Information Systems Business Analyst

Overview

IS (Information Systems) Business Analyst Overview

IS (Information Systems) Business Analyst apprentices are taught how to investigate business situations, identify and evaluate options for improvement and define the features required by organisations. They'll understand and present solutions on how information systems can be used to improve operational efficiency, and support acceptance testing to ensure that the proposed solution meets the defined requirements.

To achieve their IS Business Analyst apprenticeship, apprentices must:

  • Submit a portfolio of evidence showing how they have applied the knowledge from these modules to projects and activities in their workplace.
  • Complete their formal End Point Assessment, which comprises: a synoptic project to showcase knowledge and skills from across the apprenticeship; a review of their portfolio of evidence; and a final interview with an independent EPA assessor.

Successful IS Business Analyst apprentices go on into roles such as an IS Business Analyst, IT Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Requirements Analyst/Engineer and Business Process Analyst.

Technical Competencies

Upon completion of their IS Business Analyst apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:

  • apply structured techniques to investigate wants, needs, problems and opportunities
  • document the current situation and apply relevant techniques to structure information
  • assist in the recommendation of business and IS changes
  • model business situations with clearly-defined boundaries using contemporary modelling techniques and digital modelling tools
  • analyse business process models to identify opportunities for improvement
  • redesign business process models using different scenarios and different solution models
  • analyse, validate, prioritise and document functional and non-functional requirements for business situations
  • identify data requirements relating to business improvement
  • assist in the management and controlled change of requirements
  • create data models to illustrate how data is represented within a business system
  • revise the data model in accordance with different proposed solutions
  • compare current and future state business situations with a view to developing a roadmap for business improvement
  • define acceptance tests for business change and IS solutions
  • identify stakeholders impacted by a proposed change, understand their perspectives and assess how their interests are best managed
  • assess and document the drivers, costs, benefits and impacts of a proposed business change

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their IS Business Analyst apprenticeship, individuals will understand:

  • how to conduct internal and external environmental analysis of an industry domain
  • how business change and system development lifecycles work, including the use of appropriate methodologies and impact of organisational culture
  • the role of the IS Business Analyst and its relationship with other roles on a business change initiative including those with system development responsibility
  • the value of Business Analysis in improving the IS system performance of an organisation
  • what is meant by IS Business Analysis and the stages of activity that constitute it
  • the procedures, tools and techniques that can be used to conduct all stages of IS Business analysis
  • the approach to investment appraisal, benefits realisation and management
  • the purpose and value of quality assurance techniques
  • the role and application of contemporary modelling software and techniques in modelling the current and proposed business processes
  • how to scope, plan and manage Business Analysis tasks
  • how to document options, proposals and plans arising from a specified IT Business Analysis assignment and the sign-off process
  • the importance of communicating effectively and in a timely manner with a range of stakeholders during an IS Business Analysis assignment

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours

  • logical and creative thinking skills to help solve business change challenges
  • analytical and problem solving skills within IS and business change environments
  • ability to work independently and to take responsibility appropriate to the role
  • can use own initiative in a range of IS business change situations
  • a thorough and organised approach: planning analysis activities in line with business priorities
  • ability to work with a range of internal and external people impacted by IS business change
  • ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations such as IS business change workshops and interviews
  • maintain productive, professional and secure working environment within relevant organisational and legislative requirements

Funding

£18,000

Level

This is a level 4 apprenticeship.

Professional Recognition

This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.

Duration

The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.

Registration to the Register of IT Technicians (RITTech)

Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

Curriculum

Information Systems Business Analyst curriculum

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programme covers all mandatory knowledge and skills outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Every Firebrand apprentice attends a suite of market-leading training programmes, to cover knowledge required from the apprenticeship standard. This training is then fleshed out through a package of selected online learning, which also allows apprentices to explore any topics of particular interest/importance to them in greater depth.

How are apprentices taught?

Apprentices receive a range of market-leading training as part of their qualification – typically between three and five courses per apprenticeship - giving them fundamental skills at speed.

We'll deliver all the knowledge apprentices need to learn for each knowledge module in the Standard through our Lecture | Lab | Review delivery. Apprentices then attend a Syllabus Review Session to cover the knowledge content covered in the apprenticeship standard.

The information below outlines the training curriculum delivered for each Knowledge Module through Firebrand's residential classroom-based training and online learning modules.


