by Nortal

Video: Business analytics in a time of disruption

Change is coming and it’s coming fast. In this video, Senior Business Analyst Alaeddin Hallak delivers tips and inspiration for business analysts (BA) who want to stay ahead of the upheaval.

Alaeddin Hallak, a Toronto-based specialist with over 12 years experience in IT, finance and government, is convinced that today, chief executive officers (CEO) expect insight, rather than just data.

In his keynote at Nortal’s Analysis Disruption BA conference last November, he said that the outlook among CEOs is sobering. As many as 72 percent believe that the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years. A full 41 percent expect to be running a significantly changed company in the next three years. In the face of these disruptions, leaders want to know how to help their companies transform.

BAs, beware: CEO’s expect insight, rather than just data. That need, of course, translates into new demands on business analysts. CEOs still want BAs to perform the functions they’ve always performed – improving efficiency and project success rates.

Now, in addition, CEOs are calling on BAs to help identify and prioritize new opportunities. Leaders want to understand their customers better to improve retention and conversion rates. The overall goal can be summed up as “smart, quick and improved decision-making.”

How can BAs rise to the challenge?

Hallak advocates moving from task-based analysis to a value-driven approach. In other words, BAs need to broaden their work from handling the specific task at hand to thinking more generally about the outcome the company wants, and how they can help achieve that.

To adopt what he calls the “value mindset,” Hallak recommends that BAs up-grade their knowledge, and add more consulting skills. By starting small and remaining proactive, they will eventually reach the stage where they can make valuable strategy proposals.

Emphasizing the point, Hallak quotes American social philosopher Eric Hoffer: “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

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