Product Owner Vs. Business Analyst
Updated on 21st Sep, 21 25 Views

 So, let’s discuss the difference between Business Analyst and Product Owner.

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Overview of Product Owner

Product Owners are crucial to the overall success of the project. These professionals interact directly with the business to obtain project-related information to justify why specific features are implemented.

Also, these professionals contribute to the product’s vision excluding the technical aspects. They also act as a business-side voice, a single point of contact for getting alignment, clarifying questions, reaching consensus, and driving decisions.

 

Overview of Business Analyst

Business Analysts form an interface between clients of different divisions and IT specialists. These experts work with executives from various departments to identify business issues and offer technological solutions. Apart from that, they keep track of existing company operations, make organizational changes, and design software systems.

 

Job Description: Product Owner and Business Analyst

Now, let us have a look at the job description of a product owner and a business analyst.

Job Description of a Product Owner

Product Owners are the head of an agile team. These are the people who evaluate the work done by the team members of Scrum.

The Scrum team generates software for product development. These IT professionals assess the software and make sure that the software matches the functionality and attributes of the product to attain maximum efficiency.

Also, POs are responsible for conducting time-to-time meetings to achieve high performance and fulfill project deadlines, identify product challenges, determine product roadmaps, and complete client targets and objectives.

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Job Description of a Business Analyst

Business Analysts are versatile and perform a wide range of tasks in various disciplines. The job description of a Business Analyst varies with different sectors and distinct organizations. A Business Analyst in a technical team, for example, is in charge of monitoring and upgrading systems, whereas a BA in a sales team is in charge of addressing customer issues and gathering feedback.

A Business Analyst is a word that encompasses several different job titles, including data analyst, enterprise analyst, business consultant, marketing analyst, product manager, requirements manager, system analyst, and many more.

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Educational Qualifications: Product Owner Vs Business Analyst

Educational qualifications for both professions are quite similar.

  • Bachelor’s degree is a must-have
  • Bachelor’s degree in
    • Business Administration
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Statistics would be preferable
  • A Master’s degree in any of the above fields could be advantageous for advanced roles

Apart from the above-mentioned qualifications, one needs to have the following specifications for becoming a Product Owner:

  • At Least 2 years of experience in the business field
  • Should have managerial qualities, outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • A track record of producing excellent products on time is preferred

You can begin your career if you meet the qualifications listed above. Otherwise, you’ll need to get certified in a variety of courses. To enter business analysis, you must first obtain the Business Analyst/business analytics certification.

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Roles and Responsibilities: Product Owner and Business Analyst

Let’s have a look at the duties of a Product Owner and a Business Analyst.

Product OwnerBusiness Analyst
Manage and prioritize the backlog of products  Identify areas for improvement and put technical solutions in place.
Assess the progress of the product development at each iterationModernizing and automating existing systems
Transform product managers’ strategies into development tasksProvide management and other teams with a plan of action.
Maintain contact with developers to address questionsCollaborate with clients, the IT department, and management personnel
Assess significant changes while ending the SprintEnsure cost-effectiveness and resource allocation
Assist in the coordination of product and developmentPerformance monitoring and project management 
Learn about the market and the needs of customersObtain information from a variety of stakeholders to provide valuable reports
Act as a primary liaisonAnalyze current business processes and devise improvement solutions
Involve in Scrum, Sprint Reviews, Retrospectives Meetings, and Sprint Planning on a daily basisKeep track of corporate processes and anticipate future needs/problems

Role of Product Owner and Business Analyst in an Agile Team

Now, let’s understand the roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner and a Business Analyst in an agile environment.

Product Owners envision the product based on domain/industry knowledge and market need.

Their duty is to guarantee that the product satisfies market and stakeholder demands; to do so, he or she does a market study followed by an enterprise SWOT analysis. The PO is also in charge of the product’s go-to-market plan.

The Product Owner seeks to leverage their domain experience/expertise, market need, industry or domain in which it operates, the organization’s market position, and consumer expectations of the product as observed over time.

