The Most Commonly Used Business Analysis Tools by the Top Business Analysts in 2019:
Business analysis is the process of finding out the business needs.
- Describing the business needs.
- Requirements gathering, prioritizing and describing.
- Communicating these requirements and the ways to implement these requirements to the client and technical team.
- Deciding the business analysis techniques.
A list of the most popular and commonly used Business Analysis Tools are explained in detail in this article.
The below image clearly depicts the Business Analysis Framework
What You Will Learn:
- Importance of Business Analysis
- Business Analysis Techniques
- Business Analysis Process – Sequentially
- How Do Business Analysts Analyze Business Requirements?
- The Most Popular Business Analysis Tools
- Business Process Diagramming, Wireframing, Flowcharts
- Model Building Designing
- Requirements Management
- Data Manipulation and Analysis
- Project Management/Testing
- Data Discovery and Data Gathering
- Note Taking
- Recommended Reading
Importance of Business Analysis
Poorly defined requirements can badly affect the projects in terms of time, rework and cost.
Hence, defining the requirements correctly is the basic and most important step in the project development process. This, in turn, explains the importance of business analysis and business analyst in the project.
The below image will explain the impact of poor requirements
Business Analysis Techniques
- Strategic business analysis
- Analytical business analysis
- Investigative business analysis
- Project management and much more.
Target to Achieve Through Business Analysis
- Enough documentation
- Efficiency improvement
- Providing nice tools for project management
Business Analysis Process – Sequentially
- Get complete information about the business/project.
- Focus on the points which requires more attention or which are not discussed in detail.
- Defining the scope or describing the requirements in detail. Describing Requirements correctly is important for correct implementation.
- Approved requirements will be discussed with the technical teams for implementing these requirements.
- Changes required in the project.
Deciding the scope of business analysis is difficult because of its wideness, hence while performing it, the business analyst uses his/her specialty as a Strategy Analyst, Business Architect, or System Analyst.
In short, a business analyst can perform any one role out of the three: Strategy Analyst, Business Architect, or System Analyst.
How Do Business Analysts Analyze Business Requirements?
In this process, a business analyst investigates, defines, and documents the requirements. From this documentation, the Business Analyst will be able to decide the scope, timeline, and resources of the project.
A business analyst will act as a link between the client and the technical team. There are different kinds of business analysis tools that are available. These tools can be categorized based on their functions:
Business Process Diagram, Documentation, Presentation, CRM, Analytics, Taking Notes, Communication (Calls/Meetings), Collaboration, Automation, Brainstorming, Visualization, Data Discovery and Data Gathering, Brainstorming, Visualization, Project Management, Data Analysis, Requirement Management, Planning, and Model Building are few categories.
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The Most Popular Business Analysis Tools
Enlisted below are a list of the most commonly used Business Analyst tools that are categorized based on their usage.
Business Process Diagramming, Wireframing, Flowcharts
#1) Microsoft Visio
It is an application for making diagrams. It is a part of the MS Office for Standard and Professional editions.
- Helps in drawing advanced diagrams and templates.
- Diagrams can be connected to data sources.
- It can display the data graphically.
- Advanced shapes are provided for electrical diagrams, floor plans, site plans, and office layouts.
URL: Microsoft Visio
Bizagi provides Business Process Management tools. It has three products for on-premise use, i.e. Bizagi Modeler, Studio, and automation. In the cloud, it provides a platform as a service.
- Bizagi Modeler is used for drawing diagrams. It follows BPMN.
- It supports Word, PDF, Wiki, and Share Point.
- Provides agile automation platform.
It is a web-based solution for diagrams and charts. You can use it, by getting its subscriptions.
- With this tool, you can draw simple as well as complex diagrams and flow charts.
- You can create a connection between the live data and diagrams.
- Supports data import for automatic creation of build org charts.
Axure RP can create wireframe diagrams, software prototypes, and functional specifications. This tool is for web-based and desktop applications.
- Easy to use because of drag and drop facility. You can resize and format the diagram components as well.
- For wireframing, it provides many controls like image, text panel, hyperlinks, table, etc.
- It provides many forms of control like buttons, text areas, drop-down lists, and much more.
