Sample Technology Paper on Business Analyst

Executive Summary

A business analyst bridges the gap between customers and the organization by analyzing
data to create viable solutions. An enterprise can either invest in an internal or an external
analyst. An internal analyst is dedicated to the organization and has a better domain
understanding of the business while the external one is more concerned with creating value to the
end user. For repetitive problems, an internal analyst is the best choice for companies who want
him/her to be well-acquainted with their business processes. To be effective at their work,
business analysts must develop certain competency skills that enhance the quality of solutions
proposed and how effectively the stakeholders will implement these solutions. These
competency areas include attitude, interaction, communication, thinking, analysis and
knowledge. Big organizations like Google and Uber have prioritized the role of a business
analyst in their day to day operations, making them some of the most successful companies in
the world.


The survival of a business today is dependent on, among other factors, its ability to
integrate data to its decision making process. Technology has revolutionized the way businesses
make decisions by providing more customer information that can be manipulated to increase
sales. A business analyst is tasked with using data to bridge the gap between the business and its
customers through data analysis (Milani, 2019). The business analyst collects data relevant to a
specific problem in the business process, analyzes that data and offers solutions to stakeholders
on the way forward. To be a successful business analyst, one must possess certain competencies
that enhance efficiency at the position. Such competency areas include knowledge, analysis,
communication, thinking, attitude and interaction.



Definition of Terms

 Analyst: (Or business analyst) is someone who analyzes a business regarding its day to
day operational processes through data integration to the model and offers insight that
improves the performance of an organization.
 Competency: Skills and abilities that facilitate the successful completion of a task. Such
skills imply knowledge required, social roles, self-image and motivation, among others.
 Solution: A set of changes that enable a business to solve a problem, take advantage of a
business opportunity or meet a need.
 Business Analysis: A field of practice that drives organizational change, designs change
measures and offers justification to proposed changes and elaborates workable solutions.
 Business Analysis Competency: A combination of technical knowledge and people skills
that enable an analyst to successfully communicate valuable solutions that bring success
to an organization.

Role and Importance of a Business Analyst

A business analyst helps to bridge the gap between businesses and information
technology. The gap is bridged through the use of data analytics to assess processes, identify
problems, determine requirements and offer solutions that are backed by data. The solutions
should be compiled and reported to stakeholders and executives who give the green light to
implementing them. Since the business environment is ever changing, analysts should be agile in
their proposal of solutions. Analysts must also articulate ideas to determine what is financially
reasonable and technologically feasible. An analyst will work with hardware, software and other
data analysis tools to improve the products and services of a business.


The work of a business analyst is paramount to the process of organizational change.
Findings by Chaos Report (2013) posit that the success rate of projects in information systems
environment is only 39%. For large projects, the rate went down to 10% in 2012 and 6%
between 2003 and 2012. Among the proposed causes of failure was the lack of understanding of
the project, less user involvement and the uncertainty of requirements. A business analyst fills in
the vital gap between users, developers and management to mitigate these causes of project
failure. A report by CNN Money indicates a 22.1% growth rate in business analysis jobs ("100
Best…," 2017). Uber's business analysts are tasked with improving metrics and reports, writing
and optimizing SQL code and creating visualizations based on customer requirements. The
incorporation of a business analyst to bridge the gap between customers and the business has
seen the company rake in $3 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2019 (Rapier, 2019).

Prioritization of Big Data Analytics in Organizations.

Internal versus External Business Analyst

An internal business analyst is part of the organization and provides analytics services
solely to the employer. An external analyst is contracted to analyze an abrupt problem and
propose a solution. Although a cheaper option, working with an external analyst has several
disadvantages that undermine the performance of the organization in the long haul. The external
analyst may limit the quality of services due to limitation of resources, labor intensive
requirements, time factor and scantiness of domain knowledge ("Benefits of…," 2018). The lack
of an ongoing relationship between the company and the external analyst leaves the management
with no options but to trust the word of the analyst even when the solution proposed was sub-par.
An internal analyst has a deeper understanding of the business domain and can generate solution


tailored to the business. Their commitment to one employer makes them seasoned in developing
solutions for repetitive problems in future.
However, hiring an independent business analyst has its own advantages. The
independent analyst puts the users’ needs before company needs since she/he does not belong to
the organization. By prioritizing the business users, proposed solutions are based on the most
important part of the business– the customer. Often, an external analyst works at a higher
professional level compared to an internal analyst. The risk of misinterpretation of requirements
by developers is significantly reduced since external analysts work out these requirements with
technical specialists before proposing them to the business.
A comparison between an internal and external business analyst
Internal Business Analyst External Business Analyst
Business domain well understood General domain understood
Focused on business fundamentals Focused on customer satisfaction
Solutions proposed are thoroughly checked for

Solutions proposed may be sub-par or nor

High risk of misinterpretation of requirements
by developers

Reduced risk of misinterpretation of
requirements by developers

Gap Analysis
Gaps exist where user expectations do not match developers’ perceptions of the same.
Gaps may also exist between management perceptions of completing a project and the actual
nature of work involved. A business analyst is required to bridge these gaps through gap
analysis. By definition, gap analysis involves the comparison of actual performance with an
organization's desired or potential performance (Mineraud, Mazhelis, Su & Tarkoma, 2019).
Gaps exist when organizations underutilize their resources or have under-invested in technology


to enhance performance. A business analyst will examine the current performance of a business
and compare it with what can be achieved if all resources were put into good use.
Competencies of a Business Analyst

