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Most Important interview questions to expect in a Business Analyst Interview

March 28, 2015
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With businesses growing day by day, Business Analytics is gaining importance for analyzing the performance of these businesses. It not a surprise that need for good and professional business analysts has reached the saturation level. Aspirants going for Business Analyst career must understand how important Business Analytics is today.

A Business Analyst is an individual who analyzes and undertakes the task of understanding changing business needs, assessing the impact of those changes on business, analyzing and documenting requirements, supporting the communication process and delivery of requirements with relevant stakeholders. The role of a Business Analyst is often seen as a communication bridge between IT and the business stakeholders. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) describes the role as "a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals."

Now if you have a Business Analyst Interview lined up for yourself, how will you prepare for it? Just mugging up the concepts of Analytics and a pleasing personality will help you to a certain extent. But what if you already know some of the questions that you can expect in the interview! Won’t that be cool? So relieve your stress, understand the questions and know the answers to it and tune yourself up for the big day.

10 Important Interview Questions and their Answers

1. What do you see as the key skills of a business analyst?

Answer: There are several skills required to be a successful Business Analyst. They are not just linited to your work. These skills even include your personal qualities and approach towards your clients. Some of the key skills expected from any Business Analyst are:

• Customer Service skills

• Strategic thinking approach

• Good communication skills

• Collaborating with other employees and colleagues

• Analytical skills

• Leadership skills

• Customer oriented

• Ability to drive and adapt to the changes.

2. What is a use case model?

Answer: A business analysis presentation of the steps involved in defining the interactions between a user (actor) and a system (computer system) is termed as use case model. It gives details on the interactions and sets the expectations of how the user will work within the system. The use case model consist of 2 main elements:

• Use case diagram – It is a graphical representation that details which actors can operate which use cases

• Use case description – It is a detailed textual step by step presentation of interactions and dialogue between the actor and the system.

3. What is an activity diagram and why is it significant?

Answer: An activity diagram is a simple and intuitive type of a flow chart which enables analysts to present a robust and easy visual of the workflow of a business use case. The objective of activity diagram is to show various activities taking place in an organization in different departments. Different departments in any organization like HR, Accounts, Sales, etc. have access to the screens that relate to their fields but activity diagrams highlight the differences in the departments which help the developers when they code and design. The important elements in Activity diagram are initial nodes, control flows, activities, decisions, guard conditions, a fork and join and end nodes.

4. Define SaaS?

Answer: SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is related to cloud computing. It is an online software for which you just need an internet connection and a web browser. Unlike other softwares, you need not have to install it on your machine. SaaS is a software delivery model in which the software, and usually the data, are hosted “in the cloud”

5. What is a BCG Matrix?

Answer: To evaluate and analyze the business units and product offerings of corporations, the Boston Consulting Group developed the BCG Matrix in 1986. Companies use this simple 2 x 2 matrix as an analytical tool in portfolio analysis, strategic management, product management, and brand marketing.

BCG Matrix model

Question Marks: These are the business having low market share in a fast growing market. As the market growth is strong, there is a potential for Question Marks to grow. They require large amounts of capital to gain in market share.

Stars: These businesses enjoy large market share in fast growing market. Stars boast a prominent market position for the time. They require investment of resources to maintain or increase their market share if the market continues to grow.

Dogs: These businesses have a low market share in a slow growing and mature market. They are small projects with small amount of capital allocated to support them. They barely make enough to sustain themselves and are the weakest of situations.

Cash Cows: These businesses enjoy a relatively high market share with a low market growth. It represents the already matured market and the business is well established and positioned in the market. These businesses generate revenue which is in excess of what is required for sustenance.

6. What is PEST analysis and what is its importance??

Answers: PEST basically stands for Political, Economic, Social and Technological. PEST analysis is used to assess the above four external factors in relation to your business situation. It is beneficial for your business as them help in understanding how these 4 factors will affect your business in the long term. A detailed understanding of PEST analysis can be obtained from our blog.

