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Next 36 months ‘make or break’ time for business: IIBA

November 4, 2016  

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A new study entitled “Business Analysis – Positioning for Success” commissioned by International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and conducted by KPMG reveals that organizations are expanding their expectations of business analysis and they are looking for smart, quick and improved decision-making to help drive organizational success.

According to the report, business leaders are anticipating significant transformation of their company over the coming three years, and these leaders are concerned about shifting consumer loyalty, technologies that are disrupting traditional business models and not having the time to think strategically. These trends are affecting the role of the business analysis (BA) professional necessitating a shift from task-based analysis to more value-driven analysis.

New BA skills that will be most valuable in the next three to five years include strategic thinking and analysis, leadership and creative thinking.

“Organizations are looking to embrace evolved methods and skillsets to help inform and drive crucial business decisions,” said Stephen Ashworth, IIBA president and CEO. “This research clearly shows that the business analysis profession, discipline and industry are at a pivot point.  Never has there been a more critical need to have the right skilled professionals at the table who have specialized knowledge to help lead an organization through change.”

The new research study, which was released on Global Business Analysis Day, demonstrates that as the C-suite prepares for business transformation, their expectations of BA practitioners is changing as well. Business leaders agree that the value BA professionals bring to the table in today’s complex times include identifying and prioritizing new opportunities (72%), enabling more efficient use of time/resources (72%), improving understanding, acquisition and retention of customers (63%) and increasing project success rates (63%).

“Business leaders around the globe are acutely aware of the importance of navigating through a period of change in an increasingly demanding business environment,” said Katie Bolla, associate principal at KPMG. “There is recognition that they cannot do it alone and will need to lean on advanced data and analytics and business analysis professionals who can drive insights to inform one of the biggest eras of business transformation in history.”

Organizations that don’t embrace the evolving role of the BA risk falling behind. Factors that prevent expansion of the role and reach of business analysis within an organization include a lack of leadership awareness of business analysis skill sets (48%), a lack of sufficient internal BA resources (40 per cent) and an inability to recruit BA talent (37%).

Other findings from the research include:

  • Future trends for business analysis include new business solutions, big data and mobile and digital.
  • Only 19% of practitioners felt their organization’s C-Suite housed business analysis skill sets, whereas 68% of leaders felt they did. Business leaders meanwhile, see business analysis skill sets as dispersed across the functional groups of their organization. The lack of alignment over where these capabilities exist makes leveraging the skills difficult.
  • BAs influence how business leaders think about their organization and how they deploy resources. However, only a fifth of organizations say they are going to hire new BA talent in the next three to five years (20%), with the majority of organizations maintaining existing resources (55%) or training existing resources (52%).

A copy of the report is available at