Webinar Q&A Part 2: How to Contribute to Analytics Activities
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As part of IIBA’s Global Research, the Achieving More with Data research analyzes the forces shaping the use of data and analytics at companies. In a recent panel discussion on this subject, we discussed the impacts of data analytics and business analysis on today’s businesses. In part one of this blog, we answered questions about the mind shift required, the role core business data analytics practices contribute in the quality of analytic activities, and the essential skills and opportunities for business analysis professionals in business data analytics.
You can watch the full webinar recording here.
Here are some Q&As from the webinar:
Q: In your experience, do you find organizations build their data analytics approach, specifically, metrics from scratch, or do they start with standardized industry metrics which can reduce development time and be used to benchmark against competitors? For example, I am a member of the Society of Maintenance & Reliability Specialists and in their BOK, they have already identified what metrics are recommended to be reported on.
David Marco, EW Solutions: Most define their metrics from scratch; however, I have had others that used a BOK as you suggest, as a starting point. Make sure that the BOK resonates with your decision-makers.
Q: Does considering a Business Analyst as a "translator" between business and technical resources minimize or trivialize the role for organizations where business and technical resources are capable of direct communication?
Keith Ellis, IIBA: Yes, the use of the word translator minimizes the role of a Business Analysis Professional. The six BDA (Business Data Analytics) practices are the right role. The problem with the term is that it is in common use in business.
Q: Are there best practices for requirements documentation (BRD) for data warehouse projects? There seems to be a fine line (at least for our organization), between what requirements the Business Analyst should provide, vs what the Data Analyst will do.
David Marco, EW Solutions: Yes, there are many best practices. I'll name a few. Make sure to meet with your business users to define what they need. Make sure to prototype. For DW/BI, prototyping is paramount as the business may struggle to accurately define what they need.
Q: Do we need to know phyton, sql or R to perform data analytics?
Keith Ellis, IIBA: No. A business analysis professional should be familiar with what these technologies are and do, but a business analysis professional is not a coder or technologist. You have tech or data science people to who do this.
Q: How would a business analyst address the challenges caused by evolving legacy systems which are riddled with technical debt? Should the technical challenges be addressed first? or workarounds be found for the gaps in the data?
David Marco, EW Solutions: Bandages on top of bandages is not a good idea; therefore, I believe that resolving the technical debt is usually the best approach. Of course, there are times when business drives and need cause us to do it differently.
Q: Can you give an example of a daily routine of a data-driven business analyst?
Keith Ellis, IIBA: The best examples of the tasks performed by a business analysis professional in business data analytics is in the Guide to Business Data Analytics. This guide is available free to IIBA members.
Q: I see and hear too many people (including training providers) who equate data analytics (particularly, the Certification in Business Data Analytics [CBDA]) with data analysis. Is this acceptable (I don't think it is), and how do we address that difference?
Keith Ellis, IIBA: CBDA and data analytics is much wider as both a profession and value to the organization and technology set, than simply data analysis. I think business analysis professionals have a role in educating companies and industry of not only the scope of BDA, but the impact of our profession and the true role it should be playing in providing business value.
Learn about the Certification in Business Data Analytics here.
Q: Many organizations are not ready for the cognitive data analytics system because they run on a reactive type of system. How would you advise the data analysts in this kind of environment?
David Marco, EW Solutions: Cognitive data analytics requires a great deal of discipline. Focus on maturing the organization and bringing them out of reactive system design.
To learn more about the role of business analysis in data analytics read the Guide to Business Data Analytics. How can you assess if your organization is a "data-driven enterprise" or not? Contact IIBA’s Corporate Program to find out how our resources can help drive professional development and growth.
To learn more, fill out the form below to speak with a Corporate Program Manager.
About The Authors:
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.
Global Authority on Data Governance, CDO, Digital Transformation, Data Literacy & Data Management | CDO | Best-Selling Author | Fellow IIM, CDP, CBIP