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What is Business Analysis?
Business analysis is nothing but a sector of any industry working towards identifying the business needs and presenting solutions that comply with the growing technology. It is an integral part of any business as it helps organizations overcome future challenges.
This process also includes bringing out changes at the organizational level, improving business processes, and policy development. Business analysts are those professionals who carry out these tasks.
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Importance of Business Analysis
Having a set of Business Analysts working for your industry will be extremely useful for your enterprise. Business analysis can lead to an increase in the return on investment and a decrease in the cost of initial requirements.
Also, business analysis can improvise the decision-making process, provide a framework or structure of a business process, anticipate future problems, and identify the status of the enterprise.
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Tools Used by Business Analysts
The common tools used by Business Analysts for distinct purposes are listed below.
Business Analyst Tools for Requirements Gathering
Requirements management is collecting, organizing, analyzing, and prioritizing the data for product development. Requirements are nothing but the needs of customers concerning the product design.
Some of the tools used for this purpose are Rational Requisite Pro, Doc Sheets(previously known as CASE Spec), Modern Requirements, Jama, ReQtest, iRise, and Orcanos. Data gathering is done by SQL, Teradata, and Hive.
- Rational Requisite Pro- An end-to-end requirement management tool by IBM that aims at facilitating effective communication and collaboration between project management teams. This tool helps in organizing and prioritizing the requirements to enable effective tracking of changes and communication. Rational Requisite Pro also combines the functionalities of a database and a word processor. Also, the tool’s robust architecture helps in dynamically linking the live requirements to a database, thus promoting powerful sort and query capabilities.
- Jama- One of the most commonly used tools in scenarios where multiple teams work together for delivering a single complex product. From prioritization of requirements, validation and problem statements, etc. to end-to-end traceability and real-time collaboration, Jama facilitates all.
- ReQtest– It is basically a Cloud-based bug tracking solution highly used by testers and developers to manage cases and get real-time reporting and tracking vs. requirement management is one of the key benefits offered by this tool. More than 11,000 users of this tool are available worldwide due to its end-to-end management solution for software development with full traceability.
- iRise– The tool offers sorting, grouping, and prioritization of requirements and is considered the only tool that combines text requirements and user stories with web and mobile prototyping. Also, it is the only tool with the combination of text requirements and user stories with web and mobile prototyping.
- Orcanos– Offers excellent visualization and reporting features for requirement management. Other benefits include real-time traceability, reporting, etc. all in one place. Basically, its requirement solutions range from end-to-end traceability to test management features to collaboration features like messaging and alerts.
KISSmetrics and Databox are the tools used for data analytics.
ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) is done by the tools Xplenty, Demo, Grow, and Skyvia. JIRA, Trello, ClickUp, Monday, and Gatherspace are project management tools for achieving the project goals within the given constraints.
Business models are designed using Pencil, BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation), Draw.io, and InVision.
Other Business Analysis Methods & Tools
Business analysts use wireframes to show the positioning of elements in the user interface and display the layout and the structure of a solution. Balsamiq and Axure are used for designing wireframes.
Automation of processes is done to predict the changes in the process and analyze them. Python, Github, and Bizagi are used by BAs for automation purposes.
Tools such as Visio, Tableau, PowerBI, Bokeh, Plotly, Infogram, LucidCharts, Qlikview, Spotfire, and SmartDraw are used for presenting business process diagrams and flowcharts.
MS Excel is an all-around tool used by a BA. It is used for data manipulation, requirements management tracking, data storage, resource management, operations management, and other purposes.
R data manipulation can also be used for data manipulation.
It becomes important to manage the tasks to improve the output. Wrike is a work management tool used to manage tasks and maintain the workflow of employees.
Planning is an integral part of any business process to start and proceed with the projects and needs to be done effectively.
Blueprint serves the purpose of devising plans and strategies. Acumatica, SAP, and Sage are used for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
MindMeister is an online software used for brainstorming and mind mapping.
There are different platforms for calls and meetings such as Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, MeetingSense, etc.
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Top 10 Business Analysis Tools
The top tools for business analysts are as follows.
1) Modern Requirements
Modern Requirements is the most prominent tool for requirements management for Azure DevOps. It provides a collaborative requirement analysis. It helps professionals define requirements through text and images. Further, it supports requirements management with features like smart docs, review management, trace analysis, baseline, visualizations, etc.
