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How Business Analysis Helps Small Businesses

How a Business Analyst Helps Small Business

Today we will be continuing our series on IT methodologies and will be discussing business analysis. Business analysis is a growing practice in industry. In 2010, number of Canadians employed as business analysts increased by over 38%. If you think about 2010, it wasn't a very strong year in our economy. We had a lot of job loss. When you hear about a job role that is increasing by 38% in that kind of environment, it's really quite impressive. What is a business analyst? A business analyst is a facilitator. It's a person who has really two types of skills: analytical skills and communication skills. The role they play is to help you and were medium size business with your requirements.

What is wrong with Small Business IT?

We have kind of a divide within our economy and within our businesses. We have business stakeholder. We have people who work in operations, people working accounting, people who work in finance, HR: all of these different areas of your business. Then we have IT professionals who are designing and building, and creating systems really to support this first group and help them accomplish their goals and meet their objectives. Unfortunately what happens is these two groups have some challenges working together. The biggest one of those is communication. A lot of this comes down to language. You have the business stakeholders who have their own area of expertise. They have their own language and they know their business. You know what it is that you do. You are an expert at what you do. We would call you a subject matter expert within your area of expertise. We have these terrific technical people who are also experts in their area. They know their programming. They know they're code. They know their systems. But do they understand your business? Can they communicate with you? Can they understand your needs? Can they organize and manage your requirements? Sometimes, often times, the answer is no. You have these two groups that really need to work together, that need to communicate, but who just can't. They have challenges being successful at doing so.

How a Business Analyst Can Help

This is where the business analyst comes in. The business is an expert communicator and also an analytical person. They will work closely with those business stakeholders to understand the document their requirements and will work with the implementation teams to understand: can this work? What kind of constraints do we have on our solution and will kind of work back and forth and manage that entire process of requirements for you. What's important for you as a small business owner or small business professional in Calgary, Alberta, is that you engage a business analyst. If you try to just skip that process and go directly to your technical people, you are run into the same problems that everyone else is having. You may think that you are able to very clearly describe what your requirements are, but unfortunately, you might not be describing them in a way that the technical team can actually understand and can actually go ahead and implement. You really need this facilitator, this person in the middle who is going to bring these two groups together, bring that knowledge together and produce a solution that is successful for your business. My name is Jonathan Nituch from Fortress Technology Planners, an IT support company in Calgary, Alberta. We will speak to you tomorrow.

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Hi Jonathan, 
Good video and post! It think it's valuable for small business owners to know that Business Analysts can do more than help with ensuring IT solutions meet business needs. Business Analysts are there to help solve problems with a combination of people, processes and technology. This could entail developing or improving business processes, setting up the proper organizational structures to maximize operational efficiency or ensuring that planned or current projects are aligned with the strategic objectives of the business.  
Business Analysts know how to use IT strategically as part of a comprehensive approach to ensuring businesses reach their greatest potential.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:30 PM by Jarett Hailes
Thanks Jarett, I totally agree. There are many ways that a business analysts can help a small business. As we continue this series, we will explore many of the topics that you mentioned. Stay tuned!
Posted @ Friday, July 27, 2012 6:02 PM by Jonathan Nituch
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