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.

Why Is SIPOC Important for Business Analysis?

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When performing any process discovery or improvement activity, one first needs to know about the big picture and understand how it fits into the business. In this regard, SIPOC provides a simple framework. It provides structure for my notes from requirement gathering sessions. In the Six Sigma world, this is also known as Value Stream Mapping. What is SIPOC anyway? SIPOC is a high-level view of the “as is” state of a process under investigation. Typically, a simple data collection… continue…

Gainsight: How to Get Hired at This Big Data Startup

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Big Data startup Gainsight describes itself as the first and only complete customer success management platform to leverage Big Data predictive analytics. The company offers a SaaS suite that, when integrated into Salesforce, automates a company’s workflow around customer retention and upsell opportunities. In April, the four-year-old company’s growth was boosted by a $9 million injection of Series A funding from Battery Ventures. The majority of Gainsight’s 47 employees are based in its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The company also… continue…

Take Advantage of Those Consulting Gaps – Part 1

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“Downtime” and “non-billable hours” are two terms that can strike fear into the most confident consultant – especially in a questionable economy. And for good reason: Too many of either can make the difference between succeeding and calling it quits. But downtime happens and it’s the reason we often charge what we do for our services. There’s rarely “100 percent utilization,” right? In reality, it usually ends up being 200 percent or 10 percent. Sometimes we work non-stop for 48… continue…

Success Tips for Business Analysis Contractors

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In a webinar from the International Institute of Business Analysis, Laurie Ryan gave some great advice on being a contractor Business Analyst, and shared some effective ways of succeeding from job to job. If you’re a contractor now, or are thinking of becoming one, here are some of Laurie’s nice, handy pieces of advice to keep in mind. Ask hiring managers as many questions as you want. They should be able to give you any information you need. If you… continue…

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…