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Incorporating New Technologies to Strengthen the BA’s Efficiency

Linda Martinez Davis | August 30th, 2023

The world is changing rapidly. The past few years have introduced many of us to virtual reality, remote work, and artificial intelligence, to name a few. As the business world adapts to these changes, so should the Business Analyst. Rather than resisting the unknown, a BA can incorporate these improvements into their toolbox, to enhance their abilities as good communicators and problem solvers, and hone their administrative skills.

For instance, Notion, a project management application, recently released improvements to one of its features, databases. Notion databases function somewhere between a simple table and a complex spreadsheet. It can used as a word document, data repository, or to track tasks, reminders, updates, etc. A database can be set up to monitor the progress on outstanding items, generate due date alerts, or set priorities. In addition, data can be displayed in different views, allowing the user to focus on key aspects. Data can be viewed by project, status, or on a calendar, based on the due date. Notion easily replaces several applications - and sticky notes - and provides an excellent structure for data management, strengthening the BA’s organizational skills.

A Notion database. Click on a project, to view those tasks. Or see all tasks for all projects on the main table.

Although the BAs primary function lies in the written word, FigJam is a digital whiteboard application that can be leveraged during client meetings. Released just three years ago, this app contains many helpful plugins, widgets, and templates. These tools strengthen FigJam’s abilities to facilitate brainstorming, allowing the BA to create alignment on concepts and decisions, with both the internal and external teams.

FigJam widget, with a timer, for each topic on the agenda. welcome screen.

Also released in the last few years, is one several transcription applications that incorporates AI. Simply invite it to a Zoom meeting. Upon joining, attendees are notified that the meeting is being recorded. At the conclusion, a meeting summary is generated, along with a list of action items, which attendees can chose to receive. Its layout resembles an online mailbox, where you can easily access prior meeting notes, transcribe a past meeting, or have join an upcoming meeting. Utilizing an electronic note taker relieves the BA of those responsibilities, allowing them full participation in the discussion, resulting in a clearer understanding of the clients needs, and ultimately, more comprehensive requirements.

Artificial intelligence instills fear in some, awe in others. But ChatGPT, the most notable AI product, can benefit the BA in profound ways. It can offer insights and strategies for soliciting the needs of the client. It can serve as a resource, when researching a new concept, or as a guide, offering solutions to blockers. It can supply advice, answer questions, or furnish explanations. The BA can enter elements of functional requirements, for review. ChatGPT can supply suggestions for improvement, ensuring that all aspects of the features and functionality are addressed.

Incorporating new technologies enhances the BA’s skills in time management, data analysis, requirements elicitation, and client communication. Since Business Analysts must be visionaries, critical thinkers, and problem solvers, these advancements elevate their abilities, and positively impact the software development lifecycle and in turn, the customer experience.