Welcome to Business Analysis (MTAT.03.310) Course Webpage
What is Business Analysis
Business analysis, at its core, is about “delivering business value” and is defined as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value”. This simply means to analyze needs or problems of a specific business for the purpose of designing, developing and implementing a solution to fill that need or solve the problem. Value is very often delivered by means of IT-intensive solutions. Although the work of business analysis can take a multitude of forms, in the end, it is about understanding the current state and through a set of activities, bring the business to the desired state that has higher value.
What is this course about?
The objective of this course is to impart an understanding of the work of business analysis so you systematically lead the process starting with identifying a problem to the end where there is a solution in place.
Let us assume you work with an online product. You notice that there are many customers canceling their subscriptions. You recognize this as a problem. You investigate the matter to identify why customers are canceling their subscriptions. You start by describing the situation, then you examine the reasons for why customers are leaving. How many customers are canceling their subscriptions, at what rate, how much is it costing you in lost revenues and so on? You separate symptoms from root causes and back theories with hard data. Once you have understood the root causes of the problem, you start looking at what you need to move from where you are now (loss of customers) to where you want to be (keeping the customers). You identify a number of alternative solutions and you evaluate them. You take a look to see if there is any added value you can get with the different alternatives. You choose the best one based on costs, benefits, and risks. You design the solution in more detail and accompany the development and implementation phases. Finally, you evaluate the solution by examining if your customer churn rate has decreased.
You have just completed a full business analysis process where you identified a problem, elicited relevant information, evaluated and selected the best suited alternative. You also took part in designing, delivering, and evaluating the final solution and results. However, in real life it is not that simple and straight forward. This course will also introduce you to the business analysis process and to commonly used techniques and tools used in this process. By the end of this course, you can take a problem, much like the one above, and work with it to deliver a solution that adds value to the company. This course will, hopefully, introduce you to better understand the context in which IT-intensive solutions are implemented. This is important as it ensures that the solutions solve or satisfy a need rather than becoming an end of their own.
I am looking forward to taking the business analysis journey with you.
Fredrik Milani, Lecturer