The Importance of a Certified Business Analyst
- 28th April 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Business
Change is a major factor that affects every business in every imaginable sector. There is an element of change in business on a near daily basis as new industry-specific technology emerges at an astonishing rate. There is also the fact markets go through change as customers and clients’ needs evolve. It is vital that organisations anticipate and plan for these changes, as it could have a huge impact on the way business is done as well as on the market your business is catering to.
Neglecting to keep up with changing trends and needs in business could be detrimental to any organisation and this is where the importance of a certified Business Analyst cannot be overstated. They will be able to take an unbiased approach towards your company’s specific needs and deliver suggestions as to where key areas of business can be improved.
What is business analysis?
When future trends are forecast, information will be gathered from the organisation and will then be analysed to ascertain whether any changes need to be made by the organisation in order to stay abreast with these changes. This is known as business analysis. Business Analysts can also be extremely helpful during an organisation’s projects as far as scope, development and testing are concerned.
The main implication of business analysis is that it ensures that the decisions made toward changing business trends are beneficial to the company and that it discourages impractical expectations that could have a negative effect on the company’s revenue.
Ensuring that your organisation’s business needs are aligned with internal and external factors will ensure that you are offering supply where there is a genuine, measurable demand for it. Being short on supply will see your company suffer as far as revenue is concerned, while oversupplying will result in unnecessary wastage.
The Role of a Business Analyst
Many companies do not employ a full time Business Analyst and will only make use of their services through outsourcing when they feel it is truly necessary. Since there are numerous types of business analysis, it is imperative that the organisation is aware of them all in order to consider all the factors that may cause the business to have to adapt to change.
Some forms of business analysis that may be used by the Business Analyst include the following:
- Internal analysis – Analysing the resources and competencies of the organisation in order to find areas where improvements can be made.
- External analysis – Analysis of the company’s current prospects as far as external influences such as environmental factors and industry change are concerned.
- Strategy design – Developing strategies that fall in line with the needs of the organisation, keeping in mind the business’ strengths and weaknesses while ensuring that benefits will be felt in the long term.
- Strategy execution – Implementing the strategies that have been developed.
- Strategic control – Scrutinising the actual benefits felt from business analysis and adjusting their implementation in areas where further improvements can be made.
The Business Analyst will be knowledgeable in various areas of business and will use those skills according to what your organisation’s needs are. This includes the implementation of strategic planning – forecasting business change via either consumer needs or change in your business’ sector.
They may also define and design processes according to which your business will operate. This is to ensure best practices are adhered to and fully understood by your staff. Once these processes are put in place, they will be much easier to follow on a day-to-day basis.
A Business Analyst has the ability to analyse your IT systems and to determine whether they are optimised. This is a crucial factor as business needs and IT services need to be aligned to ensure that new technologies are catered for and that the organisation doesn’t fall behind as far as opportunities to utilise those technologies to improve business is concerned.
Another role of the Business Analyst is to scrutinise and analyse your company’s operations and business model. They will then ensure that these are updated and optimised according to market trends and desired operational outcomes.
This is best left to a limited number of Business Analysts, as they will be able to utilise your resources as they best see fit. If too many Business Analysts are involved, it may cause confusion as to where the more important areas to be addressed lie. In short – too many cooks spoil the broth.
Business Analysis in projects
Many organisations utilise the services of a Business analyst to provide assistance during their projects. The Business Analyst’s role in this regard will include:
- When there is an overwhelming amount of data to be processed, the Business Analyst professional can assist the Project Manager, project team and Project Sponsors in making the correct decisions regarding the direction that the project should take.
- A Business Analyst can divide the Project into smaller, more manageable sections, making it easier to understand the work that needs to be done.
- The scope of the project needs to be documented. This can be done by a Business Analyst.
- When there is an issue with communication, the Business Analyst can get everyone back on the same page
- They can use their knowledge of the project’s scope and requirements to ensure that there is no confusion between those involved in the project.
How does a Business Analyst improve business?
Devising an effective business strategy is all about looking at the future of the company and ensuring that goals are set that will enable the organisation to achieve these future goals. A Business Analyst has a clear understanding of business needs and will be able to identify areas where the business strategy can be improved upon. They will then develop a coherent strategy that will help the organisation move forward.
When the Business Analyst is investigating problem areas within a business, they will ensure that any changes that are recommended to be made still fall in line with the organisation’s business strategy, mission statement and objectives, staying true to the original ideals of the company.
The benefits that are felt after having a business analysed should, however, not only be seen as a short term solution, but should have long term effects. After the Business Analyst’s recommendations have been implemented, they must ensure that they remain viable as business needs change to ensure that the benefits remain positive.
Utilising the services of a certified Business Analyst professional can be a great way of taking your organisation to the next level. Even if your company is turning a decent profit and you feel that you are catering to the wants and needs of your clients or customers, there may still be room for improvement.
The skills and knowledge that they possess may prove to be invaluable to your organisation, as they may be able to identify areas that you had missed, or had not thought of. These areas can then be optimised to suit the specific and unique needs of your business. Even if only a small change is made, it may be well worth it in the long run.
If you are interested in gaining a Business Analyst qualification, take a look at ITonlinelearning’s Business Analyst online course.