Will Business Analysis be Automated?

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in rapid technological advancements and conversation about the implications they have on our lives, our careers and jobs, and on society and, truly, the world as a whole. We’ve seen computers and smart devices become sleeker, and we’ve seen increased capabilities and uses of them. 

We’re also witnessing growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Where we once heard of it mostly used in the military, science, and other government fields, we’re now seeing AI becoming more widespread and built for use in mainstream society. 

You’ve likely seen or heard of a new AI tool called ChatGPT – some days, it seems like it’s the topic of every other article on our newsfeeds. It’s incredibly intuitive, delivers conversational content outputs, and (for now) it’s free. It’s also got many people worried about their jobs, and figuring out how to leverage this technology to work more efficiently and productively. 

With all this talk of machines replacing jobs, have you ever stopped to wonder if the Business Analyst role could be automated in the future?

What Makes a Job Replaceable With Automation?

Here’s the thing: the jobs that are most likely to be replaced by automation and AI technologies are the jobs that are repeatable and require low or no level of specialized training and social intelligence. These include role like:

  • Telemarketers – Have you received robocalls in the past? With conversion rates already low in this type of sales tactic, it doesn’t take much to convince companies to switch to a lower maintenance method. 

  • Bookkeeping clerks – There’s already a lot of software that does this already. Software like Freshbooks and Quickbooks does a great job at keeping finances visible and reportable. 

  • Receptionists – While the human touch is still nice, many companies now use automated phone systems and directories.

  • Couriers – Though they’ve had a controversial start, big companies like Amazon are already testing out drone delivery services. 

  • Cashiers – Have you noticed the self-serve checkout section in your grocery store growing? More people starting to use ordering stations at your favorite fast food joint? You’re not imagining it. McDonald’s has even started testing a new concept store equipped with minimal employees and conveyor belts and robots that deliver food to customers.

Could Business Analysis Be Automated?

There’s no need to panic – the Business Analyst role isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! Business analysis involves a lot of critical thinking, emotional and social intelligence, and complex communications and discussions among multiple parties. If anything, AI technology will likely become a useful tool that you can leverage within your role to create efficiencies and drive further productivity. 

With mass amounts of data being produced for and by businesses these days, Artificial Intelligence is already helping Business Analysts more efficiently and accurately draw valuable insights out of mountains of data and deliver solutions to companies to help them reach their goals. 

As we see more companies adopt the use of AI and automation in their processes, BAs will be needed to help review, tweak, and refine programs and processes to transition this new tech into place. This means more work and more projects for Business Analysts!

As machine learning tools that use AI continue to advance, they will, no doubt, continue to help BAs – and the organizations they work for – reduce inefficiencies and costs, and increase profits and productivity. 

Revolutions Happen in Waves

If ever you get nervous about the developments we’re witnessing with AI, keep in mind that we’ve seen these types of technological advancements before. Though they don’t sound as flashy, the invention of the calculator made doing math a heck of a lot easier, but people didn’t stop doing math. Similarly, the invention of digital cameras didn’t stop people from taking photos. In fact, with cameras now available in the vast majority (if not all) of smartphones, more photos are being taken than ever before. 

Remember: AI is a tool – a very powerful tool, but a tool nonetheless. The person who yields true power is the person who embraces progress and figures out how to use these tools to their advantage. 

Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide

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