Book Review – Business Analyst: a profession and a mindset

Book Title: Business analyst: a profession and a mindset

Author: Yulia Kosarenko

Publisher: Self-published

Year: 2019.

IIBA Digital Library?: No

The child who cried “Look, the emperor is naked” definitely had a business analyst mindset.

  • Kosarenko

We all understand business analysis as the practice of enabling change by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value. But what sort of mentality does it take to deliver good analysis? This is the question Kosarenko attempts to answer in her book Business analyst: a profession and a mindset.

In many ways, the book is like other textbooks on business analysis. The text is largely organized around the process of business analysis. It covers the entire process from current state analysis and problem definition through to future state modelling and solution validation, outlining the key activities at each stage. A case study is used throughout the text to emphasis the main points and to provide illustrative examples of techniques. As a textbook guide on performing business analysis, the book is an adequate synopsis of common business analysis tasks and techniques.

But where this book differs in that is also delves into the thinking and attitude required by business analysts. At the start of the book, Kosarenko introduces the idea of the Business Analyst mindset not as a technique or selection of tools, but as more of a code of ethics: being passionate about doing things right and doing the right things. Throughout the book are insights that elaborate on the business analysis mindset in the context of the business analysis process. It is this idea of a mindset and how it applies to different areas of business analysis that make this book different and interesting. Insights include:    

  • The quality of your work is your responsibility.
  • Stakeholders don’t care about requirements. They care about getting an operational solution that satisfies their business need.
  • There is no magic to follow-up – it just must be done, consistently and diligently.

The text is also littered with thought-provoking quotes attributed to a variety of leaders, including Albert Einstein, W. Edwards Deming, and Captain James T. Kirk!

On the downside, the text contains some grammatical errors, inconsistent formatting, and several diagrams seem a bit redundant – minor issues that can be attributed to the fact the book is self-published. It is also worth noting that, while the text largely compliments the IIBA Business Analysis Book of Knowledge, some of the definitions and classifications used differ to the BABOK – something to be aware of if you are planning on undertaking an IIBA certification exam.

On the whole, this is a good book with some interesting ideas, good examples, and excellent checklists. It is easy to read and contains enough good, organised material to make it a handy reference book. While it is a useful guide on how to perform business analysis, it is a valiant attempt at describing the mindset required to deliver good analysis.

While I think all Business Analysts would gain something from this book, early-to-mid Business Analysts are likely to find it particularly useful.

Anna Rajander

January 2022


Anna is a Certified Business Analyst Professional with a career spanning 20 years’ and multiple countries. She is the chair of the Perth IIBA branch and has had some of her thoughts and reflections published at the

%d bloggers like this: