Rebecca Richmond-Smith was announced winner of the BA of the Year Award 2021 on Tuesday 21st September, at the BA Conference Europe. The panel of judges were blown away by the standard of applicants this year, describing the finalists as "absolutely inspiring".

Our conference keynote speaker – journalist, broadcaster and author Matthew Syed –opened the 'golden envelope' and presented the award this morning on the 'virtual' conference stage. 

The judges said of Rebecca's achievements: 

"Rebecca has demonstrated that age is no barrier when it comes to having a strategic impact as a business analyst." 

Rebecca is currently a BA at CMR Surgical, a growing medical robotics company, and project lead in YBA (Young Business Analysts), helping young BAs to grow their personal and professional confidence. 

On accepting the award, Rebecca said: 

"I didn't know what to do when I finished Uni, except I knew that I wanted to solve problems, to be an internal analyst. I'm now passionate about creating greater visibility of the BA role, for those who have the same passion and core skills set. I'd like to say well done to all the other finalists. They're all amazing." 

You can read Rebecca's full winner's interview here

Making it to the shortlist from a large field of highly experienced and high achieving BAs is a huge achievement. At their interviews on 3rd September, this year's finalists impressed with their passion, commitment and abilities. As one judge put it: "Our future is in good hands." 

Christina Tan 

"Christina is impressively committed to taking the business analysis profession forwards. Her energy, passion, knowledge and skills are inspiring." 

Francesca Guyett 

"Francesca is not just opening doors for women to enter the business analysis profession, she's kicking them down." 

Kristy Dean 

"Kristy's empathy, compassion and inclusivity set her apart as a BA leader." 

Nadiya Kosminina 

"Nadiya is a consummate professional, leading her team to deliver exceptional business value from the BA service." 

Paul Haywood 

"Paul's vision for the future of business analysis both within and outside his organisation is very inspiring." 

Sam Merrick 

"Sam sets the bar for professionalism and commitment to lifelong learning as a business analyst." 

Sara Hudson 

"Sara is exceptionally skilled at creating strong relationships with her stakeholders, providing support and reassurance to them during times of significant change." 

Srikanth Pullikanti 

"Srikanth uses his many interpersonal skills and passion for his profession to build a new and productive relationship between business analysis and business architecture." 

Click here to see their full profiles.

The Business Analyst of the Year Award is now in its 15th year, sponsored by AssistKD and IIBA UK. This year, applicants were required to show evidence of ability in adapting to working remotely, communicating visually and challenging proactively.

Photo credit: IRM UK