Knowledge and Understanding

BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis

  • Understand the role and competencies of a business analyst
  • Strategy analysis
  • Understand business system and business process modelling
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Understand and learn investigation and modelling techniques
  • Requirements engineering
  • Analyse business case development
  • Management of business change

BCS Certificate in Requirements Engineering

  • Explain the importance of linking requirements to the Business Case
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the requirements engineering process
  • Explain the use of a range of requirements elicitation techniques and the relevance of the techniques to business situations
  • Analyse, prioritise and organise elicited requirements
  • Document requirements
  • Identify problems with requirements and explain how requirements documentation may be improved
  • Create a model of the features required from a system
  • Interpret a model of the data requirements for an information system
  • Describe the principles of Requirements Management and explain the importance of managing requirements
  • Describe the use of tools to support Requirements Engineering
  • Explain the process and stakeholders involved in Requirements Validation

BCS Certificate in Modelling Business Processes

  • Identify and model core business processes at an organisational level
  • Identify and model business processes at the process level
  • Identify the events that trigger the business processes
  • Identify the outcomes from the business processes
  • Model the actors, tasks and process flows that comprise a business process
  • Analyse the tasks within a business process
  • Identify the business rules applied within tasks
  • Analyse the performance issues of individual tasks
  • Identify the performance measures applied within a business process
  • Analyse and improve business processes

BCS Certificate in Business Analysis Practice

  • Describe how a business strategy is developed
  • Use strategic analysis techniques
  • Describe the need for project discipline
  • Explain techniques to investigate an organisation’s business systems
  • Describe an approach to improving business systems
  • Explain the importance of stakeholder management and use a stakeholder analysis technique
  • Use techniques for the analysis and modelling of business systems
  • Describe how recommendations for business improvement may be identified
  • Describe the contents of a rigorous business case for the development and implementation of business changes
  • Identify costs, benefits, impacts and risks for an option in a business case

Prerequisites

Who can enroll on a Information Systems Business Analyst apprenticeship?

Is there an upper age limit for someone that wants to go on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol as long as they’re over 16 - there’s no upper age limit. With a desire to learn and a real interest in IT, Firebrand will teach individuals everything else they need to know to succeed.

What's the minimum educational criteria for entry onto Firebrand's apprenticeship programme?

We don't set specific educational criteria - all our programmes are designed to upskill individuals with no prior experience. We only require apprentices to pass the Functional Skills diagnostic prior to enrolling on the programme (see below).

It's up to an employer whether they wish to specify any particular qualifications or experience (such as GCSEs or a relevant lower-level apprenticeship) as part of their application process.

I have someone that I want to put on an apprenticeship but they have no GCSEs in English and Maths. Can they still enrol on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol on an apprenticeship without GCSEs. However, they will be required to pass a Level 2 Functional Skills assessment in both English and Maths as part of their apprenticeship.

During enrolment, we'll ask apprentices to take an online test to determine whether they meet Level 2 standards in English and Maths, before they start the programme. As long as they reach this standard, they can begin the programme. Our Functional Skills tutor will work with them to ensure they pass the exams during the first months of their apprenticeship.

My potential apprentice has an IT based degree. Are they eligible?

Possibly. We look at every case individually to see whether an individual's previous learning makes them suitable for an apprenticeship. In most cases, as long as there is clear evidence that an individual requires the skills to do their job and has not received previous training in most of those specified, then they are eligible. Even where an individual has some of the skills required, we may be able to adjust the programme (and the price) so they can get the training they need.

However, as apprenticeships are intended for individuals who need to learn skills from scratch, Firebrand’s digital programmes may not be suitable if candidates have extensive qualifications or work experience that cover the skills to be taught in the programme.

My apprentice doesn't want to learn through residential training. Can we still use Firebrand as a provider?

Not really. Our residential training courses are absolutely fundamental to our apprenticeships - this is when apprentices get the knowledge and skills they need to pass exams that show they've met the requirements of the apprenticeship. The supporting training we offer helps to prepare for these courses, but doesn't deliver the full spectrum of learning.

Over 20 years of residential delivery, we've consistently seen the benefits of professionals being able to acquire an entire skillset - and take their exam - in one out-of-office period. The immersive, no-distractions approach really allows them to focus on their learning, rather than feeling they're being called away from the day job. They take exams with the knowledge still 'fresh' and return to work with all the skills they need to progress.

End Point Assessment

How are Information Systems Business Analyst apprentices assessed?

An End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final step in the apprenticeship journey. Each apprentice is assessed by an independent organisation, who checks the individual can demonstrate all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by their apprenticeship standard.

What happens during EPA?

Before EPA, apprentices enter a 'Gateway' period, where Firebrand's Learning Mentor will work with the employer, the apprentice and our Quality Team to judge whether the apprentice has fully met all requirements of the standard. After that, they will formally enter the EPA process and complete all the elements for that standard. The full EPA takes around 12 weeks to complete.

