BI BA conundrum..

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BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:43 am

These days, when you see a "requirement" out there, they go.. needed BA with ..

5+ years of BI.. blah blah blah.

Now this is like seeking a brain surgeon for a vasectomy.. This is why..

Business Intelligence is needed to run the business (or the current) and understand how or what happened (past) while Business Analysis are needed to change the business (Future). In other words, Business Intelligence is looking in the rear view mirror and using past events to learn from/understand them. Or BI tells you what happened while Business Analysis is looking in front of you to see what is happening and anticipate what is going to happen (and therefore tune your business/acts to better handle them)

BI is more into optimizing operations by access to data, both real time and historic so folks can do their jobs, allow near accurate decision making and identify problems and find resolutions to them.

Business Analysis explores historical data from avaiable sources using things like statistical/quantitative analysis, data mining, predictive/subjective modelling (use cases) etc to understand the information that can drive/expedite/intitate business change and support and improve currently successful business practices.


Two different things right? Now why would you want a BA with BI experience.. Makes it rather strange.. (I have seen the reverse too.. BI with years of experience as a BA).. now if he was a BA clearly he could not have done BI stuff and viceversa because the way they look at data is completely different.. I mean when I am looking at data with a view to do ETL, I am not looking at how that data is used.. and when I am looking at how data is used or going to be used, I am not looking at how to transform it for another system.. (By ETL I mean in a more puritanical sense.. purely missionary.. convert from flat file to tables or vice versa for a simple egg-sample.. not that there is only that much to ETL actually).

Wot says eggsperts out there?

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby raja » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:16 pm

Not an "eggspert" but on the question "why would you want a BA with BI experience?", I think the type of "BI experience" expected might not be what you are suggesting here.

Possibly people looking for BAs with BI experience, are not necessarily looking for folks sitting and mapping data between tables /converting using ETL tools. For that you usually have hardcore ETL guys anyway.

They are looking at people who have a good sense of the business side of things, who can understand data and correlations quickly - and very importantly, know WHAT to look for. What data makes sense in a given context - and what doesn't. There's SO much data available nowadays in various databases that to cherrypick what elements are relevant for your given context itself requires a level of smartness. :-)

Of course, you might have terrific business understanding but in today's world, less and less happens "on a hunch" thanks to:
a) need to cover your backside, with numbers :-) to justify your decision
b) data being far more easily available and accessible today than in the past, so decisions CAN be more data-driven than in the past
c) in general, higher level of sophistication in business nowadays.

Anyway, this means you have to support your BA skills with ABILITY to understand the BI side too. It doesn't mean you have to do the extraction/transformation yourself but you should be able to understand what the organisation can provide you in terms of data (internal / external), real-time vs snapshot, and so on. Finally, it's about managing the numbers.

Anyway, just my one cent. I'd have gone with half a cent but I don't think that's technically possible, without losing all value. :-)

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby Going South » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:19 pm

My wife work as BA in Northrop Grumman. It's know how functional knowledge over a field. They need to know how things run in a area and design an IT solution over their business process. Business intelligence is more of predictive trends on a business and plan contingency actions that aid top brass in their decision making as to provide IT based Analytics as input.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby raja » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Going South wrote:My wife work as BA in Northrop Grumman. It's know how functional knowledge over a field. They need to know how things run in a area and design an IT solution over their business process. Business intelligence is more of predictive trends on a business and plan contingency actions that aid top brass in their decision making as to provide IT based Analytics as input.


This then is the opposite of what SL says.

This is what SL says:
"Business Intelligence is needed to run the business (or the current) and understand how or what happened (past) while Business Analytics are needed to change the business (Future). In other words, Business Intelligence is looking in the rear view mirror and using past events to learn from/understand them. Or BI tells you what happened while Business Analytics is looking in front of you to see what is happening and anticipate what is going to happen (and therefore tune your business/acts to better handle them)."

