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Could 2009 Be the Year of the Business Analyst?
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Posted by: katehall on Thursday, January 22, 2009

 As we experience increasing change in the workplace, the role of the business analyst is becoming more important than ever before. Managing change in the current climate is essential to ensure your company’s survival and there are many ways a business analyst can help.

Leading training and recruitment specialist Business Analyst Solutions has seen a rising trend for recruiting and training permanent business analysts rather than contractors, who are more costly on a day to day basis. Managing director Peter Kovacs believes that 2009 could become the year of the Business Analyst.
 
Here, Peter offers an explanation as to the role of the Business Analyst (BA) and gives advice on how you and your business could benefit by employing a BA to help you ride out the economic storm.
 
“The BA role is a communicative position with a need for great mediation, tact and relationship building skills.” Explains Peter; “But first and foremost a BA is responsible for identifying and managing change.
 
“Businesses in the UK are experiencing lots of changes at the moment and there are many topical areas where the use of a BA can help. From company mergers and acquisitions to retail outlet closures and job losses, the principles of business analysis remain the same but the role may vary according to the specific issue.”
 
COMPANY MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
This involves huge change which will impact on staff, customers, data, communication strategies and IT systems. The BA role will help manage this change at all levels from strategic through to detailed change. For example when two banks merge, how will they manage their two sets of IT mortgage systems? Should they merge the two systems, keep them separate and build interfaces or build a new system. A BA will work with all the stakeholders to analyse the requirements or the organisation. 
 
CHANGES IN LEGISLATION
Sudden and unexpected legal changes such as the recent reduction of VAT can be difficult to implement quickly and successfully. A BA can help to implement such changes in the most effective way and may also design a temporary process while necessary IT changes are being made.
 
STRATEGIC CHANGE
Companies should and will be making changes to their strategies in order to survive the current climate. Changes in strategies will create projects for change. A good BA will understand existing and new corporate visions and also understand these from different perspectives within the organisation. It is probably the only role that is in a unique position to consider the whole end to end process.
 
RETAIL CLOSURE
M&S recently announced closure of several stores. Closing stores is a big project and several BAs will be involved in managing the changes.
                
JOB LOSSES
A BA can help to ensure that the process of redeploying staff, or making them redundant, is efficient. This also serves to help make the process less painful for the individuals involved.
 
REDUCING COSTS
This is obviously a key area for most employers at the moment and improving processes such as debt collection and management are vital in maintaining a healthy cash flow.
 
With more than 20 years experience of working as and with business analysts Peter is convinced that employing good BAs can make a real difference to the future of your business. He comments: “Companies that view the current downturn as an opportunity rather than a threat are more likely to survive in the long term. They will adjust their business model, streamline and simplify and this is an essential part of the business analyst skill requirement.”
 
For further information on Business Analyst Solutions training, recruitment or consultancy services call 0845 166 2161 or visit www.ba-solutions.co.uk 



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