Data

Tools and techniques related to managing, analyzing, and understanding large amounts of data.

Are Database Administrators Doomed?

Arjuna Kodisinghe/Shutterstock.com
Just about everyone agrees these days that there is more data to manage than ever. The topic on which nobody seems to agree is who needs to manage it, or to what degree it might actually need to be managed. Traditionally, database administrators (also known as DBAs) have been at the center of the data-management universe: There was always a need to have someone optimize the performance of applications by making sure data was well structured. But with the rise… continue…

The Key to Good Business Process Modeling

BlueSkyImage Shutterstock
Business-use cases are essential for modeling because they define processes as series of sequential steps with alternate flows. These use cases help stakeholders better understand the business and what’s working, versus what’s not. Click here to find business analyst jobs. Modeling business processes can help with many things, including but not limited to: Eliminating irrelevant details Presenting processes in a common format for all stakeholders Understanding complexity Assessing efficiency Capturing how value is delivered Determining time and cost Different types of… continue…

What Developers Need to Know About REST APIs

Posted In Data, Working in Tech
REST API Example 1
By R. Paul Singh There are various reasons to adopt REST as the underlying layer and build RESTful APIs for data access. REST is enjoying widespread and rapid adoption for SOA database connectivity, including business-to-business, mobile access and systems integration. While connectivity is the obvious focus for building a RESTful API, it’s not enough. It’s critical to address factors like API usability, app server functions and performance. Click here to find REST-related jobs. This article dives into each of these… continue…

Setting Quality Requirements With ‘Planguage’

Peshkova Shutterstock
Everyone wants software that is user-friendly, robust, fast, and secure. Everyone also agrees that a failure to establish the right requirements often prevents software from fulfilling that wish. Business analysts often end up writing fuzzy requirements for developers and testers because they haven’t explored the users’ needs to sufficient depth. Details go missing in conversations; feature requests are left vague. And the problem with vague quality requirements, of course, is that you can’t verify or test them; they’re no better… continue…

Revealing a Project’s Missing Requirements

Sergey Nivens sketch on wall
No matter how good a job you think you’ve done on eliciting project requirements from a client, there will always be gaps; nobody really knows when one is done gathering all requirements, because new wishes and demands continue to trickle in throughout a project’s lifecycle. A project with an excessive rate of change suggests that important requirements may have been overlooked during the elicitation phase. But how do you keep missing requirements to a minimum? Click here to find business… continue…

How BAs Can Manage Stakeholder Expectations

Expectations
As business analysts, we often get involved with stakeholder meetings only to find out they have unrealistic expectations or needs. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this happens and what can be done to resolve or mitigate this common challenge. Problem #1: We Don’t Understand Their Priorities Probably the most common issue is a lack of understanding when it comes to the stakeholder’s needs and interests. While business analysts are often well-versed in a company’s needs, often they… continue…

The Key Skills Needed by Big Data Engineers

Data
A mix between data scientist and engineer, Big Data engineers are a new breed in the technology community. Do you have what it takes to be a pioneer? The skills required for Big Data engineering roles aren’t necessarily new things, but they do require a certain level of understanding in a few particular areas for candidates to be successful. Those particular areas? Math and scientific analysis. If you’ve been successful in engineering roles with those skills in the past, even… continue…

Why a Business Analyst’s Role Is So Hard to Define

Multiple Responsibilities
It’s common to see many organizations using business analysts in different ways, which is one reason a BA’s skill set has to be so versatile. But why is it BAs don’t always drop neatly into a single, pre-defined role? The nature of business analysis itself has a lot to do with it. Generally, business analysis comprises some parts of these three areas: Click here to find business analysis jobs. Strategic Analysis Because strategy is by its nature high-level, analysis is… continue…

Facebook’s New Privacy Issue Highlights Need for Transparency

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.25.54 AM
Anyone signing up for Facebook must agree to the social network’s Terms of Use, which opens user-generated data to everything from data analytics to product testing. The majority of the time, Facebook keeps its capitalization (some might call it exploitation) of user data firmly in the background; your postings might end up used in a system-wide test, but you’ll never know about it. So it was surprising when, over the weekend, news leaked that Facebook had manipulated the news feeds… continue…

Brainstorming and Mind Mapping for Business Analysis

Meeting Overhead
There is no more need to have long and boring meetings with analysts and stakeholders to encourage them to come up with new ideas and strategies—at least not if you can make your meetings more engaging, interactive and, dare we say it, fun. For this, you might want to consider brainstorming as a way to bring in a breath of fresh air. Click here to see business analysis jobs. What Is Brainstorming? I’ve seen brainstorming described as a “process for generating… continue…