So maybe this is what needs to be thrashed out first. What does BI really do? :-)

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:34 pm

Raja pai you are accurate to some extent. A BA needs to understand the data.. but he cannot be a BI guy is my point. See he could not have been both actively.. say I was a BI for 5 years and then became a BA then I do have BI experience but not BA and if he was BA for 5 years and a BI before that for 5 years, then what he did as a BI FIVE YEARS AGO is not relevant anymore!! World has changed.. so he needs to have been BOTH at the same time in the recent past.. which is kind of silly.

BA guys ought to know WHAT data is needed for a particular functionality or what kind of data preempted a particular business feature/activity/functionality or workflow.. but not HOW it is stored/obtained/warehoused historically or interpreted elsewhere by management in the assorted piecharts and such.. ye idharich conphusiaa hai.

See for eggsample, it has been seen that stocking (in store shelves) eggs near women's needs like lipstick/perfumes etc boosts the sales of those cosmetics. And that stocking/displaying maxipads near condoms encourages sale of condoms and so by extension safe sex. or candies near tabloids boosts sales of one of them dunno which. For a BI such information as to how those 'items (data)' is stored makes sense (from a datawarehousing standpoint) but for a BA that particular tidbid is useless.. his objective is store operations and workflow not increasing/interpreting sales of particular product.. or presentation aspect.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:36 pm

Well I guess it is my fault.. business analytics and business analysis are different.. I will scroll up to see if I used them interchangeably.. BUSINESS ANALYTICS is not BUSINESS ANALYSIS.. different animals.. one has 7 legs and other has 4.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:38 pm

I apologise.. business analyst.. or business analysis. It was entirely my error.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:05 pm

raja wrote:What does BI really do? :-)


It is not an easy question but a over all job scenario would be that BI Specialist provides the management with data in various forms.. ensures the relevant data is stored in the easiest possible methods (accesiblity).. studies various data provider/sources and formulates ways to store them (warehouse), scrub them (massage), and transforms them for associated systems and enables transfer on an as needed basis to those systems..

In short, its his job to figure out ways to store, analyze, utilize and present data. Usually BI systems are used to to make informed decisions about the market and so various standard and custom reports summarizing business data are needed by the management to study data and at times to massage their ego. They MIGHT also collect business intelligence stuff from industry reports and field reports so they can (try to) identify/investigate industry trends with business implications.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby raja » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:09 pm

But according to GS, it's predictive type work.
According to you, it's presenting historical data in meaningful/smart ways.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby Going South » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:14 pm

BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.

It's based on historical data from last year, observe trends, predict what need to be done to fix next year for top brass's decision making.

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:17 pm

Well in a way it can be predictive.. like for example, during analysis of data and corelations, he might find out that stocking lipstick with bread makes more sense compared to eggs.. that sort of predictive nature is there also, from industry reports, field reports there might emerge a pattern to the general direction of business.. for example it might suggest people are more interested in going with cable providers who also provide wimax compared to the ones who provide more channels.. etc.. so those can be called predictive in the sense it can make or break the future of the company.

A business analyst on the other hand, sees how to accommodate the systems and workflows to future needs.. for example, a company which deals exclusively cars, suddenly wants to sell televisions.. so how will the new system handle it, can it, if not what changes are requried at a FEATURE level which will of course then involve data requirement which will go to BI who will figure out where to get it from..

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby raja » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:21 pm

Going South wrote:BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.

It's based on historical data from last year, observe trends, predict what need to be done to fix next year for top brass's decision making.


Wow, that's a LOT!

Isn't this the same as business analytics - maybe with just the added stress on the tech side of it?

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Re: BI BA conundrum..

Postby GpeL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:25 pm

See BA is how to chop onions.. and how it is done now and how to do it better.

BI is how to get onions to get chopped. And then what to do with the chopped onions.. and if possible what would be if the onions were chopped differently or not at all.. that sort of stuff.

EDIT..

Additionally, BA might be interested in what if potatoes needed to be chopped too.. what types.. sliced? of chopped just like onions.. do the peeling techniques need a new method.. and what if tomatoes are thrown in.. etc. BI just wonders what the fukk do I do with potatoes.