It is common knowledge that Business Analysis involves a clear understanding of the business one operates in and then help in implementing the projects involved in the working of the company. Right from the word go, a Business Analyst (BA) has to take care of the client requirements, end user specifications, likely problems involved in development and execution, existing and proposed system modalities, and the functional processes involved in the project to be able To execute it to the client's satisfaction. This is a requirement of the very profession of a BA. This becomes the general description of the nature of work of a Business Analyst.
How does it differ or rather specify differently for the Finance domain?
The most important requirement for a BA is to understand the intricacies of the domain, he is working in. So, in case of the finance domain, a BA should know the functioning of the general way of working in finance industry and of course, the specific way of working of the particular sub domain under the finance domain, that he is working in. Examples of these particular sub domains could be Asset Management, Capital Markets, Equity Markets, Wealth Management, Portfolio Management, Banking, Accounting, Taxation, Treasury, Audits, Insurance, Risk, Valuation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Mutual funds, Debt Markets, Foreign Exchange, Advisory, Research, Corporate Finance etc.
Since these sub domains have different sets of rules and regulations, coupled with specific terminology for each sub sector, a good respect and understanding of the various terms used in the day to day functioning of these sub domains will hold a Business Analyst in good stead. Knowledge of performance metrics in the sub domains is always advantageous to a good BA and that shows he knows how the goals are set and performance is measured in the sub domains.
Besides having basic knowledge of the front office and back office operations, the Business Analyst should also have good communication skills and great management skills to work well. As is known, a Business Analyst is a bridge between the technical team which enterprises of software developers and software engineers, and the end user, which is the client of the project. If the bridge is not well-oiled and is rusty and shaky because of lack of knowledge on part of the Business Analyst, the project will fall apart. The business analyst must ensure he is up to date with the latest developments in the field that he is working in, and the specific requirements of the project.
Good management skills will enable the Business Analyst to understand the requirements of the end user as well as the problems faced by the technical developers in achieving the requirements desired. The technical skills of programming and coding and knowledge of latest software must also be known to the Business Analyst so that he can understand the working of the technical team and be able to guide them appropriately to execute the project to success.