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7 Top Business Analyst Trends for 2013

Here are 7 top trends for the business analyst community expected to play out over the course of this year, according to experts and executives at training provider ESI International.

Roles with Respect and a Story Roles with Respect and a Story

Business analysts and product owners have differing roles when it comes to agile projects and architecture. Those roles will continue to evolve along lines of providing business value, with ESI anticipating greater working relationships and improved agile projects. In addition, business analysts will keep getting better at requirements management and development (RMD) after repeated access to insightful business user stories. Increasingly, the challenge after that for BAs involves collaboration along project development.

More Generalized Specialist and PM Duties More Generalized Specialist and PM Duties

With changing and agile projects, titles tend to dissolve and more take on complementary skills. The impact on this is two-fold: business analysts are more central to implementing projects, and their project manager counterparts risk becoming obsolete.

Analysts Get More Federal Attention Analysts Get More Federal Attention

ESI notes that the federal government has been “slow on the uptake” when it comes to agile business architecture and requirements management. Promises of efficiency and expanded roles of analysts could more traction to a new wave of federal analysts and agile frameworks.

Architecture Comes into Play Architecture Comes into Play

In 2013, ESI expects analysts to have a hand in larger strategic architecture changes. “Business architecture leverages the skills of the BA to create and maintain a set of business-owned information assets that serve as a blueprint for planning and execution of strategy. The purpose of business architecture is to define the ‘what’ of a business, such as what it does, what it needs to meet goals, etc., which perfectly aligns with the skills of the BA. As more companies embrace the discipline of business architecture, they are looking to senior BAs to step into the emerging role of business architect.”

Centers of Excellence Prove their Mettle Centers of Excellence Prove their Mettle

There was a return of business analyst centers of excellence in the last two years, especially in the early adoption fields of insurance and financial services. With more centers in place, ESI expects a change in focus to “showing their value and innovation” in 2013.

Modeling Struts its Stuff Modeling Struts its Stuff

Applying data modeling skills to the architecture process make for faster, efficient solutions. So modeling techniques will “be a key focus area” for business analysts this year, as the written word loses some of its appeal and customer impact.

Talk to the Boss Talk to the Boss

Business analysts are engaged with stakeholders across the organization, but with increasing importance in architecture and value-add projects, they must get better at communicating with the highest levels in the enterprise. “BAs will recognize that their careers will be limited if they cannot have these crucial conversations and, consequently, they will concentrate on how to communicate ’up’ through practice, training and mentoring.”

For more ... For more ...

For the full list of ESI’s expectations for business analysis in 2013, click here.
Click here for a slide show based on ESI’s project management predictions for the year.

All photos used with permission from ThinkStock.

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