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  1. 1. Intro to Business Analysis <ul><li>Business analysis is a commonly used term in the information systems field </li></ul><ul><li>Job role of &quot;Business Analyst” </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguity in the term! </li></ul>
  2. 2. Definition - Working Term <ul><li>“ Business analysis is the process of analysing a business, or some aspect of it, in order to identify ways or areas to add-value to the organisation” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Business Analysis in IS <ul><li>Form an information systems perspective, the focus is to examine how technology or the IS can contribute to that added-value </li></ul><ul><li>What is systems development? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the process of developing a system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or completing the life-cycle of a project </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Business Analysis V Systems Dev <ul><li>Business analysis is generally considered to be higher level than systems analysis </li></ul><ul><li>It deals with the: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>business issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>business problems and opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rather than the project development details </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Two Overlap <ul><li>There is no real cut-off point between the two </li></ul><ul><li>Hence a knowledge of systems development issues and techniques is essential! </li></ul><ul><li>Various business analysis approaches will be explored in this unit </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the major issues surrounding business analysis will also be examined </li></ul>
  6. 6. Questions <ul><li>How does business analysis differ from systems analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>Which types of professionals may also be interested in business analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>What skills and knowledge does a Business Analyst require? </li></ul><ul><li>Are these the same as a Systems Analyst or Systems Developer? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Introduction to Methodologies in IS <ul><li>An information system in a business context is made up of a number of components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>policies and procedures, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>data and information </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Modelling Complexity <ul><li>The components of the information system are closely interwoven with the fabric of the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>They often form complex systems that operate in complex environments </li></ul><ul><li>Sys dev/business analysis methods and techniques try to model this complexity </li></ul><ul><li>It must not be forgotten that they are a simplified version of reality </li></ul>
  9. 9. Abstraction Techniques <ul><li>Systems development (SD) and business analysis (BA) methods are abstraction techniques that aim to simplify this complexity </li></ul><ul><li>These methods are used by IS professionals to model the ‘data’ and the ‘processes’ in organisations </li></ul>
  10. 10. Methodology <ul><li>IS (or the business) could be analysed and developed in an ad hoc manner </li></ul><ul><li>There is usually a more formal process or methodology, that is used in organisations </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is a Methodology? <ul><li>A methodology can vary a lot in nature and form </li></ul><ul><li>Could be a series of steps used in solving a problem </li></ul><ul><li>To a general approach to solving a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Can even be an approach that has philosophical foundations </li></ul>
  12. 12. Which One to use? <ul><li>Any one of them or even a combination may be appropriate to use in the business analysis process </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on the nature of the problem and the contextual environment </li></ul>
  13. 13. A Definition of the term Methodology <ul><li>“ A collection of philosophies, phases, procedures, rules, techniques, tools, documentation, management and training for business analysts and developers of information systems” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Components of an IS Methodology <ul><li>How a project is to be broken down into stages? </li></ul><ul><li>What tasks are to be carried out at each stage? </li></ul><ul><li>What outputs are to be produced? </li></ul><ul><li>When actions or events are to be carried out? </li></ul><ul><li>What constraints are to be applied? </li></ul><ul><li>What support tools are to be utilised? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Examples of Methodologies <ul><li>Business Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Soft Systems Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Business Process Re-engineering </li></ul><ul><li>ICDM </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Scanning </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced Score Card </li></ul><ul><li>Information Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Object Oriented Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Systems Development </li></ul><ul><li>Information Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Object Oriented Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>ICDM </li></ul><ul><li>SSADM </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul>
  16. 16. Two Types of Methodologies <ul><li>There are two main types of IS methodologies: </li></ul><ul><li>Structured methodologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Engineering and Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methods (SSADM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured methodologies, although not really scientific, tend to draw upon the credibility of the scientific method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decomposition, repeatability, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Behavioural Methodologies <ul><li>Behavioural methodologies take an organisational perspective </li></ul><ul><li>The real complexity comes about as a result of the interaction of the components of the system </li></ul><ul><li>The system encompasses such things as the people, technology, protocols, procedures, organisational culture and politics, and the wider business environment </li></ul>
  18. 18. Soft Systems <ul><li>The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is perhaps the best known behavioural methodology used in information systems (Checkland, 1981) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Methodology? <ul><li>A methodology has 3 components (Checkland, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Framework - philosophy - including ethical view </li></ul><ul><li>The methods - operationalisation of the intellectual framework - includes methods and techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Application area - the part of the “real” world being studied </li></ul>
  20. 20. Rationale for a Methodology <ul><li>A better end product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cohesiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Rationale for a Methodology <ul><li>A better business analysis process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by identifying deliverables at each stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a form of project control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A standardised process - a common approach throughout the organisation </li></ul>
