the                                            CONNECTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS TO TECHNOLOGY

letter from the editors
    or our second issue of the bridge, we decided to highlight the importance of Data Requirements...
Why Does a
  Business Analyst
  Need to Worry                                                                             ...
of these components. These names and             business requirements. Database designers        go much smoother and fas...
book review
  Data Modeling Essentials: Analysis, Design, and Innovation
  by Graeme C. Simsion
  R E V I E W E D F O R B ...
A Project Manager’s Role in
Gathering Requirements

did you know?
   Database Models in MS Office Visio Professional 2003
       id you know that MS Office Visio Professional...
a) Definition –   M                                                         c) Primary ID – to document the unique identif...
data brain teaser

   ACROSS                                                    DOWN
   4 IBM’s relational database    ...
International Institute of Business Analysis
     ince the first annual meeting in March     of Terms is being deve...
Lost in Translation
   BY A N G I E P E R R I S, P M P

tool review
AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler
                                           complex language and could focus on   ...
certified core courses
                                                                                               4 Da...
additional course offerings
                                                                                3 Days
2005 public class schedule
                                                                                       Please c...
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Why Does a Business Analyst Need to Worry About Data?

  1. 1. the CONNECTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS TO TECHNOLOGY Fall/Winter 2004 Why Does a Business Analyst Need to Worry About Data? Book Review Ask the Experts Tool Review Project Manager’s Data Modeling Data Requirements for AllFusion ERwin Role in Gathering Essentials a Maintenance Project Data Modeler Requirements
  2. 2. letter from the editors or our second issue of the bridge, we decided to highlight the importance of Data Requirements as part of F business analysis. Business data or information is an organization’s most valuable asset. This is a topic that often comes to light after a system implementation when a major data requirement was missed or defined incorrectly in a mission critical system. Most organizations feel that they have other roles responsible for data: Database Designers, Data Warehouse Architectures, or others in IT. These roles maintain the computerized storage of information, but the Business Analyst should identify the data important to the business and communicate to IT that it needs to be stored. We encourage you to read the articles on pages 3 and 11 which highlight why we feel so strongly about the need for Business Analysts to completely define and detail the Data Requirements in addition to the other requirements. Also included in this issue is an article on tips for Project Managers to utilize Business Analysts to the fullest during analysis. A book review for those that wish to learn more about Data Modeling is included along with a tool that is widely used in the industry for defining logical and physical data models/requirements, CA’s AllFusion ERwin. Between issues of the bridge, we invite you to visit our website frequently for current articles relevant to Business Analysts, upcoming events, tool reviews and others. These can be found on our new BA Resources page and we welcome suggestions or submissions for inclusion in the future. On our Certification page, you can find up to date information on the program. The Certification program continues to be strong with approximately 60 people certified to date. The proficiency exams are now administered online to speed results and feedback to candidates. We look forward to seeing some of you at upcoming events and are always interested in learning about any additional events that we should know about. The Business Analyst community is growing at a rapid pace and we are excited to be a part of its growth. Please let us know of any information that would be interesting or helpful for future issues of the bridge. TINA JOSEPH BARBARA CARKENORD Certified Woman Owned Small Business
  3. 3. the Fall/Winter 2004 volume 1 l issue 2 table of contents 3 Why Does a Business Analyst Need to Worry About Data? 5 Book Review Data Modeling Essentials: Analysis, Design, and Innovation by Graeme C. Simsion 5 Ask the Experts Page 5 Should I Gather Data Requirements for a Maintenance Project? 6 A Project Manager’s Role in Gathering Requirements 7 Did You Know? Page 3 Data Models in MS Visio Professional 8 Business Analyst Certification Program Page 7 9 Data Brain Teaser 10 Update International Institute of Business Analysts 11 Lost in Translation 12 Tool Review AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler 13 B2T Training Core Courses 14 B2T Training Additional Course Offerings B2T Training • 11795 Northfall Lane, Suite 601 • Alpharetta, GA 30004 • 865-675-2125 B2T Training is a woman-owned small business based in Atlanta, GA. Our training focuses on proven skills and techniques to define and scope the business problem, gather requirements, document the requirements, model the requirements, and follow through with the development of business requirements test plans to ensure the project has met its defined objectives. Our training is offered nationally and on a limited international basis. Most of our classes are taught onsite and are tailored to the unique environments of each organization. Public classes are also available in various cities around the US. Vice President, Sales and Marketing Vice President, Training Director of Business Development Tina Joseph Barbara A. Carkenord Angie Perris ©2004 B2T Training. All rights reserved. the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 2
