AUGUST 15, 2023
8 min read
How can you craft a genuinely successful product in an industry evolving at lightning speed? With fintech on the rise, the financial services landscape has undergone a profound shift. By leveraging technology, fintech breathes new life into traditional financial services, triggering a rapid transformation.
In this dynamic era, digital-first companies are boldly challenging the established norms of brick-and-mortar banks. Consider this: in the past three years, the fintech sector has witnessed a staggering 78% growth in investment, totaling over $160 billion.
At the heart of a successful product launch is each team member’s collaboration, but today I will talk about the fintech business analyst role, who plays a crucial role in combining business acumen, market insights, and technological expertise. Creating a product isn’t solely about the BAs; it’s about embracing a holistic approach that considers market dynamics, client expectations, and competitive landscapes.
Business analysts bring their specialized skill set to the table, ensuring your product resonates with the market’s demands. By meticulously considering every facet, including market trends, client needs, and competition, BAs guide your team toward a launch that’s not only seamless but also poised for success.
In this article, I will walk you through the responsibilities of a fintech business analyst during the product development process, how they contribute to the success of fintech and not-fintech products, and the essential documentation and tools they employ to enhance clients’ experience.
The Role of Fintech Business Analyst in Product Development
Meet the business analyst, one of the key players in the innovative, ever-evolving landscape of the fintech industry. Their role is like a stimulus, igniting the transformation of every idea clients want to become a reality.
With various responsibilities, they decipher client needs, collaborate with stakeholders, and seamlessly collaborate with internal teams. Yet, their real power lies in their ability to take a blend of ideas and aspirations, molding them into solid, actionable business plans. This complex mix of creativity and strategy is geared towards launching financial products, reshaping the future of the industry.
Pivotal Responsibilities of BAs in the Product Development Process
- Market Analysis: Business analysts gather and analyze data on market trends and competitors, identifying growth areas and potential challenges.
- Stakeholder Engagement: They conduct interviews and workshops to engage stakeholders and collect business requirements comprehending their unique needs and challenges.
- Requirement Documentation: Business analysts document and articulate comprehensive business requirements, use cases, and user stories, setting the direction for the product.
- Financial Projections: Embarking on the product’s lifecycle, they lead in crafting financial models and projections, critically evaluating the potential success of novel products and services.
- Collaboration with Development Teams: Working closely with development teams helps to ensure that the product aligns with business objectives and customer needs.
- Marketing Strategies: BAs contribute to crafting effective marketing strategies and go-to-market plans for the product to ensure its success after launch.
- Product Launch and Support: Post-launch, business analyst supports the product, monitoring its performance and addressing any issues.
Why should you have a BA in your project?
Did you know that around 75% of companies waste money because one out of every three dollars spent on making software goes to waste? This happens when the project requirements aren’t precise. It’s not just about losing money – unclear requirements mess up the work of the software team, delay when the product comes out, and affect how well the product works. Business analysts can join the team to stop that from happening. Armed with extensive expertise, BAs expedite processes and possess a keen understanding of the market and the product’s context. They ensure everyone on the team has the necessary insights, smoothing the journey forward and guiding astute business decisions.
Strategically integrating business analysts at different phases of your IT project is like making an investment that promises returns. Instead of simply cutting costs by reducing headcount, consider this alternative: partnering with a skilled developer and an insightful business analyst. This dynamic duo can expedite product launches, enhance quality, and cater to broader user needs. It’s akin to planting the seeds of success for your venture. So what can BA do for you?
- Discovery. Here’s where the product ideas transform into actionable plans. Business analysts work closely with the team to gather critical information and lay the groundwork for project planning. This collaboration ensures that the product is built on a solid foundation, aligning with your goals and needs for a successful outcome.
- Planning. Business analysts bridge the gap between the client’s business and the technical intricacies. Together with architects and developers, BAs facilitate a deep understanding of the client’s objectives and the product’s nuances. These insights help the technicians team to selec the most suitable tech stack, ensuring a seamless blend of business understanding and technical expertise for a successful outcome.
- Product Launch. During the critical phase of product launch, business analysts craft compelling user stories that depict how the target audience will interact with the product. They skillfully prioritize tasks, guaranteeing that essential elements are completed in the first place. This coordination by business analysts facilitates timely delivery and a refined user experience, positioning your product for a confident and impactful market entry.
- Project Closure. As your project nears completion, business analysts play a crucial role in ensuring that every aspect aligns with the initial plan. They meticulously review the project against the established objectives, requirements, and milestones to confirm everything is on track. If BAs identify any deviations, they collaborate with the team to analyze and rectify these challenges swiftly and effectively, utilizing techniques such as root cause analysis, stakeholder consultations, and data validation. This proactive approach helps address concerns, make necessary adjustments, and ensure a seamless culmination of your project.
What Techniques Do Business Analysts Use to Enhance the Creation Process?
