How To Switch From Software Engineer To Business Analyst?

How To Switch From Software Engineer To Business Analyst?

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Updated on May 24, 2023 12:56 IST

This guide aims at helping in career transition from software developer to business analyst. Follow the tips to succeed in your career.


Have you come reached a crossroads in your career life where you feel that you need to do something else or take up a different professional journey? We all have those moments in our life. Some of us get the opportunity or the right guidance to do so, while others fail miserably. If you are one such person who is looking to switch from software developer to business analyst profile, this article will act as the perfect guide for you.

Moving to a business analyst profile from a software developer is not a walk in the park. However, that does not mean that it is not possible. Many good business analyst professionals have started out as software engineers and switched later in their professional life. This is not to discourage but to show that you cannot hope to make it to the other side without dedication.

Let us take a step-by-step approach to fulfill your wish to become a business analyst. This guide is not for those who have joined a B-school or a business analyst post-graduation program, though we will touch on that topic briefly. So, let’s dig deep and get to understand how you can become a business analyst:

Step 1: Understand the role

The most important step is to understand the role of a business analyst. To perform the role successfully, you need to be cognizant of the differences in profiles of a software developer and a business analyst.

The major role that a business analyst plays is to act as an intermediary between the IT department and the business users who are requesting the development of software. A business analyst also performs requirements analysis, documentation, project management, and data analysis.

In short, you are to act as one of the “business people”, communicating, negotiating, and motivating the team. You must shed your software developer outlook and maintain a different persona. If you are not up for that or get irritated by “business people”, this is not the switch you want to make.

Define clearly from the beginning of the project the scope of the work you will do. Understand –

  • Your role in the project
  • Level of responsibility
  • Resources available to you
  • Your reporting line
  • Objective or goal of the project
  • Specific expected deliverables
  • Expected time of completion for the project
  • Risks related to the project

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Step 2: Gain the required skills

There is no glory without pain. In other words, you must gain the extra skills and knowledge required to function fully as a business analyst. You can gain the requisite interpersonal skills by yourself. However, when it comes to technical nous, it is always a good practice to learn from someone with expertise in the field. For this, you can enroll in a professional business analysis training program or a course to help you become a fully-functional business analyst.

To have a fruitful career as a business analyst, you must showcase the following skills –

  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving
  • Strong documentation skills
  • Ability to run stakeholder meetings
  • Attention to detail and high accuracy
  • Excellent communication and consultative skills
  • Impeccable time management and organizational skills
  • Knowledge of the business structure
  • Knowledge of processes modeling
  • Understanding of networks, databases, and other technologies

Must Read: Top Business Analyst Interview Questions & Answers

Step 3: Develop the desired transferable skills

By now, you have understood the roles of a business analyst. Now, what about the skills? As a software developer, you will have one advantage of understanding the technical requirements. However, can you translate them into something which everyone understands? This is where your business analyst role will come into play.

Next comes your communication with the other “business people”, who have sent the request in the first place. This is where your communication skills will do all the magic.

If you have transferrable skills like –

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Approachable
  • Influencing
  • Good negotiator
  • Trustworthy
  • Team player
  • Good at building relationships

you are already completed 10% of your journey of becoming a business analyst.

Also Read: How To Become a Business Analyst?

Step 4: Assess the opportunities you have in hand

If you are in luck, there may be times when your organization may create a position requiring a software developer to act as a business analyst. This will give you the perfect condition to learn and start your career in this profile.

Most of these profiles are not core business analysis profiles. However, you can get the opportunity to get the hang of some of the responsibilities associated with being a business analyst. It may be as simple as documenting a process. However, as you build your profile brick by brick, you can go for a certification in business analysis and establish yourself in the industry.

Step 5: Understand the business

One of a business analyst’s most difficult areas of work is defining the software development process. You need to build a business solution that is favorable and has a high chance of becoming successful.

It is great to understand the business in-depth to make an effective business solution. If you are a software developer in the e-commerce industry, it will be easy to understand the business processes of your current industry. This way, you will gain some initial expertise in that particular business. Some tips to help to understand your role better would involve –

  • Incorporate regular social activities as soon as possible
  • Take time to learn something non-work related to your most critical stakeholders
  • Hold some sessions outside of the workplace
  • Provide as much information as possible to stakeholders
  • Consider stakeholder concerns or concerns
  • Be honest with stakeholders

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Step 6: Get hands-on experience

Development Business analysts use real-time user analytics and data programs to identify user trends, successful features, and potential user adoption issues with applications. As data becomes more valuable to organizations, so do business analysts.

