Harnessing Emotional Intelligence to Perform Business Analysis

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Back during the industrial revolution, the focus was on “output” – everything made by machines and people working like machines too. They clocked in hours to create quantity all day long to come back again the next day for more machining and more quantity. There was no need to use their minds other than to follow machining instructions and definitely no place for hearts. All the thinking was undertaken by the elite some.

Bindu Channaveerappa, Senior Business Analyst, British Standards, bindu.channaveerappa@gmail.com Bindu will be speaking at the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2017. She will be presenting the following session: Who are Business Analysts ‘Really’ Engaging With: A Peek into ‘Being Human’.

Previously published here.


Later on, with the advent of the information era, there came a huge shift to deliver “outcome” rather than “output”, which required people who were working like machines to include their intellectual capabilities. But we humans are much more than just the physical and intelligence aspects, we have emotions, the essence defining who we are. But this was still unrecognised as generations had seen or been working like machines and therefore it was (and sometimes still is) engrained that emotions had no place in business.

However, as we progressed through the information era, we began to see information overload which revealed glimpses to the data patterns that sourced from human behaviours based on their emotions. As a result, a need for using this information or data to enhance value then emerged. It not only involved machines to crunch, dissect and churn data but more importantly to understand data intellectually as well as emotionally and hence the need to be emotionally intelligent started to prevail.

As a business analyst (BA) I use my soft skills more than technical, across the spectrum of activities involving business analysis. From strategic analysis to understand the ‘big why’, down to customers behaviour and expectations, product development makes us think about customer journeys specifically focusing on their emotions whilst using the product. There is no single instance where BAs can switch off their emotional reasoning, even more so, as almost every BA activity involves interaction with people and the only way a good relationship can be ensured is by working together in co-operation by respecting and understanding each other’s perspective.  And the real understanding comes from recognising and responding to the emotional needs in our day-to-day transactions with people. Today’s world is so fast paced that most of us are stressed out and do not have the patience to deal with different personalities and in my experience the only factor that I can control in any situation is how I respond, which means fundamentally I need to recognise my own emotions even before I try to respond to other’s emotional needs.

As businesses try to add more value to their products, the more diversified will be the pieces required in the making, both technical and non-technical, which means going forward we all bring in specific expertise to deliver in specific areas, leading to more personalities to transact with and therefore can BAs afford, not to be emotionally intelligent!

Bindu Channaveerappa is a senior business analyst with 20 years of experience in IT industry and over 10 years specialising in business analysis across various business domains. Being an enthusiastic business analysis professional She is always trying new ideas to bring innovation to her BA activities and shares her learnings through blogs, articles, workshops, training & mentoring. Bindu has been mentoring in the IIBAUK mentoring scheme since its inception and presented the mentor learnings from pilot, at one of the London events. She is an exam writer for the new ‘IIBA Exams and is currently in the process of presenting webinars through IIBA headquarters. Bindu believes in continuous learning, which enabled her to perform extensive research to understand “what it takes to be a successful BA” by experimenting human emotions and behaviours whilst engaging with stakeholders in her day-to-day BA activities.

Copyright Bindu Channaveerappa, Senior Business Analyst, British Standards

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