10 Most Popular Business Analysis Techniques Used by Professionals

10 Most Popular Business Analysis Techniques Used by Professionals | Business Analytics | Emeritus

Business analysis is a structured way of introducing and managing organizational change while providing value to all business stakeholders. It includes identifying new opportunities, optimizing costs, understanding required capabilities, and finding solutions to help businesses achieve their goals. If you are an aspiring business analyst seeking information on commonly used techniques or an existing professional in this field looking to upskill yourself, here are the top 10 business analysis techniques you must know to be effective in your role.

Top 10 Business Analysis Techniques

SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a four-quadrant analysis where the business analyst groups information and data as per the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a company. It helps to get a clear picture of a company’s standing, both internal as well as external factors, allowing for more informed decisions.

Pros and Cons

SWOT analysis helps improve planning because it gives a clear picture of various attributes of the business. However, it may sometimes be an oversimplified analysis. For example, the high price of a product may not necessarily be a threat to the company. It can, in fact, be a strength as it may create the perception of luxury in customers’ minds.

MOST Analysis

MOST, a short form for Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics, helps keep these four factors relevant and aligned with the business. It is a powerful tool used to assess the organization’s strategic plan and gives a clear vision to each organization member regarding the direction of their work. This ultimately helps bring all functions and levels in alignment with each other. 

Pros and Cons

It is a clean and simple way of communicating business strategy to all the stakeholders and helps them align in a common direction. However, this technique is not self-sufficient and needs the support of other tools and analyses to define business strategy fully. 

Business Process Modeling (BPM)

Business process modeling is a data-driven and illustrative representation of an organization’s business processes. It provides insights into the various functions of a business process, including events and activities, owners, decision points, and timelines. It uses an ‘as-is’ approach instead of a ‘to-be’ approach, thus allowing better visibility into existing processes and helping improve them.

Pros and Cons

Business process modeling helps align business operations with strategy, improves communication among various stakeholders, and helps achieve operational efficiencies. The only downside to this technique is the risk of overanalyzing the process, especially if the business problem is not very complex. Also, if not implemented properly, this technique may underutilize the resources spent on creating the model.

Use Case Modeling

Use case modeling depicts how users interact with a system to solve problems. It defines the user’s objective, various interactions between the system and the user, and the system’s behavior to fulfill the user’s objectives. It can be done using various tools such as Microsoft’s Visio, Lucidchart, and IBM Rational Rose.

Pros and Cons

As a user-centered technique, it helps develop a system from the user’s point of view. It also helps visualize complex projects more simply. A major drawback of use case modeling is that it is not object-oriented (i.e., not made up of data fields with unique attributes and behavior). It may also lead to miscommunication due to the use of non-technical language.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a creative group activity undertaken to develop an exhaustive list of ideas and identify multiple possible solutions for a problem at hand. It requires freewheeling thinking and discussion to ensure no possibility is left unexplored.

Pros and Cons

Brainstorming helps devise various solutions and is easy to execute for all the stakeholders involved. Some disadvantages of this technique include overlapping ideas, bias caused by peer pressure, and lack of participation from everyone.

Non-Functional Requirement Analysis

Non-functional requirements are necessary for a system to perform well but do not directly contribute to the primary functions. For example, a functional requirement of a word editor can be the ability to write text. In contrast, a non-functional requirement can be software that automatically saves text if a user forgets to save it manually. Thus the Non-Functional Requirement technique analyzes various non-functional requirements such as security, reliability, performance, maintainability, scalability, and usability. It helps understand various operational capabilities and constraints that need to be considered in the design of systems.

Pros and Cons

business analysis techniques

Non-functional requirement analysis ensures legal and other compliance requirements. It also creates ease of operations and a good experience for the user. One major con of non-functional capabilities is that it is difficult to alter once the design phase is complete.

PESTLE Analysis

This strategic tool analyzes the external environmental factors that may impact a business and its future performance.  PESTLE analysis includes the following factors: 

P – Political
E – Economic
S – Social
T – Technological
L – Legal
E – Environmental

Pros and Cons

PESTLE analysis encourages the consideration of external factors that may impact the business in the future and thus helps anticipate them better. However, the major disadvantages of PESTLE analysis include its time-consuming nature and the need to complement it with other types of analyses.

Requirement Analysis

Requirement analysis is undertaken to capture the user expectations for a new product. It starts with identifying the relevant stakeholders, conducting interviews to capture requirements, categorizing requirements, interpreting and documenting requirements, and finally, signing off on the requirements that need to be worked upon.

Pros and Cons

Requirement analysis helps identify the correct requirements to satisfy user needs, thus reducing rework, ensuring faster development, and higher customer and developer satisfaction. Some disadvantages include customers not knowing exactly what they want, conflicting requirements, and communication problems between various stakeholders.

User Stories

User stories convey what users want to achieve in a simple, non-technical way. They help provide context to the development team and help them understand why they are building what they’re building and how it impacts the end user. These stories are a core component of Agile programs.

Pros and Cons

The pros of user stories as a business analysis technique include outcomes that are a user-centric and improved collaboration between the product team and the users. Major cons include fulfilling compliance needs and ensuring correct interpretations of the user stories.

CATWOE

CATWOE is a generic business analysis technique that helps define and analyze the perspectives of various business stakeholders. It is an acronym that stands for:

C – Clients
A- Actors
T – Transformation
WO – Weltanschauung or World View Owner
E – Environmental Constraints

Pros and Cons

It is one of those business analysis techniques that help consider the perspectives of different stakeholders and give due credit to various requirements. The only possible con is that it may result in the confusion caused by rising conflicting views.

ALSO READ: What is Business Analytics? Why Should You Know More About it?

Fast-Track Your Business Analysis Career with Emeritus

According to a recent survey, 88% of executives reported that their companies had increased investments in data, analytics, and AI during 2022. The future is bright for professionals pursuing a career in these areas. Suppose you are planning to pursue or enhance your skills in business analysis. In that case, we hope this article has given you a fair understanding of each business analysis technique. However, the specific technique you choose might differ based on the industry and goal of your organization. 

ALSO READ: What Does a Business Analyst Do? Key Responsibilities, Skills Needed, Tools Used

If you want to learn more about business analytics concepts and applications, explore these online business analytics courses offered by world-class universities via Emeritus, and build your skills for a successful career in analytics.

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