I've posted on the importance of business analysts before but this article and recent events have shown me just how true this is. This first point, "They are in-tune with their business", is so important.
During a recent project, a new business/data analyst was brought on board to work on the next phase of development. The analyst had no background in the business processes involved, had never worked in this industry and no contacts to trade on within the business itself. For this analyst, these were not obstacles, they were opportunities. It gave them a chance to dig, listen, learn, then dig some more.
Once they felt they had achieved a good handle on the business and it's processes, the analyst still proceeded with small, incremental steps. They did not make pronouncements and they did not attempt to be the authority on these topics. They still continued to seek the approval of the people who were "in-tune with the business."
Once the analyst had prepared a preliminary document template for their analysis documentation, they again sought the approval of the business as well as the consumers of the data. This is just incredibly smart. Not only does it show a desire to please (i.e. provide value), it showed that the analysts' own knowledge did not overshadow the importance of the process.
I, however, knew the truth. The analyst had acquired the knowledge. They just didn't need to flaunt it. The business processes and the output of the analysis were more important. I considered this analyst, in tune, as mentioned above. The business and it's process were more important to convey than their own accomplishments.