Business analyst’s role in digital transformation.

How business analysts make digital transformations a success.Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Introduction

No matter what kind of business you run or what kind of organization you manage, change is going to be inevitable. Every successful business or organization needs to be willing to change in order to continue to grow. Business analysts play a crucial role in that growth and change. This is especially true when considering digital transformation. Business analysts commonly play the role of bridging the gap between IT and the business via careful analysis of internal operations and systems.

We are going to take a look at the critical role business analysts play in digital transformation and how you can utilize their skills to make your digital transformation a success.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of transforming every aspect of an organization by leveraging innovative digital solutions in a way that aligns with organizational goals and objectives. Well-executed digital transformations are driven by a well-planned strategy that clearly outlines tactics that will help achieve organizational goals. This strategy also outlines how the organization will make strategic investments to advance the digital transformation and achieve organizational goals.

Digital transformation is a journey, not an event. It takes strategic planning and investment over a long period of time to be successful. There is a great deal of analysis that goes into the digital transformation process. Careful analysis of where your organization currently is, where they would like to be, and how they can get there are all areas that need to be carefully considered when preparing for a digital transformation. Comprehensive analysis of the whole organization is vital for embarking on a digital transformation journey, this includes but is not limited to your processes, your people, and your policies. That is where your business analysts come in.

What is a business analyst?

A business analyst is someone who evaluates your business operations as a whole and recommends strategic changes to executives and stakeholders. They typically play the role of bridging the gap between your digital ecosystem and the business and its people. Through careful internal evaluation business, analysts can determine what is working well for an organization, what isn’t working well, and recommend the best ways to make changes. They are the people that truly understand your business objectives and how changes made to your organization will affect the people and the processes within your organization. From understanding your stakeholders to understanding every internal procedure, business analysts know and understand your organization with a degree of detail that few others do.

It is this deep understanding of your objectives and processes that helps them know the best way to implement changes and who needs to be involved within an organization to make those changes a success. They also possess many leadership qualities that make them crucial in guiding your team through a digital transformation journey and making sure the transformation is heading in a successful direction.

What is a business analyst’s role in digital transformation?

There is no simple answer to that question because the reality is, they play many roles in digital transformation. Some may even argue that they have the most important role in digital transformation. They can step back and see the big picture and then determine the best way forward, based on the organizational goals and objectives.

We are going to look at four ways business analysts can help make your digital transformation a success.

1. Creating and executing the roadmap

When you’re creating your digital transformation strategy, it is important to define a clear roadmap that will get you to your digital transformation vision. This roadmap needs to be clear, logical, and lead back to achieving your organizational goals and objectives. This roadmap is how you will take your digital vision and create forward momentum that will bring it to fruition.

Business analysts are going to play an important role in creating and executing this roadmap. Above all else, business analysts can see if your strategies are going to achieve your organizational goals and objectives and how they will impact the organization as a whole. They have a firm grasp on the business objectives and goals and can determine which ones need the most improvement. They will also be able to tell you the best way to go about making your changes when considering every department and every person within the organization and how they operate.

Business analysts interact with many areas of the organization which gives them a holistic view of every aspect of the organization. That means they know which areas of the company will be impacted the most by each change and how they will need to strategically implement changes within those areas to make the changes a success. It is important to remember that digital transformation brings about a lot of change. These changes can be hard on employees as well as consumers or constituents so it is important to have someone who can consider their needs and how changes will impact them. Business analysts’ main job during this stage is to create a clear overview of the organizational goals and objectives and establish a step-by-step plan of how to get there by taking into consideration how each area of the organization will be impacted.

2. Help teams develop their workflow

This stage is all about leadership. Digital transformations can be a chaotic process when not approached strategically. Even once you have a plan in place, you will need someone who can lead teams through that plan and evaluate changes throughout the process. The evaluation process must take into account the impact it is having on members of your organization and your consumers or constituents. They need to be able to identify if the changes that are being made are working for each member of the organization, and if they are not, they need to be able to recommend strategic changes to help make them work. This constant leadership and evaluation are how business analysts help bring order to chaos.

