After travelling I wanted to get a job but having studied English with Politics, I felt there was no natural direction for me to pursue. A friend worked in Allstate NI and recommended it as it was a young and vibrant company. For me it offered the opportunity of a career with a new set of skills and a number of potential career paths, not just as a developer, which for someone coming from a non-technical background was very appealing.
Quite a few things, that's why I am here ten years later! Primarily I love the flexibility which Allstate NI offers through working from home and compressed working hours. Both benefits have allowed me to take care of my children, study part time and continue to work; to me they have been invaluable. As well as that, while some large companies can be quite daunting, Allstate NI has a very relaxed and sociable working environment. Having recently moved to a new area within the company, everyone is friendly and approachable and I feel confident and able to ask for assistance whenever needed.
First thing on a Monday is to catch up on emails and there can be a lot, especially as I am off on Fridays! After that, we generally have multiple queries to investigate on the team, as well as estimating anticipated involvement in projects and in change requests. More often than not both these tasks involve liaising with various technical and business teams within the business area to find the best solutions. Thereafter is on to project work, creating functional designs and reviewing development and testing documents. The afternoon is generally back to back meetings on project kick off's, weekly status updates, design reviews and slotting more meetings.
Varies depending on workload, but over the past year I have been involved as a STEM ambassador, in University career days, Innovation and some CSR activities.
As a Business Analyst you must be able to develop an understanding of the changing needs of a business and capture these in your requirements. To do so successfully, the most important skills to develop are the ability to work well with people and to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally. You also need to develop good problem solving skills and the ability to think strategically to devise effective, long term solutions for your business.