The role of business analyst is to be a guru for change. He sits on a gold mine of numbers that can be used to push the organization beyond current boundaries. He can get others to think out of the box and discard preconceived assumptions. If the business analyst assumes the role of change agent, there is a huge potential for discovering innovative solutions across departments that can dramatically improve the company’s bottom line.
Attract More Customers
For example, it is no longer possible to have one customer acquisition strategy for all customers. Today’s consumers are sophisticated, empowered, and demanding. A good business analysis will perform market segmentation to convert data into actionable steps that predict customer behavior. Market segmentation can be based on demographics (age, gender, education, income), psychographics (lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs, personality), and brand loyalty (geography, urban vs. rural). Grouping allows for a more targeted message to a more defined audience. If the business analyst discovers that 75% of urban female prospects abandon the company’s website during the ordering process, then he might push for an overhaul.
Improve Customer Experience
Everyone wants and expects amazing customer service. Businesses today have more insight behind customer wants and needs than ever before, but it is only powerful information if they actually use it. For example, BBVA — a global financial-services provider with more than 47 million individual and corporate customers – wanted to revamp their customer’s ATM experience. Since more than 80% of the customer’s transactions occurred at the ATM, the company wanted to custom-design the machine around user experience. This involved changing industry standards. After interviewing and observing ATM users, and reviewing a host of analytical data about usage in banks, kiosks, gas pumps, etc., they devised a solution that was simple, flexible, and intuitive. BBVA now ranks among the leading Eurozone banks.
Improve Process Efficiency
Delivering products better, faster, and cheaper is critical. Business Process Management (BPM) methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, and TQM can drive innovation. Knowing that it takes 20 minutes to process an application (Time to Yes), or 60 seconds for a call to be answered are numbers worth evaluating. A great business analyst will engage department heads to reduce cycle times by eliminating or reducing non-value-added activity.
The Business Analyst Role as Guru of Change
In summary, industrious business analysts are not sitting on numbers, but using them as ammunition to initiate change. They influence process owners and stakeholders to drive innovation across the organization. To be a successful and valued business analyst in today’s competitive marketplace, one must be prepared to upset the status quo, and have confidence in one’s ability, and not be afraid to push for change. The reward is decreased costs and increase customer loyalty.