President's Letter - Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

Are you ready to launch into a fantastic New Year with the IIBA Ottawa-Outaouais Chapter?

As we finish the cleanup from the holiday season, it feels good to reflect on the achievements of the past year...the great lineup of speakers at our monthly meetings, the launch of BA Trailblazer initiatives in AI and data analytics, and the BA Blitz full-day hackathon. Huge thanks go to our phenomenal Board of Directors and volunteers. An amazing team effort goes into each and every one of these events, which we wouldn't be able to deliver without their passion and commitment.

Looking forward to the coming months, we have a substantial (and growing!) list of exciting events and initiatives. Watch our website for announcements about Capital BA Day, our Speed Recruiting and Networking event, GRAAL Awards, and BA Trailblazer activities. Not to mention the outstanding speakers at our monthly meetings.

Congratulations to Emily Tom on her new role!

We’d like to congratulate Emily Tom, CBAP, on her new position at IIBA Global. As of January 1, Emily has taken on the role of Deputy Regional Director Americas Northeast Region. She will be supporting Carol Drew, CBAP, Regional Director Americas Northeast Region in engaging with 19 Chapters in Eastern Canada and Northeast US. Given her many years serving on the Board of Directors for the IIBA Ottawa-Outaouais Chapter, she brings the first-hand experience and knowledge needed to support and represent the Chapters at the Global level.

While taking this new position, Emily will also continue to serve as Past-President of our Chapter for the remainder of her term, which ends in June. Congratulations and thank you, Emily, for your service and dedication to our Chapter! We know you will do great in your new position!

Membership is important!

We love that everyone (members and non-members) feels warmly welcomed to our events. It's an important part of who we are as an IIBA Chapter. That said, we are a membership-driven organization, and our Chapter relies on IIBA Global for guidance, direction and insight into all things business analysis, especially certification. We encourage you to become a member of IIBA and of our Chapter. It's a testament to the important and valuable work we do as business analysts that we support the development of the profession. It's also a way of supporting and participating in our local business analysis community. Become a member, and more importantly, get involved by participating in our events and giving us your feedback!

Free is good, right? 

One of the initiatives the Chapter has undertaken this year is offering more free activities so that we can encourage and make it possible for more business analysts to attend. This includes our certification study group as well as the BA Trailblazer meetups. Unfortunately, what we're seeing is a huge spike in no-shows (up to 50%), folks who sign up for free activities and then don't show up. That's pretty discouraging for the volunteers who have spent money, time, and energy planning and delivering the event. And it tells us that free admission seems to diminish the value of our event.

If you like attending our free events and want to see more of them, there's an easy solution. If you register and then can't make it, just cancel your registration through Eventbrite or send a quick email to the organizer. It's as simple as that!

Thank you for joining us on this amazing adventure!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for being a part of the IIBA Ottawa-Outaouais Chapter. You're the reason we do what we do. Thank you for participating in our events, for volunteering, and for offering your feedback and input. I can't wait to share this New Year with you.

Cheers to a great 2020, and an amazing new decade! Looking forward to seeing you at our next monthly meeting on January 21 at the Ottawa Police Association!

Christina Abbott
President, IIBA Ottawa-Outaouais Chapter