Contracting as a Business Analyst

Whether it’s inside a global organisation or a very small company, a clear understanding of business requirements, solutions and systems is of critical importance to both day-to-day operations and future plans.

This is why Business Analysis is considered one of the most pivotal roles in organisations of all sizes and is one of the most in-demand contractor skills.

Companies often bring contractors on board to work on short-term projects and to provide skills that the in-house team lacks.

Contracting as a Business Analyst has many benefits over working as one on a permanent basis:

  • The variety in contracts will build up your BA experience in a much shorter period
  • More control over the projects you are involved with
  • More choice of which projects you work on
  • The opportunity to earn more money

What does a Business Analyst do?

Contract Business Analysts are brought in to identify effective business processes on specific projects and implement these through improvements in software and IT systems, and sometimes to also make non-IT improvements. 

The role of a Business Analyst will vary depending on the industry, client and project. However there are a few fundamental functions that all Business Analysts will usually perform:

  • Interpreting and dissecting data/systems
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Advising senior management
  • Creating new IT solutions
  • Assisting in integration and testing of new solutions
  • Providing staff training of the systems implemented

Read more - What is a Business Analyst ?

What skills and qualifications does a Business Analyst need?

Business Analysts typically act as a liaison between the business and technology functions of an organisation and as such need both technical and interpersonal skills. But the particulars of your BA role will be influenced by factors such as duration, project and sector.

What’s certain is that to be a successful contract Business Analyst you will have developed and specialised your skill-set, allowing you to secure successive contracts. At different organisations, you will be expected to ‘hit the ground running’ and will not receive the on-the-job training that your permanent counterparts get.

There are some skills which most Business Analysts will need to have mastered, and as well as excellent IT skills, they will also need to have experience in:

  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Strategic thinking
  • Technical writing
  • Presentation
  • Dealing with multiple stakeholders

Not all Business Analysts have qualifications. Some have just worked up through different roles to evolve into BAs. Yet training and qualifications can help significantly, especially if you do not have many years of technical experience.

There are a number of different qualifications that can be obtained for Business Analysis but one of the most recognised examining bodies for this area is the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS). They have a variety of Business Analysis qualifications at four different levels; Foundation, Practitioner, Higher and Expert. 

How much does a Business Analyst earn?

The average salary for a Business Analyst is around £40,000; however as a contract Business Analyst the average daily rate is £350. Though salaries and daily rates vary depending on project, client and industry, the daily rate for a contractor will more often than not offer more take-home pay than a permanent Business Analyst salary. But do keep abreast of trends by reading our latest market report and contractor rates.

How do I find a Business Analyst contract?

The internet is now the most popular way to find jobs, and a good place to start is online job boards where you can use their search facilities to find the work you are looking for. Jobsites allow you to apply for vacancies from a variety of agencies and clients, and search engines will provide you with the majority of contract opportunities too. Specialist Business Analyst jobsites and ContractorUK’s IT Contract Search will be particularly useful when looking for Business Analyst Contracts.  

By Laura Foster

Editor's Note: Also in this series -

Contracting as a Project Manager