Can Business Analysts also be good Management Consultants?


The topic in question these days may be considered as a controversial one, that is, whether or not business analysts turn out to be good management consultants also. The main reasoning behind the controversy has something to do with the fact that there is no definitive answer to the question. But let’s shed some light and try to get to the bottom of this conundrum.

How do business analysts and management consultants differ?

Although there isn’t a perfect definition per se that can distinguish them as clear as night and day, first we must understand that in the practical world, jobs aren’t fundamentally supposed to abide by said definitions. An oversimplification perhaps but people in both roles are hired to solve a business problem with the pre-set aim of achieving something for the client.

Some people may not think that there is a clear distinction between the two roles. As consultants may also be made to do requirement planning, gathering and documentation. Which are the core functions associated with a business analyst.

Do business analysts make good management consultants?

If one were to describe the role of a business analyst according to a definition, then simply put, a business analyst is associated with IT in more than one way. In contrast, consultants, can potentially also work or perform their job in a non-IT related field of consultation as well. Though the lines which separate these roles are paper-thin, they are differences, nonetheless.

Again, before we rush and jump to any conclusions, it must be noted that this is entirely situational and not always the case. According to the CBAP handbook, consulting experience revolving around IT and tech does not fall under the umbrella of the CBAP experience criteria.

The book outlines what someone in this role is supposed to do.

– “Creating Project Plans and Identifying project risks, Weekly project status reporting, leading design workshops, creating project charter or system architecture, testing execution” etc.

In a way, the handbook forces you to be one-dimensional which isn’t always helpful. One should always try to learn more beyond the role, which can lend a massive hand in shaping a successful career. But CBAP excludes such work experience for good reason though. A major reason could be to differentiate between the PMP and CBAP certifications or any other certification related to the business field.

Fortunately, industry and firms are constantly in search of people with a broad skill set that extends further beyond their role. It is common knowledge that the roles of business analysts and consultants are never one dimensional. A firm would rarely decline a business analyst’s offer, or his wish to take more management responsibility upon their shoulders.

So do business analysts make good management consultants then?

As evident through the job market, business analysts can turn out to be exceptional consultants. Although in certain aspects analysts might have to overstretch to cover the fields of business processes or project management or even change management. If you are seeking to be an exceptional consultant, starting your journey through the business analyst route might be the best option and secret to success.

From a purely contextual point of view, business analysts may differ but in reality, they are sharing responsibilities, in a multitude of ways and different areas as well. Management consultancy can range from the process, strategy, operations, business analysts may fall victim to tunnel vision and limit themselves by only following the guidelines of the handbook.

Conclusively, let us not forget, certifications like CBAP or CMC are credentials that enable you to get a job. The practical experience gained in the field might differ a lot and keeping an open mind towards your opportunities might just do you some good as well.

If you’re a client looking for an accounting firm in Dubai for your consultancy needs and were confused between whether to hire a business analyst or a management consultant. We hope that Profits Plus has helped make your choice much easier, and if you’re still not sure, get in touch with our team. We are proud to provide the best management consultancy services by chartered accountants!