  4. 4. Why Does a Business Analyst Need to Worry BY B A R B A R A A . C A R K E N O R D V P, T R A I N I N G , B 2 T T R A I N I N G About Data? many flaws? One reason is that we didn’t business. The logical data model is built I t’s no accident when the right information is available. Gathering think about data requirements early using an Entity Relationship Diagram and documenting business data enough in the development project. (ERD) – a standard modeling technique requirements is a critical success factor in Data is the most important part of an used by data modelers around the world. all application development projects application system. A good, strong, Entity relationship diagramming is a because data is needed to perform every accurate data structure allows developers to structured technique used by business business process. An excellent Business design any processing, reporting, or analysts and technical developers as a Analyst knows the importance of these statistical analysis ever needed. The most communication tool. It provides a data requirements and knows how to elicit elegant, high-tech system in the world will complete picture of the business data them from their Subject Matter Experts be shelved if it does not provide access to requirements. (See diagram next page) (SME). the correct business data. The components of a logical data model Computer systems initially were called Every business process uses data, every include Entities, Relationships, and Data Processing because they process data. business rule depends on data. Failing to Attributes. Each entity represents a set of They have been called Information identify data requirements puts your project persons, things, or concepts about which the Systems because they process information. at a huge risk. (See chart below for examples.) business needs information. Each relationship The most amazing aspect of technology represents an association between two entities today is the immense amount of Using a Logical Data Model to – they represent data related business rules. information that can be stored in tiny document data requirements Each attribute is a characteristic or piece of chips and on thin metal disks. This A logical data model is a picture of all the information that further describes an entity. information or data provides the raw pieces of information necessary to run the A name and textual definition describe each materials for all of the sophisticated Business Process Business Data software and hardware systems that are Record customer order Customer number, name, shipping address, phone used constantly in our organizations. Can Order number, date you imagine looking up your customer’s Product order quantity, price, weight address in a filing cabinet? Bill customer Customer number, contact name, billing address But with all of the sophistication of Invoice number, amount, date information systems and database management systems, many of our Business Rule Business Data applications are less than perfect. Users have developed “work-arounds” and Orders totaling over $500 Order total dollar amount are shipped for free Customer shipping address invented codes that allow them to keep track of information that the system was Preferred customers are Customer type, discount percentage given a discount Order number, total dollar amount before discount, not designed to manage. How can all of discounted dollar amount our sophisticated technology still have so 3 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  5. 5. of these components. These names and business requirements. Database designers go much smoother and faster. A model is definitions provide ongoing documentation start their design with a complete picture of easier and cheaper to modify; mistakes, of the business rules and data requirements the business requirements and can then missed data, and misinterpretations are less of the business area. These three core determine the best implementation approach. costly when corrected in a model than in an requirements components can capture and A logical data model also facilitates data implemented system. It also decreases user clearly represent the most complex data that re-use and sharing. Data is stable over time; requests for changes. When changes are your organization uses. therefore, the model remains stable over necessary, the logical model can be used for impact analysis. Logical Data Model built using an Entity Relationship Diagram Who uses the logical data model? The SMEs own the logical data model. It represents all the information needs of the business area. They describe their data requirements to the business analyst and review the requirements created. They use the model to confirm that the Business Analyst understands the business needs. Business Analysts elicit data requirements by reviewing existing data sources and by asking key questions during interviews and facilitated sessions. The analyst documents the data requirements using entities, relationships, and attributes creating a model of the data. The analyst also uses the data requirements to detail process Why build a logical data model? time. As additional project teams scope out requirements. Every business process uses The most important reason to build a their project areas, they can re-use the model data so cross-referencing process to data logical data model is to confirm the users’ components that are shared by the business. provides a thorough verification. The and analysts’ understanding of the business This leads to physical data sharing and less Business Analyst gets signoff on the data data requirements to assure that the storage of redundant data. It also helps the requirements from the SMEs and works