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Business analysis skills at the heart of Australia’s top in demand careers

Business analysis skills at the heart of Australia’s top in demand careers

Heard the news? Now we know the top ten most in-demand jobs in Australia. And business analysis skills are at the top.

Top skills in demand

Last week, Business Insider reported the top ten job skills that are most in demand in Australia, as researched by LinkedIn. Here they are, in order as published:

  1. Statistical analysis and data mining
  2. SEO/SEM marketing
  3. Middleware and integration software
  4. HR benefits and compensation
  5. Network and information security
  6. Mobile development
  7. User interface design
  8. Web architecture and development framework
  9. Algorithm design
  10. Corporate law and governance

Wait a sec… you say you don’t see business analysis on that list?

Look closer. Business analysis is ALL OVER this list.

Still don’t see it? Okay, let me explain why none of these major-league hitters would get anywhere near the ball park without access to some high quality business analysis skills.

Demand from information technology

Look at the list again. There is a pattern. Eight of these in-demand skills are directly associated with building information technology and the remaining two (items 4 and 6) rely on the effective use of information technology.

This should be of no surprise when you consider how the world of information is taking over the global economy. These days, public service organisations must create value by integrating information and optimizing business process. This is the best way to deliver high quality public services within today’s limited budgets and resources.

This is all great news for you, the business analyst. What you and we do is fundamental to all of these top ten skills, including numbers 4 and 10.

Why is that?

Information technology is wonderful, but only if it helps to deliver value and attain the desired outcomes of the organisation. In order to do that any technology based solution needs to be well designed – hence the demand for those top skills.

But those skills don’t mean shit if the technology isn’t aligned to the organisation’s requirements and  outcomes. And guess what? Describing and validating those outcomes is the domain of those who hold business analysis skills.

Yay for us!

Business analysis skills at the heart

“Build it and they will come” is Hollywood-inspired crap. It used to be the mantra of IT managers everywhere, but these days’ people just laugh when they hear the phrase. Even people who love baseball. That’s because everyone long ago realized that the technology, wonderful as it may be, is useless if it isn’t a good fit with an organisation’s people and processes. Without good business analysis skills, none of these cutting edge capabilities is worth anything.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is statistical analysis and data mining worth anything if you don’t have a fundamental understanding of the problems facing an organisation, and the conceptual and process-oriented frameworks that make all that analysis useful?
  • What is the point of SEO and SEM marketing without a deep, grounded understanding of the customers, the clients, the project stakeholders?
  • Can you integrate software and middleware if you don’t have a holistic understanding of business processes, both client-facing and internal?

The answer in all three cases: No.

Similar statements can be made for all of the top ten skills.

Business analysis skills complement the top ten

It is business analysis that communicates the organisational purpose for each of the ten in demand skills. Business analysis is what supplies the purpose, the rationale, the validation and the understanding that ensures that these skills are applied to the greatest effect.

But wait: we’re not finished with the good news yet.

Each of the top ten are highly technical skill that takes years of study and experience to master. How many people have the time and ability to become really good at these skills and also develop proficient business analysis skills? That’s right – not very many. Such a dual capability is very rare.

Which is why those of us who have developed our professional business analysis skills can look forward to the opportunities that come when you are in demand.

So don’t sell yourself short! Your hard-earned business analysis skills are the perfect complement to these top ten and highly technical skills. It is business analysts who really know how people, processes, policies – and IT wizardry – interact.

Opportunities abound

‘Symbiotic’ is a jargon word that is used a little too much these days. But there’s no better way to describe the complementary relationship between the business analyst and the data miner, the SEO marketer, the middleware integration or network security manager. It’s symbiotic. The tech-head gets the IT systems to meet the needs of the organisation. The business analyst helps the tech-head to understand those needs while also helping the organisation to understand the imperatives of the technology. The two meet in the middle.

But if either one is missing, it’s game over.

If you don’t see “business analyst” on that list, don’t sweat it. Rest assured that the best of those top-ten types – the ones who really get it – are going to be knocking at your door sooner or later. The politicians at the top of the hill may want to change the world, but when it comes down to the details, they’re going to realize they can’t change bugger all without the help of professional business analyst.

You don’t see business analysis skills on that list? Look a little closer.

Seems like you made a damn good career choice after all.