Till now whatever we have seen was more from a bank point of view on few of the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst. Let us see on day-today what a business analyst might be doing!!!
Before understanding what business analyst do, let us understand why any business need an analyst. By definition, an analyst is the individual who analyze on any given topic, he is the one who examines and reviews the data or information or any specific area, like financial analyst look in to the economic and financial information associated with the stocks and securities so as to provide suggestions for the organization on investing on those stocks/securities. So, what exactly these individuals are doing for the business, they are helping the organizations to identify the problems, opportunities and needs and provide solutions for the problems, help in grabbing the opportunities and implement the changes that are required to satisfy the needs. This is the one of the many reasons why any business needs an analyst. Now that we know why business needs an analyst, you would also have figured out what could be the roles & responsibilities of them, yes you are thinking right, it changes according to the business need.
Let us concentrate on these problems, needs and opportunities and accordingly try to see what may be required for an analyst to do in such situations. All these three terminologies are co-related. In every problem faced by business there is a need for them to solve that and it creates an opportunity for an analyst to pitch in to resolve the problem. All business, whether small or big, faces issues/problems. Depending on the type of the problem, the solution needs to be arrived.
Let us consider a simple example of a problem in a hotel business, assume that the problem is smoking and because of customers smoking in common rooms, affects other customers, who don’t appreciate the smoke causes low customer satisfaction. To overcome this simple problem, an analyst works on identifying the problem on customer dissatisfaction so as to provide a solution. First he need to figure out the problem, this can be done by various methods, however let us assume he already identified this problem of smoking based on customer response to the satisfaction survey he conducted. Now he need to write down the problem statement as a first step, a best problem statement post identifying the real problem would be something like below
The problem of customers smoking in our rooms affects other customers, who don’t appreciate the smoke and smell, and our housekeeping staff, who spend significantly more time cleaning smoking rooms versus nonsmoking ones, the impact of which is low customer satisfaction, reduced occupancy rates, and increased cleaning costs. A successful solution would be to eliminate smoking and smoking effects from our hotel rooms and readdress those impacts.
To arrive at the solution, he need to do the following
1. Identify the root cause of the problem, which in our example is customers smoking.
2. Identify as many as solutions possible, i.e. identify multiple possible solutions which can resolve the problem
3. Prioritize potential solutions, meaning identify which you foresee as an acceptable solution for all.
4. Make a decision to select the best one out of the identified solutions. This can be a collaborative effort along with the stakeholders of the problem and as well as the business owner.
Post identification of the solution, it doesn’t stop there, assign responsibility and set a measure / target to ensure that problem is not repeated again.
Whatever I have told, even though generic, is applicable for any problem in any of the sectors where technology is involved. So, as a business analyst, you always need to identify the root cause of any problem and try to fix that so that it is not repeated again.
So, can we identify the best possible solution to the above problem? :)
What we are left with to ponder around, yes, you are right, needs and opportunities … let’s wait for few more days :) ...
Credit: RANGA, modernanalyst.com
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