem easy, but it requires skill and knowledge of many key areas. People with business analyst training must thoroughly understand the industry and analyze project activities within the organization. They need to be able to take available resources and identify what is required to take a project through to completion. This includes managing people and activities of each unique project and coordinating work being done by other teams. Because project requirements are the foundation of any solution, these professionals also need to be able to identify them, define their scope and communicate the needs clearly throughout the organization. Follow through on these initiatives is key. Analysts must be able to identify any gaps, analyze data and structure information that fits within the team's capabilities to further the solution to potential problems. Feedback from stakeholders helps refine the solution model and make it more effective and feasible. Individuals with business analyst training also recognize the need for communication on all levels of the process. Professionals are able to take the information learned in analysis, document it clearly, and present the documentation to many various audiences in a format and structure that is appropriate and understood. Knowledge of different communication vehicles is a must. Timing and approach of the presentation needs to be taken into consideration as well. Each communication is unique and requires different methods and plans. Finally, field professionals must be able to follow the solution through to completion, making sure it is tested and all processes implemented. This may involve assisting the technology team with design work or splitting the project into smaller more approachable phases in order to accomplish completion.

Business analyst training can be achieved through various colleges, universities and professional programs, both in traditional and online settings. Most corporations prefer to hire individuals with at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related subject. Candidates with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) usually qualify for higher paying positions. Ongoing certificate programs are available to train individuals in specific skills and help them evaluate particular needs and apply former training to a certain industry. People seeking to develop a career in business analysis should enter an educational program that utilizes a comprehensive approach to business practices, core competencies, and project management requirements. In 2003, the International Institute of Business Analysis was formed to develop and maintain standards of business analysis across industry lines and is considered the professional watchdog of the profession. Make sure to choose a program that is well-known in the industry and can provide the needed information to benefit the organizations that are hiring.

Most corporations acknowledge that lack of business analyst training has cost their organization precious time and funds and is a major stumbling block to future growth and potential. Few offer internal program to train associates. Companies that do offer training or hire professionals with the educational background necessary to improve overall function of projects, reduce expenses and utilize resources to a greater capacity. Professionals who can accomplish these items and have a solid mixture of customer relations and technical knowledge can help organizations grow and are in high demand.

Business Consulting Training

The business consulting training industry performs a wide range of services for both potential and existing companies. Many professionals, after spending years climbing the corporate ladder, put the expertise they have gained to use by jumping off the rung and into a figurative corner office. In other words, they become entrepreneurs offering expertise to others. As it has in so many other fields, the technological advances and phenomenal growth of the internet has fueled the entrepreneurial fever of corporate professionals who can open for business with little more than a website and a cell phone. Sure, the actuality is much harder than that. But entrepreneurial professionals prefer spending long workdays on meeting the objectives and goals of the business they are growing instead of slaving away for someone else. With specialized expertise, they can enjoy the rewards of assisting other companies in an area such as innovative marketing strategies or sales training consulting. Like any start-up, the entrepreneur needs to consider such important factors as starting capital, the business structure (for example, sole proprietorship, partnership, or a type of corporation), the exact services that will be offered, and marketing strategies. However, the professional armed with the proper mix of education, experience, interpersonal and other needed skills, and a well-crafted business plan should, given enough time, be successful.

Companies that are retaining the services of a business consulting training firm have a separate set of criteria to consider. Perhaps the sales team is not meeting the performance quotas that management has set for them. The sales manager may decide to send the selling force to a generalized workshop. If carefully selected, the workshop may be beneficial and result in increased revenue for the company. However, there are pitfalls in sending either one, a few, or all the members of the sales team to the same workshop or seminar. It's practically a given that the skills level of the attendees will be varied, not only those from the same company, but also from the attendees of other companies who are also in attendance. Money is wasted when each one salesperson attends the same classes, with no consideration of the individual's specific needs. The company may find it more cost-effective to engage the services of a sales training consulting firm. Though here again, the management team needs to decide exactly what they want from such a firm so that money is not wasted in retaining the services of the wrong enterprise. During the search, the team will find that different firms have various philosophies and approaches when it comes to the services they offer. The team will want to retain the services of a firm that is a good match with its own philosophies and approaches. For example, a corporation that sells luxury automobiles to a wealthy clientele will require different types of seminars than a partnership specializing in extreme adventure sports equipment.

A comprehensive sales training consulting firm will be able to properly assess the client's current procedures, processes, and systems, and also analyze the past and current sales performance. Armed with this data, the firm is equipped to design a training strategy that is relevant to the needs of the client's sales force. The recommended training will address the weaknesses that are uncovered, implement strategies and benchmarks for turning those weaknesses into strengths, and propose additional methods for reinforcing the newly learned skills. The writer of Proverbs had this to say about seeking instruction: "So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; . . . When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee" (Proverbs 2:2, 10-11). Though the writer, most likely King Solomon, is speaking of spiritual wisdom, knowledge and wisdom also can provide a firm foundation for a person's professional endeavors. Perhaps the firm discovers that less experienced salespeople have difficulty turning cold calls into new customers. The firm would address the cold calls problem by offering specific methods designed to assist the salespeople in reaching the benchmarks set by management for this issue. The firm will also assist management to set up mechanisms to measure objectives and goals and to make adjustments when expectations aren't met.

Some experts suggest that companies actually retain the services of two separate business consulting training firms. A firm may, perhaps unintentionally, focus on identifying only the weaknesses that they are equipped to address, while possibly ignoring other issues that also need attention. With this plan, the first firm performs the analysis function and provides specific recommendations for the training that is needed to address identified weaknesses. The company can then research firms that offer specialized assistance in increasing skills for those needs and retain the one that best meets the company's requirements. The management team should be aware that sales training consulting firms are not the only professionals who can offer seminar and workshops. Their other employees, such as those in the marketing, finance, and human resources departments, may also benefit from the services of specially trained consultants. Even the administrative support staff, such as secretaries and receptionists, may appreciate workshops on improving customer interactions both in person and over the phone. Entrepreneurs are starting up business consulting training firms that meet a variety of these needs by specializing, for example, in teaching computer software programs, fund-raising and grant-writing techniques, time management skills, innovative marketing promotions, finances, human resources support, and practically every other aspect of business management.

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