This is not an entry level role. A business analyst is someone who analyses the existing or ideal organisation and design of systems, including businesses, departments, and organisations. Business analysts also assess business models and their integration with technology.
With the growth in the rail industry, business analysts play an important role in analysing an organisation's strategic business needs, defining and analysing their policies and market business approaches, and interpreting business rules and requirements for technical systems (generally within IT, sometimes referred to as systems analysis). In the rail industry, business analysts are likely to be involved in one of the following specialist areas:
- ICT analyst: to resolve faults and provide assistance and advice on a wide variety of computer systems and applications.
- Network operations analyst: to provide technical support for networking technologies, for administering and managing the setup, maintenance and repair work of network servers and system components. The analyst must resolve and troubleshoot any malfunctions involved with networks or network components.
- Safety analyst: to test and analyse environments, equipment, chemicals or structures to ensure the safety of workers and civilians.
- Performance analyst: to support the development of a performance management framework including proposing changes to policies and procedures related to their work area. The role supports the design, development, analysis, interpretation and presentation of statistical data to support performance functions within the rail sector.
- Financial analyst: to conduct quantitative analysis of information affecting investment programs of public or private rail institutions. They analyse financial information to produce forecasts of business, industry and economic conditions for use in making investment decisions.
In some rail organisations, business analysts may also assist develop project plans and provide project management skills.
Knowledge, skills and attributes
A business analyst must have excellent communication skills. They need to be able to address a diverse group of inside and outside personnel. They should be able to motivate the departments to challenge themselves and reach their goals. The business analyst will be required to relay information from the IT team or department to the clients, in easily understood terms for both groups.
As a business analyst, you would generally work standard hours from Monday to Friday. It is an office-based job but you will mix with a wide range of people and have to attend many meetings.
Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development
This is not an entry level role. There is no defined way to become a business analyst, however, most would have a bachelor degree and rail experience. In the rail industry, a business analyst may come from a technical background such as engineering, IT or accounting. Others may move into a business analyst role from a business role – their status as a subject matter expert and their analytical skills make them suitable for the role.
When focused on specific systems, the term Business Systems Analyst may be used.
The value of a career in the rail industry
For even more details on what you might earn, the diversity of companies you could work for and the career opportunities available, visit the following careers and training websites. Careers in Rail by the Australasian Railway Association; About the Rail Industry by Rail Skills Australasia and Rail Training by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC).
For more information
Your career may take many turns depending on what stage you are at in life and your personal circumstances. Once in the rail industry, to progress your career you will need to complete additional studies and gain further experience depending on organisational and state requirements. Business analysts may overlap into roles such as project manager.
The information provided here is generic. Job titles and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary slightly depending on the structure and needs of your organisation, and government rules and regulations.
The jobs below may require additional qualifications as well as experience.