With the help of Balsamiq, you can create the wireframes for websites. Balsamiq also provides a GUI for mock-up.
- It provides an editor.
- Drag and drop facility.
- You can use Balsamiq as a desktop application and as a plug-in for Google Drive, Confluence, and JIRA.
Model Building Designing
It helps in creating the decision models. It provides a collaborative platform for improved communication.
- The created model can be tested with real data.
- It provides traceability to original requirements by allowing you to document and link the requirements.
- Decision Model and Notation.
#7) BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation)
With the help of this tool, you can draw graphical diagrams for business processes.
- Supports mapping of graphics and BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).
- Supports the creation of new flow objects.
- It has a limited set of elements divided into four categories.
With the help of this tool, you can create a design for your product. You can use this tool with DropBox, Slack, JIRA, BaseCamp, Confluence, Teamwork, Microsoft teams, and Trello.
- InVision Cloud: You can create designs for products.
- InVision Studio: This tool will help you in designing the screen.
- InVision DSM (Design System Manager): With the help of the Design System manager your changes will get sync, and you will be able to access the library from InVision Studio.
URL: In Vision
With the help of this tool, you can draw flowcharts, process diagrams, org charts, UML, ER diagrams, network diagrams etc. You can work online or offline. Draw.io provides a training material.
- You can import and export different formats.
- It is easy to use.
- It is compatible with any browser, desktop or mobile devices.
#10) Rational Requisite Pro
IBM Rational Requisite Pro tool is for requirements management.
- It provides integration with the Microsoft Word.
- Can be integrated with the database.
- Helps in prioritizing the requirements, tracking changes, and tracing relationships between requirements.
#11) CASE Spec
This tool is by Visual Trace Spec. It is a requirements management tool. It supports importing data from the existing documents.
- It is user-friendly.
- You can manage multiple projects.
- Reusable data and data structure.
- Supports traceability to requirements.
- You can generate analysis reports.
URL: CASE Spec
It is the tool for agile planning. It will scale your enterprise agility.
- It can create lean documentation from the artifacts.
- It can be integrated with JIRA.
- It helps to deliver the product faster.
#13) Microsoft Word
It is a word processor. Microsoft Word is available for Windows and Mac OS. The file will be saved with .doc or .docx extensions.
- Built-in spelling checker and dictionary.
- You can protect the document with passwords. Passwords can be set separately, to restrict form opening, modifying, and formatting the document.
- Other features by Word include Macros, Word art, layouts, numbering etc.
URL: Microsoft Word
Data Manipulation and Analysis
#14) MS Excel
This spreadsheet can be used on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can password to protect this document.
- It supports calculation.
- MS Excel also supports macro programming language.
- Can use the data from external data sources.
URL: MS Excel
It is an analysis tool. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and threats.
- Useful for decision making.
- Helpful for pre-crisis planning.
- It can be used for matching strengths to opportunities and for converting threats to opportunities.
#16) R Data Manipulation
It is free software. R is a statistical computing and graphics software.
- It can be used on UNIX, Windows, and Mac OS.
- It provides IDE that is specially built for R.
- It can manage multiple working directories.
- Provides powerful debugging options.
URL: R Data Manipulation
JIRA is a bug tracking and agile project management tool. You can create stories. You can prioritize the tasks as well.
- With the help of JIRA, you can do sprint planning.
- You can create your own workflow or can use the existing one.
- It can be integrated with the existing tools that you are using.
It is a project management tool. It is a web application and is available for free.
- It can be integrated with the existing tools.
- Data syncing from all your devices.
- You can use it for personal work.
It is a cloud-based project management software. It is a SaaS product. With the help of Android and iOS apps, you will be able to update and provide tasks from anywhere.
- It will help you in setting the deadlines, scheduling, and other processes.
- It assists you in balancing resources.
- It will support you in keeping a track of the timelines and budget.
- It provides Calendar, communication window, and approval window.
Data Discovery and Data Gathering
SQL is used for programming. It is used for data operations in RDBMS. It can handle structured data.
- It supports cross-platform.
- It is a declarative programming language.
This tool provides analytics. It is a cloud-based solution.
- You can use this tool for operational excellence, risk mitigation, customer experience, financial transformation, product innovation, and asset optimization.
