Why Business Analysts Are So Important!

It’s Business Analyst appreciation month at CIO.com and Forrester – and it’s a great time to be a business analyst as they are definitely a HOT commodity according to a recent research report.

Thomas Wailgum of CIO.com wrote an article last week titled “Why Business Analysts Are So Important for IT and CIOs“.  In the article, Thomas references a new report that came out this month from Forrester analysts Carey Schwaber and Rob Karel which is called “The New Business Analyst“.

The Forrester report provides a “better understanding of this crucial yet largely undefined role”.  One business analyst interviewed for the report said “everyone agrees on the importance of the business analyst role, but few know exactly what it is that business analysts do.”

Schwaber and Karel interviewed 338 business analysts and reviewed more than 29,000 business analyst job descriptions.  They conclude that there is not a standard definition and that the roles between business-oriented and IT-oriented analysts is blurring.  In fact, they coined a new role called the “Business Technology Analyst” or BT Analyst.

The Forrester report also pointed out several things that smart CIOs and IT managers can do today to prepare for the future:

  • Look in your own backyard for talent
  • Look for BT analysts in untapped parts of your business
  • Establish centers of excellence for BT analysts

Check out these links for the complete story:


Success Through Visualization – From SandHill.com

Emmet Keeffe, iRise CEO and Co-founder, had an opinion piece published this week in SandHill.com.  SandHill.com is the premier destination online destination for strategic information on the software business. The site and its newsletters are read by thousands of top software industry executives every week.

Emmet talks about “The Requirement Challenge” and why “Accurate Specs are Key”.  He finishes with “The Benefits of Visualization” which I am paraphrasing below:

  • Business people can fully experience the product and make changes early in the process, saving significant time and downstream costs.
  • Developers can catch design and functional errors before an application goes into production.
  • The process can speed through multiple rounds of functional visual edits to quickly reach decisions on business needs and customer experience.
  • Managers can increase final adoption of system with upfront agreements of the application’s process flow, experience and visual look and feel.
  • User experience professionals can rapidly iterate proposed designs directly in front of customers, dramatically improving customer experience.
  • Software sales teams can demo potential products to customers to get feedback before actually developing the application.
  • The professional service teams can test a potential product for possible needed changes to speed implementation and integration.
  • Sharing visualizations with global sourcing partners is not only easier but cheaper. Visualizations eliminate confusion with global development teams because everyone is speaking the same language.
  • Resellers can sell a solution by showing a visualization of what a specific application could do when integrated into the customer’s environment

He wraps up by repeating his vision, “by 2020, all business software will be visualized before its built, just the same way that every car, airplane and semiconductor are visualized today.”

The entire piece is worth a read and can be found at SandHill.com.

Win $15,000 in the iRise Commercial Contest!

iRise Visualize the Prize Contest

We are very pleased to announce that the first annual iRise “Visualize the Prize” Commercial Contest starts today and has a total cash prize of $20,000.

Why are we doing this? According to chief marketing officer, Mitch Bishop, “We know we have passionate and creative users, and we want to let them share their passion with us and the broader iRise User community”.

So, what does it take to win? Are you passionate about iRise? Has iRise changed your life or the way you do business? Are you creative? Do you have a great idea for telling the world about the power of visualization?  Do you have a great way to motivate others to buy iRise?  Help us tell the world by creating a 30 to 60 second commercial about iRise and you could win $15,000.

Make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, make us say “wow, we didn’t think of that!” or “whoa, we didn’t think of that”.  You have total creative control to write, cast, direct and shoot your commercial.

We encourage you to tell us how you have used visualization and iRise to create something special.  Did you speed time to market, increase innovation, improve user experience or reduce costs?  Note that 30% of the judging criteria will be based on the liklihood to motivitate people to buy or try iRise.

What are the contest details? A summary of the contest information has been copied below and is available from the contest website at www.irisevideo.com.  Please bookmark the website so you can check back frequently for new video submissions – and don’t forget to vote for your favorites during the voting period in June.


  • The 1st place winner will receive $15,000
  • Two Runner-up winners will receive $2,500 each


  • Contest starts Tuesday April 8, 2008
  • Contest ends Wednesday June 4, 2008
  • Top 10 semifinalists selected on June 6, 2008
  • Voting period runs from Friday June 6, 2008 to Friday June 20, 2008

Contest Process:

  1. Create a completely original commercial – 30 to 60 seconds long
  2. Upload your video to YouTube by June 4, 2008
  3. Register on the iRise Commercial website and submit the URL for your video
  4. Wait for iRise to approve and post your commercial on this iRise Commercial website
  5. Promote your iRise commercial video and watch all of the accepted videos on the iRise Commercial website
  6. Vote for your favorite videos from June 6, 2008 to June 20, 2008

  7. Complete rules are available here

In order to prime your creative pumps, here is an example iRise Commercial that I pulled together last week…and don’t worry, I’m not eligible to win:

Making Software Simpler

Is your software simple and usable?

There was an interesting opinion piece at Sandhill.com last week titled “Simplicity: What’s Next in Business Software” by Anthony Deighton of QlikTech.

Anthony pointed out that the gap between what software users experience in their workplace and in the rest of their life is widening while the line between work and home continues to blur.  Business users are starting to expect that the applications they use at work be as clear, user-friendly, intuitive and simple as the other software they use.

The bottom line is that enterprise software vendors must “simplify or die” by embracing a philosophy of simplicity or risk getting left behind in the future by innovative and emerging vendors.

There are several characteristics of “simple” software that Anthony lists in his piece, including:

  • Continue to offer robustness – “simple” is not the same as “lite”
  • Focus on the user – enterprise software vendors need to focus on the user for a change
  • Revamp the value chain – make sure you pick partner vendors and service providers who embrace the simplicity vision
  • Deliver a fast sales and implementation process – the product must be easy for users, but also deliver quick value to the business
  • Relentlessly pursue simplicity – you have to keep focusing on making your product usable and faster to deploy

Check out the full article and complete discussion thread from this link