The pricing plan varies with different editions such as Enterprise Plus edition($165/user/month), Enterprise edition ($132/user/month), Compliance edition($99/user/month) and Agile edition($66/user/month).
- Generates personalized documents
- Provides an online review with approval through e-signatures
- Provides different visualizations such as Use cases, diagrams, and mockups
- Plan and create personalized dashboards
ClickUp is a project management tool that enables professionals to handle different business tasks, chats, documents, etc. It allows users to set work priorities by enabling them to assign and resolve comments on the tasks given as per business needs.
If you’re a fresher, then begin with the free forever plan for unlimited tasks and members. For more storage and extra features, follow the pricing plan of $5/ user/month for unlimited storage and features.
- Allows users to filter important tasks
- Enables the team managers to assign several tasks to many professionals with a single click
- Can integrate with the Google Calendar
- Enables team members to work together and collaborate
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Nifty is one of the best business analysis tools for managing workflow solutions and projects from the beginning to the end. The pricing plan varies with different editions such as Starter, Pro, Business, and Enterprise and varies depending on the payment done every month or on an annual basis.
- One can view all the projects in the dashboard easily
- Provides an overview of the projects that allows one to see the progress of each project
- Enables professionals to monitor the tasks of all the professionals in the organization with complete transparency
- Enables managers to track the time taken for the tasks given due to its time-tracking feature
Blueprint is a business analysis tool that helps the enterprise to digitalize its business processes. It allows companies to align their business strategy with the technical execution of tasks by creating different applications.
- Standardizes the use of compliances that are certified, reduces the risk of IT compliance, and ensures regulatory compliance
- Offers reporting tools and dashboards
- Supports transformation in the company
- Provides complete analysis and documented reports of all the projects
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BIT Impulse is a BI tool that is the fastest, most stable, and most secure. It enables professionals to generate reports and analyses quickly large volumes of business data with its powerful analytical features.
- Provides flexible administration
- Integrated with Microsoft Office
- Sends automatic reports via email
- Need not require a strong internet bandwidth connection to keep working on this platform
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Axure is a user-interface software that allows professionals to develop documents, prototypes, and wireframes. It is based upon the ‘what you see is what you get,’ interface by which any model can be created quickly and easily.
The pricing for Axure Pro is $25/ month and Axure RP Team is priced at $42/ month. But if you need this software at an organizational level with enhanced security, contact the dealers at the website given below.
- Can be run on Microsoft IIS with Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL database
- Axure RP Team is used to develop projects on HTML.
- Enables individuals to collaborate on a single file at the same time
- Develop and handle widget libraries
7) Enterprise Architecture
Enterprise Architect is a graphical tool designed to build strategies and models, work on business processes, and review them.
- Improves the output of the business processes in an organization
- Enables companies to design large models and construct large systems within a few seconds
- Enables professionals to collaborate and work on a global level
- Helps in the overall development of the enterprise
8) iRise Business Analysis Tool
iRise is a cloud-based requirement management tool that provides a collaboration of all the prototyping software. It allows the organization to interconnect with software systems before the start of process development. For individuals, the software is available at $19/month. The pricing plan varies with the number of features required for a company.
- Gain insights by using organizational administrators to monitor working professionals and manage projects
- Provides live customer support
- Provides Application Lifecycle Management(ALM) integration
- Allows managers to track changes by setting up automatic revision tracking
- Enables professionals to manage the business due to its flexible nature
Monday is the most flexible tool for creating dream workflows. You can use any type of building block to assemble your team in one place. It enables you to track the performance of your organization thereby increasing the efficiency of the work output. It’s free for individuals who wish to keep track of their work and the price increases with the number of users and storage and provides more flexibility.
- Collaborate with other professionals and team members effectively.
- Enables the automation of your daily work
- Integrate with Google Calendar, Mailchimp, Gmail, and many such applications
- Keep track of your work progress
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Databox is a business analysis tool that allows you to collect all the data of the organization. With the help of this tool, you can track performance and build insights from them. You can connect up to 50 data sources. If you’re a fresher, then this tool provides you free access to the dashboard and allows up to 3 data sources. The pricing increases with the number of data sources and users.
- Create dashboards without programming
- Mainly designed for calculating KPIs(Key Performance Indicator)
- Data visualization is easier and more precise as compared to other tools
- Allows you to format pre-built reports
- Enables you to view the status of the overall performance of a company by generating custom queries
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