Cathy Banks, CEO of Analyze Consulting on how to increase your business’s satisfaction rates

Cathy Banks, CEO of Analyze Consulting on how to increase your business’s satisfaction rates

Written by Staff Writer

Jun 14, 2021

By Charndré Emma Kippie

 

Cathy Banks is the CEO of Analyze Consulting which was established in 2008, Cathy created the organisation from the ground up. Her experience in business leadership and technology has seen her grow her company with a 98% satisfaction rate over the 80 completed projects in five different industries. As founding partner and CEO of Analyze Consulting, she has been involved in all aspects of creating and managing a business from startup to established company level. Cathy’s core responsibilities include strategy, client relationship management, sales and human capital management. Her passion for understanding and solving business problems through a combination of technology, process and people has been a cornerstone of the Analyze value proposition.

Cathy is a highly experienced business and IT professional, passionate about solving business problems by focusing on technology, business processes and people. Her background in business analysis, includes  many years of business and IT project experience across various roles, including business analysis, project management, systems testing, change management, consulting and mentoring. She is currently completing a MPhil degree in Management Coaching from Stellenbosch University, has a BCom(Hons) degree in Information Systems from UCT), and holds a Licentiate Diploma: Banking from the Institute of Bankers. Cathy has also previously obtained a  Diploma in Business Systems Analysis – Faculty Training. 

 

What is your vision for 2021 as the CEO of Analyze Consulting? 

Our focus for this year is to ensure that our employees and clients thrive and grow. This past year has had a huge impact on people, in every part of their lives, so we are doing all we can to ensure that our people are supported, that they are well, growing and can thrive. And helping our clients do the same by assisting them in increasing their satisfaction rates. 

 

Please could you tell us a bit about your background – what led you down this career path? 

My earlier career was in banking, in the late 80’s and 90’s, a time when technology was playing a much greater role in business. I had a natural curiosity about technology, business processes and the way people work with both. My first Leadership role was to head up Systems Support and Training for Cape of Good Hope Bank, one of the oldest banks in the country and now part of Nedbank. Through this work and various software implementation projects I developed the skills or business analysis, software testing, process improvement and project management. It was also at Cape of Good Hope bank that I met my business partner, Reyer Meihuizen. We worked on a Y2K implementation project, me on the client team and Reyer on the vendor software implementation team. This was the starting point of my technology career journey, moving from banking into a focused business analysis role, first in insurance and later with a software development consulting firm. I always loved the way technology enables business but never lost sight of the importance of the business process and people. 

This gave rise to Analyze and shaped our philosophy of business success through people, process, and technology. Reyer and I have built this management consulting firm from the 2 of us in 2008 to a team of over 30, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

 

What 3 tips do you have for businesses to increase their satisfaction rates? 
  • Focus on your people
  • Focus on your clients
  • Value relationships above all else

 

When it comes to being a woman leader, what leadership qualities do you feel are most important in your industry?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Listening – really hear what people are saying (and not saying).
  • Consider all the stakeholders involved when making decisions.
  • Values – know your own, ensure they are aligned with your own business and look out for them with the businesses you work with.               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
What is your ‘why’?

I have always been passionate about people and enabling them to be their best selves. I believe that great organisations value the combination of people, process, and technology to get the very best results.

 

Have you read any books or listened to any podcasts that have inspired you and your career thus far? 

I have always enjoyed reading people’s stories, so I am naturally drawn to autobiographies. In my early journey as an entrepreneur, Richard Branson’s books stood out. As did Covey’s 7 Habits and Daniel Goleman’s work on EQ. More recently I have been reading Dr Edith Eger’s books – The Choice and The Gift – showing what brings home our power to choose and how impactful our choices are in everything we do.

 

What is your definition of ‘success’ and why?

The achievement of goals. At the start of our business journey, I set both personal goals and together we set goals for the firm. Reaching these within the 5 years set was a huge achievement and gives me a sense of fulfilment.

 

Are there any career highlights you’re proud of thus far? And what projects are you currently working on?

I am most proud of the journey of building Analyze from the ground up. It has been an amazing journey – tough, exhilarating, frustrating and awesome all at once. I have been blessed with a wonderful business partner and an amazing team of people, without their support and contributions it would never have happened.

As we now transition the leadership of our firm, my focus is on building out our offering and entering new markets. An exciting challenge for the next phase of the journey.

 

Outside of work, are you involved in any extracurricular activities and/or community outreach projects? 

As my children have grown, I have been very involved in their schools, from serving on governing bodies and as a trustee on a school trust.  I also use my coaching skills to enable young people to start their own businesses. I value exercise and being outdoors. Living close to the beach, a daily walk with my dog is the best way to start the day. 

 

What elements make for ‘Best Practice’ in your field of business? 

This is a very difficult question to answer. We are often asked by our clients to bring “best practice” and I always ask what their intention is in bringing this in. While there is certainly value in learning from others in how to improve, in reality one can seldom apply “best practice”as is, but rather, there is a need to really understand each business – what works, what does not work and how elements of best practice for that industry can add value. 

 

What advice do you have for young women in South Africa who aspire to work in your industry? How can they differentiate themselves?

Start with a solid academic grounding, get as broad a range of experience in business and technology as you can and ensure that you are building your soft skills – EQ, leadership, listening, professionalism all the way through. And build your network – not just for what you can get but for what you can give too.

 

 

*Interested in discovering more inspiring stores about Top Women? Check out the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.

 

 

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