software developed satisfies the business organization recognize that information is with the database designer to transition this need. Logical data modeling provides the an organization –wide resource, not the business data into a database design. analyst with a structured tool and technique property of one department or another. The database designer builds a physical to conduct analysis. Most SMEs can Data sharing makes the organization more data structure to support the business needs. articulate problems and possible solutions, cohesive and increases the quality of service The designer reviews the logical data model, unfortunately their problems and solutions to outside customers and suppliers. along with the processes that access the data are often based on current system constraints, Having business data requirements well to determine the best implementation not true business needs. Asking business documented allows quick impact analysis approach. Giving the database designer a people to detail every piece of data when a business change request comes complete picture of the business needs (attribute), requires them to understand along. Analysts with access to a logical data allows him or her to understand the overall and articulate every aspect of their business. model can review the model and offer application and create a system architecture This approach allows the business to drive suggestions for implementing changes that is well organized and flexible. A strong, the system design, not the other way along with quickly being able to ascertain coherent data structure will be useful to the around. It also stimulates more detailed the complexity of the change. organization for many years, maybe decades. discussion and thoughts. By identifying and In summary, building and maintaining a detailing data in a model, further logical data model decreases system What happens if you don’t document requirements and problem areas arise and development and maintenance time and business data requirements? are dealt with long before software design. cost. Identifying all business requirements at When users are not asked to focus on data A logical data model is a foundation for the beginning of a project makes the design, as a critical part of a system design, they designing a database that supports the coding, testing, and implementation phases Continued on page 10 the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 4
  6. 6. book review Data Modeling Essentials: Analysis, Design, and Innovation by Graeme C. Simsion R E V I E W E D F O R B 2 T T R A I N I N G BY BA R BA R A A . C A R K E N O R D ata Modeling Essentials is a fresh look these books were very technical and lacking both beginners and experienced data D at an old topic. Since data modeling was developed in the 1970’s numerous in real world examples. Data Modeling Essentials is much more modelers who want a new innovative approach to the important task of authors have accessible and refreshing in its tone and documenting data requirements. A revised written books attitude. Simsion’s explanations are very third edition with expanded examples will that described clear and his examples easy to follow. be available late October 2004. I the process of Simsion presents normalization rules with documenting simplicity and clarity. The reasons behind Barbara A. Carkenord is the Vice President data require- each concept are efficiently described while of Training at B2T Training. She has ments in a giving the reader confidence in the worked in the requirements gathering and model and recommendations. Simsion also provides documentation field for over 20 years and has refining it excellent suggestions for naming conducted hundreds of seminars for Business using data conventions, presentation formats and for Analysts. Comments are welcome at This book is available normalization eliciting these requirements from Subject at rules. Often Matter Experts. This book is useful for ask the experts Should I Gather Data Requirements for a Maintenance Project? ost of the projects that we work on • If the user has requested a new report, • If the user has requested a format M are not brand new software development projects, but rather changes document all of the business data required to generate the report. Remember, not the change on an existing screen or report, you probably don’t need to document data to existing software or interfaces. On these data to be displayed on the report, the requirements, just the change in the way maintenance projects, the Project Manager data needed to generate it. Many fields on the data is presented. and Business Analyst must make decisions reports are calculated fields. You need to about the type of requirements needed and capture the core data elements that are • If the user has requested a new business the time to be spent in requirements needed to perform the calculation. Once process that must be automated, gathering. One of the questions that must you have documented all of these data document all of the data requirements for be answered during project initiation is: requirements, meet with your database the new process along with the process Should I gather and document data administrator to find out if all of these description and associated business rules. requirements? data elements are currently stored in a A new business process almost always Initially the answer seems obvious. If database. It is helpful to document their means new data requirements. the requested change is asking for us to physical name and storage location for track a new piece of information then we future reference. This is referred to as “gap • If the user request involves changes to need data requirements; otherwise no. But analysis”. If any data elements are missing, business rules, be sure to analyze the data be careful jumping to the obvious a database change will be required. used by each