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The Role of a Business Analyst

Do you know what your role is in the business and how it fits in the bigger picture of where your organization needs to go? For example, from the point of view of the consumer, if you were searching for convenient payment methods for an online casino PayPal would naturally come to mind as the most appropriate solution.

The business model and how you fit is a relatively new phenomenon. Traditionally business analysts helped the manager define processes and systems to create value. The business had a “predictable outcome” – so far so good. That’s changing fast, as business leaders look to maximize efficiencies and meet goals.

Today, I prefer the phrase “monitor what the business is doing, and make recommendations to accelerate change” as it is much more precise than “to improve the efficiency of an organization”.

So how do you fit? As a business analyst, you help the manager focus on processes and systems that create value. This is exactly where you came in to this organization, to help managers understand what processes and systems are driving value.

You help the manager with real-time feedback and guidance, to evaluate and measure the value created, before investments are made to change it.

It’s great.

Knowing the value-driver for your business, helps you better understand the business requirements, the value creation opportunities for the organization, and ultimately the success and/or failure of the business.

You’re measuring, driving change and improving business processes, helping your managers achieve success through performance improvement, efficiency and alignment to value creation.

That’s the essence of your job. So stop wasting time learning about topics, tools and techniques. Focus on what matters and then move on to the next step.

Invest in your Business Analyst Career

What is your vision for your business analysis career, and how are you going to grow it?

How can you gain the skills, experience, knowledge and expertise needed to be a successful business analyst?

How can you earn and demonstrate business analyst certification?

What opportunities exist to help you understand how your business functions and use this to help improve it?

How can you become a strategic business analyst, allowing you to continuously develop your expertise and skills, helping to improve business processes and eventually the business?

Where do business analysts fit in today’s business landscape?

In 2008, businesses felt the cold bite of recession and the entire business model of big corporations changed. Most industry experts agreed that digitisation, analytics, and business process management would be critical to sustaining profitability in a rapidly shifting economic landscape. Business analysts were integral in the creation of new efficiencies in traditional businesses and in the redesign of processes that allowed businesses to become more innovative and competitive.

But with the economic downturn, the focus of business analysts shifted from the quality of processes to how to improve productivity. Just as business analysts were being promoted to mid-level management roles as part of business strategy teams, they began to lose sight of their original purpose.

Business analysts focused on strategies like using data to improve business operations and to become more competitive. Instead of improving production efficiency by analyzing data to identify bottlenecks in the manufacturing process or ways to improve product quality, business analysts worked with leaders who focused on increasing profits and increasing sales.

But as companies made large investments to increase sales and new products, employees were expected to focus on more strategic activities and needed an advocate to advocate for their productivity.