Everyone seems to be confused about these terms. Is it Data Analytics, Business Data Analytics, Business Analytics, and Business Analysis? And, rightfully so, they all sound alike and in many industry articles, they simply sound the same or at least interchangeable. For our intent and purpose as Business Analysts, it’s important to understand how to integrate Business Analysis with Business Data Analytics. Read on to understand the differentiators and to gain clarification on this topic so you can pay it forward and explain it to others.
Semantics – Choose Your Words Wisely
In reality, the difference resides in the words Analysis versus Analytics, and Business vs. Data. Businesses run on data, and data is valuable, and becoming more valuable with the technological capability to collect and use enormous data sets to be competitive in today’s business environment. Businesses can do some amazing things when they understand and leverage the data their business, systems, and customer processes create. Analytics is the discovery and interpretation of meaningful patterns in data that provide insights for businesses to take action. The analysis is a wide spectrum of activities that include analyzing people, processes, policies, interactions, workflows, systems, and data.
Who, What, Where
So, it begs the question: Are BAs in the Business Data Analytics space? Not exactly, Business Data Analytics is a practice and skill set of its own that overlaps with some business analysis work on my teams and project initiatives. BAs often need to collaborate with Data Analytics professionals in order to evaluate, recommend, and drive results in the work that Business Analysts and Product Owners do. The Analytics professionals hold deep data and technical skills that as BAs we can collaborate with to better understand more about our customers, users, and processes; this helps us help business leaders make better decisions on project scope, requirements, and priorities.
Collaboration Between BAs and Business Data Analytics
A key component for the BA is to understand the data and collaborating with data analytics professionals to interpret and understand the data insights. The data context of what user and system processes created the data is key to interpreting the data insights and where the data analytics professionals have gaps in the context of the user and system processes creating the data. BAs will need to ask the right questions about the quality and source of the data, and at times provide the context needed for everyone to understand and interpret the data. The BA analyzes the data at a different level of detail and a different focus. Most importantly, BAs seek to understand how the data influences business decision-making that impacts user, customer, and system processes.
Business Data Analytics and BAs are a growing topic as more organizations leverage data and the volumes of data being generated by technology increase. BAs can help teams determine what data to track and capture and help with what insights the data provides as BAs work to improve user experiences and processes. IIBA is addressing this as well, defining the overlap and pieces that BAs should be made aware of. Data and analytics are something every BA, every team, and every project needs to create awareness around. Just like Cyber Security, non-functional requirements, design thinking, business rules, business process, and other areas of analysis; data analytics is another practice to collaborate with for driving business results and solving problems in our everyday work. Stay tuned to our blog. We will be discussing this topic further. Please send us comments and questions about how this topic is being handled within your teams.