Organisations are now dependent on business analysts and project managers to guide them through this digital disruption and advise on best practice and emerging technologies. Predictive technologies such as machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and The Internet of Things can now provide industry trends and data patterns that have the power to significantly impact a business and its operations.
There are several different challenges that come with rapid digital transformation. Ensuring that organisations are readily prepared and have skilled specialists such as data scientists in place is essential. Having the appropriate software tools to analyse, manage and cleanse large amounts of data is key to staying competitive in the current digital climate. Organisations will need to make strategic business decisions that can be used as rules in machine learning and making the wrong decision can be catastrophic. The role of a business analyst in 2019 will become increasingly digital- focused.
Agile is a project management methodology that is defined by the Association of Project Management (APM) as ‘an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle. At the core of agile is the requirement to exhibit central values and behaviours of trust, flexibility, empowerment and collaboration.’ As organisations are becoming more and more agile, the demand for business analysts to work on agile projects is set to increase. Adopting agile practice such as facilitating change, clear communication and engagement will be necessary for business analysts to effectively contribute.
According to the 2018 report, ‘The Future of Jobs’, reskilling will be imperative for the future workforce. By 2022, more than half of the working population, 54%, will need significant reskilling and upskilling. A commitment to continual learning and further education is imperative for business analysts that want to remain competitive and progress in their careers. The report also outlined that by 2022, 85% of companies will have adopted user and entity big data analytics, meaning that the role of a business analyst will transform in line with the change.
Increased demand for soft skills such as communication and critical thinking in the industry will become more prevalent. Although the future looks bright for the industry as by 2020, the number of job profiles for all US business analysts is set to increase from 364,000 openings to 2,720,000 as indicated by IBM.