Job Title: Business Analyst
Type of Company: My company develops and sells communications software.
Education: AS, Accounting, UMass-Lowell
Previous Experience: I worked as an accountant for 16 years at a manufacturing company. Then I took a job as a pricing specialist at a small software company. Within that same company I moved to the information systems department as engineering change order manager and I now work there as a business analyst.
Job Tasks: I work in the Information Technology department of a software company. We use Oracle to perform our business transactions: keeping track of inventory, entering and processing sales orders, purchasing and other accounting functions. I assist the users of Oracle if they need to make any changes to our business process. We meet to discuss what those changes and how they'll affect other groups. After changes have been made, we test them to if they meet our requirements and, if they do, the new process will be activated and documented. If we decide to track the serial numbers of hardware that we purchase and ship to our customers, for example, I work with purchasing, inventory, shipping, order management, and support to determine the impact that the change will have on them. I work with the IT Developers to test reports that need to be created or modified because of the change.
I also attend training classes to learn about new releases of Oracle and determine how it will affect the organizations that I support. Sometimes I also will be assigned Helpdesk tickets if there is a problem in Oracle with a transaction that did not process correctly. I will investigate the issue with the user and work with him and others to resolve the problem and to keep it from happening again.
No two days are alike; some are busier than others but every day I learn something new.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it is not boring. Every day there is something different to work on and figure out. I love learning new things and testing out my theories to see if they work. I get to work with and talk to people from many different parts of the company and around the world.
The worst part of my job is being unable to figure out how to fix something, or discovering that my theories are wrong. In these cases I will work with the user to determine some type of work-around that gets them what they need.
Job Tips: After working as an accountant for a small company for 16 years and learning how the information from the other organizations flowed through the accounting system, I have a better understanding of how Oracle expects transactions to process. I would suggest starting in a small company in one of the financial departments (like Accounts Payable or Billing) for that reason. Ask lots of questions and learn how other groups affect your job and how yours affect theirs. Get a degree in business or accounting and one in information systems.
Additional Thoughts: I wish I had known about business analysis as a career before I spent 16 years as an accountant. It was not until I took a class on relational databases, that my professor told me i would make a good business analyst. That is when I started to look at changing my career and it took another 5 years, but I am now exactly where I want to be and love it every day. The journey is just as important as the destination.
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