business rule and make sure conclusion. Remember that data is used the data elements needed are available. everywhere in an application, so any • If the user has requested a new screen, change may impact data. document all of the data required on the In the humble opinion of this “data bigot” Ideally data requirements were screen and possibly behind the screen to there are very few projects where data requirements documented for the original project so that support the data entry or inquiry can be omitted. A good analyst always thinks the Business Analyst can refer back to them requested. Again, once the data about data as well as process and business rules and assess the impact of a change. But if the requirements are documented, meet with when planning their analysis work. I data requirements were not documented your database administrator to verify that initially, here are some suggestions for what these fields are available (and are Send your questions to Ask the Experts at to document and when. formatted in the same way). 5 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  7. 7. A Project Manager’s Role in Gathering Requirements BY A L I I BA RG U E N , P M P, BLUEPRINT PM, LLC overwhelmed by models. Make sure your 4. Schedule frequent walk-throughs of A s a project manager, I want to ensure that my data requirements gathering is well-planned and that the plan contains all BA and SME are speaking the same language. Use of technical terms must be the data requirements with the SME(s). Do not wait until the end of of the tasks I need to deliver a successful minimized. For example, a term like the Analysis phase to review what your project. How do I do that? How do I DDL may be too technical for your Business Analyst has produced. Walk ensure that my Business Analyst has the SME. Ease them into data modeling by through the documented information, power they need to get their job done? running frequent review meetings that making sure you map data to process to Let’s review some key points for go over small pieces of the model at a discover any gaps. accomplishing just that. time. If your model gets too big, break it down into subject areas that are more 5. Give recognition to the Business 1. Involve the Business Analyst in the manageable to work with and view. If Analyst and the SME. Acknowledging project kickoff. The first task once a they prefer textual documentation, that these two roles are essential to the project is defined is a kick-off meeting to consider textual documentation instead project and contribute to its success is an get the entire team on board. This is a of diagrams for this project. Your effective way to keep participants great opportunity to introduce your business area expert will feel that you involved and motivated. The last thing Business Analyst and make it known that care about how they work and think and most people want to do is to give up the BA role is a critical success factor for will be more involved and interested in their precious time and energy for an your project. Your communication plan the success of the project. effort for which they are not rewarded or should include a list of the project recognized. Some ways I have found to participants and contacts phone numbers 3. Include detailed tasks for the Business keep the energy up: and email addresses to help with Analyst in the project plan. Too many a.Send ‘kudo’ emails when good progress communication between project team times I have seen project plans that have is made – at any time in the project! members and the BA. This is also a good high-level analysis tasks such as “Gather b.Give out some kind of certificate, time to let the business area participants Requirements”. Whenever possible, plaque, trophy, etc. at the end of a know what is expected of them as far as detail the individual analysis tasks, successful project. time and schedule. meetings, and interviews. This is one of the times where I break the “don’t list a While these tips do not just apply to 2. Does your Business Analyst know task that is under 40 hours” rule. People data requirements gathering, but also to all your SME? It is great to have a are more likely to keep to the plan if aspects of business analysis, I have found repeatable process for gathering data. their detailed assignments are listed on that combining these approaches help Data modeling is my personal favorite the plan. Putting down dates for make a more cohesive team and drive the because I like to see a picture of my data. requirements gathering interviews is an project toward success. Good luck! I But some business area experts are effective way to keep on track. B2T Business Analyst Resources Conferences and Events Recommended Books Articles Tool Reviews Updates on the IIBA Various Downloads Available • Brochure for the Business Analyst Training Program • previous issues of the bridge • B2T Training Requirements Package Templates the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 6
  8. 8. did you know? Database Models in MS Office Visio Professional 2003 id you know that MS Office Visio Professional 2003 allows the 4) Another set of options are available from the Database menu under D creation of a database model? This file type within Visio allows the user to draw and detail a data model using a standard Entity Options – Modeling. These database modeling preferences apply to users who will be handing the Visio file to their database Relationship Diagram. There are many options so the format can be designers who will use the model to create the database itself. used by Business Analysts documenting business data requirements or M by database designers using physical data structures. This article will a) The Logical Diagram tab show you how to set up a database model in Visio and add entities allows you to select how the tool and attributes. The next issue of the bridge will show you how to add should