Skip to content Webinar Q&A Part 1: How to Become a Data-Driven Organization

Webinar Q&A Part 1: How to Become a Data-Driven Organization

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Big Data presents an enormous opportunity for business. Stakeholders can make better decisions when they have insights from data. How does your organization collect, share, mine and analyze data to inform your stakeholders? And how involved are business analysis professionals in your data analytics projects?

How does your organization collect, share, mine and analyze data to inform your stakeholders? And how involved are business analysis professionals in your data analytics projects?


In a recent panel discussion we discussed key findings from IIBA’s Global Research, the Achieving More with Data research, and the critical role of business analysis plays in driving success in business data analytics in terms of ROI and performance gains,

You can watch the full webinar recording here.

Here are some Q&As from the webinar: 

Q: How do we help people distinguish between the data analysis profession (title) and the data analytics domain (the data analytics professional)?

Keith Ellis, IIBA: We call the first a business analysis profession and we should call the second a technology profession. My sense is that business analysis professionals have not realized the importance of business data analytics (BDA) to the future of their career. And organizations have taken a too technical or data science lens to their implementation. Both factors have led to extremely high failure rates in data analytics implementation.  

Q: How are becoming a data-driven organization and digital transformation related? Are they typically co-existing priorities/initiatives for companies? 

Keith Ellis, IIBA: Data-driven and digital transformation are both business imperatives that are equally important. The third business imperative is the evolving need of the customer. Each of those three are coexisting and equally essential for organizations to run in parallel. 

Q: What is the accountability of a data analyst (or maybe a business analyst) in a scenario where outcomes of predictive analytics seem to be unexpected over time? 

David Marco, EW Solutions: The Data Analyst or Business Analyst needs to see where their forecast went askew and model a new approach vs. the old data. 

Q: How do you navigate the impact of the Business Analyst when your organization leans towards Project Managers? 

Keith Ellis, IIBA: It depends on the area and project type because a project manager orchestrates project elements and budgets but is not generally a business analysis professional orchestrating value.  I did a bunch of work on this years ago.  Two thoughts...  it's about role separation...  on one side is the competency and roles of the project manager and on the other is the business analyst and what their roles and competencies are. This above is "navigating impact" because we're clearly separating what happens in the existence or absence or strength/weakness in a particular role or resource.  Another way to do it is to look at studies [that IIBA or I have done in the past] which quantify the impact of business analysis, independent of other variables. 

Q: How do we as business analysis professionals create a mindset shift for companies wanting a Business Analyst to also be a Data Analyst? 

Keith Ellis, IIBA: The biggie here is education.  I think it's knowing the value of the business analyst, knowing the role, knowing the 6 BDA practices and Guide to Business Data Analytics.  
Download the BDA infographic here

Q: How do you convince top management of the value of data? 

David Marco, EW Solutions: The best way to convince management of the need for management data is to show them how the lack of proper data management is harming their business today. Do this from the perspective of the business and not as a technologist.  

Q: Do we as Business Analysts have the responsibility to force our data driven culture on our employees? Even if they do not imbibe the data driven views. 

Keith Ellis, IIBA: No. Data driven culture is a journey and not something that can be achieved in a day. As business analysis professionals we uncover and enable the organization to discover business value. This leads them toward a data driven culture through realizing the success of the initiatives in which we are engaged in. 

Q: How do you explain the difference between Data Analytics and Decision Analytics to management or other non-Business Analysis professionals? 

David Marco, EW Solutions: I don't explain it to management as they are not interested in the details of how we provide impactful analytics. I handle the differences of these concepts by walking through the approach we are using and why we are using said approach. 

Q: Would a data-driven corporation still have hardline hierarchies or does data-driven allow for a “flatter” company hierarchy?

Keith Ellis, IIBA: Data-driven organizations do flatten and push decision making further down the organization. So, it enables much more efficient ways of doing business. But not every data driven organization has gotten ridden of hard-line hierarchies. 

Q: Most companies are so low on the Data Maturity scale shouldn't we be helping businesses focus on the basics and helping them grow as a data driven company through effective business analysis rather than confusing them with ML / AI? 

Keith Ellis, IIBA: This is a fair point that some companies are low on the maturity scale and good business analysis always applies.  However, business data analytics projects (which is everything from data warehousing, reporting and data visualization all the way up through ML/AI) also happens at - and are far more difficult for - low data maturity companies.   

IIBA’s Global Corporate Program provides the support and resources organizations need to build business analysis capabilities and drive professional development and growth in support of data analytics initiatives.  


To learn more, fill out the form below to speak with a Corporate Program Manager.   



About The Authors:
Keith Ellis

Keith Ellis brings to IIBA more than 20 years of leadership experience including roles as CEO, COO, board member, investor, and mentor to various companies. He has experience with IDC, CGI, IAG Consulting, EnFocus Solutions, and Anow, among others, and co-founded and sold Digital Mosaic, a business analysis company. A recognized voice in the business analysis community Keith has published and spoken extensively with the Enterprise Architecture Symposium, Business Analyst Times, Modern Analyst, and other outlets in the field in addition to his contributions to IIBA. 


Dr. David P. Marco

Global Authority on Data Governance, CDO, Digital Transformation, Data Literacy & Data Management | CDO | Best-Selling Author | Fellow IIM, CDP, CBIP 


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