Business analysts generally rely on software such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, SQL, Google Analytics, and Tableau. These tools help graduates collect and order data, create charts, write documents, and design visualizations to explain findings. Programming or database skills won’t be strictly necessary for a business analyst position, but if you already have them, they will be useful. The type of software and tools you will need to use will depend on your job title and what the organization requires.

Acquiring hands-on experience is the best way to make a complete switch to a business analyst profile. You can build a strong resume with the requisite practical experience handling business analyst-related work.

Also Read: Top Software Testing Interview Questions & Answers


Who is a business analyst?

Business analysts are the professionals who guide businesses to improve processes, products, services as well as software through data and business analysis. They need to work in collaboration with IT and business teams to help bridge the gaps and improve work efficiency.

What does a business analyst do?

Business Analysts analyze and synthesize information provided by a large number of people who interact with the company, including customers, employees, IT professionals, and executives.

What courses are required to become a Business Analyst?

You must possess a bachelor's degree or preferably a master's degree in business administration, management, accounting, marketing, economics, statistics, computer or information science. Apart from this Business Analyst eligibility, you should also have the ability to use basic office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Visio, a common visual modeling tool.

Who can become a Business Analyst?

Anyone with good analytical skills can become a Business Analyst. Some of the skills that one should focus on to move into business analytics are Domain knowledge; Knowledge of various business analytics processes and methods. Skills in various tools like MS Excel, MS Visio, and MS PowerPoint.

What is the role of a Business Analyst?

Business analyst roles and responsibilities include To develop the business case while defining and documenting customer business functions and processes; To ensure that the system design is perfect as per the needs of the users; To help in developing a comprehensive change in management strategy for the court; To assist technically in training and coaching professional and technical staff; To develop a training curriculum and conduct formal training sessions covering assigned systems module; To interact with wide-ranging stakeholders to get the necessary information, engagement and involvement to move a project forward; To define the capabilities of the final product or service; To conduct user acceptance testing; To provide plausible solutions to business problems

How long does it to take to complete a Business Analytics course?

The completion time depends on you and the type of courses you have enrolled in. Most of the courses on Naukri Learning will provide you with ample time to study and complete the course for you to earn a certification.

What is the future of Business Analysts in India?

Business analysts have become a vital part of organizations for business growth and development. They are of utmost importance in competitive industries to make informed business decisions based on historical data. Thus, one can be assured of the fact that business analyst is going to be a hot profile in the job market for years to come.

How to start my career in Business Analytics as a fresh graduate?

Usually, it depends on your graduation. If you are an MBA graduate, you can have a high chance of getting into business analytics as you will have a fair knowledge of the business part. If you are not from a business education background, you can take up a business analytics course to get the required skills. Naukri Learning, apart from various certification courses, offers online Postgraduate Programs and Diplomas in Business Analysis.

How to become a Business Analyst?

Obtaining any of the professional business analyst courses or business analyst certifications such as Business Data Analytics, Operations Research, Project Management, Database Analytics, and Predictive Analytics is a good way to enter the world of business analysis. Companies usually prefer hiring candidates having technical proficiency; hence, knowledge of any programming language can be good for your career as a Business Analyst.

How much time does it take to complete a business analysis course?

Usually, business analysis training programs are weeks long. Even if you start preparing for certification programs, you would need to devote 7-8 weeks of study, On average 10-12 weeks would take you to complete a business analysis course.

How do I start a career as a Business Analyst with no experience?

To start a career as a Business Analyst with no experience, you should - a. Gain experience in a volunteer role with a small company or take up any summer internship b. Go through BABOK reference book to understand business analysis tools and techniques c. Develop strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills d. Join a Business Analysis training institute e. Learn software methodologies like SDLC Model, Component Assembly Model, Prototype Model, JAD Model, RAD Model, Spiral Model, Scrum, etc. f. Learn about documentation, data, and problem analysis, visual modeling, and elicitation g. Learn to write compelling business cases and requirements documents

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