manage deletions. Since a and manipulate relationships. model can contain several diagrams, the user must decide if 1) In Visio create a New file, choose Database Model Diagram. items are to be removed from just M the current diagram or from the entire model. It also gives options for showing relationships and syncing logical and physical names. M b) The Logical Misc tab allows you to specify whether you want Visio to “migrate” or “propagate” the foreign keys (B2T students: M 2) The stencil contains the logical data do you remember which way the modeling components: entity and foreign key migrates?!) It also lets relationship along with a few additional you set up name conflict shapes. resolution handling (What if you accidentally type in the same entity name twice?) and prefixes and suffixes for database 3) Before drawing your logical data diagram generation. there are a few options that you may want to set up: 5) Now you are ready to start documenting your data requirements! M a) From the Database menu select Drag and drop an entity onto your diagram to begin your Options modeling. As soon as you release the entity onto your diagram a window pops up at the bottom of the screen. This is where you b) On the General tab choose Relational define the properties of the entity. Each word on the bottom right and Conceptual names (Names visible represents a category of properties. Single click on any one of these on diagram.) to see the data entry screen for it. M M c) On the Table tab choose the components that you want to display M d) On the Relationship tab choose the crow’s feet and display the verb phrases. 7 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  9. 9. a) Definition – M c) Primary ID – to document the unique identifier(s) of the entity allows you to name d) Indexes, Triggers, Checks, Extended – properties for database your entity, design document the e) Notes – text box for any notes that you want to store. corresponding table name, owner, and 6) Continue to add entities. Anytime you select an entity the source database. properties window is available for you to make changes. See the next issue of the bridge for detailed instructions about working with relationships in the Visio database model. I M b) Columns – you add the attributes that describe this entity along with their data type. You can also document uniqueness (PK) and whether each attribute/column is required or not. certification Business Analyst Certification Program New Certified Business Analysts 2T Training offers a program for addition, the candidate must have completed We are pleased to highlight an B Business Analysts certifying that the individual has the skills necessary to perform two years work experience and receive two recommendations from peers or co-workers additional 30 individuals who have earned the title of Certified Business analysis and complete a Business validating their experience and knowledge. Analyst since the last issue of the Requirements Document for application All of our exams and verification bridge. The program began in late development. The program consists of information are reviewed by a Certified 2002, and we are excited that so completing three proficiency area tests and a Instructor/Business Analyst. Certified many Business Analysts are enrolled final exam case study that requires completion Business Analyst may use the B2T Training and working toward certification. To of a B2T Requirements Package. The final certification as proof of their proven date, we have almost 1,000 people in exam takes 20 – 40 hours to complete. In capabilities. I the program and over 100 of these are expected to complete all the requirements by the end of 2004. Detailing Process and Essential Skills for the Detailing Business Business Rule Cheryl Akers Sanjay Patel Business Analyst Data Requirements* Requirements Sangita Bone Kathleen Person 4 day class 3 day class 4 day class Laurie Brown Toney Poulis Pass class exam Pass class exam Pass class exam Giovanni Flores Cheryl Ramiz Chris Frankhouser Joseph Rizzi Connie Hildebrandt Lori Schneider Submit application Nancy Hoyt Lucyna Schroeder for certication Sheila Jenkins Willie Sinnwell Pass Final Certification • 2 written Patrick Kearns Gayle Stith recommendations Finny Lee Chris Stovall Exam • Verify work exp. Receive BA Certification Carolyn MacDonald Diane Strunk (2 years min.) Larinda Mongan Georgie VanWinkle *You may substitute Logical Data Modeling Jeanne Morton Diana Watt Devika Murthy Elaine Wernlund Beci Orrell Audrey Yanofsky the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 8
  10. 10. data brain teaser ACROSS DOWN 4 IBM’s relational database 1 The combination of two or more attributes to 6 Rules that require resolution of many-to-many uniquely identify an entity relationships 2 The name of the android on Star Trek, The Next 9 A blank form for storing detailed data requirements Generation 10 Allowable value for a maximum cardinality in a 3 A data element which allows navigation from one relationship table to another 11 Identify tasks for a project 5 Your favorite company for business analyst training 12 Data elements 7 Business rule between two entities 17 A common error when defining an attribute that 8 Database term for attribute represents more than one fact 11 DBAs denormalize databases to improve ___________. 21 Graphical representation of data 13 Person responsible for taking notes in Facilitated 25 A type of entity formed by removing repeating Session attributes 14 Electronic option for gathering requirements 26 Grammatical form for an entity name 15 When a relationship has a minimum cardinality of 27 An attribute with more than one value one it is _______________ 28 Exchange of information between external agent and 16 A proposed screen layout design project 18 Section of the requirements package that contains 29 The minimum allowable value for a cardinality in a project terminology relationship 19 Another term for a data relationship 30 Database term for a unique identifier 20 A database design is _________________ vs. logical 31 Business data is _____________ vs. physical 22 Parent of a subtype entity 32 Entity type created from a many to many relationship 23 An attribute which is not mandatory Is _____________. 