The Business Analyst Career Road
The BA career road-map shows a bird’s eye view of the roles that Business Analysts can navigate in their career.
This also states in which function, the skills of a BA are best required. But, there are other functional spaces that a Business Analyst can embrace apart from the Business Analysis, Decision Support Analysis and Enterprise Architecture. One such functional area is Data management and Governance.
Every organization today, is looking forward to transform their business models emphasizing direct and in-direct Monetization as one of the primary drivers. This calls for a change to the current Business, Information technology landscapes while there is also a need to govern data. This can be a regulatory requirement or an enabler.
Often, we keep referring to hundreds of processes in a firm that are supported by thousands of systems that create, store data in again thousands of data stores, in a fragmented way. Thus, complexity of landscape remains the largest challenge that most organizations are tackling to simplify.
The organizational priorities for the much-required landscape transformation is driving the definition of data strategy. Data is the plasma that reaches every corner of an organization and keeps its actively functioning. There are dimensions of data management including data quality, metadata, risk, security and architecture management that help in simplification and benefits enablement using data.
There is a need for information capabilities and skills governed by Data Governance that manage and control this data. This enables the organization to look beyond regular business models, cost and risk reduction while aiding discovery of new revenue streams.
The benefits of having to manage and govern data are multi-fold, in reducing future costs associated with mergers and transformations, upfront integration costs, operational costs of maintaining redundant data, reducing product time to market, competitive advantages and the list goes on.
Data Governance is the process of setting standards, defining rules, establishing policy and implementing oversight to ensure adherence to data management best practices. Governance is the formalization and empowerment of the data management program, to ensure propagation and sustainability throughout the organization.
Most Business Analysts performing Data Analysis in these organizations, gradually moved into well established roles of Data Management and Governance. A business analyst has the necessary skills to gather data requirements, analyze and model the specifications, translate them in a way that designers and architects understand to build solutions. He further understands the need for Governance, performs enterprise analysis and assesses the solution capabilities.
Is it time that this functional area should be included in the BA career roadmap? The Business Analyst can traverse the roles from a Business Analyst or Data Analyst to being a Chief Data Officer.
A Business analyst followed by a Data Governance consultant and then an executive dimension owner, Business Data Steward and a chief data officer are some established roles that exist in this functional area.