I am a Business Analyst. I am responsible for supporting the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for a mid-size manufacturing business. I do some day-to-day stuff, like helping individual users when they run into trouble, but what I’m working on can vary quite a bit. It all depends on the priorities of the business. We are at the end of our current system’s life cycle, so one of my top priorities is figuring out whether to upgrade to a new version or switch to a different system.
Both options have many challenges, but the latter is a much more complex undertaking, and the one we are leaning towards. With software like this, you don’t just pop the DVD in and hit “install”. Implementing new software will involve working with consultants to learn the specifics of the new system. The real challenge lies with thoroughly understanding the many complex processes in the business, and then devising the best way to model those processes. You must take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of whatever system we choose, the strengths and weaknesses of the business, and deploy a solution that fits all of the business requirements without creating an unnecessary transactional burden on the end-users.
I’m also a bouncer at a local bar a few nights per week, which is sometimes just as complex and usually a little more fun than being a Business Analyst. Doesn’t quite pay as well though.