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Trends and challenges for the Business Analyst community

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago
  • Author:by Steven Taub
The business analyst community has been going through a major shift over the last few years due to a massive increase in digitalisation coupled with factors such as Brexit, IR35 and the global economy crises.

Regulatory change in the insurance industry has created demand for financial transformation due to changes in IFRS17 and Solvency II regulation. All these aspects have increased the need for business analysts to action long-term plans and achievable goals to meet business objectives.

So, what are the trends impacting business analysts in transformational change and what are the challenges that business analysts experience in the current market.

Business Analysts are in high demand

Business analysts are key to helping with change and transformation projects, as they can offer more than they have in the past in terms of domain knowledge, requirement management, facilitation, and a fresh perspective. Vast change in the insurance industry over the last 7 years due to SII and IFRS17 regulatory change, has enabled analysts to better understand the industry and gain domain knowledge, as well as considerable SME experience, operating as an analyst and a SME. Subsequently, organisations now have the confidence to employ analysts with the relevant experience, causing a shortage of talent in the market.

Apart from domain knowledge, we see business analysts gaining filters into technology. Analysts working across the sector would have considerable experience with different technologies and know many of the venders. Therefore, analysts have been employed not only because of their business knowledge of the topic but because of their relationships with vendors and the success that can generate. In the insurance sector, analysts who have experience of Oracle cloud products, Moody’s Risk Integrity and Tagetik are in high demand.

Process engineering and workshops

There is a big emphasis on process engineering and analysts that can think out the box and use techniques learnt from previous projects to meet company objectives. This creativity is essential for successful solutions. Process engineering helps identify inefficiencies in the business operations and guides the development of strategies to improve business effectiveness. The performance can be tracked over time, helping to identify areas of improvement to action relevant changes, providing more informed decision making and leading to better outcomes. Processes have also been used to train staff, so they better understand how the change in technology and operations best service the business.

Business analysts hold the key in bringing stakeholders together through running effective workshops. This has given analysts more power to bring programmes together, guiding the project to meet the organisational objectives. Workshops allow analysts to have the ability and opportunity to manage transitions smoothly and effectively, taking responsibility of key actions in a way that minimises disruption to the business and ensuring targets and goals are met. 

Expectations are the challenge

As the growth and uptake of business analysts increases, so does the expectations for them to be effective subject matter experts.A challenge for business analysts’ is that their skill sets are often derived by working on a variety of different projects, in a variety of different sectors and industries. However, if they are not seeing a project end to end, we risk knowledge gaps. This can be alleviated by offering business analysts SME support and knowledge to better enhance their abilities.

Business analysts are often working in high energy fast paced environments and are constantly stretched for time. To be effective, they need to be met with strong, honest, and reliable leadership teams and adequate resources. A good project management team and/or structure creates the perfect environment for business analysts to succeed.Change teams that have a database of business analyst material for them to peruse and utilise helps them be creative, innovative, and proactive. Materials such as example requirements, process flows, control matrices and traceability matrices to better test effectively. All this enables the business analyst to be effective, allowing them to focus on the change required rather than the format. 

Business analysts hold a lot of power and expertise for change projects, by using process engineering and workshops to hit key objectives and being surrounded by strong leadership teams – the sky is the limit.

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