Best Practices in Business Analysis for Data Science – Highlights from the Webinar

At the recent IIBA Business Analytics SIG webinar, Best Practices in Business Analysis for Data Science, guest speaker Susan Meyer, Data Strategy Lead, Supply Chain Quality Testing at Monsanto, presented six best practices for Business Analysts working with data science teams on predictive analytics projects. Susan speaks from extensive experience on what is a data science BA, why they are in demand today and the BA skills to leverage. The webinar has detailed Pro Tips on how to implement these best practices, so be sure to watch the full webinar. With over 1,000 registrations, the webinar was at capacity.  For those of you unable to attend, the webinar recording and presentation are posted on the IIBA Webinar Archive. I have captured key points here:

Data Science Teams Need Business Analysts

Susan first highlighted the import role of business analysts in data science efforts. The primary skill sets of data science teams are:

  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Information Technology

Coordinating the involvement of these experts and stakeholders requires the skills of the BA, and BAs with analytics skills are in demand. For example, a McKinsey study found that organizations are struggling to attract and retain business experts with analytic skill sets.

Six Best Practices

Susan has a wealth of experience in data science projects and shared these best practices, and how they map to the expertise and skill set of the business analyst and the techniques in the BABOK®:

  • Identify Business Value Drives
  • Elicit requirements through data discovery
  • Drive the lifecycle for predictive model development
  • Develop a data strategy
  • Develop a decision model
  • Define the analytics solutions

BA’s are in Demand

The key message is the BA skills and experience are highly relevant to data science projects, but BAs must also learn the terminology and have a basic understanding of data science projects. BAs need to be attuned to how to work with highly specialized and focused data scientists, learning their vocabulary and a basic understanding of the techniques involved.

Thank you, Susan, for this wealth of useful information that BAs can immediately apply. Also thank you to Terri Lynn Rodrigues, Bren Stone, Jared Gorai, Kevin McCormick and the team at IIBA for making this webinar possible.

Watch the complete webinar here

Submitted by Meri Gruber, IIBA Business Analytics Co-chair.