Why are Business Analysts in ever greater demand on the job market?
The Business Analyst (BA) position is becoming increasingly popular on the job market. This role is often little known – or even misunderstood – because the public do not have a clear idea of what it involves. While everyone can easily understand the role of a Product Manager or a Human Resources Director within a company, it is difficult to understand the role and work of a BA.
What is this function, and why is it increasingly in demand on the job market?
What does a Business Analyst do in an organization?
Depending on the level of maturity of a company's Information System (IS), the data used for the various processes and business applications is often voluminous, but not necessarily well used.
Indeed, the change in data storage and usage methods, as well as the advent and propagation of non-relational databases (NoSQL) since the beginning of the 21st century, confirm the desire of companies to process colossal quantities of data, which are currently handled within a single company – none other than the giant Google.
Faced with this state of affairs, BAs are increasingly called upon to exploit these huge volumes of data to provide a clear summary or to make relevant comparisons.
The analyst begins by looking for the source of the information to be analyzed, and then moves on to extraction, and possibly more intelligible formatting, by using connections between data that are sometimes not clearly related.
In the same way that BI (Business Intelligence) software analyzes tickets to deduce unlikely but relevant correlations for business profitability, the BA's work involves finding causal links between seemingly unrelated data to generate new knowledge relevant to the profitability of the organization. Similarly, the procedures and processes that enable the routing of this data within an IS can sometimes present malfunctions, which impact the company's profitability. In this case, the BA's understanding and improvement of these processes within a department or branch is just as beneficial as work on the data itself. Proposing architectural solutions suitable for addressing a given issue, or innovative technological solutions to overcome a proven failure, represents another lever of action for the BA..
Why are Business Analysts in ever greater demand?
In a context of excessive globalization, the competitiveness of a company sometimes becomes a guarantee of its survival. Discussing competitiveness necessarily implies the improved management of production costs.
In addition, climatic (global warming) and health (COVID-19 crisis in 2020) hazards are unavoidable current parameters, which consequently influence the job market. We even speak of climate or health "refugees".
The result is a glaring lack of visibility for entrepreneurs and investors, which inevitably leads to a reluctance – or even a freeze – on investments and hiring. It is therefore clear that better risk management is needed to deal with these current hazards. In addition to these unforeseen events, which are beyond the control of the companies, one of the major areas of performance within these organizations is the optimization of information processing times.
This optimization, from the customer's subscription to the after-sales service, is becoming an important issue. The adage "Time is money" makes sense to illustrate this aspect. Every internet user can easily understand the frustration of a prospect or a customer when faced with a computer system that interacts too slowly or is too complicated to handle, which can lead to a denigration involving a loss of earnings for the company, or even mass cancellations synonymous with deadweight losses.
In addition to the subscribers, the users of these IT systems (sales representatives/prospectors) are also concerned by the performance of the IT tools made available to them. Incidentally, the search for superfluous clicks when improving digital tools for sales/prospecting is one of the most prominent business issues in large companies. All the above-mentioned needs explain the increasing use of BAs. They strive to meet the sales expectations of companies, as well as environmental imperatives, by having more control over the management of costs and risks.
The Business Analysts then conduct analyses that generate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), highlighting the most relevant choices for better decision making in view of the company's strategic issues. They also contribute to the improvement of information processing to ensure better performance.