3 Reasons Why Companies are Hiring Business Analysts
The business analysis field is quickly growing and evolving to meet today’s business needs. According to the BA Times, the number of jobs for business analysts in the US will rise from 364,000 to 2,720,000 by 2020.1
Clearly there is a high demand for business analysts. Why is this?
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
To fully grasp why business analysts are in demand, it’s important to have an understanding of their role. A business analyst’s role isn’t usually clear-cut. “Most IT jobs have a clear, specific job description and career path,” stated Villanova University.2 “However, the business analyst career path tends to vary, as do the descriptions from job to job.”
While business analyst job descriptions can vary, most BAs routinely perform the following tasks, according to business analyst Luka Skracic3:
- Business analysts help facilitate solutions to current or future problems for stakeholders.
- Business analysts act as information conduits, translating “business stakeholders’ needs into a language their IT or development team can understand,” wrote Skracic.
- Business analysts wear many hats. Skracic said on any given day, a business analyst might “define a business case, elicit information from stakeholders, model requirements, validate solutions,” and likely much more.
3 Reasons Why Companies are Hiring Business Analysts (and Will Continue to Do So)
Here are a few reasons why companies are hiring business analysts, and will continue to in the future:
1. BAs make digital transformation easier -- Only 19 percent of North American companies consider their technology level to be advanced, yet “85 percent of decision makers believe they have two years to integrate digital initiatives before falling behind their competitors,” per Advance2000.4 This is why businesses are making digital transformation a top priority.
Digital transformation is complex process, but a BA can make it simpler. Nearshore Americas, Research and Analysis for the Next Generation of IT and BPO, referred to business analysts as the glue holding business’ digital transformation together.5 The source stated, “As digital transformation consumes the corporate world, analytics and information management is key, and business analysts are the vital components in bridging the client-developer gap.”
2. BAs translate complex processes during development -- Once a new business project has been implemented, companies must ensure staff across all departments understand the implementation and what it means for the organization. Corporate leaders are not always proficient in communicating these processes to technical staff. This is where a BA comes in.
“A skilled business analyst can translate the intricacies about how the business works for technical staff,” stated Treinen.6 “A business analyst can also serve as a point of contact during development for quick answers when staff is occupied with the daily needs of their business.”
3. BAs drive change management -- Implementing a business project is half the battle for corporate leaders. The other half is getting staff to adopt changes that new projects bring. Change management can be a challenge, and business analysts can help ensure staff adapts well to change by acting as change management practitioners.
When changes aren’t adopted, it’s usually because staff members don’t understand them and weren’t prepared for them. Companies bring business analysts on board not just to help facilitate solutions to problems and create business strategies around those solutions, but also to prepare staff for the changes that are coming, as well as reinforce those changes once they’ve taken place.
Read How to Start Your Career as a Business Analyst to find out exactly how to jump-start your career in business analytics. Also, see how the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) can help with member-only resources and engaging with the BA community that can help you develop your career.