Are Your Business Analysts Highly Paid Interns?
Rafael Chac, Sr. Automation Consultant at Accelirate Inc.
Over this past year I have had countless conversations with Business Analyst (BA) Unit leads and they all seem to share a common pain point, they are spending well over half of their time inputting and manipulating data across multiple platforms.
I recently had a conversation with a Business Analyst Manager who was asked by his executives to measure the success of a new product that had hit the market in the previous fiscal year.
Here is a condensed sampling of what the process looked like:
Step 1 – Send an email to the sales department requesting units sold in the previous fiscal year, units booked but not delivered and an upcoming forecast
5 business days to receive data
Step 2 – Send an email to the accounting department requesting validation of invoicing
3 business days to receive data
Step 3 – Reach out to the Warranty Claims department to get data on all claims for this product
2 business days to receive data
Step 4 – Consolidating all data to prepare for analysis
1 business day of preparation
Though the steps seem simple, the approval process to get access, the time it takes to get the data back, and the dependency of others to even respond can be unnecessarily cumbersome.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the median income for a Business Analyst with 1-5 years of experience averages around 80k per year. The ROI is undoubtedly there hence the 22% year-over-year growth and demand for Business Analysts. However, imagine the impact your business analysts could have if they were able to be solely focused on optimizing the business as opposed to performing intern type tasks.
What I have quickly discovered is that many organizations do not have a clear defined plan as to how to measure a Business Analyst’s true value within their organization therefore maintaining the status quo is acceptable. The consensus is that yes, they are needed, however, what results are we truly measuring?
On the other hand, the organizations that have established a COE (Center of Excellence), embraced cognitive technologies such as AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation now have quantifiable results in terms of both data quality and overall improvement of critical business decisions. So, take the sample displayed above, what used to take 11 business days to retrieve the data necessary could now take hours if not minutes in certain instances.