7. What do you know about GAP Analysis and what is its importance?

Answer: GAP analysis is the process of comparing the current state and the proposed state of any business and its functionalities. It comes under the Enterprise Analysis which is a knowledge area of a business Analyst. It helps in determining what steps need to be taken to meet the proposed state requirements for the business. In simple language it can be defined as a gap between 2 questions - ‘Where we are?’ and ‘Where we want to be?’

This analysis can be conducted for:

• How the Current business process activities and steps are vs how will be the future business process activities and steps.

• How the data that a system provides to an interface is now vs how the data needs to be provided in the future

• How well a business meets certain goals and metrics now versus the targeted goals and metrics in the future.

8. What is UML modeling?

Answer: UML is Unified Modeling Language. UML is the standard that the industry uses for visualizing, documenting and constructing various components of a system. It is a modeling standard used primarily for software development, but can also be used for other conceptual models such as describing job roles, business processes and organizational functions. For Business Analysts UML is being able to represent requirements with use cases, class diagram and state diagrams. For Business Analysts, the important part of understanding UML is in understanding the diagram tools and when and how to use them best.

9. What is the importance of a flow chart?

Answer: A flow chart is a tool that provides a graphical representation of a process. This chart will make a system easy to understand for everyone that is involved with the project that is underway. If you have a massive and complex project with many entities, data, data sources, data destinations and processes involved, a data flow chart is one of the most effective ways of making sense of all that data. The flowchart mostly concerns itself with the flow of data through the system. It is popularly used in Structured Systems Analysis and Design.

Source: businessanalystlearnings

flowchart example

10. As a business analyst, what tools, you think are more helpful?

Answer: The degree and frequency to which a management performs the analysis of a company decides the success or failure in a business. Using business analysis tools can help greatly in increasing productivity and efficiency of work which will lead to business success. Some of the tools which are popular and usually used by Business analyst are:

• ERP system – This system gathers information from accounting system, inventory records, sales performance and other key elements of your business. Having this information at your fingertips completes the prime step in performing regular business analysis to see if your company is operating efficiently. It also helps in identifying potential problems which can be worked on.

• Microsoft Word – Microsoft word is another important tool which almost every business analyst uses. MS word is very handy in preparing requirements specification documents in absence of Requirement Management Tools. Templates can be created for the documentation of software requirements. Through MS word you can even set preferred fonts, apply your company’s theme, embed external objects such as a Visio diagrams or Excel worksheets, etc.

• Microsoft Excel – Excel is one of the most powerful tools when you require any kind of Data analysis on the job. With MS Excel you can create pivot tables, examine trends in the data, sort and filter data, create charts or graphs, etc. It provides many built-in mathematical and financial functions that can help in analysis.

• Balsamiq - It is a very useful tool through which you can create wireframes quickly in brainstorming sessions. It is also useful for getting immediate feedback from stakeholders. Business analysts and designers use this category of tools for creating mockups which can be converted into actual designs after signing off.

• Rational Requisite Pro – It is one of the most important Requirements Management tools. Working on a large project in a business analyst team will require a concrete tool for managing your requirements. It provides the functionality of Word processing along with the capability to sort and query data using a dynamic database. Tracing requirements along with their changes and prioritize them for implementation becomes easy with this tool.

These are the 10 important questions you can expect and prepare yourself for before going for a business analyst interview. But hold on, we are not done yet. We give you one more BONUS question and the answer to it, so here it is:

BONUS question: What is Pareto Analysis?

Answer: Pareto Analysis includes application of the Pareto Principle as a decision making technique. Also known as the 80/20 rule, Pareto analysis is frequently used within the context of quality control and defect resolution. It suggests that a vital few factors or causes are responsible for producing the majority of the problems. It plots the distribution of events in a standard Pareto Chart.

"For easy accessibility to these Q&As, we are providing you with the PDF file for the same which you can download and carry with you on your Laptop or Phone wherever and whenever you go."

Let us know how you fair in your interview and all the best!


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