Business analysis is the process of analysing a business or system to understand its functioning, structure, and performance to provide recommendations for improving performance and reducing costs.
It is a field that spans many disciplines, such as computer science, programming and IT systems, engineering, management, psychology, and economics.
The process gets deep into the nuts and bolts of a business and is firmly led by good communication, as it involves understanding how a system or business functions (such as who does what, when, where and how), as well as understanding the structure and fundamental operations of a system (such as how many employees, products, and services are in the system).
It is the discipline of turning raw data into knowledge that can be used to make decisions and a way to translate technical business functions between forms that can be understood by either the business owners, customers and technical or development teams.
Business analysis can also involve determining the feasibility of an idea or plan and identifying the risks and costs associated with a particular course of action. In the broader sense, business analysis also refers to the work of any person who is involved in the analysis, planning, and control of a business. This can include people who specialise in one area of business analysis, such as database or software analysts, or people who are generalists, such as accountants or executives.
The business analyst (BA) work process typically involves talking to the key areas, users and technical teams within a business, gathering large amounts of data and evidence, performing analyses, and presenting the results in a format that is easy to understand.
Similarly, a business analyst will often need to take non-technical requirements from a user group and make these into a more technical document, pseudo-code and use cases, as well as test plans for the development team to understand and work with when building solutions or making changes to complex IT systems.
Business Analysis Tools
Business analysis requires tools and techniques to collect, analyze, and report on data.
Some of the most common tools in business analysis include spreadsheets, databases, and data visualization tools, such as graphs and charts, often these can be created within Microsoft Office or Google Docs software, but will often be data-driven. Using these tools, business analysts can analyze the data, extract information, and make recommendations.
To further research data the business analyst may need to use SQL to extract data from complex databases. The data can be analysed, assessed and presented in a meaningful way to show findings and make suggestions to the senior management teams.
Business Analysis Techniques
Every piece of work or project worked on is different, and depending on the task, the tools and techniques will differ, however here are the top five business analysis techniques regularly used within business analysis:
- Business Process Modeling (BPM)
- Gap Analysis
- Brainstorming or Blue Sky Thinking
- MoSCoW (Must or Should, Could or Would)
- SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
The techniques are not in any particular order above, as for some projects you may only use one of these, for some you may use them all. Above all the most useful technique for any business analyst is to be a good active listener:
- Listen to the business owners, customers or stakeholders to understand what their requirements are.
- Listen to the technical or development teams to ensure they understand what the requirements really are and they are comfortable they have enough information to start, continue or complete the work.
LOOKING FOR A Business Analyst?
If you are looking for a business analyst to help your business call Wiser IT today on 07941 783434 or fill in the contact form.