35 An occurrence of an entity 24 Database structure representing an entity 37 Graphical representation of a business rule 33 Business area experts 38 Transforms data 34 Allowable value for an attribute 39 Business data which becomes a table in the database 36 Define the parameters of the project Answers on page 12 9 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  11. 11. update International Institute of Business Analysis ince the first annual meeting in March of Terms is being developed to bring BOK committee has decided to name each S 2004, the International Institute of Business Analysis, IIBA, a non-profit together the membership’s key terms and to eliminate confusion in discussions about important knowledge and practice area as a Knowledge Area. The group has been busy professional organization for Business the Knowledge Area details. drafting the first iteration of Knowledge Analysis professionals has been actively Similar to the PMBOK (The Project Area definitions. working on Management Body of Knowledge), the Both committees plan to use an iterative their goals. process where each group In addition D E F I N I T I O N O F A B U S I N E S S A N A LYST will draft, discuss and to the Business Analysts are responsible for identifying the approve key deliverables activity of business needs of their clients and stakeholders, to and post them on the determine solutions to business problems. recruiting new members, the main focus IIBA website for review The Business Analyst is responsible for requirements has been on the work being done by two and feedback by the development and requirements management. committees, Accreditation and Certification membership, and make Specifically, the Business Analyst elicits, analyzes, Committee and the Business Analysis Body updates to the draft validates and documents business, organizational and/or of Knowledge (BOK) Committee. deliverables as needed. operational requirements. Solutions are not A major decision was made by the The IIBA wants to ensure predetermined by the Business Analyst, but are driven Accreditation committee to use ANSI that whatever is defined solely by the requirements of the business. Solutions standard guidelines as a way to build the often include a systems development component, but represents what an average accreditation and certification process. The may also consist of process improvement or business analyst would be goal is to have the IIBA certification organizational change. expected to know and to program certified by a well-recognized and The Business Analyst is a key facilitator within an demonstrate on his or her respected independent organization, like organization, acting as a bridge between the client, job. The BOK committee ANSI. PMI is also currently working stakeholders and the solution team. expects to post the first toward the same accreditation. The Business analysis is distinct from financial analysis, outline draft of the Body committee has primary responsibilities to project management, quality assurance, organizational of Knowledge areas define the scope of the BA role which will development, testing, training and documentation sometime this fall. We map to the Knowledge Areas defined by the development. However, depending on an organization, hope that many of you BOK committee and that will also map to an individual Business Analyst may perform some or all will consider joining the the certification exam that will be of these related functions. IIBA, volunteer on a developed in the next 2 years. As approved by IIBA Executive Committee committee, and provide From the BOK committee, a Glossary feedback. Stay tuned. I Continued from page 4 talk about processes and activities. They may data requirements have not been thoroughly complete set of data requirements should be forget to tell designers about all data fleshed out, database designs are unstable included in the vendor RFP requiring requirements. Traditionally designers have throughout the development process. During potential vendors to respond to each data created databases based on screen and report coding, testing, and even implementation, element needed. After a package is selected, layouts, searching out data elements as they developers are finding additional data the data requirements must be matched to go. These data elements are not well elements, requiring the DBAs to be re-active the software’s data and a gap analysis organized or structured properly. Designing instead of pro-active. Resulting databases may performed before the package is installed. a model based on physical workflow could be poorly structured, looking like a patchwork So, when software is implemented with result in a model that does not fully quilt, instead of being well planned and easy the correct data elements, it is not an represent the business requirements. The to maintain. Errors in the database design accident or a coincidence. A focus on result is often a database that is missing will cause the entire system to be unstable. gathering and documenting business data critical data and must be changed requirements is a critical success factor in all immediately after implementation. What about package selection and application development projects. An The database design task is a much implementation? excellent Business Analyst understands the longer activity and the database may be Gathering and documenting data importance of these data requirements and poorly structured without well documented requirements is just as critical whether you helps other team members to focus on business data requirements. When business are writing software or purchasing it. A them. I the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 10
