Business Analysis Tools | 8 mins read

Top 10 Business Analysis Tools

top 10 business analysis tools
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Analysis tools are a machine learning tool used by businesses to focus on the various ways success can be achieved in real-time. Although success can be interpreted in many different ways from business-to-business, the end goal should consist of improved efficiency and increased productivity and growth to the bottom line. Here is an overview of the best business analysis techniques and tools used to boost your brand.

1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is an easy technique that assesses how opportunities and threats affect the outcome of a project. SWOT analysis employs data analytics to determine which internal factors act as strengths and weaknesses, as well as which external factors act as threats and opportunities. An analyst places the data analysis that answers the question under each of four different quadrants.

Here is a breakdown of what each quadrant addresses-

  • Strengths - The ways that the project or activity will help the company
  • Weaknesses - What disadvantages there are for implementing this particular activity
  • Opportunities - How the project will help improve the company
  • Threats - Any external risks or obstacles in undertaking the project such as the competition
Advantages
SWOT analysis is one of the more frequently employed techniques because it can be used at every phase of a project. It is an enterprise-level tool that describes and defines the different processes necessary for making a solution work.

2. MOST Analysis

Most analysis tools are utilized to analyze what an organization's mission is and how to fulfill it. It focuses on arranging all of the elements of a business in a way that allows important targets to be reached.

MOST analytics tool identifies-

  • Mission - The purpose of the organization and what it wants to achieve in the future
  • Objective - List of goals that help the company achieve its mission. Objectives are SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely
  • Strategies - A list of available options and strategies to achieve the objectives
  • Tactics - The various actions needed to conduct each strategy
Advantages
MOST business analytics is a top-down approach employed by every level of an organization. It focuses on implementing every strategy and tactic with the intent to carry out a greater purpose.

3. Business Process Modeling

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Business process modeling is frequently utilized during the analysis stage of a project to understand any gaps between existing business processes and future goals. The user interface is comprised of a BPM is a tool that logically presents how different business processes operate. Processes, choices, and information are pictured in a sequential flow. There are two different notations for business process modeling diagrams, including-

  1. BPMN Business Process Modeling Notation
  2. UML Unified Modeling Language Activity Diagram
Analysts perform the following tasks during BPM-
  • Strategic Planning An organizational management activity that sets priorities and focuses on energy and resources on specific objectives
  • Business Model Analysis The analysis of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value in economic, social, or cultural contexts
  • Defining and Designing Key Processes Defines and designs the most important processes needed to carry out key objectives
  • Technical Analysis for Complex Business Solutions Analyzes the effectiveness of technology systems utilized in business operations
Advantages
Business analysts use this technique to show a rational representation of how a business activity works in various roles. This tool is more often used by the IT industry to understand the steps needed to carry out a specific process. Because of its sequential and easy-to-understand format, it's one of the more frequently employed tools in the workplace.

4. Use Case Modeling

Use case modeling is a pictorial representation of how business functions work through user interactions. It is mostly utilized in software development and the design stage to change requirements into functional specifications. Use case modeling also identifies how different people or departments interact with a single process to achieve an end goal. Different business intelligence tools are design use case modeling illustrations, such as Microsoft Visio and Rational Rose.

The primary components of use case modeling include-

  • System This portion of the diagram is the main idea or the outline
  • Use Case Represented by an oval shape, the use cases are how a process is utilized in a system
  • Actors This is a human shape that represents the person associated with who is performing the action
  • Association This is an actor's association with the system via how he/she acts. It is depicted through a line connecting the actor to the use cases
  • Stereotypes Relationships between different use cases are known as stereotypes
Advantages
Business analysts use this tool to clarify the services a system offers or its functionality. Because an analyst needs to focus more on important and original functional requirements, the interactions employing use case modeling can assist in this process.

5. Brainstorming

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Brainstorming is a group activity that generates ideas, finds the root causes of problems, and proposes solutions. Brainstorming is an underlying technology utilized as a part of SWOT analysis, MOST analysis, or any of the other business analysis techniques.

6. Non-Functional Requirement Analysis

This technique is utilized when a technology solution has changed or if there has been a migration from one technology to another. The analyst assesses the reliability, availability, and performance capabilities of the new technology to ensure a good user experience.

The various components of this technique include-

  • Performance The performance capabilities of the new technology and how they compare to the original technology
  • Security The security measures in place for the new technology
  • Logging The ability to record the events that happen in an operating system or the new software
  • Reliability The reliability of the new technology system in comparison to the old system
Advantages
Analysts find this technique useful because it helps find the intended result of a technology system. Without this type of analysis, it's difficult to assess how a system is supposed to function in its entirety.

7. PESTLE Analysis

This technique utilizes artifical intelligence to show how various elements affect a specific business decision or process. Organizations can then prepare for any factors that affect the ability to be successful; they then discover solutions that mitigate the potential for external disruptions.

  • Political Government initiatives, policies, and regulations that affect the company
  • Economic Recessions, depressions, or good economic conditions that influence the industry and its market
  • Social The population, lifestyle, culture, media influences, and other social conditions that influence the company's decisions
  • Technology Any new technology or social media platforms that might affect the company or its marketing method
  • Legal Laws, regulations, and standards that the business needs to comply with
  • Environment Climate, weather, waste, recycling, pollution, or other external conditions that influence the organization's policies or profitability
Advantages
This is a simple framework to assess the skills across different functionalities and analyze the expertise of an analyst. PESTEL analysis diminishes the threats posed to a business and finds new ways for an organization to enter markets around the world.

8. Requirement Analysis

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Requirement management analysis tools are utilized at the stage when a solution is proposed in a project. This tool evaluates the requirements or tasks needed to carry out that solution. To perform requirement analysis, interviews are needed with those proposing the solution.

There are four stages to the requirement analysis process, including-

  1. Gathering Business Requirements Gathering requirements or tasks by conducting interviews with customers or stakeholders
  2. Analyzing Requirements Determines the quality of the requirements by identifying whether the requirements are unclear, ambiguous, or contradictory
  3. Requirements Modeling Requirements are documets
  4. Review and Retrospection Reflect on the iterations of requirement gathering and work to make improvements going forward
Advantages
Though employed as an informal technique in most projects, this tool is essential because it focuses on the tasks needed to execute a project. It also identifies the various stakeholders involved and what requirements they see as important.

9. User Stories

A user story is an informal description of one or more features of a software program. User story techniques analyze the features of a software program from an end-user perspective. It describes the type of user, what they are looking for in a software program, and why they are looking for these features. Because the requirements are analyzed from a user perspective, the outcomes of user stories are very focused on the needs of the user and what he/she is looking for.

Advantages
Because the requirements are analyzed from a user perspective, the outcomes of user stories are very focused on the needs of the user and what he/she is looking for.

10. CATWOE

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CATWOE helps understand the goals that a business is working to achieve. It defines what the problem areas are and which solutions will impact the business and any stakeholders. This lends clarity to issues that have multiple perceptions and makes clear what each involved stakeholder wants to achieve in the implementation of a project or process.

Here's a breakdown of the acronym-

  • Clients The beneficiaries of a business and how a specific issue affects them
  • Actors The stakeholders involved in the issue
  • Transformation What will happen as a result of this issue occurring
  • World View The various stakeholders and interested parties and the influence they have on the organization
  • Owner The owner or manager who decides when the project will start and stop
  • Environmental Constraints The environmental elements that will affect the issue or project by limiting it
Advantages
CATWOE identifies different perspectives from involved stakeholders on the same platform. It provides a comprehensive review of the importance of data, ethical considerations, and environmental issues.

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