Business Analysts on the Rise Once Again

October, 2015

The importance of the IT business analyst appears to be rising again after suffering a momentary retreat during the early part of the recovery period.

As shown in Figure 1 from our study, IT Business Analyst Staffing Ratios, staffing for this function as a percentage of the total IT staff is up for the second year in a row. Business analysts now comprise 7.4% of the IT staff at the median, up from 6.6% a year earlier. The recovery in staffing for this position coincides with continuing investment in applications and gaining momentum for cloud computing.

BusAnalyst fig 1 - Business Analysts on the Rise Once Again

The business analyst function appears to have been in retreat during the initial period of the recovery, declining from 8.1% in 2011 to a low of 6.3% in 2013. However, the decline may be deceptive. It is likely other functions were regaining lost ground as opposed there being a reduction in headcount for valued business analysts. Prior to the recession, the business analyst function had been making steady gains, and that trend now appears to be reasserting itself.

The composite staffing ratio is useful for assessing trends, but not for benchmarking. For benchmarking purposes, we advise using benchmarks by organization size. In the full study, we assess typical staffing levels using four metrics: business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff, business analysts as a percentage of the Application Group, applications per business analyst, and users per business analyst. We also provide a range of values within which typical organizations fall, from 25th percentile to the 75th percentile, and we assess the influence of sector on our benchmarks. We adjust responses to include outsourced positions in the headcount.

This Research Byte is from our report on this subject, IT Business Analyst Staffing Ratios. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).

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