Our second networking event of the year, and our second panel discussion (ever!) took place at the beginning of February. This time we visited our good friends at Helmes to peek behind the curtain at their offices and take a deep dive into the work of analysts.
As a software company that develops solutions for a myriad of different clients, analysts are an integral part of Helmes’ teams. Across the company, Helmes has over 20 teams working on different solutions, and each of the teams has usually at least one analyst on board. We knew the role of an analyst can be a mystery not only to those who are new to the tech scene, but also to those who have been in the industry for years (although the ‘seasoned pros’ would likely never admit it). So we found this to be the perfect opportunity to open up the doors to the wonderful world of analysts and set the record straight. What do they do, how do they do it and most importantly - why can’t some teams never function well without them?
Among the panelists were Eliis Väert, Business Unit Manager at Helmes; Martin Kapp, Software Architect at Pipedrive; Kaisa Soovik, Analyst at Helmes and Meelis Lang, General Manager at Testlio. Why so many different job descriptions, you ask? Well, as it turns out, the tasks of an analyst can be performed by a number of different people at a company. Some of the functions of an analyst can also be spread across multiple different roles. And then there are the differences between service-based and product-based companies where the analysts might be focusing on solving very different issues. Talk about confusing, right?
During the discussion, moderated by Maria Lasprilla, Tech Sisters board member and Product Manager at Pipedrive, it became clear that the analysts are an essential part of teams where it is crucial to deliver a very precisely defined scope in a precisely defined time frame. The analysts lead the defining of the project scope with the client, make sure that everyone on the team knows what needs to be delivered, and act as an intermediary between the client and the development team throughout the project. In agile environments the analyst’s tasks are oftentimes a part of another role, as the development work is more flexible and therefore requires a slightly different approach.
When asked about what makes a good analyst, the answer from the panelists was unanimous - the best analysts are systematic and structured, able to see both the big picture as well as dive into details, think in a solution-oriented way, and most importantly be proactive. There are more ways than one to become an analyst and you’d be hard pressed to find two analysts with exactly the same career path. As it turns out, often the best analysts come from the field for which the development is being done. For instance, when building software for a medical institution, an analyst with some background in medical sciences can often help find the best solutions, even if their technical knowledge is not as advanced.
We admit that leaving the networking and panel discussion evening, many may have found their minds planted with even more questions than when they came in. But we hope this means we delivered on our promise - to provide some food for thought around one of the most mysterious roles in the tech industry.
We’re very happy to see our events ‘sold out’ (well, they’re free…) so quickly, but we realise there are more people interested than we have spots for. So, if you haven’t already, we suggest you jump on our Facebook page and follow us so you wouldn’t miss out on the next discussion and networking event. We always publish the dates a few days before we open the registration so you know when the tickets will become available.
We’d hereby like to give another special thanks to Helmes, all the panelists and participants. We at Tech Sisters are pumped for weeks!
Stay tuned for our next events!