A business analyst works to improve a company by using important and relevant data to make decisions, offer recommendations, and suggest changes. The guidance that a business analyst can provide will help a company to make positive changes that are intended to improve the business in multiple different areas. Such areas can include technology, organization, and staffing. By optimizing these areas, businesses are well placed to plan for the future.
A good business analyst should always consider many factors when they are recommending changes that will align with the organization’s demands, objectives, and goals. Certain demands may have conflicting interests. Business analysts must know how to prioritize these demands, mitigate any upcoming conflicts of interest within the business, whilst also ensuring the best solutions for each of the issues that they are presented with.
If you are interested in becoming a business analyst, you will need to learn the very best ways to balance a company’s objectives with multiple competing interests. A good school can prepare you for these challenges. An SBU online business analytics master’s program, such as the one offered by St. Bonaventure University, will ensure that you are able to obtain the necessary tools to work in this profession, and to do so successfully.
Aligning Your Recommendations With The Company’s Needs And Goals
Think About Strategic Alignment
A good business analyst will focus on strategic alignment when offering suggestions about how to improve a company’s processes. These recommendations should align with the company’s needs, goals, and ethos or mission statement. This work on alignment can also help to ensure that the business strategies and other internal and external factors are able to coincide with one another.
For a business analyst’s plan to be successful, the proposed strategy must coincide with how the company is organized and how its resources are being used – whether now, or in the future. The strategy must benefit all departments and operations within the business. Suggestions that are made by the business analyst can help departments to work together more efficiently and can encourage inter-departmental collaboration on a wider scale.
Examine The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
A good business analyst looks to the future of the business and will offer suggestions that benefit a company in the long term, rather than just the short term.
KPIs help to determine how a business will perform in the near and distant future. These indicators play an important role in how plans are formulated for a company, and for a business. By evaluating KPIs through consistent reporting and the use of analytics tools, it is possible to determine how these trends might change over time.
KPIs will cover finances, operational processes, and customer services within a company. Specific data that pertains to each KPI should be closely examined in order to obtain an accurate overview of the company’s current status, and an overview of how it will likely evolve in the future. Examining these factors will ensure that each KPI is in accordance with company needs and objectives.
Explain Recommendations In Clear Terms
To ensure that your recommendations are in accordance with the needs and goals of the business, business analysts should communicate their ideas and recommendations in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. In particular, complex matters of the business (and relevant suggestions) should be carefully explained. If the business analyst offers suggestions whilst using complicated terms, key details and information might be missing. This can result in the implementation of a business plan that is not aligned with the company’s needs or is lacking information that is highly pertinent to the progression of the business.
The ability to communicate in layman’s terms is important when relaying information to stakeholders so that they can authorize the appropriate changes. By eliminating complex jargon, it is easier for stakeholders and other important decision-makers to determine if your suggestions align with the company’s goals and ethos.
Identify Problems That Your Recommendations Can Solve
To create an effective problem-solving plan for a company, you must know how to identify the problems that affect the business, and then provide appropriate suggestions to address these shortcomings. Investigating may be necessary to identify areas with problems that are not obvious.
Reviewing analytics may help identify issues that need to be resolved so that the business can meet its goals. There might be issues with company policy, technology, or organization — all of which can hinder the business’s path toward greater success. The root causes of these problems must also be identified so that the proposed solutions can sufficiently resolve the issues.
Once problems are identified, it is the business analyst’s responsibility to formulate solutions that will resolve these matters without compromising the company’s integrity or policies. If revisions must be made to existing company policies so that proposed solutions will align with company needs and objectives, you must try to convince stakeholders and other important decision-makers to agree to the changes.
Consider the Cost
It is necessary to understand the limitations of the changes you might suggest; a company may not be able to provide the infrastructure that your suggestions might require, so it is important to be realistic. No suggestion should be made without first looking at the cost to make sure that it is in line with the business’s budget. Even the best ideas cannot be implemented if the funds are not available to put them into action.
One of the best ways to determine if a recommendation is financially feasible is with cost-benefit analysis. This process helps business analysts compare potential benefits with associated costs to determine whether the suggestion should be included in the business plan.
