Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Growth & Jobs | Better knowledge of business analysis needed

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Annissa Thompson, president of the International Institute of Business Analysis, Kingston, Jamaica Chapter.
Annissa Thompson, president of the International Institute of Business Analysis, Kingston, Jamaica Chapter.

With the improvements Jamaica has been experiencing in its economy, resulting from its debt reduction, low interest rates, various ongoing infrastructural projects, stock market performance and other macro and micro indices, local business analysts believe companies need to carefully invest in the knowledge and application of business analysis to achieve their objectives.

The call came from Annissa Thompson, president of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Kingston, Jamaica Chapter, ahead of the chapter’s official launch at the JN Financial Centre, New Kingston, on Thursday. The IIBA is an independent non-profit professional association based in Canada to serve the needs of business analysis globally and advance the profession. It certifies analysts and provides other forms of professional development.

“Given the dynamic changes to the macro and micro environments, as well as evolving changes in customer behaviour, the need to better understand business analysis and customer needs are constantly growing,” Thompson maintained.

“As such, business analysts can assist organisations to understand the current environment; and help them to transition to this new era, or way of doing business, which is often described as the ‘ideal state’,” she explained.

Thompson, who is also head of the Enterprise Project Management Office at The Jamaica National Group, said this is especially important as the country seeks to transition itself into a digitised economy, where most of its transactions are initiated and completed using digital technology.

She stated that business analysts support companies to maximise their problem-solving capabilities, successfully implement projects, and optimise decision-making. However, she acknowledged that the profession needs to be better understood for companies to fully appreciate the impact that business analysts can have on their bottom line.

no clear understanding

“There is need for clearer understanding of the role of business analysts in an organisation. Companies have various views or definitions of a business analyst and, as a result, the profession is not fully appreciated. If organisations better understand the role and how business analysis can contribute to the bottom line, then both the individual and the company will benefit greatly,” she opined, offering a definition for business analysis as simply being problem solvers and opportunity improvers in organisations.

She noted that many Jamaican companies are, at this juncture of the country’s economic growth, seeking to improve operational efficiency by doing more with less; capitalise on opportunities; increase competitiveness as well as; improve customer experience and satisfaction by exceeding customer needs.

“Through an application of various tools and techniques, business analysts can assist our local companies to realise and optimise business outcomes, which in most instances equate to higher returns or efficiency gains,” Thompson insisted.

She said that the establishment of the IIBA Kingston, Jamaica Chapter creates a vehicle to promote awareness among companies, and foster partnerships to achieve better understanding and synergy in organisations among leadership and business analysts. The chapter will also help to further build out the skills of local business analysts.

“We are heading in a new direction as a country and, therefore, as we get the fundamentals right, our businesses must be prepared and positioned to adapt to the changing environment. If we don’t, then our economic boat may never sail,” she concluded.