  12. 12. Lost in Translation BY A N G I E P E R R I S, P M P What is a data “NASA lost its $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter because model? “spacecraft engineers failed to convert from English to metric measurements when exchanging vital data before the craft was launched, You can think of your data space agency officials said Thursday. model as your blueprint for your physical database. Its A navigation team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory used the metric system of structure is simple and its words millimeters and meters in its calculations, while Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, which designed and built the spacecraft, provided crucial acceleration are in business language so that the subject data in the English system of inches, feet and pounds. matter experts facilitated by the Business Analyst can understand and validate their As a result, JPL engineers mistook acceleration readings measured in English units of pound-seconds for a metric measure of force called newton-seconds. business information. But also the structure and data details are sufficient for the In a sense, the spacecraft was lost in translation. … ” technical database designer to build the Source: Mars Probe Lost Due to Simple Math Error; [Home Edition], ROBERT LEE HOTZ. Los database correctly to support the business Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Oct 1, 1999. requirements. A data model includes entities, attributes, relationships and all their rucial information is often lost in data requirements that were never defined, C translation when detailed business data requirements are not captured. One proven do not exist in the database, and that the information they need now will not be properties. There are several ways to represent a data model, but the two most common ways are diagrams or tables. The way to represent these important details is collected and will not be accessible for a Entity Relationship Diagram is the most to create a data model. As with the Mars long time to come because modifying widely used way to represent the physical Probe, if a data model had been developed the database as an afterthought is not a database and is a recommended method for that correctly defined the acceleration data, simple task. the logical or business representation as well. the mistake between meters and feet may Unfortunately, some organizations do As an alternative for those uncomfortable not have occurred. Organizations that not value the collection of data with diagramming or using an dominate the market place today have requirements during business requirements unsophisticated modeling tool, a structured learned the right information at the right gathering and do not expect a business text table format method can be used to time could mean the difference between analyst to know how to model business document all data model components. profitability or financial loss, life or death, data. They believe that programmers and trust or distrust; success or failure; the right DBAs can figure it out during the technical Hints to get started data is a means to distinguish themselves design and build phases (even though the Hint 1 – Take a formal course in data from their competitors. This article will subject matter experts are typically not modeling. discuss why detailed data requirements are involved then to provide validation). When Hint 2 – Buy a book on data modeling a critical aspect of your business only processes are considered, certain Hint 3– Bring in an experienced data requirements gathering and will provide business rules and critical data items may modeling consultant you some hints you can follow to get be forgotten until user acceptance testing Hint 4 - Try more than one started building a business data model on or worse yet, until after implementation. presentation technique your next project. Missed business requirements results in Hint 5 - Timebox your modeling greater business risk: e.g. missing data activities to keep the meeting on track How is business data modeling done required for critical reports or results that Hint 6 - Recognize there is not one today? are incorrect or inconsistent; the data is correct data model On all too many projects, not at all! unstable; a poorly designed database; or Hint 7 – Use post-it notes, a flip Unfortunately while some folks are patting higher costs. A person in a “business chart and a whiteboard for a more themselves on the back for a job well done analyst” role should proactively practice interactive session soon after the software system has gone modeling and analyzing business data along into production, the initial customer issues with their processes to avoid this problem. Conclusion begin to surface. Often during this brief Having that information available means Although data modeling may seem honeymoon period, customers are very that the business analyst has carefully overwhelming at first, start thinking about forgiving of some missed data requirements collected, analyzed and modeled the data your data today, even if that is just making – but then anger, panic and frustration set the end user needs in a way that can be lists of entities and attributes with your in and the climate quickly changes into understood by the programmers and the stakeholders. That is a step in the right more like Fear Factor as they learn that the database designers. direction. I 11 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  13. 