Why Use Business Analytics: Cases and Examples
Find out how valuable business analysts are and how they can save your money.
No business that is focused on success and profitability can exist in a vacuum. Whether it is a service or a product, it is created to satisfy the need of a client. If a business forgets its main task, it is reflected in all business processes. Both on the financial, functional, and also on the reputational side. Business analytics helps understand whether particular customer pain points were satisfied.
Business Analysis Purposes and Methods
According to the BABOK Guide, business analysis is a set of techniques used to understand how a company is performing, whether it is fit for its original purpose, to identify the capabilities that an organization needs to deliver products and services.
A business analyst is a person who analyzes the needs and problems of a business, consults with clients to find opportunities to improve business value. They also set, manage, and monitor specified requirements in business processes. The specialist can find out the need to launch MVP or measure the last KPI according to a client’s needs. You could say that a business analyst is like a full-stack web developer, as they start from the smallest problem to find the way out to the successful solution.
The tasks of business analysts can be divided into two areas:
- Analysis of history in order to find patterns, identify the reasons for the formation of history in a given form, as well as forecast future;
- Analysis of processes for the purpose of their subsequent automation.
Important terms for business analysis are:
- Enterprise architecture — describes the organization’s business processes, software and hardware, people, operations, and projects, and the interactions between them.
- Requirements verification — the work undertaken to determine that the named requirements are defined correctly and with an acceptable level of quality. This ensures that the requirements are fully identified and structured to be used by the development team during the design, development, and implementation of the solution.
- Change-driven methodology — a methodology that focuses on rapidly developing a solution in an incremental manner and directly involving stakeholders to get feedback on solution performance. Agile is a vivid example of a change-driven methodology. The client makes small requests, and the developers immediately implement them. There is a quick result, and it can be verified at once to check whether the customer’s wishes were understood correctly. In Agile projects, the task of business analysts is to perform the same business analysis activities, but within short iterations, in small portions. Also, the work of a business analyst in a company can be built according to the Scrum method: it helps to work together in a team. Each sprint takes 10-12 days and ends with the presentation of a new block to the customer. If there are controversial points, they are resolved in the process.
- SWOT analysis — an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The model is used to understand the enablers and how they can affect the initiative.
A business analyst is a specialist who must turn an abstract idea into a list of specific tasks. To do this, they ask company management some of the questions:
- What business problem needs to be solved?
- Who are the end-users of this application/product/service?
- What has been done previously to solve this problem?
- Why is it worth automating the process?
Identifying a problem can be compared to links in a chain: if a single one is missed, the structure loses its integrity. Business analysis reveals which link is missing, which is why different company processes do not work as expected, and how to improve the quality of any particular link.
Example of Business Analytics Implementation
A good illustration of how business analytics can determine the future of a company is the Ford case. In 2008, the company reported $4.6 billion of losses. A director of operational analytics and risk management at Ford noted that the crisis, new management, and new perspectives have prompted them to look at things differently.
Then a dedicated team of 200 analytics experts was hired, and after a year, the company reported profit, which had not happened in the previous four years. Ford launched 25 new vehicle lines and sold 2.3 million cars and trucks in the United States.
Example of IT Business Analytics Implementation
As a successful case, let us cite the story of Luxoft, whose business analysts worked on a project for a large bank. The goal was to actively refine and develop new product solutions and integrations. They had to reverse-engineer one large system that was used by the customer and design the transfer of functionality to the new one. The difficulty was in the lack of documentation, closed code, and access to view the interface only through an employee.
All streams of input-output data and sets of attributes could be identified from the documentation of related integrated solutions, but the system itself remained a black box. By the sets of attributes, it was possible to identify its main objects.
The gaps of data streams have been used to fill in the gaps of what is happening within the system during data processing. Where there was no information, or an ambiguity, they sent test requests from external systems and looked at the results at the output.
It is very important to outline a plan and decomposition of how to solve this problem before starting work. The analyst has thought in advance in what sequence to investigate the integrations and functional blocks, using Scrum methodology.
An IT business analyst collects the customer’s requirements and draws up a technical task for the development team, proposes a solution to the customer’s problem. If you order IT services from Triare, you can be sure that your company receives not just a code but a business solution.
We accompany the requirements collection with the justification analysis for each item, physical possibilities for their implementation, as well as risks, and ways to minimize both risks and their consequences. To implement it effectively, we concentrate on the primary goal, the expectations, and the possibilities to realize these expectations.