Business Analysis

Everything related to Business Analysis from beginner “101″ advice based on real experiences, to training, coverage of events and seasoned advice how you can be a more effective BA.

Webinar: Breaking into Business Analytics

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The surge in Big Data is raising demand for Business Analysts and encouraging a growing number of tech professionals to consider opportunities in the field. If you’re one of them, where do you start? Working with Arizona State University, we’ve produced a free webinar: Breaking Into and Advancing in Business Analytics. It’s hosted by two of the nation’s foremost experts on information management: Leverforce.com Senior Business Analyst (and Dice Talent Community Guide) Steve Gara and Michael Goul, Information Systems Department… continue…

Solutions to Six Common Hurdles BAs Face

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Usually in a System Development LifeCycle the requirements elicitation phase is right at the beginning — or at least should be, no matter what the methodology: Agile, Waterfall and everything in between. All Business Analysts know that it’s a crucial phase. However, since these are very focused sessions, it’s still not without its problem areas. This article will highlight six of the most common hurdles that are encountered by Business Analysts, and show how they can be solved, or at… continue…

BAs Can Use This Tool to Help Guide Their Careers

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According to the International Institute of Business Analysis, 2013 is the “Year of Your Career.” That means the association is focusing on providing its members with tools and resources that will help them succeed. To support this goal, the IIBA introduced the Business Analysis Competency Assessment in April. It’s designed to evaluate abilities in business analysis based on a standard set of relevant skills. It does this by analyzing answers to a series of questions that are aligned to A… continue…

Human Resources and Data Analytics

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Much as it’s changed the landscape for marketing and finance, Big Data can transform any business unit into a strategic powerhouse. Many experts say that Human Resource Analytics and Systems — basically the workforce-related metrics that can offer companies valuable information about their talent pool — is the next to undergo such a transformation. But HR professionals aren’t known as the most tech-savvy bunch — so are they ready to assume a more data-oriented, technical role? What can analytics do… continue…

5 Steps to Becoming a Business Analyst

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Laura Brandenburg, owner of the website www.bridging-the-gap.com, is known for offering highly valuable information on becoming a business analyst. I asked her to provide this article on five steps to becoming a BA, which she describes as a journey in getting to know yourself and what your interests are. At the end, I add some of the big potential rewards that can come from your working in the field. Note that these steps apply to any experience level and at… continue…

BABOK 2.0: The Business Analysis Bible

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The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK 2.0) is literally the guide to the profession of business analysis. Every business analyst finds it useful, and none should be without it. The guide literally sets the standard for the practice of BA, and its value lies in the fact that it’s written exclusively for practitioners. BABOK 2.0 (work is underway on version 3.0) offers six broad areas of business analysis. Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring: This area explains how to effectively plan… continue…

Key Transferable Skills for Business Analysts

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There’s always debate about which skills in business analysis are the most important and most transferable. The answers always seem to come back to these: Communications Skills Interpersonal Skills Technical Skills Research and Analytical Skills Organizational Skills If you join the International Institute of Business Analysis, you’ll have access to A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (the BABOK  Guide) and the underlying business analysis competencies it lists. Here’s more detail on the transferable skills, which should help if… continue…

Tech Innovation at the Heart of Retail

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Technology is increasingly the differentiator among brands in retail, according to research firm Gartner, which pointed in a recent report to four forces — cloud, mobile, social and information — with the power to “either recreate businesses or level them.” “If you’re not familiar with it, you probably don’t realize how technologically advanced retail is,” says Jerry Sheldon, retail analyst with IHL Consulting Group. Indeed, the National Retail Federation has launched a “This is Retail” campaign to highlight and raise awareness of career… continue…

New Certification: HP Focuses On Embedded IT

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Hewlett-Packard has created a certification, focused on skills needed to implement cross-department IT initiatives, as a way to achieve business goals. It’s another indication that technology departments — and technology staffers — are being incorporated into business units as opposed to being operations unto themselves. The Accredited Technical Associate-IT for Business certification (ATA-IT) will provide coursework and practical experience on business-driven technology initiatives. Last fall’s Business Intelligence Congress called for more real-world experiences in college curricula to prepare students for… continue…

How to Build a Project’s Business Case

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One of the many tasks business analysts are inevitably called on to do is create a business case. As defined by the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, a business case justifies the investment required to deliver a proposed solution. A business case is part of the due diligence process. By measuring the benefits, costs and risks associated with the investment being made in a particular project or product, it assesses and evaluates the options available to solve the business issue.… continue…