ESI International Releases Top 10 Trends in Business Analysis

This year’s trends discuss the importance of the business analyst (BA) within the organization. They highlight the significant role of the BA as companies work to bridge the gap between strategy and execution, and they emphasize the importance of the BA function in managing organizational change.

“In an environment of shifting markets and increasing volatility, it becomes very difficult for organizations to keep projects aligned with an ever-changing business strategy,” said Mark Bashrum, ESI International VP of Marketing and Strategic Intelligence. “There is a growing opportunity for BAs to play an important role in not only validating project deliverables, but also validating that those deliverables maintain alignment with core business objectives.”

ESI’s top 10 trends for business analysis include:

Between a cloud and a hard place: BAs will need to identify, communicate and manage gaps between business expectations and the realities of cloud-based solutions

The strategic BA: BAs will begin to assist in maintaining alignment between business objectives and the projects through which they are achieved

The hybrid BA: Agile and waterfall methods increasingly co-exist creating the need for BAs to work in a hybrid, fluid environment

Managers will ignore BAs at their own peril: BAs will continue to be ignored and not get the coaching and mentoring they desperately want

The BA change agent: BAs will deliver business value by understanding how project outcomes translate to business change, and ensuring that project requirements incorporate change management components

Run!: Business analysts continue to shy away from conflict and avoid difficult conversations, at their peril

International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) does well: IIBA continues to grow and shape the industry

EA connects the dots: Enterprise analysis will continue to grow as a discipline and take a bigger role in ensuring strategic execution

Culture shock: BAs will better understand organizational culture and its impact on requirements and project success

Predictive analytics is the future, we predict: Understanding predictive analytics will be a differentiator for the enterprising BA

“Business analysts are very well situated in 2015,” said Bashrum. “Many organizations are facing large-scale transition and savvy BAs, who understand their value in the strategic execution chain, will have a much bigger seat at the table.”

ESI’s top 10 trends in business analysis are put together annually by ESI senior executives and subject matter experts.

Read ESI’s top 10 trends in business analysis here.

About ESI International

ESI International is a global project-focused training company, helping people around the world improve the way they manage projects, contracts, requirements and vendors through innovative training in project management, business analysis and contract management. In addition to ESI’s more than 100 courses delivered in more than a dozen languages at hundreds of locations worldwide, ESI offers several certificate programs through our educational partner, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1981, ESI’s worldwide headquarters are in Arlington, Va., USA. To date, ESI’s programs have benefited more than 1.35 million professionals worldwide. For more information visit


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