Data

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

Setting Quality Requirements With ‘Planguage’

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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

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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…

HP’s The Machine Could Crush Big Data Problems

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Big Data is only getting bigger: Over the next several years, it’s probable—if not outright inevitable—that businesses will find themselves faced with the need to crunch billions (maybe even trillions) of records, analyze increasingly massive datasets (often in a matter of seconds or minutes) and transmit that data around the world. Tech firms are already working on solutions to address Bigger Data: SAP, IBM and Oracle, for example, have all announced in-memory technology designed to greatly speed up analytics. The… continue…

Analytics-Driven Cities: Hype, or the Future?

City
Can you make a city smarter? Despite the hype attached to so-called “Big Data,” many cities haven’t yet rushed to embrace the idea of analyzing massive data sets to holistically improve city services. But change on that front could be underway, with Minneapolis, Minn., and Montpellier, France, working with IBM on analytics platforms capable of boosting efficiencies in transportation, water management and emergency services. Click here to find analytics jobs. Minneapolis is using cloud-based pattern discovery to better track metrics… continue…

Banks Scramble to Find Big Data, Security Talent

Bank Vault
Banks are hot to hire IT professionals with Big Data skills, reports Bank Systems & Technology. “The big deal is Big Data. If you can harness it, you can benefit, so financial firms are funding those initiatives right now and hiring individuals with that background,” John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology, told the magazine. Especially needed are people who can help keep data secure, “as well as anyone who can assist them with their mobile banking efforts,”… continue…