The Transformation of the Business Analyst Role

Fabricio Laguna and Laura Brandenburg discuss the evolving BA role, organizational agility, AI integration, and the BA mindset at the BA Excellence Conference.

At the recent BA Excellence Conference 2024, hosted by the Global BA Community, industry experts Fabricio Laguna and Laura Brandenburg delved into the evolving nature of the business analyst (BA) role. The discussion highlighted how the job function is transforming in response to new technological advancements and shifting business needs. Here are the key takeaways from their insightful panel discussion.

Exploring the Changing Role of BAs

The conference kicked off with Laura Brandenburg, founder of Bridging the Gap, sharing her journey in the business analysis field. Laura emphasized that many professionals “fall into” business analysis, often without realizing it. She noted that BAs frequently start in related roles and only later discover the formal title and structured skill set that defines the profession.

Fabricio Laguna, a seasoned BA and consultant from Gigante Consultoria in Brazil, echoed Laura’s sentiments. He shared his experience of performing business analysis under different titles like system analysis and project management before formally recognizing the role. Both experts agreed that business analysis is more about the mindset and skills rather than the specific job title.

The Rising Importance of Business Analysis

Laura and Fabricio discussed the growing importance of the BA role in today’s dynamic business environment. Fabricio highlighted two key factors driving this trend: the need for organizational agility (or being nimble) and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

  1. Being Nimble: Modern organizations must be able to sense and respond to changes quickly and accurately. This requires a deep understanding of the business context and the ability to identify the best solutions. Business analysts, with their focus on precise and strategic responses, are crucial in this scenario.
  2. AI Integration: As AI becomes more prevalent, the ability to ask the right questions and define the correct problems becomes increasingly valuable. BAs are adept at this, making them indispensable in leveraging AI technologies effectively.

Navigating New Challenges and Opportunities

Laura addressed the potential threat posed by other professionals, such as product owners and managers, encroaching on traditional BA roles. She viewed this trend as an opportunity for the BA profession to expand its reach and enhance its credibility.

Fabricio added that the essence of business analysis lies in focusing on outcomes rather than outputs. He emphasized that a BA’s primary goal is to achieve better business outcomes, not just to deliver a system or feature. This strategic perspective helps BAs align their efforts with broader organizational goals, making their role even more critical.

The BA Mindset: A Key to Success

Both speakers underscored the importance of the BA mindset, which includes a combination of critical thinking, holistic understanding, and strong collaboration skills. Fabricio described this mindset as being driven by outcomes, considering the needs of all stakeholders, and being open to new ideas and perspectives.

Laura noted that effective BAs are those who continuously seek to understand the bigger picture and are willing to ask tough questions. This mindset helps them navigate complex projects and deliver solutions that truly add value.

Preparing for the Future

Looking ahead, Laura and Fabricio identified key skills that will become increasingly important for BAs:

  • Technical Proficiency: Understanding how the business works and how data flows within an organization is crucial. While coding skills are not mandatory, the ability to model and analyze data is becoming essential.
  • People Skills: The ability to collaborate, engage stakeholders, and drive consensus is fundamental to the BA role.


The panel concluded with a call for organizations to foster a BA mindset across all roles, not just those with the BA title. By promoting a culture that values strategic thinking, holistic perspectives, and continuous learning, organizations can better navigate the complexities of modern business environments.

For those interested in further exploring the evolving role of business analysts, Fabricio and Laura encouraged attendees to connect with them on LinkedIn and participate in future discussions and training sessions.

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