To successfully execute the role, a business analyst must possess specific traits that
enhance the use and communication of data to drive important business decisions. These traits
can be grouped into six competency areas with unique skills. The competency areas include
attitude, knowledge, communication, thinking, interaction and analysis. A successful business
analyst must show a balance among the six competency areas.
A good business analyst should exhibit a positive attitude regarding accountability,
adaptability, ethics, time management and trustworthiness. Good accountability implies the
ability to finish assigned tasks on time to avoid unnecessary delays. A good business analyst is
adaptable to changes in the methods and techniques of solving a problem, hence providing
relevant solutions. The ethics of an organization must be adhered to when coming up with
solutions to business problems. A good business analyst is also an effective time manager,
capable of multitasking to speed up the process of coming up with a solution. Well-built trust
increases the confidence of stakeholders in the competency of a business analyst.

Level of value placed on data analytics by managers
A good business analyst should be knowledgeable in areas of business acumen, domain,
methodology, solution, technical and organization. The ability to generate practical solutions is


based on the analyst's understanding of the fundamental principles and best practices by a

business. Better solutions are generated when an analyst can differentiate the business domain
from the general domain. A good analyst should also know the appropriate methodologies that
provide the best approach and timing to change management. The knowledge of an
organization's politics and communication channels, both formal and informal, helps to channel
solutions better. Sometimes, an analyst is required to seek the help of other solution suppliers to
offer new insight on a matter. Technical knowledge is important in manipulation, storage and
retrieval of data.
Excellent analysis skills enable a business analyst to unravel solutions that could easily
be ignored. Good analysis skills entail root cause analysis, structured analysis, decision making
and statistical analysis. Analyzing the root cause of a problem is the basis for generating practical
solutions (Jenkins & Williamson, 2015). Structured analysis involves taking complex project
requirements and simplifying them in a well-structured document. A better understanding of an
organization's decision making criteria helps to assist others in making decisions. Statistical
analysis is essential to generating data-backed decisions.

Formal Strategy for Big Data Analytics


Good business analysts are great thinkers. Thinking skills involve learning, creative
thinking, conceptual thinking, system thinking and client experience thinking. As a creative
thinker, a business analyst should generate new ideas and alternative solutions to business

problems. Conceptual thinking skills should be exhibited in the understanding of relationships
among business needs, changes, solutions and stakeholders. Learning skills should be shown in
the analyst's ability to assimilate new information and the ability to modify solutions
accordingly. An understanding of the relationship between technology, employees, processes and
management facilitates good system thinking which results in creating solutions. When
considering a solution, the analyst should focus on what is best for the client without hurting the
business. As such, client experience thinking skills are important for a business analyst.
The effectiveness of a business analyst lies in the ability to receive and provide
information necessary in implementing solutions. Communication may be verbal or non-verbal
and also involves listening and written communication. A good communicator is able to unravel
what the other person is trying to put across beyond the words used. Body language, facial
expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture and other non-verbal cues are an important part of
communication (Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015). A business analyst should carefully choose


words that convey information on business concepts, ideas and solutions. Facts, opinions and
other deliverables should be expressed using text, sketches, symbols and models. One of
Google's main requirements for their business analysts is the ability to combine the love of data
with great business judgement and communication skills ("Business Analyst…," 2019).
The work of a business analyst is largely based on interactions with customers,
stakeholders, employees and technology. An analyst should possess outstanding skills on conflict
resolution, relationship, facilitation, team building, teaching, leadership and facilitation.
Solutions often bring conflict between managers and stakeholders. A business analyst should
resolve conflicts of opinions to smoothen the implementation process. Sometimes, implementing
solutions requires the input of a team. An analyst should build positive and trustworthy teams
that streamline the solution with company objectives. The ability to influence stakeholders in the
direction of a solution is supplementary to an analyst's leadership skills. In addition to leadership
skills, an analyst should facilitate meetings and workshops that elaborate more on proposed
solutions. During these meetings, the analyst should educate stakeholders on the importance of
taking the direction of tentative solutions.


The role of a business analyst is becoming increasingly important. Organizations see an
analyst as a vital ingredient to the project execution process. A business analyst increases
competitiveness through effective communication between users, developers and the
management. Through analysis of business and market data, an analyst proposes valuable
solutions that are aligned with the business strategy. To remain effective, a business analyst
should continually strengthen skills on the competency areas of knowledge, communication,


analysis, interaction, thinking and attitude. For businesses, an internal business analyst is good
when a long-term relationship is required and when problems arise more frequently. However,
an external analyst provides consumer driven solutions that drive more sales.


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Benefits of involving an external business analyst

Business Analyst, Google Play. (2019). LinkedIn. Retrieved from
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Mineraud, J., Mazhelis, O., Su, X., & Tarkoma, S. (2016). A gap analysis of Internet-of-Things
platforms. Computer Communications, 89, 5-16.
Milani, F. (2019). Business Needs, Scope, and Products. In Digital Business Analysis (pp. 143-
164). Springer, Cham.
Rapier, G. (2019, April 26). Uber estimates it lost at least $1 billion in the first quarter of 2019.
Business Insider. Retrieved from
Rosemann, M., & vom Brocke, J. (2015). The six core elements of business process
management. In Handbook on business process management 1 (pp. 105-122). Springer,
Berlin, Heidelberg.
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