Identifying the Education Needs of the Business Analyst: An Australian Study

Deborah Richards, Mauricio Marrone

Abstract


The Business Analyst (BA) plays a key role in ensuring that technology is appropriately used to achieve the organisation’s goals. This important mediating role is currently in high (unmet) demand in many English-speaking countries and thus more people need to be trained for this role. To determine the educational and/or training needs of a BA we conducted a survey in the Information and Communication Technology industry in Australia. The survey items are based on prior studies of information systems educational requirements and the internationally-developed Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) that has been endorsed by the Australian Computer Society. From the literature we identified three types of skills: soft, business and technical. With the increasing importance of GreenIT and the pivotal role that the BA could play in green decision making, we added a fourth type of skill: green. The survey considers 85 skills, their importance, the level of attainment of that skill, skill gaps and types of skills. Results show that all soft skills were considered to be important with the smallest knowledge gaps. Selected business skills and green skills were seen to be important. Technical skills were considered less important, but also where the largest knowledge gaps existed. Further we asked respondents whether each skill should be acquired via an undergraduate or postgraduate degree and/or industry training and experience. We found that the workplace was considered the most appropriate place to acquire and/or develop all skills, except the ability to innovate. While we found that softskills should be taught almost equally at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, business and green skills were more appropriate in a postgraduate degree. In contrast, technical skills were best acquired in an undergraduate program of study.

Keywords


business analyst; information systems education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v18i2.803

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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