Future world brings us many challenges and changes practically every day, so utilizing different strategies and evolving the goals a business follows may help to keep up with the pace. It’s a common situation for any company to want to become the very best in their industry, which is why it’s hard to find a company without a Business Analyst (BA) or two working in-house.

Businesses seek to grow consistently while meeting the needs of their clients, so hiring BAs can help organizations deal with various issues. Business analysts are those specialists that use data analytics to help in guiding and improving processes, services, software, products, and other business-related operations. But recently, another type of expert that uses data analysis occurred on stage, known as Digital Business Analyst (DBA). In today’s article, we will take a closer look at this type of professional and find out how it differs from traditional BA.

Who Is a Digital Business Analyst and What Is the Difference Between DBA and Traditional BA?

A DBA gathers, analyses, and interprets the digital footprint of a company to develop relevant goals and strategies and helps to recognize how and which technology to use in order to achieve these goals. Basically, digital business analysts are bridges between business and technology.

This job becomes more and more popular because of the digital age we are living in, which is why your organization may need one as well. The increasing availability of remote data analyst internships also highlights the growing demand for these skills. Therefore, it is important to understand if there is a difference between a business analyst and digital business analyst. To put it simply, BA skills are broader but they don’t have to suggest technology-related solutions, while DBA possesses technical knowledge and specializes strictly in digital data.

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To be aware of the tasks required for this more specialized version of the role, let’s look at the types of this business analyst that some businesses distinguish:

  • Specialist DBA
    This type of expert focuses more on the technical skills. They may follow data science modeling to be able to identify the behavioral patterns of a user, employee, or client and use robotic process automation or machine learning. Performing cluster analysis also really helps them to work with the data or to find which improvements can be made for successful digital marketing.
  • Strategist DBA
    As for this professional, they are focused primarily on business outcomes. They help managers to make better decisions towards a strategic perspective. Therefore, they need to be informed about the trends and newest technological innovations.

Overall, digital business analysts help stakeholders to have a better understanding and usage of online data, get a full view on customer experience, and make the utilization of technology more efficient. Having such a useful specialist in your team, you will also be able to forecast industry trends and redefine your strategic priorities based on this prognosis. Besides that, DBA may offer to migrate your business away from inefficient analog legacy systems or suggest thinking towards the application modernization process.

So, what does a digital business analyst do? Let’s dive into more details if you want to augment your current team with a DBA.

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Role of Digital Business Analyst and Required Skills

Whether you want to enhance your startup company or you are planning to start a project related to custom software development, finding a digital business analyst may be a good choice. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear idea of which tasks a person will have to deal with.

Typically, despite the fact that DBA has more specific focus than conventional BA, they have a wide range of responsibilities. It means that their skillset is also diverse and may contain more skills than we cover.

Strong Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills

The key ability of any business analyst is to gather and analyze data. Talking about digital business analysts, being able to take data of a company’s digital footprint from different sources and break it down in order to gain required insights is not something any specialist can do. This data helps DBAs to understand various key metrics, including user engagement and customer behavior, and determine the influence of diverse factors and even subtle changes in programs or platforms on the way your business functions. When working with other specialists (developers, managers, designers, etc.), DBA’s critical thinking leads them to better and optimized or automated solutions by gathering different points of view to a pool of information.

Proficient Technical Knowledge

Without having a broad understanding of coding languages, SEO fundamentals, graphic design, and other skills relevant to digital areas, it is impossible to puzzle out the data you gather. And, as a result, all the effort you spend will be in vain. This is one of the main responsibilities of a DBA, which is why yours should also have this knowledge.

Awareness of Digital Trends

This is the skill that goes along with the previous one and simply cannot be omitted. If you have insights on technologies, you will know for sure about the changes that are happening in the industry. Otherwise, how can a specialist suggest some strategies without knowing what is relevant and popular nowadays? When you explore a new trend, you know how and why people use it or follow it. And thus, you will be able to understand if there are options for your company to implement this new technology.

Ability to Plan Efficiently

To inform all stakeholders about possible further business actions, DBAs may have to develop a timeline, note down project requirements, discuss available budget, and allocate responsibilities. Especially, if you don’t have a project manager in your team, a digital business analyst may need to perform some of these tasks. However, there are tasks that a PM won’t be able to perform and vice versa, and it is important to keep this in mind.

Thus, DBA should consider the scope of work that needs to be done, outline the tasks and associated deliverables, schedule these tasks along with the estimates. Besides that, they are able to plan the deliverables for each iteration of work and communicate with stakeholders to define further actions of each participant. DBA will be more concerned on the final product and market problems, while PM will focus more on a project, possible issues inside the team, series of tasks, etc.

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Adaptability and Problem-Solving Skills

It is not enough to just identify the most effective solution. An experienced DBA is in tune with constant changes. They are able to act fast and have a clear head to always remember that their own implementations may grow obsolete over time. The strategy or project they suggested may even encounter scalability issues, and they are tolerant to this metamorphosis.

Good Risk Evaluation and Management Skills

Changes can bring both positive and negative aspects to your project. That is why a digital business analyst has to be able to assess all possible risks related to any adjustments, including their own strategies, market changes, technology innovations, etc. Understanding the risks and simulating both beneficial situations and the ones that can bring downfall is vital for DBA.

In general, digital business analysts are valuable assets to a team, because they can have a thorough view of a project by using their ability to see from different perspectives. Their skills and experience helps businesses to control costs, prioritize the right steps, and reduce your expenses.

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When your company needs a business analyst, looking for the best option is the right thing, because no one wants to see their business falling into the void and despair. It all depends on your particular case, and there is no good or bad decision as long as you know what you are doing and why. Therefore, hiring a digital business analyst instead of a traditional BA may be a refreshing experience, and you may win the game you are planning. However, it is essential to weigh all pros and cons and understand how choosing DBA over BA may impact your company’s goals.

If you want to augment your team with dedicated developers, BAs or DBAs, and other specialists to enhance your project and increase its development speed, please contact us, and we will be ready to assist you in your journey.