You might be curious about how business analysts employ various techniques to examine business processes and what these techniques entail. As the primary goal of business analysis is to boost efficiency, formulate practical solutions, and attain desired outcomes for the client’s product, they use a selection of techniques to achieve the goal.
Let’s explore some of the most prevalent ones:
- SWOT Analysis is the evaluation method that assesses a business by examining its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, both internal and external. This technique empowers clients to strategically chart the course based on comprehensive insights about their strengths and weaknesses and those of their competitors.
- Process Analysis and Process Modeling are employed by BAs to analyze and map out an organization’s actions, strategies, and tactics. Process analysis delves into the existing workflows and practices, uncovering inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Process modeling visualizes these findings, enabling stakeholders to envision optimized processes that align with business objectives.
- Mind Mapping is a graphical approach that aids in visually representing concepts and ideas, supporting strategy development, analysis, comprehension, and idea generation. It allows business analysts to visually represent various aspects, such as stakeholder needs, product features, and project workflows. This visual representation helps them identify connections, patterns, and gaps in the information, enabling them to understand the project’s intricacies comprehensively.
- Prototyping is a technique for identifying the catalysts of change in a business. It involves creating a preliminary version of the product or solution. This interactive model allows stakeholders to experience and test the concept before full development, ensuring alignment with client needs and expectations. Prototyping also helps refine requirements and uncover potential issues early in the process.
- Benchmarking & Market Analysis are the techniques that provide insights into industry standards and market trends, fostering informed decision-making. This technique allows clients to understand their product’s position on the market and take ideas from their own and related industries.
- Risk Analysis and Management allow business analysts to mitigate pitfalls by evaluating risks and implementing management strategies.
- Interviews help engage with stakeholders through discussions, enabling business analysts to gain invaluable insights into client needs and expectations.
- Functional Decomposition—the technique that breaks down complex processes into simpler components, aiding in understanding and streamlining operations.
- Brainstorming is a technique harnessed for problem-solving, fact-finding, and idea generation.
Why is Documentation an Essential Part of the BA Working Process?
At DashDevs, we understand that documentation is not merely a formality but an indispensable practice demonstrating our commitment to the precision and excellence of each product we develop.
Documentation is a guiding light, bringing clarity and cohesion to the multifaceted product development journey. This meticulous process encompasses a series of crucial steps, each contributing to the art of crafting impeccable business solutions.
- Eliciting and Gathering Requirements
As a business analyst, I know the process always begins with immersing ourselves in collaboration, engaging with stakeholders encompassing clients, product development teams, and visionary business leaders. This process helps to extract essential insights and capture intricate details about clients’ needs and preferences for pioneering products and services.
- Requirements Organizing
Our dedicated efforts continue meticulously organizing the gathered treasure trove of information. We structure product requirements documents, immersive user stories, comprehensive use cases, and intricate process flows. This organization ensures every detail is noticed, underscoring our commitment to total understanding.
- Prioritizing Requirements
Each product owner thinks about ‘what matters the most,’ and BAs ensure they can answer this question when it happens. Each element of product development is thoughtfully weighed against its importance, feasibility, available resources (read money), and the project’s timeline.
- Creating Comprehensive Documentation
Here we come to the main point. Putting everything together, BAs create a comprehensive document that acts like a project management roadmap. It guides the whole team throughout creating the product, ensuring we take all critical steps and have experts with the required technical skills.
But the documentation resides in more than technical specifications. It extends to understanding the end users and their needs intimately. A user story is the smallest unit of work in an agile framework. It’s more than just a feature; it represents an end goal viewed from the software user’s perspective. This informal yet crucial puzzle piece provides a general explanation of a software feature, all crafted with the end user or customer in mind.
The essence of a user story lies in its ability to express how a specific piece of work will bring value to the customer. This approach is integral to our process at DashDevs, ensuring that every endeavor serves a purpose beyond its technical components.
Now, let’s take a closer look at an actual user story to understand better its components and how it aids in effective communication between business analysts, developers, testers, and product owners.
Acceptance Criteria are the precise rules and conditions that serve as the guiding principles for developers during the implementation phase. They provide a clear framework for testers when evaluating the functionality, and they orient product owners during the acceptance process. Think of them as the benchmarks against which the developed feature is measured.
Business analysts ensure that the end product aligns with the customer’s vision and expectations by including these specific criteria in our user stories. It’s a crucial part of the process that safeguards the accuracy and quality of the final product, making it ready to serve the users in the best possible way.
As a company with broad experience in fintech projects, we can assume that the BA is a bridge between business and technology and ensures that every product meets the needs of clients, stakeholders, and the market.
Business analysts play a critical role in the fintech industry by using business analytics, gathering and analyzing data, understanding customer needs, conducting market research, and working with product development teams to design and launch new financial products and services. They balance the technical requirements of new products with the customers’ needs, ensuring that products are both technically sound and meet the target audience’s needs.
With the fintech industry continuing to grow and new industry trends evolve, business analysts’ position is poised to become even more critical in the coming years.