It’s an often misunderstood role, but a business analyst is key in uniting IT and business on enterprise projects, systems development, and business strategy. Many people look to a company’s CIO as the broker between the business and technology functions, but a business analyst is the one who’s tasked with developing the case for IT app development, moving the projects along, and making sure the relationships between competing parties progress smoothly. You might say the best business analysts are those who are the perfect blend of savvy diplomat and analytical intelligence officer.
The Crucial Role a Business Analyst Plays
Business analysts are the bridge between business ideas and capabilities: they regularly appraise business performance. In the tech world, a large percentage of changes and optimizations relate to software systems, so creating, maintaining and delivering IT systems are major focuses. The list is long as to the value business analysts will bring to your organization. Here are just three of the benefits:
- Communication and Translation Expertise. Business analysts understands the language of programs and the language of technology. For example, organizations often create tech solutions without understanding how the captured data will be used, and with a lack of understanding of the context they’re designed to serve. A business analyst understands both sides of the equation and can drive meaningful data that’s captured at the right place in the right time.
- Reduced Development Costs. Good business analysis can mitigate the major causes of project failures:
- Incomplete requirements
- Lack of user involvement
- Lack of executive support
- Unrealistic expectations
- Changing requirements
You’ll also see a reduction in rework, underutilized functionality, and requirements churn. And business analysts thrive on discovering more cost-effective solutions.
- Increased Business Value. Business analysts are skilled at improving and optimizing business processes, which reduces waste. They also know how to successfully handle people, processes and technology in a way that fosters better implementation of business solutions. The best analysts know how to discover the requirements your business needs, and help you understand what is needed for a solution to be successful.
Why Invest in a Business Analyst
When you make the investment in business analysis, the payback can be huge. From implemented solutions that meet your business’ unique needs, to reduced risk, complexity and redundancy, having a business analyst on board a project can mean the difference between success and failure. Skilled business analysts can ease a lot of project turmoil by keeping the lines of communication open between project managers and their teams. Finally, because they understand how to increase your business’s potential benefits, they can assist you in uncovering new business needs and ensure that your business priorities are focused on value.