What is a Business Analyst?

Answering common questions about what a business analyst is, including the benefits of hiring, working with, and what to expect from this role. Justin Hitt is a business analyst specializing in business development and project management.

As a business analyst I review and audit business strategy, processes, or systems. My aim is to find hidden profits in your business.  What exactly is a Business Analyst and how am I different?

This means improvement in cash flow, opportunity capture, or operational efficiencies. Some businesses face technology integration and automation problems.  For others it is an analysis of strategic approach.

Benefits of Hiring a Business Analyst

A business analyst helps your business improve process, products, services, and outcomes though data. I crunch spreadsheets, financial statements, do research, and deep dive using profit models.

Some business analysts focus cost reduction, human resources, or another specialization.  While the application of models is the same, which model to use can differ.

For some clients, I address risk management, regulatory issues, business development, or operational effectiveness. All analysts work with key stakeholders including CEO/Owner, Comptroller, and other senior level leaders.

What I do is hold you accountable to current and proposed business objectives.  So that you’ll have a higher probability of reaching them.   All business analysts do this at some level.

My role is as a catalyst, not a disrupter. To help you dominate markets not create them.  Stakeholders make final decisions.  A business analyst helps you narrow focus on high probability of success actions.

The Answers You Need (but Not Always Want)

You get my blunt matter of fact approach.  Evidence based truths without concerns about internal politics, history, or past constraints. Not all business analysts have this courage.

Like other business analysts, I help stakeholders apply solutions.  This requires asking tough questions and knowing which data models fit your desired outcome.  All business analysts seek to use a rational approach to problem solving.

To solve meaningful problems a business analyst needs to be cross disciplinary. I don't need to be in your business to solve the problems you face, yet you need to be honest when I ask a hard question.

Regular Activities of Business Analyst

Doing business analyst work doesn't mean you have the title.  Many of these activities are parallel with existing processes.  How a business analyst uses them supports strategic business decisions.

Some of what I do on a regular basis:

  • Analysis of business needs,
  • Gap assessment modeling,
  • Define a business case or problem statement,
  • Develop model requirements,
  • Elicit information from stakeholders,
  • Research market conditions and approach,
  • Develop strategy for market share,
  • Project management and development,
  • Assess procurement and joint venture strategy,
  • Quality testing of stated goals and procedurals,

Unlike other business analysts, I've worked in many complex and mission critical environments. You're not getting business school know how. Instead expect a more practical natured approach.

Some work is administrative. Many business analysts who work for me create wonderful slide decks, reports, and presentations. They do the obvious while subject matter experts reveal hidden secrets and opportunities.

Experienced specialists can look at data to see gaps and trends where others see nothing. You get first movers' advantage.  Even enjoy significant risk reduction, and often contrarian approaches outside your industry.

What Makes Justin Hitt Different?

A typical business analyst is NOT in the business of being correct. They work in probability, critical path, and best solutions for available resources.

Most complex problems don't have a single solution. Your approach depends on many factors beyond current thinking.  Good business analysts move you in the right direction towards specific outcomes you designate.

I excel in attention to detail that helps you get more from your situation. You get a combination of disciplines that result from two decades of experience.

My approach goes beyond surface understanding. Client on-boarding includes assessments, market profiling, and revenue focused activities.

Most business analysts focus on technical pieces.  I focus on helping you create and keep profitable customers.  They worry about details of the vehicle while I focus on the fuel to get you there.

I also function as a conduit for communications.  Because I understand technical concepts I can bridge from “tools discussion” to the outcome management. Long term results come from outcomes, not conversation.

My specialization includes business development using copywriting, direct response marketing, and market automation. While other business analysts may have engineering or trade specific backgrounds.

Over the years I found collaborative more powerful than being a “one-size-fits-all” consultant. Analyst skills helps cultivate evidence-based solutions rather than emotional responses.

Anyone who wants to discover what works and doesn't work in growing your business will get there faster with a Business Analyst.  It's challenging yet rewarding. Write with your specific questions.

Author: Justin Hitt

Justin Hitt, Analyst, Author, and Consultant. Helps clients create and keep profitable customers while transforming business relationships into profits guaranteed.