Definition of Business Analysis

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

Business Analysis is the art and discipline of framing questions and answering them for the benefit of the business, or…

Business Analysis is the art and discipline of asking and answering the questions

  • who, what, when, where, why, how much and how1And/or whither, whence, to whom, which, etc. which are no doubt also of vital importance under appropriate circumstances; the indefiniteness of the number of interrogatives only serves to emphasise how artificially limited traditional Enterprise Architecture model “views” may be.,

things

  • should (not) have been, could (not) have been, were (not), are (not), could (not) be and should (not) be2Obviously should (not) be etc. also encompass the permissive/prohibitive may (not) be, etc. Exhaustive enumeration is exhausting. 

for the benefit of the business.

Other Definitions

International Institute of Business Analysis

the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.3Defined by International Institute of Business Analysis retrieved 09/04/2013. 

Wikipedia

[the] discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development.4See Business Analysis retrieved 09/04/2013. 

Scope

Business Analysis is a defined term of Business Analysis.

Discussion

Article Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

As “the art and discipline of framing questions and answering them for the benefit of the business,” everyone who does not dumbly do only that which they are told to do is a “business analyst”. That having been said, business analysis competences vary widely among the uninitiated and there are distinct domains of specialisation and competences for the professional business analyst.

Insofar as the job of the business analyst is to answer questions for the benefit of the business, unless he or she also has the authority and resources to act upon those answers, she or he must be skilled in communicating the answers to those who can act upon them.

The importance of being able to frame questions well follows from the fact that business analysts are often required to address issues and answer questions expressed in high-level business terms that require careful decomposition before they can be answered in terms of lower level terms, such as entities observables and tags.

Where others’ definitions of business analysis include the development of solutions, the business analyst is answering the question how best to make (beneficial) changes by comparing solutions; business analysts do not usually design solutions themselves, though in the case of identifying inefficiencies in current capability implementations (i.e. the systems that deliver them, e.g. process flows) better solutions may be implicitly identified.

Notes   [ + ]

1.And/or whither, whence, to whom, which, etc. which are no doubt also of vital importance under appropriate circumstances; the indefiniteness of the number of interrogatives only serves to emphasise how artificially limited traditional Enterprise Architecture model “views” may be.
2.Obviously should (not) be etc. also encompass the permissive/prohibitive may (not) be, etc. Exhaustive enumeration is exhausting.
3.Defined by International Institute of Business Analysis retrieved 09/04/2013.
4.See Business Analysis retrieved 09/04/2013.

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