Among the most important aspects of cost-benefit analysis are the earned revenues and cost savings associated with previous projects. Intangible benefits, such as customer experience and general mood among staff members, can also be factored into the cost-benefit analysis to help devise the most sensible strategies for the business.
Choosing the Right Technology
Business analysts often work closely with IT departments and are expected to help solve a variety of technical problems. One of the best ways to assist the company with technological demands is by making sure that the business has the right technology to stay productive and competitive in the business world.
You can review data to determine what software will optimize the business and how it can be integrated into the existing network. You can also suggest new hardware systems based on your analysis.
It is important that the IT department communicates effectively with other departments so that your advice on technology needs will be implemented. Stakeholders will want reports on the business’s technological progress so that they know you are working effectively.
How To Prioritize Conflicting Demands
Analyze Demand Patterns
By looking closely at demand patterns, you will know which company products or services are most in demand. These patterns will help prioritize demands that conflict with others. By identifying those that are most pressing, conflicts may be more easily resolved.
Demand patterns are effectively analyzed using demand modeling and trend analysis. Another way to gauge and work through conflicting demands is to survey customers to determine what business products or services patrons really want from the company.
Distinguish Between Urgent And Important Tasks
Some tasks are more important than others and require immediate attention. Learning how to distinguish between urgent and important duties may help you address conflicting demands with a clearer mindset. Urgent tasks need to be resolved immediately or have deadlines that are fast approaching, while important tasks can generally be completed at a gradual pace.
Eisenhower’s urgent vs. important principle can be used to evaluate the importance of specific responsibilities to help you fulfill your obligations with fewer challenges. This principle involves placing tasks into designated categories to better rank their importance.
Manage Your Time Wisely
To limit conflicts in demands, it is important to follow good time-management practices and avoid procrastination. Completing your work and avoiding conflict demands will be easier if you monitor your workload. You may also need to limit your availability to other people during certain times of the day so that you are less distracted and able to focus.
Technology is sometimes blamed for unnecessary distractions, but it can also be your friend if you use it wisely. Some time management apps can help you structure your workday, as well as divide the time between project responsibilities. These apps may prove to be especially useful if you work from remote locations and face conflicting demands.
Be Flexible And Willing To Adapt To Changes In Demands
There are times when demands might suddenly change, resulting in conflict with other demands. In this occupation, it is best to remain flexible so that modifications can be made to meet changing demands. To help navigate these situations, it is helpful to learn and practice adaptability skills so that each obligation can be sufficiently addressed.
When demands change, you may need to alter your approach to certain tasks to reduce conflicts with your responsibilities. Being innovative is one strategy that can help you manage conflicts. It is important to be open-minded and flexible so that you are more adaptable to changing situations.
Negotiate New Deadlines
Project deadlines may need to be renegotiated with stakeholders and others to avoid conflicts in job demands. Decision-makers might be amenable to setting new deadlines if you are honest about your conflicting demands and the time necessary to best complete the job.
You should not assume that sufficiently completing tasks is only about speed. If you have conflicting demands as a business analyst, it will be difficult to work through them if you hurry through the processes due to tight deadlines. Stakeholders and others who depend on you to handle these tasks will want the work done correctly, so do not be afraid to ask for the occasional deadline extension.
Seek Help From Project Managers And Other Teams
It is okay to ask for help, and this is especially true if you are a business analyst who is facing conflicting demands. Other professionals within your organization might be able to offer guidance and possibly take some of the work to help you meet your obligations and better resolve conflicting responsibilities.
Cross-functional collaboration is an important method for addressing conflicting business needs. With this type of collaboration, you will be able to gather input from people in your company who have different skill sets. Employees who work in technology, customer service, and marketing are good additions to your cross-functional team and can help you manage conflicting obligations.
Becoming A Well-Balanced Business Analyst
Working as a business analyst is often a juggling act and involves balancing many responsibilities. If you master the skills that are needed to meet demands and address conflicting interests, you can thrive in your role as a business analyst.