Learn About the Salesforce Business Analyst Role

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss the Salesforce business analyst role and skills.
  • Explore the responsibilities of the Salesforce business analyst.
  • Debunk common misconceptions about the Salesforce business analyst.

When you hear “business analyst” you think.. well.. analysis, right? That’s a big part of what a business analyst does, but they do so much more. Let’s take a closer look at the Salesforce business analyst (BA) role.

What Is a Salesforce Business Analyst?

Salesforce business analyst is a project-based, business-improvement role. Business analysts help guide businesses to improve business processes and efficiency in Salesforce. They elicit, document, and analyze requirements around business challenges, and then produce data-driven solutions. Think of the Salesforce business analyst like an interpreter. They’re the go-to person when it comes to communication between IT and business stakeholders to ensure all involved work together to attain the best results.

That sounds great! But, what skills does a successful BA need?

Required Skills

Here are the soft skills a BA should have:

  • Needs analysis
  • Eliciting requirements
  • Business case definition
  • Requirements writing
  • Requirements review
  • Flow and process diagramming
  • Wireframing
  • Business data analytics
  • Problem solving

A BA should also have at least a basic understanding of these Salesforce technical skills:

  • AppExchange
  • Automation
  • Collaboration
  • Data management
  • Reports and dashboards
  • CRM
  • Platform
  • Sales and marketing

A good mix of these technical and nontechnical skills helps a Salesforce business analyst to be successful.

Key Activities

What does a Salesforce business analyst actually do? There are a few specific steps that take place in all projects with slight variations for each.

Communication. When you think about communication, you think about speaking and presenting, but listening is just as important. A BA creates an environment for open conversations, and clearly communicates information back out to the appropriate teams.

Elicitation. The BA asks lots of questions, with the purpose of understanding project goals and getting clarification on what stakeholders want to accomplish. They interview stakeholders, research information or processes related to the project, and observe teams as they work. This sets a foundation for the project.

Documenting requirements. Documenting requirements involves recording what was learned. This should be clear and concise, so the information can be easily understood by stakeholders and anyone else involved. The BA must be thoughtful about how they choose to document requirements so they can easily share between teams.

Analyzing information. Next, the BA reviews requirements and gets a sense of how to accomplish their team’s business goals. They dive into more detail, and use data insights to identify what the business needs to do to achieve the desired outcome.

Facilitating solutions. Based on analysis, the BA then identifies options for solving business challenges. Then they choose the best option and move forward with the best solution.

Implementing solutions. Once the BA comes up with a great business solution, they need to make sure it’s running smoothly and as expected. Are stakeholders seeing benefits? Is anything else needed to support the implementation? Essentially, the BA is a project manager at this point. It’s their job to make sure they reach the end goal, that it’s working well, and stakeholders are happy. The BA keeps the end solution in mind, and makes adjustments if anything goes off course.

Testing. Remember to test after the implementation! At this time the BA builds training material to support the implemented solution, and records feedback to start eliciting requirements for the next iteration of the project, if needed.

Common Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about what a Salesforce business analyst does. You may be thinking they need to be super technical, that they’re only needed after a project kicks off, or that they are only focused on project requirements. Let’s address the most common misconceptions about Salesforce BAs to add more clarity around the role.

Misconception

Explanation

Salesforce business analysts need to be super technical.

Nope. As long as they have a basic understanding of the Salesforce platform, keep up with platform changes, and have enough knowledge to understand platform capabilities and limitations, the “technical” Salesforce stuff is done by the Salesforce admin.

Salesforce business analysts shouldn’t do configuration on the platform.

It’s commonly thought that a BA shouldn’t do configuration on the platform. This is up to each individual. If they have the skills, knowledge, and bandwidth to do so while overseeing implementation of a project solution, great! The more helping hands, the better.

Salesforce business analysts are only needed after a project kicks off.

BAs are brought into Salesforce projects from the get-go. Many think that they’re needed only after a project kicks off. But getting that initial understanding of needs and scope of a project is one of the most important pieces.

Salesforce business analysts are only focused on requirements.

BAs aren’t solely focused on requirements. Yes, that’s a big part of what they do, but as we highlighted in the previous section, they do much more!

Get the Scoop on the Salesforce Business Analyst Role

If you are wondering what a career as a business analyst might look like, check out the new Salesforce Business Analyst Careers page. This is a good place to start exploring the BA role, and pursuing a career as a Salesforce business analyst. Also, check out the Salesforce Administrator certification, which is essential to becoming a successful BA.

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