Our Business Analysis team supports change right across the NFU Mutual business. Tackling a wide variety of often hugely ambitious projects, the team helps improve how we operate for the benefit of customers and colleagues alike. We sat down with a few members of this talented team to discuss how they got into the role, and what they enjoy about business analysis at NFU Mutual.

What’s different about being a Business Analyst at NFU Mutual?
“The main thing for me is the quality of work and the development opportunities,” says Business Analyst Shraddha Kane. “Before I joined NFU Mutual I’d never spent more than two years in any job, but I’ve just had my nine-year anniversary of working here!”

“I started at NFU Mutual about a year ago,” says fellow Business Analyst Joe Darvill. “I was working in a similar role in another company, but I’d heard a lot of positive reviews about how Business Analysts were treated here – particularly those who had completed an apprenticeship or graduate scheme, which was of interest to me as I'd just completed a graduate scheme where I'd gained my international diploma in business analysis. One of the aspects that stood out for me was the hybrid working – being based at home most of the time, but also having that regular face-to-face interaction with people in the office, which was important to me.”

Claire Wilson and Paul Burditt are two of our five Business Analysis Managers, who each look after a team of analysts and act as the interface between the projects and the department. “One of the great things about being a Business Analyst in general is that there’s a lot of variety,” says Paul, who’s been at NFU Mutual for 18 years. “One of the key points about working here is that we work on very large change projects with multiple phases, which gives people the opportunity to move around and gain new skills across different programs.”

“A bit like Shraddha, I didn’t stay in any job longer than 15 months before NFU Mutual,” says Claire. “We all have a Personal Development Plan (PDP), so when I joined the company, I let my line manager know I was keen to learn more about business analysis. I succeeded in gaining a trainee Business Analyst role, and through experience and development, moved into a Business Analyst role. I then became Lead Business Analyst and am currently Business Analysis Manager. It’s now been 20 years since I joined as a Project Planner In the project office team.”

It sounds like there was something about NFU Mutual that enabled you to keep progressing! Did the company offer a lot of support throughout that process?
“I've always had help in the role I was in, as well as support to get where I wanted to be.” Claire explains. “After working as a Business Analyst for a while, I expressed an interest in more responsibility, so I was seconded into a Lead Business Analyst role to build up my skills. Likewise, I was given some management responsibilities to help me get ready to move into a Business Analyst Manager role. This involved a mix of learning on the job and more formal training, so my progression has been a combination of talking to my manager about my aims and taking the opportunities as they arose.”

Joe agrees, saying he’s also felt very supported in his development. “As part of my PDP, I had a conversation with my manager about taking on more responsibility,” he says. “Since then, I’ve been doing additional work on a project where I've played more of a leadership role. I’m currently integrating some pretty complex pricing systems and It's also the first time I’ve ever worked on a digital transformation project.”

After raising the idea with her manager, Shraddha was given the opportunity to mentor some of our apprentices. “I’ve always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and project experience with other people,” she explains. “And this has had the double benefit of helping me gain some valuable skills.” Shraddha also notes the benefits of our large Learning and Development team, which offers thousands of courses across a wide range of subjects. “You really can look at any kind of qualification,” she says. “So there are plenty of opportunities to follow your interests and develop your skills.”

“All the people in the management team have been recruited via internal promotions,” Paul adds. “We invest a lot in training and developing our people. We were one of the first businesses to offer the Business Analyst Apprenticeship, which is aimed at school-leavers, people in their first jobs and graduates. On completion of the apprenticeship the apprentices receive an internationally recognised qualification, which is the equivalent of a foundation degree. Most of our analysts now hold the BSC International Diploma in Business Analysis. We’ve also started offering the team the opportunity to study towards the new Advanced BCS Diploma, which quite a few of our team members are working towards.”

What would you say a typical day is like in the Business Analysis team?
The team falls into a thoughtful silence, as if the concept of a ‘typical day’ doesn’t really exist in their world. “There’s a huge variety of work,” Shraddha explains with a laugh. “Over the last nine years, I’ve worked on a wide range of different scale projects across multiple areas of the business, which has really helped me to develop and progress.

Joe’s work also seems to vary hugely from day to day. “We take an agile approach to projects, so the only constant is the agile meetings,” he says. “Beyond that, you could be doing anything, from talking to different parts of the business to defining their requirements or working with developers to build solutions.”

“You can be dealing with people at a very senior level, as well as people in the hands-on operational roles on the same day,” adds Paul. “What’s great is that internally, the Business Analysis team have a great reputation and are recognised as a highly valuable resource.”

How would you describe the culture and values of the team?
For Paul, the team culture really focuses on the individual. “Not everybody will follow the same progression route and that’s fine,” he says. “You’re equally valued if you just want to keep developing your skills so you can become the best Business Analyst you can be. There's great flexible working here too; we really do try to accommodate family commitments. And we’re happy to recruit people who are returning to work, maybe after starting a family, or people who want to work on a part-time basis.”

Shraddha mentions the great team spirit and Joe agrees: “We do a lot of social activities,” he says. “Like team walks and team lunches, which were really valuable when I first joined. One of the managers is a keen golfer, so he got a few of us together and we go and play a round of golf once a month during the summer. There are lots of examples of that kind of social activity.”

What makes NFU Mutual a great place to work?
“For me, it’s the focus on good quality work and getting things right,” says Joe. “Rather than just getting work done to hit deadlines. Also, the strong focus on a healthy work life balance is a big plus. You feel valued and looked after. And that your abilities are recognised so you can move into different roles as your skills develop.”

“It’s a big company, so there are lots of people around to give you the support you need,” says Claire. “Plus, you build up a great network of contacts. We all look after each other in the Business Analysis team. It’s a very supportive team.”

“There are multiple reasons why it’s a great place to work,” says Shraddha. “The lovely offices out in the countryside, the team spirit, the opportunities to grow while also having lots of fun. But most of all, being a mutual means we’re there for our customers when they need us, which definitely aligns with my values and beliefs.”

Ready to join?
If you think you’re a good fit for our Business Analysis team, why not take a look at our current vacancies?