Agora Insights Deirdre Caren Maria Becerra AI Business Analyst

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The AI Business Analyst: With Maria Becerra

Hosted by Deirdre Caren on Agora Insight's Blueprints for Success - The AI Business Analyst

I recently had an engaging discussion with Maria Becerra, a passionate advocate for AI and an accomplished business analyst, on the AI Business Analyst. Maria is a respected name in strategy, business analysis and AI. Her path from Colombia to Canada and her successful shift into business analysis highlight the importance of adaptability and lifelong learning in our industry. Maria's perspective on the changing role of business analysts in the context of AI is both intriguing and highly pertinent for those aiming to stay competitive in their careers.

In this session, Maria shares her vision of the rise of the AI Business Analyst, the human-in-the-loop, the rate of change in AI, and its implications for how we learn and work. Let's get started...



Maria, with a solid engineering background, found her career bridging the lines of business and technology. Her relocation to Canada was a defining moment as she began to study business analysis at Mohawk College. Her earlier roles in Colombia, while not officially recognized as business analysis, were in fact closely related, showcasing the versatility of her skills. This natural alignment with the Canadian business analysis sector was a key turning point for her.

Maria has always been committed to her professional growth, which is evident from her academic achievements and her active role in the business analysis community. As a leader within the IIBA Hamilton chapter and later as a regional director for Latin America, she has shown an unwavering dedication to the advancement of the field.

Her interest in artificial intelligence and business strategy demonstrates her ability to stay ahead of the curve. Maria emphasises the importance of ongoing education and specialisation, particularly in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, to ensure that professionals maintain their competitive advantage in the workplace.

3 Key Topics:


1. Volunteering and Career Growth

Maria stressed the importance of volunteering, particularly in her role as President of the IIBA Hamilton chapter. This experience was instrumental in advancing her career, as it equipped her with essential leadership and communication skills and a strong network. She advises newcomers to volunteer not just for community service but as a means for personal and career advancement.

2.  AI and Business Analysis

Our discussion brought to light the increasing convergence of AI with business analysis. Maria envisions business analysts taking on the role of AI facilitators, not just users but enablers, with a solid grasp of AI concepts to effectively connect business objectives with technical solutions. She anticipates a future where business analysts will need to specialize in AI to stay relevant, drawing a parallel with the rise of roles such as Salesforce business analysts. 

3.  Learning and Specialization

Maria recommends a T-shaped learning model for those entering the field: develop a broad set of business analysis skills and then focus on a specialization like AI. She reassures us that despite the fast-evolving nature of AI, the core principles are stable, offering a solid foundation for building expertise without being overwhelmed by constant innovation. It implies that, while the field of AI is rapidly evolving, there is a core body of knowledge on which professionals can focus to develop their skills without becoming overwhelmed by constant change.

As AI continues to permeate various aspects of business operations,
Maria envisions a future where a new breed of business analysts will emerge -
the AI Business Analyst.
"We'll start getting that approach and being the translator
between the business side and the development side,
helping them understand when really to use AI," Maria explained. 

10 Learning Points

  1. Formal Education: Structured business analysis training can solidify your understanding and affirm your existing abilities.
  2. Volunteering: Volunteering can be a powerful career catalyst, enhancing both soft and technical skills, as well as expanding your network.
  3. Continuous Learning: Keep your skillset fresh and adaptable by embracing new knowledge and skills. Be patient. Keep exploring. Keep learning. Stay curious. Things will work out.
  4. AI Understanding: Familiarize yourself with the basics of AI to contribute meaningfully to related projects.
  5. T-Shaped Skills: Cultivate a broad knowledge base in business analysis before diving into a specialization such as AI.
  6. Practical Experience: Engaging directly with AI initiatives can enrich your understanding and appreciation for the development process.
  7. Prompt Engineering: Crafting prompts for AI tools requires precision and detail, much like writing clear and thorough requirements.
  8. Human-in-the-Loop: Ensure human oversight in AI data processes for greater accuracy and responsibility.
  9. Misinformation Awareness: Exercise caution with AI-generated content and verify information before acceptance.
  10. Community Engagement: Participate in groups like AI Expedition to stay abreast of the latest developments in AI and business analysis.


The insights and journey of Maria Becerra offer a fresh lens through which to view business analysis and AI. Her advice on volunteering, the necessity of continuous learning, and understanding the role of AI in our field are invaluable for professionals at any stage of their career. By embracing these principles, business analysts can lead the way in technological innovation and become indispensable assets in their organizations.

In conclusion, my dialogue with Maria was not only a window into her professional experiences but also a reflection of the broader shifts and demands in the business analysis landscape. The significance of volunteering for career advancement, the imperative for business analysts to integrate AI into their skillset, and the strategic approach to learning and specialization are key factors that I believe will define the success of business analysis professionals eager to lead and innovate.

Chat again next week:)

"To use AI effectively, you've got to understand the context, the need, the stakeholders."
Deirdre Caren

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About Maria

Passionate AI Business Strategist with over 7 years of experience collaborating with diverse teams to drive business growth through data and tech-driven recommendations.

I excel at simplifying complex technical information into practical insights, and with a solid background in business analysis and AI, I can help you navigate the ever-changing world of emerging technologies. 

Beyond my corporate role, I enjoy presenting on AI and Business Analysis, and I'm open to opportunities to share my expertise. 

I also serve as the Director of AI Expedition, Regional Director of IIBA LATAM, and an ambassador for Women TechMakers. When I am not at work or volunteering, I love to go for a walk, study, travel, and practice yoga (hot yoga!).

If you'd like to connect, please send me a note :)

Talk soon!

Maria Becerra  LinkedIn 

This entry was published on Apr 30, 2024 / Agora Insights International . Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.

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