Author: Vaishnavi Agrawal

A Day in the Life of a Business Analyst

Business Analysis is the responsibility of knowing  when a business’s needs change, assessing the business impact of those changes, obtaining, examining and recording requirements, and maintaining the communication and delivery of the requirements to relevant stakeholders.

 

Being a Business Analyst is a little like being an architect. Instead of producing plans, the Business Analyst provides requirements which clearly state the business needs and align with business processes. The requirements are then used by the team or an external supplier to build or modify the product.

A typical day may look like this:


The Business Analyst arrives in the office with a goal in mind of what they expect to accomplish that day.  This plan may include spending greater than 50% of the time in meetings or workshops where they will be gathering information or seeking agreement on the contents of the project artifacts that they produce.  The rest of the time, they will be performing original review, crunching through spreadsheets of data and traceability patterns, analyzing or writing documentation or working out the optimum way to define a particular need, requirement or process.

A Business Analyst’s everyday work duties can vary considerably, depending on the variety of the current business and project. Despite this, there are some activities that the Business Analyst will usually do in the plan of every project.

They include:

  1. Investigating goals and issues
  2. Analyzing information
  3. Communicating with a broad range of people
  4. Documenting findings
  5. Evaluating solutions
  6. Implementation

For an assigned project, the Business Analyst will regularly try to define and supervise a sequence of carefully structured assignments aimed at obtaining the common goals of review, constructing, planning, and evaluation. Of course, these functions are bound to require a flexible approach matching the circumstances.

Let’s have a look at the responsibilities based on the project phase:

1.      Investigating Goals and Issues

Business Analysts spend a great deal of time asking questions. To explain the project and feasible clarifications, a BA might conduct interviews, read, and observe work in progress. Business Analysts do analysis and look for solution alternatives, both inside and outside the organization.

2.      Analyzing Information

The analysis phase is the phase during which the Business Analyst explains the elements in detail, affirming clearly and unambiguously what the business needs to do in order solve its issue.

During this stage the BA will also interact with the development team and, if appropriate, an architect, to design the layout and define accurately what the solution should look like.

3.      Communicating with a Broad Range of People

Good Business Analysts contribute countless hours actively communicating. More than only speaking, this means hearing and recognizing verbal and non-verbal information, building an open conversation, verifying you’ve understood what you heard, and communicating what you learn to those who will create the actual solution.

4.      Documenting Findings

Business Analysts spend a decent amount of time recording what they learn and observe, and recording the results of their analysis.

During this phase, the Business Analyst should consider the best ways to record particular kinds of information, either in text or visual form, i.e., charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.

5.      Evaluating Solutions

A Business Analyst must also spend time identifying options for solving particular difficulties, then help choose the best one. The preferred solution is then estimated throughout the layout and planning to assure that it meets the business requirements.

6.    Implementation

The implementation phase is not the conclusion for the Business Analyst. It’s the riskiest time for things to go amiss and for objectives to be missed. It’s during this stage a BA should be aware of how clients are utilizing the framework.

Do they see the benefits envisaged in the business case? Do the training materials support the business case?

In essence, a Business Analyst is a navigator, responsible for reaching the end destination, which means a satisfying resolution of a business problem. The BA always knows what the end destination is, how to get there and is capable of handling course adjustments as they arise.

6 Useful Mobile Analytics Apps to Gain Business Intelligence

The focus of the business world has shifted from personal computers to Smartphones. Most e-commerce businesses are now offering their mobile applications,

whereas some businesses are solely operating through mobile applications. With a staggering 6 billion Smartphone users anticipated in 2018, the m-commerce industry has a huge market for expansion. Analytics using mobile apps has become important in the Smartphone dominated market. Following are some smart business intelligence apps that can help in gaining deep business insights for better analytics.

1. RoamBI (Available for iOS, Android, Windows 8 Tablets & PC)

This application has any good spreadsheet analyzing capabilities. It can take data from various sources which includes SAP business objects, IBM Cognos, OBIEE, Microsoft reporting and Analysis services as well as Excel, Google Docs, Salesforce and more and present the data on iPad or iPhone. Roambi Pro is a hosted service for SMB’s and workgroups that creates a visualization from Excel, Google Spreadsheets, and Salesforce CRM. This application doesn’t have its own backend; it can only present data generated by other BI software.

2. QlikView on Mobile(Available for iOS, Android)

This is one of the most powerful tools for gaining business intelligence as it facilitates the creation and consumption of dynamic applications for analyzing information. QlikView provides fully interactive applications through HTML5. The app is available for iOS and android platform. It has an in-memory dynamic calculation engine which requires a server connection for real time analysis. It also has the ability to download and bookmark views for iOS which can be accessed in offline mode as well.

3. Renew Analytics application (Available for Android)

Renew Analytics app provided by Service Source has good data analysis capabilities. This app is very useful for recurring revenue business as it can track key performance drivers. It also provides role based access to key real time data sources. It provides a powerful dashboard for analysis of historical metrics and forecast.

Related Article: 10 Essential Apps for the Business Analyst

4. SalesClic (Available on Google Apps Marketplace)

If you want to have a better sales management through a mobile app, then SalesClic will be of great utility. It can easily integrate with Google Apps, Highrise, and Salesforce. It helps in fine tuning sales process by utilizing the historical data which are stored in Salesforce or any other database. It also helps in identifying opportunities and minimizing risk. It also helps in improving sales forecast.

5. Birst Mobile (Available for iOS, Android, Windows 8 Tablets & PC)

It is Software-as-a-service (Saas) business intelligence solution feature that includes an integrated ETL (extract, transform, load), data warehouse automation, enterprise reporting, ad hoc querying and dashboard. The app doesn’t require separate dashboards for different devices; a single iPad can be used to access all dashboards. The added advantage of using this application is that it takes leverage of iPad touch screen interface to swipe down, to scroll through rows in a table and use the two-fingers-spread to zoom in.

6. Yellow Fin(Available for iPad)

For combining multiple data sources and querying of multiple different databases to create a single report or dashboard, Yellow Fin is a handy mobile app. The advantage of using this app on mobile is that it renders a similar view as it delivers on desktop screen. The app is available in the online as well as offline mode.