By helping the business team and the IT team create their workflow, business analysts can lead both teams in the right direction. They can ensure the business side of the organization is preparing for any digital changes that will be coming up, as well as making sure the IT team is ready with the digital solutions when they need them. They will also be able to communicate with the IT team effectively to make sure the digital solution they are providing is something that will work for the people of the organization based on their knowledge and current procedures.

Once digital changes are made, they will be able to analyze the changes to see if they are having the desired result and how they are impacting the people of the organization. If they aren’t producing the desired result, or they’re having a negative impact on the people of the organization, they will be able to make strategic suggestions on how to adjust so you can still meet your organizational goals and minimize the negative impact. Their main job during this stage is to lead the transformation and be a resource for both teams to ensure everyone is staying on track and heading toward success.

3. Evaluate changes

You will find that during a digital transformation, evaluation never stops. It is an ongoing process that helps ensure your transformation is on the right track and that it is ultimately achieving your organizational goals and objectives. At the end of each project on your digital transformation roadmap, you will need to conduct an in-depth analysis of that project to determine if the project has been a success and how it has impacted the people of your organization.

Business analysts are no strangers to conducting these types of evaluations. As a matter of fact, much of their day-to-day job includes it. As we mentioned earlier, there will be some evaluation as you move through each project, however, the end evaluation is meant to analyze the entire project as a whole. They will look at the impact the change is having on your organizational objectives, how the people of your organization are being impacted, and how your consumers or constituents are being impacted. Evaluating these things will make it clear if the changes are having a positive impact and if not, where you need to improve to make the change a success. Their main job during this stage is to make sure everyone is adapting well to the changes and that the changes are having a positive impact on the organizational goals and objectives.

4. Present ongoing reports to stakeholders

A digital transformation is a long process. It takes time to analyze changes that you’ve made and see if they are working the way you anticipated. There are also a lot of people that will want to keep track of the changes being made, and how they’re helping the organization reach their goals and objectives. They will also want to know how the organization and its consumers or constituents are adapting to the changes. The best person to keep stakeholders informed is your business analyst.

As we mentioned earlier, business analysts are the best people to lead your teams through this process, which also makes them the best people to inform stakeholders and department leads on the current state of the transformation. They will be able to inform them on where the transformation currently is, how much has been spent on it and where it was spent, how those changes are currently impacting members of the organization, and how those changes are impacting the overall organizational goals and objectives. They will also be able to answer questions they have about an upcoming project and where the transformation is heading next. Their main job in this step is to make sure key internal and external stakeholders, as well as department leads, have all the information they need to feel comfortable and confident with the transformation.

Conclusion

Business analysts are the glue that holds a digital transformation together. Their broad skill set and communication skills make them an essential part of any successful digital transformation. From strategically executing to strategically evaluating, the business analyst plays a key role from beginning to end. MuniLogic can help you advance your career as a business analyst through accredited programs in partnership with Agora Insights. Visit our website now to learn more and jumpstart your business analyst or business architect career today.

About the authors:
Hannah is a professional content creator and writer. After graduation from the Public Relations program at Cambrian College, Hannah has gone on to start a successful freelance writing career. She is passionate about bringing words to life in a way that makes complicated topics more approachable. From website content to full articles, Hannah loves to find ways to communicate with any audience effectively. She currently lives and works in Sudbury Ontario.
Joseph founded INVORG focusing on a client-centric service delivery platform for innovating local organizations, not-for-profits, home and community support organizations, and small to medium-sized businesses. Joseph holds a Chief Information Officer Certification from Carnegie Melon University, USA, and the US General Services Administration. He is an IT veteran with over 20 years of leadership in technology, including four years as CTO for the city of London.

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