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BSA vs BA: What are the key differences?
Although there is a cross-over between their roles, a Business Analyst takes a comprehensive view of an organisation, seeking strategies to enhance various departments and help the company meet its objectives. In contrast, Business Systems Analysts (BSA) primarily focus on the IT operations and infrastructure within a company, rather than the organisation as a whole.

BSA vs BA: What are the key differences?

Business Analyst (BA) Services

Strategic Business Improvement

Our BAs dive deep into your business processes to identify opportunities for improvement. By understanding your goals and expected project outcomes, they develop actionable strategies to enhance performance and drive growth.

Key BA Services:

  • Comprehensive Business Analysis: Assess current operations to identify improvement areas.
  • Process Optimisation: Streamline business processes for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Bridge the gap between senior stakeholders and operational teams to ensure alignment on objectives.
  • Strategic Planning: Formulate detailed roadmaps to guide your business through successful implementations.

Business Systems Analyst (BSA) Services

Innovative IT Solutions

Our BSAs specialise in translating business requirements into technical specifications, ensuring your IT systems are robust, integrated, and aligned with your business goals. They focus on designing and implementing IT infrastructures that enhance productivity and data integrity.

Key BSA Services:

  • Technical Requirement Specification: Break down business needs into detailed functional requirements.
  • System Design and Implementation: Develop and implement IT solutions tailored to your business needs.
  • Integration and Data Management: Ensure seamless integration of new systems with existing ones and manage data effectively.
  • Quality Assurance: Conduct thorough system testing to ensure reliability and performance.

  

Business analyst vs Business Systems analyst, process improvement, stakeholder engagement, quality assurance

 

KEY DIFFERENCES

1. Focus:

A business analyst’s (BA) focus is typically on understanding and analysing business needs, goals and processes. They prioritise requirements gathering, process improvement, stakeholder communication and strategic planning.

A business systems analyst (BSA) concentrates on designing and implementing IT systems that meet business requirements. They translate business needs into technical specifications and oversee system design and performance. They pay close attention to system performance and data integrity.

 

2. Technical Knowledge:

BAs need a good understanding of technology and how business applications improve performance. They are familiar with data analysis, reporting and project management tools, while they’re highly proficient in Business Process Modelling and requirements management tools such as JIRA and data analysis.

BSAs have deeper technical expertise and focus more on the detail and implementation of IT business systems. They are more proficient in system design, integration technologies such as APIs, database management and the overall Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

 

3. Stakeholder Engagement

Business analysts and business systems analysts engage with stakeholders as part of their work. The distinctions lie with who they engage with:

BAs bridge the gap between directors and technical teams. They focus on understanding the needs of senior stakeholders and then liaise with end-users and other departments to review the current state and identify areas for improvement.

BSA: Systems analysts engage with stakeholders to identify their requirements and translate them into technical solutions for IT and development teams. They can also engage with business process owners to analyse workflows, identify inefficiencies and propose system improvements. 

 

4. Analysis Techniques

Business Analysts use analytical tools related to models and diagrams, such as business process modelling, SWOT analysis, gap analysis and risk analysis. Their analysis is detailed to gather, analyse and interpret business data and requirements.

As they focus more on the analysis and design of technical solutions, a BSA’s analysis includes data flow diagrams to follow workflows and processes, system requirements analysis, use-case analysis and process mind mapping.

 

WHERE DO BAs & BSAs OVERLAP?

BAs and BSAs work closely together and their roles sometimes overlap. Even though they may have different roles on paper, there are times when a BA can perform the role of a BSA and vice versa. Here are some of the areas where they share the same skills and competencies:

  • Requirements Gathering: Both roles involve collecting and analysing information from business stakeholders and technical teams to define project requirements
  • Both create detailed documentation to capture and convey business and technical requirements
  • The main intention for both roles is to improve processes and enhance business efficiency
  • Both ensure the final solution meets all of the specified requirements and deliver genuine business value
  • Both roles require strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • As both roles require collaborating with development teams, they both possess good technical knowledge

 

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES

Even though they share many common skills and competencies, BAs focus more on business processes and stakeholder management, whilst BSAs focus more on technical expertise such as system design, data modelling and data integration.

 

Business Analyst

  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving: BAs analyse complex business problems and identify solutions for each specific business process and objectives
  • Communication skills: Their role involves engaging with stakeholders of all levels and clearly explaining technical information
  • Business process modelling: Skilled in mapping and analysing business processes to identify and implement improvements
  • Stakeholder management: BAs manage relationships with internal and external business stakeholders.
  • Industry knowledge: In-depth understanding of industry-specific trends and best practices to provide relevant business insights

 

Business Systems Analyst

  • Technical Proficiency: Deep understanding of IT systems, software development life cycle (SDLC) and system architecture
  • System requirements analysis: Ability to translate business requirements into detailed technical specifications and system design documents
  • Technical communication: BSAs can translate technical jargon into a more understandable language for non-technical stakeholders
  • Data analysis: While BAs share similar data skills, system analysts are proficient in analysing data requirements and designing data models
  • Quality assurance and testing: With their technical knowledge, BSAs have the core skills required for developing test plans and performing system testing

 

WHEN WOULD YOU NEED TO USE A BA or BSA?

As you can tell from the variations in the job roles, there are different circumstances when a business would employ a BA or a BSA.

Business Analyst

  • Identifying business needs and opportunities
  • Improving business processes
  • Stakeholder communication and requirement gathering
  • Strategic planning and decision-making

 

Business Systems Analyst

 

Combined Scenarios

There are, of course, tasks and projects which can be fulfilled by both a BA and a BSA. Here are some examples of those situations and what each professional would bring to the table:

1. Project Initiation and Planning

Business Analyst: Gather high-level business requirements, perform stakeholder analysis and define project scope.

Systems Analyst: Translate high-level requirements into technical specifications, identify technical constraints and plan system architecture

 

2. Business Process Automation

Business Analyst: Identifying processes suitable for automation, gathering business requirements and defining success metrics

Business Systems Analyst: Design the technical solution for automation, select appropriate tools and technologies and ensure seamless integration with existing systems.

 

3. New Product Development

Business Analyst: Conduct market research, define business objectives and gather requirements from potential users.

Business Systems Analyst: Desing the technical architecture of the product, ensuring scalability and performance and collaborating with the development team to build the product.

 

Achieve Your Business Goals with PSP Aglie IT

Ready to take your business to the next level? Our team of expert BAs and BSAs are here to help you bridge the gap between your strategic objectives and technical requirements. Please get in touch today to learn how we can transform your business productivity and performance.

 

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9th July 2024