Hindsight is 2020: Facing a Challenging Year Together
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What word best sums up 2020? Complicated. It was a difficult year for many organizations that struggled with lockdowns, work from home, and shifts in consumer behaviour. As individuals spent more time at home, organizations manufacturing and distributing products and services including household cleaners, exercise equipment, groceries, safety products, delivery services, workspace solutions, and online retailers saw their revenues increase. Organizations that were agile were able to respond to market changes and avoid layoffs to reduce a hit to their bottom line, and in some cases even increase profits. Business Analysis professionals played a key role in helping organizations respond to rapid digital transformation and disruptions to value chains, products, and services.
Thanks to Our Members
Thanks to IIBA’s Members and being a virtual organization, IIBA was able to respond to market changes and shift focus from in-person events to virtual events and accelerate content marketing. IIBA responded quickly to address the communities' changing needs and the results surpassed our expectations thanks to the overwhelming support from Members and the entire business analysis community. In 2020, IIBA saw more visitors to iiba.org, more webinar attendees, and more engagement on social media than ever before in our history. In response, IIBA shared more webinar topics, worked more closely with Chapters on translation initiatives, and enhanced Cybersecurity eLearning materials. IIBA’s focus, as always, was on meeting our Members' needs to the best of our ability. IIBA saw global growth of professionals with business analysis skills or working in business analysis roles. And, once again, LinkedIn ranked business analysis as one of the top 10 hard skills in-demand. IIBA’s success in 2020 is thanks especially to you – our volunteers, partners, Members and extended global community.
IIBA’s Top 8 2020 Milestones
1. Executive Leadership:
In 2020 IIBA welcomed new senior executives Delvin Fletcher and Paula Pergantis. Delvin joined IIBA in January as president and CEO. A former CIO, Delvin has held senior leadership roles with prominent organizations in membership associations, information systems, public accounting, government, and not-for-profits. Over the course of last year, he presented virtually at several IIBA Chapter and industry conferences and events on the state of the business analysis profession in the digital age.
In October, IIBA welcomed Paula as the new chief financial and administrative officer. She brings to the CFAO role extensive financial and operational leadership experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors with a solid track record of successfully streamlining business operations to drive growth and increase efficiency.
2. Attend Virtual Events from Home:
In response to greater demand for online webinars and study sessions, IIBA increased the frequency of its webinars - holding 79 sessions with more than 40,000 registrants - including Members and guests. Many IIBA Chapter leaders pivoted to virtual meetings and events working across geographic boundaries and time zones to connect and share knowledge. Another big change for IIBA global during the pandemic was shifting to virtual events, specifically, our annual participation in the North American Building Business Capability (BBC) conference. The biggest advantage of going virtual was the ability to provide recordings of all sessions to attendees (a few weeks after the live event) as well as some added sessions. The networking experience was a little different, but over this past year we’ve all had lots of opportunities to adjust to virtual participation and engagement. Based on the sessions I attended I found this year’s audience participation highly active and the ability to post comments in the chat helped spark conversations among attendees – something that doesn’t happen as organically in a large ballroom in-person presentation.
3. Growing Sense of Community:
In 2020, IIBA welcomed 9,500 new Members and launched 5 new Chapters around the world (Czechia and Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, and Trivandrum and DelhiNCR (both in India). Looking ahead in 2021, IIBA eagerly anticipates welcoming Members to its first Chapter in Singapore among other Chapter opportunities around the globe.
4. Beyond Expectations:
IIBA’s community took on a pay-it-forward philosophy to support professionals affected by the pandemic. In March and April, many of IIBA’s Endorsed Education Providers around the world offered free or deeply discounted training courses to support professionals looking to upskill through getting certified. IIBA saw growth in its Academic program beyond expectations due to the growing demand for business analysis courses and institutions looking to align themselves with IIBA’s global standards.
5. Best Ways to Upskill and Get Credentialed:
IIBA certification numbers continue to grow annually. Last year IIBA saw an increase in certification applications and exams, which are offered globally online as well as in-person. The launch of IIBA’s Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis was a big success in March. Related eLearning materials developed in partnership with IEEE Computer Society and a focus on cybersecurity opportunities for business analysis professionals, including the Members-only 2020 7-part study session, sparked increased interest in this growing area of specialization.
6. Measuring What Matters:
In last year’s Global Business Analysis Salary Survey completed by over 5,400 professionals, IIBA dove a little deeper to expand its insights on trending skillsets, Business Analysis maturity within organizations, and areas of specialization such as Data Analytics and Product Ownership Analysis.
7. Getting Leadership Buy-In:
One of the questions that came up a lot this year from Business Analysis professionals is how to advocate for business analysis within their organizations to drive better enterprise outcomes. We all know business analysis is an important part of any organization but does your company and stakeholders really understand the value of business analysis? In 2020, IIBA took several steps to address this topic through the creation of an advocacy resource page and several webinars on the topic, including the 2-part webinar Why Business Analysts Wear Capes; From Business Analyst to the Boardroom featuring UK TV Business Analysis personality, Guy Shone; and the corporate webinar panel discussion, Why Your Company Should Be Excited About Business Analysis with guests from RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), Nedbank, and North Highland discussing how business analysis is applied within an organization to make real, measurable differences and how to best leverage your business analysis team for better results. Watch these webinars on demand.
8. Social Media and Blogging:
IIBA was intentionally more active on social media and engaged with industry influencers and business analysis professionals to discuss, inform, and entertain followers about all things business analysis. In fact, many discussions on social led to blogs, webinars, and podcasts published on iiba.org. In 2020, the IIBA Global LinkedIn account saw a 35% increase in followers and more than 250,000 👍 ❤️🗨️⤤ from all of you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! This year IIBA also saw above industry average organic website traffic. From January – September 2020 IIBA global had 150% more visits and a 120% increase in new users meaning more people around the world were interested in learning about business analysis, learning about who IIBA is and what we offer, and more professionals aligning their business analysis practice with industry recognized standards.
9. Making Your Work Life Easier:
In 2020, IIBA launched an online searchable BABOK® Guide and Agile Extension that enables IIBA Members to search for keywords to quickly find information on their laptop or mobile device. And more titles were added to the Digital Online Library giving Members access to over 11,000 titles.
Looking Ahead in 2021
It has been encouraging to see the business analysis community come together during the challenging environment caused by the pandemic and to see such promising results for the future of the practice. It has been inspiring to see how business analysis professionals have quickly adapted to new virtual work challenges, openly shared best practices, and discovered new ways of leveraging data analysis, agile, and cybersecurity to drive better enterprise outcomes.
IIBA recognizes the difficulties many professionals faced in 2020 and may still be experiencing. IIBA remains committed to providing you with the best information to support your career and drive improved enterprise outcomes.
Thank you to all IIBA Members, volunteers, partners, and supporters for making the most out of a challenging and complicated year.