- It supports integrations with SQL, R, and Python and also with the workbenches.
- To access a large amount of data, this platform provides you the facility to use an analytic tool and language.
It is the software for the data warehouse.
- You can read, write, and manage large data.
- Provides command line tool and JDBC drivers.
This is a tool for creating data visualization. You can combine and access data, and there is no need to write the code.
- You can easily create visualizations using the drag and drop facility.
- It can be connected to any database.
- Tableau can also be connected to data on-premise or in the cloud.
It is a data visualization tool. This tool helps in data discovery, data wrangling, big data analytics, and providing predictive analytics
- Provides visual analytics and smart data discovery.
- It can connect location and data.
- During data wrangling, Spotfire will build a visual model and it will also document all the changes done.
QlikView is a tool for developing guided analytics applications.
- It helps in building the analytics applications.
- Guided analytics helps in decision making.
URL: Qlik View
It is a cloud-based application for visualizing and sharing thoughts. It provides an editor for your ideas.
- You can access Mindmeister from the browser.
- It helps in project management.
- It creates shareable mind maps.
Python is a programming language.
- It follows Object-oriented, imperative, functional, procedural concepts.
- Python interpreter supports multiple operating systems.
- Rich Python library contains many tools. It also provides tools to support web applications.
GitHub provides a development platform for the developers. It is for all types of businesses.
- Supports development of open source projects.
- Can be used on-premise or in the cloud.
- GitHub provides code security and access controls.
#29) Google Docs
Google docs provide you the facility to create new and modify the existing documents from anywhere. It is free.
- Provides many options for fonts, adding links, images etc.
- You can access them from anywhere.
- Few in-built templates are also provided.
URL: Google Docs
Zoom is a communication tool. It is used for training, webinars, conferencing etc.
- It provides clear audio and video.
- Supports wireless content sharing.
- It can be used on desktops, mobiles, and laptops for instant sharing of files or messages.
Skype is a communication tool for sending messages, video or audio calls.
- Group video calls.
- You can make calls to the contacts who don’t have skype at very low rates.
- It can be used on desktops, mobiles, and laptops.
It is a cloud-based video conferencing tool.
- It is specially made for professional use.
- It can be used on any device.
- You will be able to schedule a meeting, manage teams, and send messages.
#33) Microsoft PowerPoint
This tool will help you in creating presentations. It can be used on Windows OS.
- You can add text, images, videos, sounds, links, or even animations in presentations or slides.
- You can manage text, font & color, background color etc.
- With the help of PowerPoint online feature, you can view presentations even though if you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint.
#34) MS OneNote
MS OneNote is a tool which is used for taking notes. It is like a notebook on your digital device. It can be used on desktops, laptops, and mobiles.
- You can save screen clippings.
- You can save note by writing or typing anywhere anytime.
- It supports Mac OS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
- Saved notes can be shared.
URL: MS OneNote
It is a note-taking application for mobiles.
- With this tool, you can capture notes, videos, and photos.
- You can access notes from anywhere.
- You can search the saved notes, and it will save time.
Google Analytics helps in tracking the website traffic and provides the reports accordingly.
- Provides three steps simple solution.
- Free tools will be provided for analysis.
- It will provide deeper insights.
- It will try to connect insights with the correct customers.
It will provide analytics for your products or websites. It will analyze for behavior based engagement.
- It helps in increasing the performance by providing you analytics for what is working and what is not.
- It supports driving customer engagement by automated emails.
This CRM system is for small, medium, and large businesses. It will prioritize emails based on context and analytics.
- It helps in managing your company interactions on social media.
- It provides call analytics and reminders.
- Provides live chat facility.
#39) Sugar CRM
It is a customer relationship management application. It is a web-based solution. It provides three editions Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.
- It provides functionalities of marketing campaigns, sales force automation, Mobile & Social CRM, and Reporting.
- It supports Linux, Windows, Solaris and Mac OS.
- It will help in improving the speed and efficiency.
Business analysis must be done to avoid rework and unwanted expenses. There are several Business Analysis tools that are available in the market.
In this article, we have explained a list of business analyst tools from different categories. Each tool is unique in its own way and performs different functions. You just need to select the right tool as per your business needs.
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