Business analysis

Identifying and addressing business needs / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Business analysis is a professional discipline[1] focused on identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems.[2] Solutions may include a software-systems development component, process improvements, or organizational changes, and may involve extensive analysis, strategic planning and policy development. A person dedicated to carrying out these tasks within an organization is called a business analyst or BA.[3]

Business analysts are not found solely within projects for developing software systems. They may also work across the organisation, solving business problems in consultation with business stakeholders. Whilst most of the work that business analysts do today relates to software development / solutions, this is due to the ongoing massive changes businesses all over the world are experiencing in their attempts to digitise.[4]

Although there are different role definitions, depending upon the organization, there does seem to be an area of common ground where most business analysts work. The responsibilities appear to be:

  • To investigate business systems, taking a holistic view of the situation. This may include examining elements of the organisation structures and staff development issues as well as current processes and IT systems.
  • To evaluate actions to improve the operation of a business system. Again, this may require an examination of organisational structure and staff development needs, to ensure that they are in line with any proposed process redesign and IT system development.
  • To document the business requirements for the IT system support using appropriate documentation standards.

In line with this, the core business analyst role could be defined as an internal consultancy role that has the responsibility for investigating business situations, identifying and evaluating options for improving business systems, defining requirements and ensuring the effective use of information systems in meeting the needs of the business.

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