The Knowledge Areas A Business Analyst Needs To Know

Introduction

 In this article, we will get a detailed view of the knowledge areas that a business analyst needs to know.  A business analyst needs to have knowledge of business analysis, product management, and technical know-how, including an understanding of testing. 

Behavioral and personality-related skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Communication
  • Relationship building
  • Influencing and leadership skills
  • Team player and team management skills
  • Political awareness/understanding of organizational dynamics.
  • Eye for detail
  • Self-confidence to be able to convince others using hard data and factual information.

Business or Domain Knowledge

  • Domain knowledge (product/services, operations, and industry standards and industry regulations)
  • Organization (products/services, customers, operations, policies, culture, organizational units, communication channels, key people)
  • Stakeholders (project initiators, SMEs, users – internal and external, including customers/supplier)
  • Strategy Analysis (to define business needs, solution scope, building business case, preparing Return On Investment (ROI)).
  • IT environment (sophistication, adaptability, vision for IT) within the organization

IT Knowledge

  • Business Change Management
  • Project Management
  • Requirement Engineering
  • System Analysis
  • Strategy Analysis
  • Data Mapping
  • Data Dictionary
  • Basics of Database (Basic SQL, Data Mapping, Data Dictionary) to communicate requirements
  • Data Modelling
  • Test Case/Test Scenario

Strategy Analysis

  • Impact Analysis
  • Investigative Techniques
  • Facilitation Techniques
  • Business Technology Optimization
  • Catwoe
  • Consensus Modelling
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Competency Assessment
  • Estimation
  • Role Change
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Decision Modelling
  • Functional Decomposition

Business Change

  • Business Capability Analysis
  • Current State and Capability (As-Is)
  • Future State and Ability (To-Be)
  • Gap Analysis (To-Be – As-Is)
  • Benchmarking and Market Analysis
  • Financial Analysis /Business Case
  • Defining solution and its scope
  • Scope Modelling
  • Organizational Structure and Modelling
  • Stakeholder List, Map or Roles, and Responsibilities
  • Communication Policy and Standards
  • Roles and Permissions
  • Interview
  • Workshop
  • Business Process Modelling
  • Concept Modelling
  • Brainstorming
  • Business Rules Analysis
  • Document Analysis

Interface Analysis

  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Focus Groups
  • Functional Decomposition
  • Mind Mapping
  • Observation
  • User Stories
  • Glossary
  • Prototyping
  • Prioritization Techniques
  • MoSCoW
  • Time Boxing
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria
  • Collaborative Games
  • Unified Modelling Language, i.e., UML (Use Cases, Activity Diagram, State Diagram, Class Diagram & Sequence Diagram)
  • Data Dictionary
  • Lessons Learned
  • Process Management

Data Modelling (ER Diagram/Class Diagram/Data Flow Diagram)

  • Non-Functional Requirements Analysis
  • Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)s
  • Surveys or Questionnaires
  • Vendor Assessment
  • Solution Assessment
  • Change Management
  • Decision Analysis
  • Traceability Matrix/Item tracker
  • Backlog Management
  • Reviews
  • Requirement Management
  • Templates

Business Analyst’s Tools

  • Analytics – Google, KISSmetrics, etc. Basic Tool – MS Office, MS Visio and MS Project
  • BPMN Modelling – System Archit Note Taking – MS OneNote and Evernote
  • Confluence and JIRA Dashboarding – MicroStrategy, Dash this Data Modelling – Erwin, MS-Visio, Click the chart and other free tools General Modelling – Lucidchart and Creately (in absence of MS Visio)
  • Data Extract – MicroStrategy ETL, Talend Open Studio, SQL, MongoDB Shells
  • EPC Modelling – ARIS
  • Invision – combined with Balsamiq (or designs) to make playable demos
  • Prototyping – Flinto, Proto.io, and iRise
  • (IBM) Rational Toolset (it is expensive and not used widely) – ReqPro, Clearcase, Architect, Rose, and XDE
  • Reporting – Jaspersoft, Tableau
  • Wireframing – Balsamiq

Conclusion 

 These are some of the business analysis techniques available to a business analyst. The business analyst must select the technique(s) based on his and other team members’ (involved in a particular activity) comfort, convenience, and organisational culture. Several other free, as well as licensed tools, are available, depending on one’s needs and comfort. Hope this article was very useful and kindly share your feedback in the comment section.

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