Building a Better Business Analyst: Transforming the Enterprise

by Michael Fitzgerald, August 26, 2008

Abstract

Chicago, IL, USA August 26, 2008

Transformation. Many companies claim that they are pursing it, but only a few are equipping one of the most critical groups in the enterprise, the business analyst, with the skills to make transformation happen. In order to deliver sustainable, significant change at the execution level, the business analyst job function requires attention and investment. What can insurance companies do to ensure the development of the appropriate number and quality of business analysts, and thus increase project success and shorten delivery timeframes?

In a new report, , Celent discusses the drivers, expected benefits, and current models of successful business analyst development.

Companies surveyed expressed various reasons to invest in the skills of this vital resource. Several of the drivers were common across the group, including: 

  • A response to an outsourced IT structure
  • The need to backfill for an aging employee population
  • A recognition that development quality requires improvement
  • The imperative to improve project delivery 

This report outlines qualitative and quantitative justifications for investments. A benefits model, including expected payoff by project lifecycle phase, is presented. Specific benefits accrued by individual insurance companies are also detailed.

The report describes company and vendor programs in detail. The various approaches span a variety of organizational structures, including: 

  • The global IT function within a multi-line insurer (general and life) headquartered in Europe 
  • The enterprise-level approach taken by a North American life insurer
  • Division and department responses of P&C companies
  • Vendor programs deployed in companies servicing the insurance industry

"Transforming an enterprise involves identifying, facilitating, documenting, and communicating new business processes," says Mike Fitzgerald, senior analyst with Celent’s insurance practice and author of the report. "The people responsible for these critical activities in most insurance companies are the business analysts. By improving their skills, companies are increasing the quality and quantity of successful project implementations." 

The report is 24 pages and contains six tables. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact info@celent.com for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Chicago, IL, USA August 26, 2008

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
What Is a Business Analyst? 6
Making the Business Case 8
Specific Approaches to Business Analyst Development 10
  Insurance Company Initiatives 10
  Vendor Initiatives 16
Certification Options 19
Final Observations 21

 

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