BAs are facilitators, and the link between users, stakeholders, and the agile team. They challenge assumptions and requirements, evaluate needs, identify gaps, and collaborate closely with SMEs to describe user stories and elicit requirements.They model and elicit requirements, maintain dataflows and clarify requirements for the team.

The Product Owner is assisted by the Business Analyst in delivering comprehensive artifacts. We frequently think of the Business Analyst as a stand-in for the Product Owner. This gives the agile team more access to the viewpoints of the Product Owners.

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Skills: Product Owner Vs Business Analyst

Any Product Owner or Business Analyst should have the following skills –

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Technical skills
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Organizational
  • Analytical skills

Most of the skills of a BA and PO overlap while a few are different. The comparison of skills of a BA and PO is given in the following table.

Product Owner SkillsBusiness Analyst Skills
Communicate on product requirements and goals, technical knowledge, project statuses, and stakeholder and user feedbackNeed to be skilled in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
Ability to say no to feedback which hinders the development of the productMaintain a team-oriented and collaborative atmosphere with a feeling of leadership
Ability to write epics and user storiesA high level of technical knowledge is required
Support documents, images, and, possibly, rough wireframes for user storiesA thorough grasp of the structure of the organization and procedures is required
Ability to design product roadmaps to keep track of the product developmentPossess the capacity to deliver presentations and write reports based on the results of the analysis
 

Career Path: Product Owner or Business Analyst?

Career Path of a Business Analyst

Traditional Business Analysts advance to:

  1. Senior Business Analyst
  2. Business Architect
  3. Senior Business Architect

In an agile framework, you may progress from BA to:

  1. Product Owner
  2. PMO director
  3. Vice President
  4. Senior Vice President
  5. Chief Information Officer

A Business Systems Analyst may advance to a:

  1. Senior Analyst
  2. Technology Architect
  3. Enterprise Architect

You can go from Project Manager to:

  1. Senior Project Manager
  2. Program Manager
  3. Business Owner and so on

Anyone pursuing a career as a Business Analyst can grow in their career by moving laterally from one department to another with specialized abilities necessary for that area.

To go from a senior Business Analyst to a business architect, you must change your perspective from tactical to strategic, focus on the outside rather than the inside, and take a holistic view of the organization.

You’ll need leadership skills, a customer-centric attitude, and decision-making authority to make the shift from Business Analyst to Product Owner.

As you go up the corporate ladder, you’ll need to look outside the box and think more holistically to bring greater value to your company.

Check out our blog on Business Analyst Career Path to learn more!

 

Product Owner Salary Vs  Business Analyst Salary

It can be inferred from the graph that in a few countries Product Owners are paid higher as compared to Business Analysts. This might be due to the shift of responsibilities towards the Product Owners. In other countries, Product Owners are paid similar to Business Analysts or even slightly higher as their roles are evenly distributed.

Salary comparison between Product Owner and Business Analyst Across the World

Salary Trends in India

In India, the Product Owners are paid at par as compared to Business Analysts. This is due to the fact that Product Owners shoulder higher responsibilities when compared to Business Analysts in India. 

Salary comparison between Product Owner and Business Analyst in India

While a Business Analyst with 5-9 years of experience can expect to earn about Rs 8,30,975, a Senior Business Analyst with over 15 years of experience can expect to earn around Rs 12,09,787. The pay rises to Rs. 16,54,946 as you go above.

 

Conclusion

Though Business Analysts and project owners work in the agile team, their responsibilities vary. Product owners focus on the development of the product while Business Analysts focus on the business operations taking place in the team. While a Product Owner is confined to an agile team, a Business Analyst can work in different sectors.

If you’re a person who is flexible and would like to explore more, then you’re well suited to become a Business Analyst. And if you’re a person who is keen to work on a particular aspect, then you must try for a Product Owner. You can always become a Product Owner from Business Analyst with the right skills and qualifications.

If you’re interested in becoming a Business Analyst, check out Intellipaat’s Business Analyst course, which may be your first step toward a successful career.

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