A Day in the Life of a Business Analyst at Grayce
When I walk into the offices of one of the largest and most innovative global payment acquirers, I realise that I am one of the lucky commuters who looks forward to their day at work. It can be busy, it can be demanding, but it is always rewarding. Emma Hollingsworth talks about her role and walks us through a day in the life at Grayce
The main focus of the last few months has been the implementation of a brand new technology platform, the first of its kind, which is expected to stay ahead of technology trends for the foreseeable future. The scale of the change, the experts involved and the investments behind it make it one of the biggest programmes in the financial technology industry in recent years. It will not be forgotten quickly!
Another aspect of the change involves moving from a Waterfall to Agile way of working, a trend which is happening across industries. As a Business Analyst, it’s a great opportunity to bring the Project Management side of the training offered by Grayce to life. I have had the opportunity to help shape this change with Agile coaches and project leads, providing insight into how we can tailor the framework to our environment. It is an exciting time to be moving to Agile – following in the footsteps of the best tech firms out there such as Spotify, Google and Microsoft.
However, its what I do on a day to day basis that is the most rewarding aspect of my role.
Having studied maths at university I had no idea what to expect when starting Grayce. I had completed some modules on financial maths and business strategy, but how would I compare to those who had spent three years studying business and management?
I quickly came to realise that everyone has a different background and it is this diversity that makes Grayce such a great place to work. It turns out that every degree develops transferrable skills which are used in day-to-day roles, from presenting in tutorials, to writing essays and analytical skills used in creating logical arguments.
But what is it that I do day-to-day as a Business Analyst?
As I make my way to my desk and set myself up for the day – I hear about my colleagues’ weekends and have a quick catch up. The people I work with, both from Grayce and those who work for the client, have quickly become dependable friends.
With so much to do though, we all know that kicking off work together in the morning makes for a more productive day and so the conversation is saved for post-work catch ups with a drink on Friday.
I check my calendar and my to-do list. There are three projects within the programme that I am working on at the moment, all with different levels of involvement.
For the project which is ticking over where I provide occasional assistance, I check the email chains and respond with a detail of the system and arrange a quick catch up with the business representative for later in the week. It’s useful to keep the conversation flowing with business stakeholders and ensure the project is heading where she expects. I’ll check with the project manager and note the key updates in time for the catch up.
I have set-up a ‘mini-workshop’ for tomorrow and I need to finish my preparations for this today. I recently noticed an issue which could have significant merchant impact if not resolved quickly, so I have been given the responsibility to see this remedial piece of work through to completion. This new piece of work has been an opportunity to learn about the end-to-end system and processes and due to the nature of the issue, I have been spending more time with senior stakeholders. It’s a good learning curve!
The workshop is going to be a brainstorming session with technology and business experts to determine all the business areas which will be affected by this issue. The sessions with these experts are fast-paced and require a lot of concentration, but they’re always productive and interesting so I am looking forward to it! I need to find my sticky notes…
As I start to finalise my preparations for the workshop a meeting invite comes in. The Business Sponsor of my product has requested a walkthrough of a requirements document which needs signing off. The meeting is in an hour so I quickly familiarise myself with the document. It has taken a couple of months to pull the document together and required engagement with a number of teams within the programme. It includes process maps, diagrams, scenario analysis and results from interviews, observations and workshops. It was a collaborative effort between me and two other Grayce analysts. It has been fun teamwork and an opportunity to learn from one another.
The walkthrough goes well and the Sponsor is happy to sign off the document. He also mentioned that there is another project that he would like the me to work on. It is nothing like what I have worked on before but it’s a great opportunity.
One of the best things about being a Grayce Analyst is the development opportunities you are given.
It can feel like you are being thrown in the deep end – but that’s exactly what has helped me develop in the last two years.
In the afternoon I have my monthly catch-up with my Grayce development manager. It’s a great place to ask for advice about anything in my role. I ask about the workshop tomorrow and what they see the next steps being afterwards. We chat about my development goals and any issues I may have, and I walk away feeling confident not just about tomorrow but also about my next steps in the Grayce journey.
When I have finished my preparation for the session tomorrow, I have a look at any work items assigned to me on the issue tracking product we use. There is a small item to be looked into but I am unfamiliar with the part of the system it relates to. I’m sitting next to the system designer today so we have a chat about the system and how it fits in to the business environment. Before I started here I had no idea about the scale of design and development that was needed for a platform like this. It has been fascinating getting to know about software development cycles and learning some basic design concepts. It’s like trying to fit pieces of a moving puzzle together without having the picture to look at.
At the end of the day, it’s time to head to the Grayce CSR event. We are heading off to Zorb Football to raise money for a homeless shelter in London. A great way to have fun and spend time with friends as well as raise awareness and money for great causes!
I create documents, I learn about the business and business systems, I engage with peers and with senior stakeholders, I am responsible for projects which have direct merchant impact, I run workshops, I have time for personal development and much more. Most importantly, I have fun.