  22. 22. A Framework for Comparing Methodologies (Avison and Fitzgerald) <ul><li>Philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Model - the form of abstraction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>verbal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytic or mathematical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iconic, pictorial or Schematic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques and tools </li></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Outputs </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Players </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product - software, training, etc. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Questions <ul><li>What is meant by the term methodology? </li></ul><ul><li>The more detailed the methodology the better it is! Is this true? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the advantages of adopting a methodology for business analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the likely consequences of not adopting a methodology for business analysis? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Common Techniques in Methodologies <ul><li>The systems development life-cycle (SDLC) is a structured framework for developing information systems </li></ul><ul><li>It breaks down the development process into various phases </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a project management context to work within </li></ul><ul><li>The main phases are analysis, design, implementation and maintenance </li></ul>
  26. 26. Analysis <ul><li>The analysis phase concentrates on gathering information about the current and proposed systems </li></ul><ul><li>The feasibility of making changes is continually assessed </li></ul><ul><li>The requirements of the new systems are gathered </li></ul><ul><li>This phase uses modeling techniques to describe the processes and the data within the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>The proposed system is now designed in detailed. This involves specifying the design of the database, the network infrastructure, the policies and procedures, and the software which includes the user interface. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>The system must be constructed and put into place. The software has to be written or set-up if it is an off-the-shelf package. A large amount of testing takes place and training of the users before the system is finally handed-over to the users. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Most systems undergo changes as time progresses. These may be the result of changing requirements or errors being detected in the system. Resources must be set aside each year for maintaining a system. </li></ul><ul><li>The four commonly used phases can be decomposed into further stages (figure 2:2). Information systems development text books may have different names for some of the stages or even combine or further decompose stages, but the seven stages in figure 2:2 form a logical breakdown of the life-cycle. The life-cycle can be amended for alternative systems development approaches such as prototyping (discussed later). </li></ul>
  27. 27. Design <ul><li>The proposed system is now designed in detail </li></ul><ul><li>This involves specifying the design of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the network infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the policies and procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and the software which includes the user interface </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Implementation - the system must be constructed and put into place </li></ul><ul><li>The software has to be written or set-up if it is an off-the-shelf package </li></ul><ul><li>A large amount of testing takes place and training of the users before the system is finally handed-over to the users </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance - </li></ul>
  29. 29. A More Detailed SDLC <ul><li>The four commonly used phases can be decomposed into further stages </li></ul><ul><li>Information systems development text books may have different names for some of the stages or even combine or further decompose them </li></ul>
  30. 30. Stages of Development Analysis Design Implementation Maintenance
  31. 31. Users Feasibility Study Analysis Phase Requirements Phase Alternative Solutions Design System Implementation Maintain System Project request Feasibility report Problem statement Requirements report Solution recommendation Design specifications Implemented system Update requests
  32. 32. Process Modeling <ul><li>Data flow diagrams model system processes </li></ul><ul><li>They can be used to model the existing system and to model the proposed system </li></ul><ul><li>Data flow diagrams can either show the </li></ul><ul><ul><li>physical details of implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>logical diagrams without the physical details </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Reports as a form of communication have been partially replaced by diagrams in systems development for a number of reasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>diagrams are less ambiguous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diagrams show relationships better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diagrams summarise material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Logical dataflow diagrams are implementation independent models </li></ul>
  34. 34. Member Stores and Distribution Suppliers Application Response Order Invalid Order Despatch Details Purchase Order New Member Application Promotion Information Fairdinkum Wine Club
  35. 35. Purchase Order Despatch Note New Applicant Member Member Supplier Application Application Response Order Invalid Order Promotions Information MemberDetails Purchase Orders Member Orders Member-ships Promotions Order Processing Purchase Orders Stores Order Details Invoice Accounts Application Member Details
  36. 36. Member Member Check Order Details Check Credit Request Pre- Payment Check Stock Release Order Pending Process Order Create Backorder Orders Awaiting Payment Stock Member Orders Backorders Request Pre-Payment Order Incorrect Order Order Without Credit Backorder Details Pending Order Details Checked Order Backorder Notification
  37. 37. Questions <ul><li>What are the strengths of data flow diagrams and of process modeling in general? </li></ul><ul><li>What are limitations of data flow diagrams? </li></ul><ul><li>Where can DFDs be used in business analysis? </li></ul>
  38. 38. Data Modeling <ul><li>Data modeling is a method of organising and documenting an organisation’s data </li></ul><ul><li>The models produced are considered to be logical models as they are implementation independent </li></ul><ul><li>It links with the early stages of the database design </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>Although the data is always changing in a business, the types of data collected are fairly stable </li></ul><ul><li>Data is usually more stable than processes and hence some methods put the emphasis on data modeling </li></ul><ul><li>One methodology that does this is James Martin’s Information Engineering (Martin, 1989). </li></ul>
  40. 40. ERDs <ul><li>The Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) is a data modeling technique that shows the data and the relationships between the data within a business </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a technique to show how data is implemented, created, modified, or deleted </li></ul>
  41. 41. Entities <ul><li>A data entity is anything, real or abstract, about which we want to store data </li></ul><ul><li>A rectangle is used to denote a data entity </li></ul><ul><li>Each entity has a list of attributes to describe it with one or several of them acting as the key or unique identifier </li></ul>
  42. 42. Example Entities <ul><li>The following is a list of example entities </li></ul><ul><li>Applicant Borrower Contractor </li></ul><ul><li>Client Creditor Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Book Course Machine </li></ul><ul><li>Project Purchase Order Quote </li></ul><ul><li>Building Campus State </li></ul>
  43. 43. Member Order Backorder Backorder Item Order Item Product Purchase Item Purchase Order Supplier 1:1 0:M 1:1 1:M 1:1 1:M 0:M 1:1 0:M 1:1 0:M 1:1 0:M 1:M 1:1 1:1 0:M 1:1
  44. 44. Questions <ul><li>What role has data modeling in business analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the strengths of data modeling for business analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the limitation of data modeling for business analysis? </li></ul>