A Day in the Life of a Business Analyst

Title: Business Analyst
Education: Bachelor of business administration
Experience: 2 years

The business analyst spends the better part of his days in meetings with clients, learning new software applications, documenting business processes and meeting results, and dealing with vendors. “Business analysts get stuck with a lot of the grunt work in the consulting world,” an insider says, “but the rewards are many—you learn more than anyone else at your level, you have a huge amount of responsibility, and the job is an incredible stepping stone to jobs within consulting and other industries.” The insider continues, “A good business analyst constantly gets job offers from client companies. They are dying for good people. I see my next step as business school.” Indeed, business analyst is the place where consulting firms groom their future leaders and bright-eyed young businesspeople see a fast track to a top business school or corporate life.

9:00As usual, check e-mail. Call our corporate travel agent to get a flight for advanced SAP training next week. I have a desk at our client's corporate office, where I've been parked for the last year. Luckily, it's only an hour's flight from my home office.
10:00Our client is one of the largest drug distributors in the world. We have a team meeting that includes myself, our project manager, two other analysts, a consultant, and about ten people on the client side. This meeting is just to discuss progress, issues, and the like.
11:00Meet with our project manager and discuss a client presentation she wants me to create based on my progress to date.
12:00Have lunch with my main client contact, the manager of Western Region Distribution, at a local tacqueria. We talk about her reporting requirements.
1:00Show my client a mock report and look for her feedback. Try to make my clients feel as involved as possible in the process.
1:30Analysts are often given the task of planning training. I have a call with the warehouse manager to discuss who we should schedule for training.
2:30Lead a session with a marketing group to go over their system requirements. I'm careful to not promise too much from a system.
5:00Type up notes that we made on the butcher paper during today's session with marketing. Talk to the distribution center manager again and discuss a site visit for the following day.
6:00Work on my status presentation for my project manager.
8:00Show the presentation to my manager. She quickly red inks a good portion of it.
8:30Our project team heads out for a steak dinner and drinks. Typically, it's dinner with the team. Tasty, but I've gained 15 pounds since starting work for the firm. During dinner I talk to my manager about getting a recommendation from her for B-school.
10:00Back at the hotel working on changes to the presentation. In bed by midnight.


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