The role of the business analyst is often filled differently by different companies. In one organization it may be more of a business employee who analyzes processes and data. In another organization it may be a more ICT-focused employee who, based on the issues the business faces, proposes ICT solutions. Whatever the role might be, the common denominator is that they look for solutions to business questions.
Business analyst: the solver of business questions
The 3 areas of the Business Analyst
There are three areas the business analyst (BA) can work in:
- The area of system development, also called system analysis.
- The improvement of company processes (optimization).
- Improving the organization on a strategic level (business improvement).
These three areas are overlapping more and more. The traditional divide is disappearing. Every business analyst will have to deal with this change. Businesses are constantly facing questions that are difficult to answer. But the business does expect the business analyst to come up with answers.
The growing importance of Business Analysts
That’s why the importance of the business analyst is increasing. Companies are looking at how the business analyst directly contributes to organizational goals. The question is whether the business analyst can answer these questions and whether or not their contributions to the goals are measurable.
That’s the world we live in now. Whether it’s just or unjust, it’s the business analyst’s job to deal with this new reality.
What’s happening in the area of business analysis?
The world is developing rapidly, and a good business analyst can’t stay behind. Existing skills have to be unlearned and new skills have to be picked up. Organizations also have a growing need for analysis capacity to be able to answer business questions. What are things you should pay attention to when choosing a business analyst?
- Which skills should you expect from a new business analyst?
- What does their future profile look like?
- How can they demonstrate success?
- What’s important when hiring a business analyst?
- Which changes are taking place, and does the business analyst fit within them?
The Business Analyst in a changing landscape
For a long time, the role of the business analyst was clear and well-defined. But times are changing. Changes are happening more and more quickly and solutions have a limited shelf life. Organizations are adapting, they’re working agile, and there’s no time anymore for long-term implementations of solutions.
More and more, organizations are steering based on internal and external data. So the business analyst needs to be able to deal with this phenomenon. When presenting solutions, the business analyst has to consider this new asset, also called data.
This also changes your role as a business analyst. They have to open up new areas of knowledge, and expand existing ones. The questions companies ask a business analyst are becoming more strategic in nature, too. That’s not a bad thing, but can the business analyst answer these questions? And how can they convince the organization of their solution’s worth?
The question, then, is: is the business analyst ready for this future?
Do you want to hire a good Business Analyst?
Business Analysts can be hired everywhere. But a good business analyst, who can work agile and sees data as an asset, is much harder to find. Business analysts who can help you find answers to your most burning business questions. Passionned Group’s business analysts have a wealth of experience and expertise in all these areas, and they’ve been tested many times over.
Agile working & business analysis
Our business analysts are used to working with and from data, and they’ve mastered change methods like agile working and continuous improvement. We’re able to deliver the right candidate quickly.
The right candidate within 48 hours
We usually contact you within 24 hours so we can get a clear picture of what you want to achieve with our help. The next step is suggesting a candidate that fits the profile as quickly as possible. If you decide to go with one of our candidates, we can usually complete this process within 48 hours.
Try it out and let us find you an interim candidate. Our business analysts are highly experienced and widely deployable in various industries. They’re able to look past just your question and they’re steeped in different approaches to change.
Stay up to date on business analysis
With our own Passionned Academy, we can help employees from many organizations to stay up-do-date on their area of expertise. Various senior business analysts regularly write about subjects on this area, combining theory and practice. We offer you the opportunity to make use of this knowledge.
Which new skills are expected?
A good business analyst should possess the following practical skills:
- Strong analytical skills, in order to clearly define the business model (and its issues) and make it future-proof.
- Strong knowledge of the business area and current developments, with the goal of formulating the right answer.
- Excellent analytical skills, so the analyst can answer the business question based on data, usually collected by the analyst themselves.
- Strong communicative skills so they can get the business behind their solution.
- Thorough knowledge of the company processes and the current solutions used by the organization is a must.
- Maybe the most important point: they need to have a practical, hands-on mentality, and be able to work with data discovery tools like Power BI, Qlik, Tableau, and Visual Analytics.
Thorough statistical and analytical knowledge are becoming more and more vital, too. But especially being able to visualize and present the outcomes ensures that they can convince the business of their solution. These are the skills you need to see in a good business analyst.
Developing into a (even better) Business Analyst?
Organizations are demanding more and more from their business analysts. As an analyst, you can stay up-to-date by reading trade magazines and you can get information from the internet, but is that enough?
Passionned Group has a knowledge base, which contains a wide array of knowledge concerning business analytics, Big Data, and change management methods like continuous improvement.
We also offer training courses (in-company and individual) of all sorts. Take a look at our wide offering of courses in the Passionned Academy.
Passionned Group’s founder, Daan van Beek, is also the author of the book Data Science for Decision-Makers & Data Professionals.
Passionned Group offers plenty of ways for you to develop yourself. If you want to know more about it, or if you want personalized advice, contact us.
Are you a good business analyst?
We’re regularly looking for experienced business analysts for projects with our clients. If you see yourself in this profile and want to discuss this area of expertise with Passionned Group, drop us a line.
Doesn’t the business analyst become an information analyst?
These two functions have a lot of similarities, but definitely aren’t identical. The business analyst is much more focused on change. The information analyst starts when the change has been determined, ie. when the solution has been formulated by the business analyst.
An information analyst comes from a more ICT-focused angle. They determine what the business’ exact ICT demands are, and then work with the ICT specialists to realize the solution.
So there is overlap, but the moment of their involvement in the process is different. Also, the information analyst has a (much) higher ICT content than the business analyst. If an organization is well-organized, they complement each other. If it’s not, you lose a lot of efficiency in the change process, and the change materializes much more slowly.
Our advice is to clearly delineate both functions and their competencies beforehand.
Do you want to know more?
If you’re interested in a training course or you want to talk more about this profession, or you want to hire one of our business analysts, feel free to contact us. Let us make the difference in your company.
About Passionned Group
Passionned Group is a leading firm in designing and implementing Business Analytics. Our senior Data Scientists and consultants assist both large and small companies towards a smarter enterprise. Every two years we organize the election of the smartest company.
Our Business Analysts
ir. RICK VAN DER LINDEN
RINI VAN OOIJEN MSc
Senior Business Analyst