What is professional Business Analysis really? How is it effectively delivered now?

What is professional Business Analysis really? How is it effectively delivered now?

Recently, business analysis has become a key contributor to economic success for companies. With numerous roles on offer across every sector, the question must be asked: what IS Business Analysis (BA) and how does it work? For the first blog in this series, we delve into what BA is, the general process, and a few types of analysis.

What is Business Analysis?

Generally, BA is best defined by its primary aim: to deliver solutions that have value for the stakeholders in the business to achieve their goals. While the process and techniques are substantially different for every business and every analyst, the aims of the analysis aren’t. To put it in professional terms, here is the role of an analyst per the International Institute of Business Analysis in its Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK):

“Discovering, synthesizing, and analysing information from a variety of sources within an enterprise, including tools, processes, documentation, and stakeholders for eliciting their actual needs for the purpose of recommending solutions that address these needs.”

As you can see, BA is built to adapt and work within any business with the goal of outcomes and solutions being of primary importance – not the process itself. Now that the general aims of BA are covered, let’s have a closer look at the concepts underlying the analysis.


What is the basis of Business Analysis?

BA is entirely built around the Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM) which helps to ensure that the analysis of every business has a consistent focus on what contributes to the recommended solutions. These concepts are:

  1. Change: The response to a business need 
  2. Need: Problem or opportunity within the business
  3. Solution: A way to solve or address a need
  4. Stakeholder: Any group or person who is affected by a Change, Need, or Solution
  5. Value: The worth of something within the analysis to a stakeholder
  6. Context: The ‘why question’ which provides an understanding of changes

To fulfil these core concepts, analysts use the extensive knowledge of the BABOK and apply the necessary processes and tools to the industry or business being assessed. With these concepts in mind, let’s look at the overarching process that an analyst undertakes.

How does the Analyst help a business?

First, the analyst will look at a project according to the context of the business need or needs. Once this has been analysed, there is then a general path or timeline which will be followed which can be seen in the image below.

Following on from this, the analyst will begin to focus on what activities are necessary to achieve the outcomes along the way. This includes finding out relevant information from stakeholders, collaborating with management to ensure the best solutions, and continually creating the context for activities being undertaken with the final recommendation goal in mind. Within each of these generalised points, the actual activities are extremely adaptable and generally defined by the aim of the project. The types of projects the analyst will face are:

  1. Solving a Problem: The most common project and simply finding a solution to a problem within a business.
  2. Exploiting an Opportunity: Helping a business work out how to best take advantage of an opportunity such as a new product, service, or market.
  3. Cost Saving: Projects based on how to cut costs or save money for businesses. 
  4. Complying with Regulations: Analysis of how to help a business comply with new or changing regulations.
  5. Product Implementation: A project which revolves around implementing new technology or programs into a business with the least effects.
  6. Data-Driven Projects: Aims to generate growth via data-driven marketing strategies.

With all of this in mind, we hopefully have a better idea of the aims and work of an analyst and why their role in a business is so important. In the next blog, we break down the actual individual role of the analyst, their competencies and knowledge, and what activities they use to home in on the solutions a business is after.