Claudette C Jones

BA 101: Attitude is Everything

In Business Analyst 101 on April 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm

You have heard it time and time again, from your parents, former teachers and perhaps even a former boss in an interview or yearly review:

You have to CARE about what you do in order to succeed in what you do.

I have found a business analyst to be one of the most versatile positions in the industry. Analysts stem from a variety of backgrounds, whether in IT, economics or accounting. Business analysis is not just any job or career. It is taking your passions and expanding it to cover a variety of situations and helping those in need with those skills. In business, those needs commonly coincide with helping a company maximize their profit and helping them see the areas they can improve. Most importantly analysts find the areas of potential that a company has yet to cultivate. It is a lot of hard work and who else would do it unless they cared? This is a big deal- a business analyst is perhaps more of an asset than one may feel like on a day to day basis.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a businesswoman the other day. She shared with me one of her secrets to success: during the recession when no one was hiring she went out and networked anyway. This ensured that her name was out there, so when the market did stabilize her name would be recognized out of the pile of names and applications. Optimism, determination and positive action are definitely facets of her success. However, her heart was behind all of the efforts she put forth. She really cares about her line of work and the possibilities and potential it offers.

I spoke about LocalResponse in a past post. It is a business that definitely has that kind of optimism, a business profiting by helping other businesses increase their profit. It sounds so familiar…especially if you have ever viewed yourself, as a business analyst, in the form of a firm that other businesses hire to improve their company. In a technical sense, LocalResponse took its’ strengths and magnified it in a way that can benefit others. This business cares, even if it is only to maximize profits. LocalResponse is a great example for any business person.

Take your strengths, incorporate the resources around you and then magnify your confidence and personal interest. This can guarantee that you will blow minds and impress dozens. Business can be cut throat, however a great attitude never deterred powerful partnerships. Perhaps by giving that extra inch of energy or taking a leap of faith on a project will one day make a competitor an asset to your cause (i.e LocalResponse with other social networks).

“Do one thing every day that scares you” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

A big thank you to Christine Jett who inspired this entry.


Web 3.0 in Action!

In Web 3.0 on April 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm

LocalResponse is a company putting Web 3.0 into action! LocalResponse described itself in the recent New York Times Online article as a “social advertising platform” in which this company is paid to track public messages and photographs posted on social media sites and then aggregate this data for businesses mentioned in the posts to see.  LocalResponse has the ability to find the most influential Twitter users for a specific company based on how many times they mention a product and their popularity on the web (i.e. how many followers they possess). Like its website states,

“LocalResponse helps businesses bring back their best customers”

What does this mean for business analysts? It is a win for business analysts everywhere!

As I have expressed in a previous post, Web 3.0 is changing the business and it can only be a positive tool to make our jobs easier. LocalResponse is a great example of my sentiments. For example, one of the social media services mentioned in the article, Foursquare, is most notably for businesses who are a part of the website with consumers who have accounts through Foursquare. However, instead of communicating with the handful of social media services individually, such as Foursquare, Twitter and the like, business analysts can communicate with LocalResponse that aggregates data from all social networks.

Are you amazed at the potential?

LocalResponse began as another social network, then known as Buzzd. Buzzd was “a location-based city guide that also showed its users what people were saying on Twitter about locations and events nearby”, however this business began to flounder when competitors, like Foursquare, surpassed it in being an event guide as well as an outlet for businesses to connect with the users on the site by offering coupons and deals.  Today, LocalResponse utilizes the information from its former competitor to fuel its own business.

How extreme is that?  What planning it must have taken to grow beyond the boundaries the company had previously placed on itself.

Now that you have seen Web 3.0 in action, what do you think?

Commentary on New York Times online article: LocalResponse Taps the Social Web to Help Businesses Draw Customers

BA 101: “The Four Step General Event-Planning Process”

In Business Analyst 101 on April 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Often a business analyst is viewed as a jack of all trades. And I am a strong believer that every business analyst should know how to organize and implement meetings.

Currently my weakness lies within the information technology sector of being a business analyst. However I excel in interpersonal communication, implementing proper business meetings through parliamentary procedure, as well as excelling in planning meaningful and memorable events.

The following is a list of key things to ensure your event/meeting is a success. I gathered these pointers through out my experience in event planning. I hope it helps you! I call it:

“The Four Step General Event-Planning Process”

 Step One.  Brainstorming

Every report, activity and party begins with a brainstorming session.

Who is your audience/demographic? What are the issues they would or should care about? What type of event is most effective in how to relay this message? Where should the event take place? Does the location symbolize the goal/message of the event? What is the estimated outcome of attendance for this event?

By the end of the session you should create a short message or phrase summarizing the message you want to relay to your audience through out this event/meeting.

Step Two.  Planning

Now that you know what you want to say, you have to figure out how you are going to do it.

Who would you like to work with on this event? What is their stance on the issue or idea? Have you confirmed and emphasized the message of the event with your partners, volunteers and Public Relations materials?

Ensure that the people involved in the planning and implementation are on the same page as you so that you all are leaders in this team effort to persuade or insight enthusiasm in the guests attending the meeting/event. Also send a memo to those attending the event (or a flyer if it is a mass event) bullet pointing the main points (goals or mission) of the event. It is important that they realize what they are getting into and why they should care to attend.

Also, make sure to double-check on the logistics.

Has the location for the day and time of the event been confirmed? Are all the promotional materials, flyers, handouts printed and ready to be distributed? Did you publicize the event, send out PR materials or memos in a timely fashion?

Do not forget about the survey you will distribute at the end of the event for attendee feedback.

Step three. Implementation

Ready or not it is time to take the plunge. You have done all the planning you can do, but expect things to not go strictly according to plan. Implementation is about flexibility and thinking on your feet.

Do not forget the camera or arranging for a photographer if your event requires publicity. I also advise delegating a person, or yourself to carry an emergency tote bag or brief case of emergency extra materials. Whether it be tools for hanging banners, extra information handouts, pens and note pads.

And always, ALWAYS carry your business cards with you.

Step Four. Reflection

Breathe and take out a note pad.

What was the outcome of the attendance? Did you over or underestimate the number? What was the best part of the event in your opinion? What could have been done better? What kind of feedback did you receive from attendees, volunteers and partners?

And something fun you can do if it is relevant to your event is sending out a press release post-event. Include the best quotes from the event, pictures and your contact information. Networking is always influx…

Celebrate your hard work!