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Business Analysis

Business Analysis is defined as an investigation into the operations of an enterprise aimed at understanding every aspect of the enterprise's functioning including its processes, people and performance. The need for comprehensive business analysis was felt with the growing dependence of companies on custom applications built to meet their specific requirements as against purchased software. Millions were being spent on designing and developing complex enterprise systems without giving enough attention to the processes and people who will ultimately use these systems. Enterprise IT solutions can be made more effective if the process of building them is preceded by a thorough and detailed business analysis.

Business analysis is a crucial first step in the software consulting process because it identifies enterprise needs and helps build IT solutions aligned to these needs. Business analysis also gives management business intelligence, and allows them to study business performance, explain shortfalls in performance and devise strategies for improvement.

The Role of Business Analysts

Business analysts are trained specialists who play a vital role in the software consulting process. Business analysts elicit the requirements of users from proposed enterprise systems. Once elicited, they document and communicate these findings to the technology team for development of appropriate systems. They serve as a channel between the business users and technical teams, ensuring that there is a clear flow of communication between the two. Business analysts are accountable for designing and building software systems that are totally aligned to the enterprise needs.

They interact extensively with employees and stake-holders to understand their requirements. They gather, detail, and document requirements in a standard format accessible by application developers. Thus successful business analyst needs to have many skills:

  • Strong conceptual knowledge about the business
  • Familiarity with software development process
  • Knowledge on computing platforms and environments in use
  • Analytical abilities
  • People skills
  • Excellent communication abilities

Outsource2india's Approach to Business Analysis

At O2I, business analysis goes through a series of well-defined steps. It starts from gaining a basic understanding of the business and goes on to the final design, deployment and validation of the IT solution to meet the organization's needs most effectively. The following is the list of steps in the business analysis process at Outsource2india:

  • Understanding the business
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Defining Project Scope and Objectives
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Requirements Analysis and Documentation
  • Communicating Requirements
  • Designing the Solution
  • Implementation and Testing the Solution

Understanding the Business

This is the first step towards achieving success in software consulting and application development. Business analysts gain a clear and in-depth understanding of the business, its products, processes and the people behind it during this stage of the business analysis process. The validity of the business model and its underlying assumptions are examined and the marketing plan and performance of the business evaluated.

Competitor Analysis

A better understanding of one's competition goes a long way in improving the business performance of an enterprise. Since business analysis is focused on optimization of business processes, studying competitor behavior is a valuable input to any business analysis exercise. Based on business intelligence provided by business analysts top management can devise strategies to counter specific competitor products and offers, better their value proposition and try to achieve greater market share.

Market Analysis

'Who is your target market? What is your market share? Have you maintained a steady growth rate in the market or have there been wide variations in your market share? Who is your closest competitor?'

Analyzing the market can give you answers to many of these critical questions. Keeping your pulse on the market is a surefire way of ensuring that your business stays current and competitive. Market analysis identifies the target audience for your products and services, evaluates the actual and potential size of your target market and your positioning strategy in the market.

Often your performance in the market may indicate whether you need to take a decision towards BPI (Business Process Improvement) or re-engineering. A study of the market also helps you to identify new products or services that you can bring out or potential niche areas that you can service.

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Read about our Business Analysis Process here.

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