To remain competitive, management has to constantly have a firm understanding of organisational processes, systems and data. This information should be easily accessible and understood, and made available to the organisation by an internal or external business analyst. Anne-Marié Pretorius, from consulting firm Bizmod, says that a business analyst's technical abilities, intellectual capacity, communication skills and common sense are core competencies that enable them to add immense value to the organisation.
Pretorius, a business analyst (BA), who has had the privilege of working with some of the best BAs in the industry, shares her views as to the important role BAs play and why management should include them in their leadership team.
- A dynamic and evolving skillset: Most BAs are consultants and are therefore exposed to different environments, skills, techniques, technologies and thinking. The benefits for an organisation to tap into this are plentiful.
- Solutions based focus: A BA is committed to moving the process forward, extracting the required information and ensuring that a solution is delivered.
- Visualisation: Not everyone on your management team may be able to visualise, however this is a core skill of a good BA. They are able to challenge the team on systems, development and implementation, but their interpersonal skills enables them to step back when it may be required.
- Flexibility: Certain members of the management team may feel that they understand what is required, but there may be disagreement amongst the stakeholders. This is when the BA can add value by “allowing” the stakeholders to come to a solution. The BA guides the insight journey, not by instructing stakeholders but by subtly highlighting and applying strong listening and questioning skills. The end result may be a more improved idea, a gap being filled or an entire new solution emerging. The BA allows for diverse ideas that may bring smarter and more elegant solutions.
- It’s always about people: BAs are highly skilled in inter and intra personal dynamics. They are able to modify their approach or style based on what stakeholders are telling them verbally and with non-verbal cues. People want to work with individuals they can resonate with and BA’s have the ability to engage empathetically and authentically.
A BA is skilled to not take negative reactions or resistance personally, but rather to understand the context. Pretorius concludes, “Change affects people and most of us are uncomfortable with change and this is where the BA can assist.”