EPA elements vary slightly between digital standards, but all include a combination of the following:

Summative Portfolio

Apprentices collect evidence of how they have applied the knowledge, skills and behaviours learned during training as part of their job. This evidence is uploaded to their OneFile account, and monitored by their Learning Mentor and the Quality Team to ensure it is comprehensive and relevant. This evidence - the Summative Portfolio - is submitted to demonstrate their professional development over time. Summative Portfolio evidence can be written, image-based, audio or video – whatever medium helps apprentices get the point across best. Every apprentice's Summative Portfolio will include a series of projects, longer-form pieces of evidence showing how multiple skills have been used on a particular piece of work. 

Synoptic Project

This is an extended, specific project task set by the EPA organisation, which is designed to allow apprentices to use a variety of skills to achieve a relevant solution to a previously unknown problem. Apprentices select their project from a shortlist of options. Synoptic projects ('synoptic' just means 'providing a general summary') last for approximately 40 hours, and must be completed in the workplace under supervised conditions. This allows assessors to 'benchmark' apprentices from different companies and in different jobs within a similar context.

Case Study Presentation

Instead of the Synoptic Project, some standards include a Case Study to help assessors make consistent judgements. As for the Synoptic Project, EPA organisations set a shortlist of possible titles, from which apprentices choose one for further development. They have 20 hours to complete the case study, before delivering the results of their work as a 20-minute presentation to an EPA assessor. The presentation includes a question-and-answer session on the apprentice's approach and methods. 

Knowledge Tests

Some standards don't include knowledge exams or certifications as part of the training requirements. Instead, apprentices' knowledge is assessed through a series of multiple-choice tests during EPA, which align to each of the modules they complete. For these standards, Firebrand's training programme includes a residential preparation course, when apprentices will go through the test format, revise knowledge topics and gain practice before taking the final knowledge tests.

Employer reference

This extended document is created by the apprentice's employer mentor, and explains how (in their view) the apprentice has met all the required competencies of the standard through the work they do. Firebrand Learning Mentors will provide a template and regular guidance on completing this document, so it becomes an ongoing record rather than a last-minute summary. The finished document should demonstrate the apprentice's value to the employer - a crucial element in deciding how effectively they've achieved the goals of the apprenticeship.

Interview

The final element is a one-to-one interview between the apprentice and the EPA assessor, usually conducted remotely. The assessor will ask the apprentice about the work in their Summative Portfolio and their approach to completing the Synoptic Project/Case Study. 

Who delivers our End Point Assessments?

The British Computer Society (BCS) assesses all Firebrand apprentices - it's the Chartered Institute for IT and the professional body for the digital industries.

RITTech registration

All successful apprentices appear on the BCS Professional Register for IT Technicians (RITTech) free of charge, and are entitled to use the RITTech letters after their name.

RITTech is recognised by employers and recruiters, demonstrating a higher level of skills and professionalism across digital and technology industries. RITTech is only awarded to people working at SFIA Level 3 or above standard.

Source: British Computer Society

Find out more about the End Point Assessment (EPA).

Progression Plan

How do Information Systems Business Analyst apprentices progress?

The pace of digital transformation means there’s always going to be new technologies and smarter processes in businesses.

Progress to the next level and learn even more new digital skills. Progression is a natural step in the IT industry and it keeps employee's skills refreshed.

Develop and reinforce technical knowledge by advancing to a higher-level apprenticeship or training on Firebrand’s public courses. Gain certifications on public courses from vendors like Microsoft, AWS and CompTIA.

Level 3

For apprentices at the end of their Level 3 apprenticeship, advancing to Level 4 is the next natural step. Learn further digital skills while in a more specific IT related role. Specialised Level 4 roles include being a Data Analyst, Cyber Security Technologist or Network Engineer.

Rather than just understanding an organisation’s technologies, learn to master them. Level 4 apprentices apply previous skills with new technical knowledge to gain greater responsibility in a digital role.

Take a look at our Level 4 apprenticeships to continue developing your IT career.

Level 4

After a Level 4 apprenticeship, apprentices can enhance certain specific skillsets and gain further product knowledge by taking Firebrand’s public courses. Public courses are the best option after successfully completing a Level 4 qualification. They align individual courses with desired IT skills.

There’s no limit to the number courses that apprentices can take. Continue learning with Firebrand and gain the certifications needed to move into top IT roles at twice the speed. Continue building a professional career in the right way with recognised industry qualifications

Start choosing certifications from over 700 public training courses.

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