Saratoga Shares Insights From The 2016 BA Summit

As leaders in business analysis Saratoga was proud to be involved with the 2016 BA Summit that took place in Johannesburg in September. Along with being a silver sponsor for the premier event, Saratoga staff also presented at and attended the summit.

“The conference exceeded my expectations and I was amazed by the amount of international speakers and the quality of presentations. The overall feeling of the conference was motivational, inspiring and very relevant”. Waldo Leonhardt, a consultant at Saratoga, found the keynote presentations very valuable. “These presentations challenged the attendees to think about their passion and purpose, as well as what their personal impact is in their social environments, business and greater communities.”

The various sessions at the summit explored thinking strategically, the importance of soft skills, how to be more innovative, lessons from case studies, and recapped on fundamental tools, techniques and methodologies.

Of the many lessons Waldo learnt at the summit, two of the most memorable was “the benefit of networking and how it can be used to reach our highest potential”, and “the importance of making your own needs known when collaborating with others”.

For Samantha Smith, analyst at Saratoga, the 2016 BA Summit exceeded her expectations and she left the summit feeling motivated and inspired to keep challenging herself and the way in which she works. Samantha particularly enjoyed Adrian Reed’s talk. “His talk resonated with me because he spoke to an existing belief of mine and proposed that business analysts are actually salespeople and the way we pitch is better understood and received by not only presenting stats.”

While the power of networking was a key lesson from the summit, actually putting it into practice can be intimidating at first. “Once you do start talking to people, you become far more comfortable because you realise everyone is facing similar problems, and the conversation then becomes a way of learning about how people approach these problems.” For Samantha it was great to connect with more experienced business analysts who still face similar struggles in the profession.

Inga Davids, consultant at Saratoga, found it daunting to be one of the few first time speakers at the 2016 BA Summit. “Half of me thought – what are you thinking, you’re going to be talking alongside some of the heavy weights in the industry. But through the experience, support and encouragement from mentors it has been rewarding on a personal and professional level.”

As the conference theme suggests, business analysis is on the rise and our consultants and analysts at Saratoga are ready for the challenge. “Business analysts are no longer sitting at the back jotting down the requirements and business objectives, but right in the front leading and shaping conversations alongside the stakeholders to add value.”

For more Business Analysis insights download the 2016 Inter-View Report.