Business analyst is the person responsible for empowering transformation in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending the solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. To define the needs (read: requirements), business analyst deals heavily with requirements gathering, elicitation, analysis, and modeling on recurrent basis. And to perform all these activities and to document them well – Business analysts use a variety of tools and techniques to model, document, and manage outputs of business analysis activities and deliverables to stakeholders.
Business Analysts work on Requirements and Designs. Per BABOK v3 (which is a globally recognized standard for the practice of business analysis), the definition of Design and Requirement is:
A design is referred to as a functioning representation of a solution. Design focuses on understanding how one can realize the value of a solution once it is executed. The representation of the solution might be in the form of a single document or a set of documents and it can vary as per the circumstances.
A requirement is referred to as a usable representation of a need. Requirements focus on understanding what kind of value is delivered after fulfilling a requirement. The representation of the need may be in the form of a document or a set of documents and it can vary as per different circumstances.
Why Business Analysts must use tools and techniques:
As we now understand, one of the prominent works that Business Analysts do is that they represent the requirements and/ or designs. Best way to represent the requirements and designs is in the form of:
Business Analysis Tools and Techniques
Business Analysts should use a variety of tools and techniques for the following representation of needs:
- Tools mentioned in the table below are not limited to the mentioned ones, as with the emerging technologies and innovation – the Business Analyst should be open to learn and discover new tools too. This article aims to cover the top ones.
- The techniques described below are proposed to cover the most common and prevalent techniques practiced within the business analysis community.
|Ways of representing requirements||Situations in which BA represent such requirement and examples of the Techniques||Few tools that Business Analyst can use|
|Modelling||To create models and visuals to help with effective documentation.
1. Data Modelling
2. Decision Modelling
3. Organization Modelling
4. Process Modelling
5. Scope Modelling
6. Use Cases
|1. Microsoft Visio
3. Version One
4. Star UML
6. Oracle NetSuite
1. Data Flow Diagram
2. Balanced Scorecards
3. Business Capability Analysis
4. Business Model Canvas
5. Mind mapping
7. Roles and Permission Matrix
1. Concept Modelling
2. Business Cases
3. Data Flow Diagrams
4. Non-Functional Requirement Analysis
5. User Stories
|1. Microsoft Business Suite
2. Google Docs
|Analyzing and Mapping Requirements||Techniques:
1. Business Rules Analysis
2. Data Dictionary
|1. Microsoft Business Suite
2. CASE Spec
|Identifying relationships between requirements||Techniques:
1. Tracing Requirements
|1. Rational Requisite Pro|
|Tracking and storing requirements artifacts||Techniques:
1. Backlog Management
2. Item Tracking
|1. Atlassian JIRA
4. Sugar CRM
|Communicating with Stakeholders||Techniques:
2. Focus Groups
3. Microsoft Teams
This article has covered the most common and widespread Business analysis tools and techniques for Business Analysis, and it is recommended that Business Analysts should keep themselves updated with the knowledge of the leading tools and techniques for same. Eventually that would help Business analysts to keep up with the industry knowledge, achieve their career goals and benefit the organizations with their business analysis skills.