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Based on these premises, we can specify three clear requirements of our analysts, their competency center, or their performance of individual tasks:

  • ? Business competencies
  • ? Tool kit that is in order (method competencies)
  • ? Technical understanding (data competencies)

Business Competencies

First of all, the analyst must understand the business process he or she is supporting and how the delivered information or the delivered knowledge can make a value-adding difference at a strategic level. In this context, when we talk about a strategic level, it is implied, too, that we need analytical competencies: the analyst understands and is able to convey to the business the potential of using the information as a competitive parameter. This is essential if the BA function is to participate independently and proactively in value creation, and it is likewise essential that we can therefore talk about data as a strategic asset. The analyst needs to have or be given a fundamental business insight in relation to the deliveries that are to be made. This insight is necessary so that the analyst stands a chance of maximizing his or her value creation. The analyst must also be able to independently optimize the information or the knowledge in such a way that the user is given the best possible decision support. This also enables analysts to approach individual business process owners on an ongoing basis and present them with knowledge generated in connection with other contexts. The analyst needs to be capable of having a continual dialogue with the business, as well as of detecting and creating synergies across functions.

Analysts must be able to see themselves in the bigger context as illustrated in the following story about the traveler and the two stonemasons. The traveler met one stonemason, asked him what he was doing, and got the reply that he was cutting stones, that each had to be 15 by 15 by 15, and that he had to deliver 300 stones a day. Later on, the traveler came across another stonemason and asked the same question, but here, the stonemason replied: "I am building the largest and most beautiful cathedral in all of the country, and through this cathedral, good tidings will be spread throughout the land." In other words, analysts must be able to see their function in the broader picture, so they are not only performing a number of tasks, but are able to get the biggest possible value from the volume of information and knowledge they obtain and develop every single day.

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