Does a BA need to be a Domain expert or just a solid BA?

The question is, does a Business Analyst need to be a domain expert or just have a strong Business Analysis skillset?

Having recruited across the Business Analysis space for the last 4 years in Sydney I’ve always thought about what the added advantage is for a Business Analyst to understand the business domain. Do they need to have a grasp of the business’s expectations, and to easily compare the requirements with the systems? Or can they have a really strong Business Analysis skillset without any preconceived ideas about the business domain, the business expectations and the familiarity of the systems?

My personal opinion is that domain knowledge should not be the key factor to be considered when hiring a Business Analyst.

Throughout the years I have come across various job descriptions for Business Analysts and one common trend I have noticed is when organisations where a BA practice is matured and practised well, they do not place emphasis on domain knowledge. Instead, they deem a certain level of Business Analysis skill set more important.

I’m keen to hear from Business Analysis Managers/Leaders and BA’s on what your thoughts are on this question?

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