Book Review – Business Analyst

Book Title: Business Analyst

Author: Adrian Reed

Publisher: BCS Learning and Development

Year: 2018

IIBA Digital Library?: Yes

The very nature of business analysis means that it is not possible to take an entirely formulaic and repeatable approach. There is no single ‘paint-by-numbers’ approach that will be effective in every single conceivable situation.
– Reed

The book Business Analyst: Careers in Business Analysis by Adrian Reed is “designed to be a guidebook that will provide useful insights to [business analysis] practitioners throughout their careers.” The book is part of the ‘BCS Guides to IT Roles’ series and is available in the IIBA Digital Library.

Adrian Reed is known as an advocate for the business analysis profession. He has authored multiple articles on various facets of business analysis, spoken at many conferences, and is the driving force behind initiatives such as The BA Digest magazine and the BA Open Mic Night. He holds several business analysis certifications and designations awarded by organisations including the BCS and IIBA. He is therefore well placed to take on the challenge of writing a guide on the business analysis profession.

Overall, this book is an excellent professional resource. It provides practical guidance on business analysis skills and capabilities, available certifications, and common career pathways, outlining how each may apply to individual analysts at different stages of their career. It is exceptionally easy to read and draws information from a variety of prominent resources, including the BABOK.

A particular highlight of the book was the Career trajectory as a BA, a roadmap diagram summarising common routes into business analysis, career progressions and certification options – and it fits onto a sheet of A4. The book also contains some engaging case studies in the last section that outline the personal career journey of some prominent business analysts, including how they entered the profession and where it has taken them. It was also useful to see the different certifications and frameworks provided by the IIBA and the BCS reconciled, providing the reader with a clear picture of the similarities and differences between them.

As Reed himself outlines in chapter 6, readers of this book are likely to fall into 3 categories:

  • New to Role: Someone who has either recently started in a business analyst role or who is considering business analysis as a career and wants to understand where the role may take them.
  • Career Business Analyst: Some who has worked in a business analyst role for some time and is looking for ideas on how to further their career.
  • Manger or Executive: Someone in a position of authority in an organisation who wants to understand the Business Analyst role and how it might fit in their organisation.

It is important to note that this is not a textbook on how to perform business analysis. While it does have a chapter outlining business analysis frameworks, tools and techniques, it does not go into any great detail about their application, instead directing the reader to other resources. The book is more focused on the question ‘who is a business analyst’ (as opposed to ‘how do you do business analysis’).

I think this book would be of interest to all business analysts at any stage of their career.

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

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