Sunday, December 28, 2014

Three Priorities for the Business Analyst in 2015

In 2015, enterprises will continue to make significant investments in Analytics and Decision Management capabilities. The Business Analyst will play a key role in the development of software solutions that implement Business Processes, Business Rules, and Predictive Analytics.

The integration of Business Process Modeling and Decision Modeling

The Decision Modeling Notation (DMN) has finally been approved by the Object Management Group (OMG) in December 2014. The DMN will go mainstream in 2015. The DMN will be part of version 3 of the guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide) of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). In addition, the update to the Business Intermediate Level of the OMG Certified Expert in BPM 2 (OCEB 2) certification now includes a module on the DMN.

Real world decision management scenarios typically include the integration of Business Process Modeling and Decision Modeling. An example is the implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) and Care Pathways in Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems. An integrated modeling approach ensures the seamless integration of clinical workflows and clinical rules and greater acceptance by clinicians.

Contributing to the Predictive Analytics Process

As companies continue to leverage their data assets to discover new knowledge through Predictive Analytics, the Business Analyst will collaborate closely with Data Scientists to facilitate the Analytics process. Specifically the Business Analyst will be responsible for the following:

  • Elicit business requirements for the Analytics process.
  • Analyze existing data sets to help the Data Scientist in understanding the data in the initial data exploration phase.
  • Serve as a liaison between business stakeholders and Data Scientists.
  • Analyze and document requirements for the effective integration of Analytics models with business processes, business rules, and business events.
  • Effectively communicate the results of the Analytics process to business stakeholders.

For example, Predictive Analytics models can be used for risk stratification allowing healthcare providers to determine patients with a high risk of emergency admission to hospital or 30-day readmission. The Business Analyst can work with clinicians to elicit requirements for how to effectively deploy these models within clinical workflows.

Continuous Learning

Business Analysts will continue to expand their knowledge and skills to support their organizations in the face of rapid change in technology and the marketplace. The Cloud, Software as a Service (SaaS), Big Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things are technology trends to watch in 2015.

As Peter Senge wrote in his book titled The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the The Learning Organization:

The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.