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Council Post: Three Ways Business Analysts Will Drive Game-Changing Strategy In 2024

Michael is CEO and cofounder of Virtualitics. A data scientist and entrepreneur with a background in finance and physics.

Staying ahead of the competition now means you can’t just have an effective strategy—you need an innovative one, too. But getting creative in business is a much more technical endeavor these days, one that requires cutting-edge tools to extract the wealth of data every company now sits on. You need talented individuals to do insightful analysis and find the real insights in your data.

In short, you need really great business analysts.

Historically, business analysts have been focused on creating and maintaining BI dashboards and spreadsheets for data consumers. But in 2024, the role of the business analyst can and will be elevated to a strategic, technical leader driving transformation in three key ways.

1. Enhance decision-making by integrating AI best practices.

This year, business analysts will leverage advances in AI to extract meaningful patterns from vast and disparate datasets, enabling them to predict market trends, customer behavior and potential risks.

New technology, like generative AI and AI-driven analytics platforms, automatically does the heavy lifting of digging through large amounts of data for analysts. That lets analysts focus on the deep investigative work that reveals where supply chains can optimize, where cybersecurity threats might crop up and the regions where sales will be lagging in the coming months. These platforms should also generate explanations for the insights that they have found. It is not enough to just find the insights; analysts also need AI-generated explanations for those insights to validate their efforts.

In addition to enhancing data-driven decisions, business analysts can use these tools to develop systems prototypes that promote increased efficiency and productivity on multiple levels, enriching the organization beyond simply advising on business strategy.

2. Bring new depth to their analysis with AI-generated 3D visualizations.

I believe business analysts will improve clarity and understanding of their analysis through 3D visualizations that help stakeholders more easily see where opportunities and risks are.

Though charts and 2D renderings have long been the business standard, the human brain was never built to make sense of information in this flat way. With data becoming more complex, multidimensional and unstructured, it’s become critical for analysts to find a new method to organize and examine it from multiple different angles and perspectives.

This visual approach, especially when coupled with embedded AI routines to generate the 3D visualizations and explain key insights in natural language, simplifies complex concepts that non-data scientists, such as product owners and management, need to drive decision-making and meet business objectives.

3. Bridge the technical gap between the business and data science.

In 2024, conversations about data will no longer fill business leaders with dread. That’s because their business analysts will be ideal data translators, acting as the liaison between the data science team and the business. Just as they must be skilled at explaining complex concepts to non-technical audiences, analysts should also be storytellers who can quickly get to the heart of a report or presentation—something that busy executives will appreciate.

Data scientists can rely on analysts to help the business fully understand and embrace how data can be leveraged, including how new AI models work. This will be essential in helping the business avoid misguided and costly initiatives, especially ones that self-service reporting tools might not have the capability to warn them against.

It’s time for business analysts to take center stage.

As we venture into 2024, business analysts will be critical in building the visionary strategies to propel organizations toward success. By combining their skills with new technologies, analysts are at the forefront of transforming how businesses extract meaningful insights from data and translate that information into actionable plans.

With both the business landscape and data-rich environments growing in complexity, business analysts will undeniably be a driving force in helping their organizations thrive in today’s data-first world.


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