How Do I Know What Business Analyst Level I Am? Junior, Senior, I, II, III, IV?

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As a business analyst, you may come to a point in your career where you starting thinking about moving to another company. You get out to places like Linkedin, Dice.com, CareerJet, Indeed, Glassdoor, or whatever to starting scoping the market for what is available. Every once in a while you see business analyst level designations.

Junior Business Analyst, Senior Business Analyst, Business Analyst I, II, II etc.

This post is going to be my best effort to describe the progression of business analyst skills. I can't say for sure that at the company you are applying to, all the definitions will match, but you will be able to better define yourself, and you can let the place you are applying to determine where you fall according to their spectrum. There will be some overlap

For my list, I cover the BA SME track, which assumes you aren't a manager necessarily. Keep in mind that as you progress in your career, you may not necessarily always go by the title "Business Analyst". You might become and IT Partner, Enterprise Architect, IT Director... and I'm sure the list goes on. This list is heavily based on the progression structure set by the company I currently work for. 

Entry Level Business Analyst, Business Analyst I

At this level you are just doing what you are told, probably by a lead or senior business analyst. You perform routine assignments as required for an entry level BA role. At this point you are just developing your competence by performing structured work assignments.

  • Completes limited phases of broader software development projects
  • Acquires and applies BA knowledge

0-2 years of related experience

Business Analyst I, Junior Business Analyst

Requires knowledge and experience in business analysis; still acquiring higher-level knowledge and skills; Builds knowledge of the organization, processes and customers; Solves a range of straightforward problems; analyzes possible solutions using standard procedures; Receives a moderate level of guidance and direction

  • Reviews and analyzes system problems to identify solutions or make referrals
  • Plans, designs, and analyzes user requirements for development and/or support
  • Software engineering methodologies
  • Basic system requirement identification and documentation analysis

2-5 years of related experience

Senior Business Analyst, Business Analyst III - IV

Requires in-depth knowledge and experience; Uses best practices and knowledge of internal or external business issues to improve products or services; Solves complex problems; takes a new perspective using existing solutions; Works independently; receives minimal guidance

  • Leads process modeling and translates requirements into design
  • Conducts user need analyses to establish requirements
  • Offers advice on process improvements and technical solutions
  • Coordinates and monitors projects
  • Applies broad knowledge to Identify and resolve core problems
  • Project management methodologies and practices
  • Plans, organizes and directs concurrent software design and implementation projects
  • Considers enterprise wide solutions and impact

5-8+ years of related experience

Lead Business Analyst, Business Analyst IV, IT Partner to Business

Represents the level where you can coast for many years or even until retirement; Acts as a resource for colleagues with less experience; May lead a team of para-professionals or support roles; Works collaboratively with direct reports.

  • Oversees and ensures compliance with industry and internal standards
  • Provides input on enterprise-wide technology planning, decisions, and processes
  • Applies In-depth evaluation of interlocking programs to lead development of global solutions
  • Develops strategies for business-critical solutions
  • Leads the design and implementation of new technology across the enterprise
  • Focal point of contact with all stakeholders
  • Recognized expert 

Masters Degree
10+ years of related experience

IT Strategic Consultant, Enterprise Architect

Is recognized as an expert within the organization; Anticipates internal and or external business challenges and/or regulatory issues; recommends process, product or service improvements; Solves unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the business; Contributes to the development of functional strategy; may lead a team of senior professionals;

  • Operates with no supervision in a complex environment.
  • Leads the design and implementation of new technology across the enterprise
  • Establishes architectural framework for enterprise software development efforts
  • Focal point of contact with all stakeholders
  • Recognized expert and at least one major process discipline (e.g., sales, supply chain; services)
  • Sets Company-wide technology strategy and long-term business solutions

Masters Degree
15+ years of related experience

What do you think? Would you classify this differently?


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