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The Rise of the Digital Business Analyst


The world around us is changing faster and faster. I remember back in University hearing that the total amount of knowledge in the world doubled every five years. I believe it now doubles every three months. That is an unprecedented rate of change and as a change agent, business analysts have a big role to play in the digital transformation of our world.

We’ve been masters of our domains for many years, knowing and understanding the intricacies of the business world. We understand the paradigms in which we work and can connect the dots between the strategies of our organizations, the objectives we want to accomplish, the evolving technologies and the outcomes we want to achieve. Therein lies the challenges of the digital business analyst.

If you look at the Global Thought Leadership whitepapers issued by IIBA, we’ve delivered thus far, the one that strikes me the most is the first: Crossing the Chasm from Traditional to Digital World. In reading this whitepaper, I came across a few truths.

The first truth I learned was that as we crossed this chasm into a digital world, business models would be transformed.
We can all see how organizations such as Uber, Airbnb and even Netflix have transformed their industries by radically redefining their models. This will require a new mindset as we shift from incremental value and imagining the possible in ways that were impossible in the past.

The second truth is that the customer is more important than ever before. The customer experience is critical in the new world because they have so many choices in organizations that they choose to support. If you aren’t thinking of your customers’ experience, you’ll soon find that your organization loses its relevance.

The third truth is that technology is ultra-important. It used to be that technology helped enable business processes, but we’re now discovering that technology is now driving business processes. In organizations I’ve worked for in the past, we wondered how to use technology in our processes to streamline our operations. Now we look at technology, such as a smartphone, and wonder how we can use it within our processes. The importance of technology cannot be understated.

Marry these three digital truths together and I see the start of digital business analysis. The convergence of technology, domain knowledge and customer experience are a powerful force for those willing to embrace them.

In the past I’ve been outspoken on the need for Business Analysts to stop being order takers and to rise to a more strategic role. I believe that we’ve transcended that, and it will take bold and spirited analysis at an advanced strategic level to meet the demands of tomorrow. We must be bold and decisive in our approach as we become digital business analysts.

Learn more about this growing area of interest with IIBA’s free resource called Understanding Business Data Analytics.



About the Author

Jared loves being a Business Analyst and has done so in title for over 15 years with over 25 years of business leadership experience in both the retail and energy sectors. He is a strong advocate for IIBA, having served in various capacities with the Calgary IIBA Chapter as well as chairing the Volunteer Chapter Network. He brings his passion for business analysis and experience as a Chapter Leader to the role of Director of Chapter and Membership Engagement of IIBA.

He holds his Bachelor of Arts degree in French from the University of Calgary and the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) designation. He will take any chance possible to evangelize business analysis and will talk your ear off about the role and the profession should you allow him to do so.