What a career in Analysis involves by Alexandra Koyfman
As part of our new series, we are introducing some of our experienced team members and how their careers have progressed during their time at PDMS.
Alexandra has been with PDMS in the Isle of Man since 2017 and mainly works with our ship registry clients.
How did you join PDMS?
I originally joined PDMS in late 2017 on a work placement as part of my MA in Applied Business Strategy and Digital Transformation (WBIS) from University College Isle of Man.
As part of my MA, I was tasked with completing two meaningful consultancy projects. My tutor suggested that I approach PDMS for a placement due to PDMS’s strong reputation for supporting student work placements. PDMS had an idea in mind and my task was to “make it happen”. By working closely with a variety of public, private, and third sector stakeholders and PDMS’s development teams, we launched First Point in 2018. This is a tool and a service, which helps the emergency services better support vulnerable people, such as those living with dementia, in times of crisis.
PDMS then invited me to stay for my second placement to grow and publicise the project. By the end of the project, users were registering with First Point regularly, over 20 partners and sponsors had committed to supporting the project, and I had won the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence Young Achiever of the Year Award in 2018.
How did you transition from being a Master’s student to an Analyst?
While working on First Point, I used a number of different analyst techniques, including document analysis, interviewing, and stakeholder management.
Once I had completed my Master’s degree, PDMS offered me a role as a Support Analyst, supporting over 70 different legacy systems, which allowed me to develop my client support, analysis, and testing skills. About six months later, I moved into an Analyst role and began to focus more on business analysis.
What does an Analyst do?
To me, the role of an Analyst is to:
- Ask clients what they want and need for their businesses, business systems, and websites, usually by leading workshops and meetings
- Investigate and research client requests and dig into the root causes of their problems
- Assess options for addressing problems and recommend the best approach based on the situation
- Translate client needs into diagrams, wireframe mock-ups, and technical requirement specifications for clients, developers, and testers
- Sometimes test new developments and changes
- Train end-users in making the best use of the solution for their problems
- Support clients throughout the software development life cycle and the change management process
How can I become an Analyst? Which specific qualifications do you need to become an Analyst?
To start your career as an Analyst, I believe that qualities are more important than qualifications. If you possess the following qualities, the Analyst role may be for you:
- A love of problem-solving
- Sharp attention to detail
- An analytical mindset
- A desire to always want to learn more
However, PDMS also encourages its Analysts to consider working towards the British Computer Society (BCS) Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis and the International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB) Foundation Level testing qualification. These qualifications teach the theory behind the practice and help develop an analyst’s toolkit.
Have you completed any qualifications?
I completed both the BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis and the ISTQB Foundation Level testing qualification within my first year in Analyst roles.
I also continued my studies and passed a further three written exams and one oral exam to earn the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis in 2021. Next, I plan to take a deeper dive into business analysis topics that I have previously studied.
What kinds of projects do you work on?
When I was a Support Analyst, I worked on a breadth of business systems and websites. These included working with our clients in the public sector on projects such as the NHS Pharmacy Catalogue, the Police National Legal Database (PNLD), and the Crown Commercial Service’s Car Leasing System and Umbraco-powered websites such as the Isle of Man Wildlife Park website.
Since moving into the Analyst role, I have fully experienced the entire software development project life cycle from inception to proposal to development to live release and live support. My time has predominantly been spent working on PDMS’s ship registry platforms with our public sector clients, though I’m now venturing into other domains in the public and private sectors. Nowadays, I tend to take on lead analyst and testing roles on major projects and phases of work.
What are your top three moments from your time working at PDMS?
In no particular order, my most memorable moments from working at PDMS (so far) have been:
- Winning the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence Young Achiever of the Year Award in 2018, and the support I received from colleagues and stakeholders who attended the ceremony
- Earning the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis
- Seeing a requirement that I had written come to life as a new feature in one of our business systems for the first time
Visit our careers page if you'd like to join Alexandra and the rest of the PDMS team