Determining solutions to business problems is a critical component in any organization. It is a crucial role, and one that creates the potential for increased success. All too often in surveying, mapping and engineering firms, however, this role is minimized or handled as one of many tasks by the project manager, who may also be the licensed PE, PS, LS, PLS, RLS, RPLS or PSM. As a result, business analysis often gets placed on the back burner.

Advancing technology combined with the leaps and bounds being made in spatial data analysis is changing the surface of the economy and the surveying world. The importance of a skilled business analyst in this dynamic environment cannot be overstated.

A business analyst who is a great listener, a good investigator and a knowledgeable representative can help determine suitable criteria for an organization’s initiatives, analyze business rules, interpret detailed requirements, and handle other analytical tasks. In an article on, Barbara Carkenord describes an analyst’s role on a project as complementing the project manager, ensuring that projects deliver on the appropriate requirements. She suggests that the risk of not having this function can be costly, especially on large projects.

In the geospatial realm, a business analyst would be able to build the bridge between the firm’s service as a business and the evolving needs of clients based on information technology trends. Analyzing and documenting are arduous tasks well suited to this role. By having a dedicated business analyst on staff, a firm can free up time for its surveyors and engineers to concentrate on managing the project.

The combination of skills enhances the understanding and success of projects, which leads to greater client satisfaction—and increased business success.