Who is a Business Data Analyst?
Most likely you’re curious why Business Data Analyst will enable you to achieve 2x higher ROI (65%) than the market average (ca. 30%) from data analytics initiatives, but before we jump into the weeds, let’s define who Business Data Analyst (BDA) is.
A DBDABA is an IT Business Analyst (watch this if you don’t know what Business Analyst does) who specializes in the data field so in general such a person has expertise in SQL, data warehousing, ETL processes, data modeling, cloud technologies for data, and a lot more nerdy stuff that a BDA uses on daily basis to help his/her organization deliver valuable data solutions.
Ok, now you have a good overview of who the BDA is, so in the next sections you will learn about the influence of this role on the rest of your organization.
One of the key changes you will observe after hiring the Business Data Analyst is that your engineering team gets better at shipping new increments and finally, the team’s NPS moves in the right direction, as stakeholders together with end users are more satisfied with the overall experience that they receive from the project team.
Why will it happen?
The Business Data Analyst will take responsibility for the crucial aspects of your project:
- Communication with business - the BDA knows how to talk with the business, so the entire process of identifying and analyzing the business needs will improve significantly. What’s more, people will feel comfortable while chatting with the BDA, so they will be more open to sharing their knowledge and thoughts and it will result in even better insights that will be passed to the engineers.
- Communication with engineers - imagine that all your engineers can ask business questions to one person (even better if asynchronously!) instead of looking around and booking another meeting. Yes, that’s the BDA’s role to work on business question that pop up during development phase. The questions will be translated from technical jargon to business language and back, so everybody will understand what they’re discussing, thus it will speed up the whole process and both sides will be ensured that the task is going in the good direction.
- Take engineers’ time back - if you have a BDA on the team, your engineers will be able to free up their calendars. As mentioned earlier, the project team members will have a single point of contact where they can direct their questions, doubts and ideas and the BDA will address them. Also, the BDA’s knowledge and skills will be sufficient for the majority of the meetings where some decisions have to be made or when you need a representative who has enough technical skills to speak for your team.
- Manage workload and priorities - Business teams will talk a lot with your BDA and thanks to that he/she will get well-oriented on what these teams are focused on at the very moment and what they plan for the future. It will give a better insight on what is going on in the company and your team will be better at planning - ordering backlog items will be much more efficient and straightforward. In return, your team’s priorities will be synced with business needs and you won’t be distracted by some less important tasks, thus the end users will get what they need at the right time. Another good aspect of getting right things done is that your team will feel that they work on something people need and use and this boosts the team’s spirit like nothing else.
- Ensuring solutions meet both technical and business requirements - BDA knows what the business expects and understands the technical capabilities and limitations of his/her project, thus he/she can quickly help find a solution that will be technically feasible and at the same time will deliver value for the stakeholders.
The list above can easily reach ten or twenty points, but let’s pause here. I hope that now you get a better feeling of why a Business Data Analyst will increase productivity in your organization as well as overall experience and satisfaction from work.
Deliver data business (really) want
- Data stored in transactional databases is like raw oil - it must be processed before it will be used as a final product. And it’s one of the BDA’s tasks to ensure that these processes are well-defined and tailored to business needs, so the business teams will receive accurate and quality data that helps them take informed decisions.
- The BDA supports engineers and non-technical employees in the data validation process. The analyst's unique position and knowledge increase the chance that the final output will meet business requirements. Thus it helps build trust in data that will be soon incorporated into the company’s reporting and make people more comfortable with taking decisions based on what they see on the charts.
- BDA will make sure that data exposed to the business is delivered to the right stakeholders and it’s accessible in a digestible format - some groups prefer to consume datasets in PowerBI and others may require JSON files through API and the BDA will identify what makes sense for each group of users and will work with engineers to implement the most effective solution.
- BDA will advise and educate business users - working with data can be a demanding and some requests that may sound trivial can be difficult or impossible to turn them into a working piece of code and the BDA's role in such cases is crucial, because he/she will reach out to people who asked for a new report and will explain in their language the technical challenges that the enginner team would face while working on it. And the BDA together with end user will look for alternatives or he/she will come up with more suitable solutions that will not only be technically feasible, but also meet business needs.
It’s another area that I could devote much more attention to, but my goal is to highlight the value of having the BDA whose contribution to the final products delivered by the engineering team pays off really well and your stakeholders will notice it from the first report done together with the BDA.
As you can see a Business Data Analyst accelerates the productivity in your organization and has a great impact on the quality of the work and reports delivered by the analytics teams. And this is why hiring the BDA will increase the ROI over two times the market average (source is at the bottom of the page) and what even more interesting - having the BDA on board can be a first step to begin building data culture in your organization.
Build a Data Culture
Business Data Analyst is like a glue guy who holds both sides together and plays the role of platform that enables synergy - the business people in your organization will learn more and more from the BDA about the data world. Over time you will observe that they will be more data-savvy and their interest and trust in data will grow. On the other hand, knowledge about your company services, products and operations will grow in the IT team and it will result in better addressing of business asks. Tightening integration between business and data teams will be one of the factors that lead your organization to a a data-driven approach which help you build a huge advantage over the companies that are slow in adapting to the new reality.
(The same post has been published on Faro.team.)