10 years back, no one in the IT industry understood the importance of the Business Analyst role, but time proved that software projects need someone who can interpret business and business needs and work with the development teams to build a system that actually supports the business. Initially, it was developers themselves who did this part, but many failed systems proved that its not the right approach. The real business situation might not be visible when you look from a technical eye because you think of technical concerns even before you identify the business needs properly. Some of the solutions provided did not solve problems faced by the business but solves things that programmers considered as the business problems. Luckily, things are changing at a rapid pace now, and most projects identify the need to have someone who concentrates on the business needs and BAs are the people who serve this purpose. It’s virtually visible everywhere that the job market for BAs is growing at high rate and any major project such as an enterprise-wide system would definitely have BA resources. By experience I know that even the Programmers/Software Engineers today like to have BAs on their teams so that they do not have any ambiguities and unclear things with regard to the requirements.
Even 2 years back, it was quite difficult to find BA specific material on the web. It was IIBA who put some really interesting stuff together first, now they have gone on to develop a comprehensive BA Body of Knowledge (BOC) as well. Even wikipedia has several articles on Business Analysis/Analyst, which would give someone a one-page description of it to capture an overall picture.
About a year back, I tried to collect some information together to explain the entire BA role, which ended-up as an article titled "Business Analyst’s Role in a Software Company". I included this as a chapter of my published book titled 'A bit of BIT' as well. Many people who were interested in joining the BA track those days felt it was helpful due to the lack of information to be found. Today, I feel happy to have contributed to the growth at least slightly. I am sure what I did was very very small and almost unnoticed in the big scheme of things, but still, I think it’s the thought that matters, so I am personally happy.