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.

Key Transferable Skills for Business Analysts

Team Collaborating
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

Future Looking
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

Online Training
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

Signing a Document
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…

Opening Day? Analytics Tools to Predict the World Series Now

Baseball Loser
Billy Bean and Theo Epstein are right: Baseball isn’t all about skills, tactics and chewing tobacco bubble gum, it’s about numbers, and maybe even numbers first. It’s Big Data in the big leagues, baby. Which means if you’re trying to figure out how optimistic — or nervous — you should be about your team’s performance this season, analytics can help. For those of you who don’t want to crunch your numbers via nostalgic pencil and paper or Microsoft Excel, there… continue…

Use These Tools to Discover Your Strengths as a BA

Magnified Eye
In chapter 8.1.4 of the International Institute of Business Analysis Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (otherwise known as the BABOK Guide), you’ll find this: Business analysts must be effective at defining and solving problems in order to ensure that the real, underlying problem is understood and that solutions actually address that problem. So, how good are your problem-solving skills? I highlight some tools that can help you discover your strengths as a BA. For starters, take this… continue…

Demand for Data Analytics Skills Rises Sharply

Dice Techonomics
Though hiring managers are particularly interested in tech professionals with Java/J2EE development skills, the demand for data expertise has increased notably in the past year, according to a report released Thursday by Dice. Last year, the need for data analysts and analytics skills didn’t even make the top 10. But in the latest survey, they were in the No. 4 spot. It makes sense, considering that more businesses are using Big Data as a strategic tool. For example, game companies… continue…

Every BA Should Know About These Requirements Tools

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If you’re a business analyst, you already know the five key skills you need to be successful. But do you have any ideas about what software can make you more effective at work? This is a question commonly asked by both novice and experienced BAs. In my experience, it really boils down to two kinds of programs: Software that allows you to create diagrams of all kinds and mockups/wireframes. Microsoft’s Visio is a prime example but there are many others, including… continue…

When Software Engineers Whine With Reason

Frustrated Woman
Not long ago, Slashdot’s Jeff Cogswell set out to see if two business intelligence tools would come back with the same answer to a single question. Two months later, he’s come back with a horror story instead. Not about BI, but about the state of software installation. It’s a tale, he says, of “everything that can go wrong in the customer end of the software world, and some thoughts on what needs to be done, especially in an area known… continue…

IT Salary Trends: What’s Hot

According to InformationWeek‘s 2012 U.S. IT Salary Survey, information technology remains a well-paying field, with median total compensation of $90,000 for staffers and $116,000 for managers. Staffers reported a median rise in total compensation of 1 percent, while managers reported a 1.8 percent rise. Pay is on the increase across job functions. People who perform 11 of 23 staff job functions report median total compensation above $100,000. Last year, just three staff functions broke the six-figure barrier: ERP, enterprise app integration,… continue…