13. tool review AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler complex language and could focus on Entity Property Window designing more normalized coherent databases. ERwin can generate DDL for A’s AllFusion ERwin is one of the over 30 commercial database packages C oldest and most popular data modeling tools in the world. Built in 1992 by giving your organization the flexibility to change platforms more quickly. LogicWorks, Inc. and named for Entity The quality of the diagram with its Relationship for Windows, ERwin initially underlying properties attracted the provided a graphical Entity Relationship attention of data analysts who wanted a Diagram that generated database DDL similar tool to document business or logical (data definition language). Suddenly data requirements. ERwin 2.0 added a database designers were free from coding a logical diagram and an automated A Physical (database design) Diagram translation from logical to Attribute Property Window physical. This feature allows business analysts to document business data in a model and then pass the model to the database designer for transition to design and implementation. The tool also provides utilities for comparing models between project teams or sub-teams. Later versions have added Relationship Property Window entity and attribute naming standardization and increasing A Logical (business data requirement) Diagram flexible user defined properties. Every data component on the diagram has a Properties Window that the modeler can use to document characteristics about the component. In addition, ERwin Data Modeler interfaces with the AllFusion Process Modeler them to the data elements that the process which allows analysts to uses. You can download an evaluation copy diagram processes and link of AllFusion ERwin at I Answers to Crossword puzzle on page 9 the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 12
  14. 14. certified core courses 4 Days Essential Skills for the Business Analyst This course covers the critical skills for the Business Analyst. Students will learn to define what is, and what is not included in the project, how to ask the right questions, when and how to hold interviews and facilitated sessions, how to write excellent requirements, how to verify that requirements are testable, how to conduct a requirements review, and have an overview of various application development methodologies. Additionally, students will be introduced to various documentation techniques and plan an approach for documentation. 3 Days Detailing Business Data Requirements The Data portion of the business requirements is a critical component to defining complete requirements. Every process uses data and almost all business rules are enforced by data. Missing a critical piece of data or incorrectly defining a data element contributes to the majority of maintenance problems and results in systems that do not reflect the business needs. This course teaches students an in-depth approach to identify and define all necessary data components using both textual templates and an entity relationship diagram to create a data model. 4 Days Detailing Process and Business Rule Requirements This course continues the development of the requirements package by defining the processes and business rules for the project. Students will learn to identify and define the processes from a business and functional perspective. Various techniques are taught including decomposition diagrams, templates, workflow models, and Use Case diagrams and descriptions. Additionally, this course teaches techniques to ensure that requirements have not been missed. M More detailed outlines are available on our website, 13 Fall/Winter 2004 l the bridge
  15. 15. additional course offerings 3 Days Requirements Testing for the Business Analyst This course provides an excellent foundation for Business Analysts who are involved in software quality assurance (SQA). The course will improve the Business Analyst's development of requirements so that they can be used to build quality test cases. It will also enable the Business Analyst to create specific test cases from the requirements. The course includes a workshop case study that provides a cohesive learning experience. This course provides Business Analysts the knowledge to: • Understand the basic SQA terms and definitions as defined by international standards • Understand the link between requirements and testing • Understand the testing life cycle • Correct/update requirements for use in development of tests • Define and create test documentation using IEEE/ISO formats • Understand common testing techniques • Review and assist with the development of project test plans • Design and create usability tests • Understand the difference between manual and automated testing 4 Hour Seminar Overview of Business Analysis This seminar presents the Business Analyst role to managers and others who lead and work with Business Analysts. In order for the Business Analysts to be successful, both the IT and business community must embrace the business analysis process. The seminar can be used as a working session to discuss how your organization will implement the business analysis process and approaches for documenting the requirements. Both large and small organizations are realizing the benefits of using Business Analysts on all of their application development projects. A Business Analyst acts as a liaison between business people who have a business problem and technology people who know how to create automated solutions. Improving the communication between your business areas and your IT team significantly increases the quality of the systems developed. A Business Analyst's main responsibility is to gather, detail, and document requirements in a format that is useful to their business area experts and the technical developers. Analysis is a very important and time-consuming phase of every project. This seminar provides strategies for how management can support the business analysis process. M For more information on these courses visit the bridge l Fall/Winter 2004 14
  16. 16. 2005 public class schedule Please check our Essential Skills for the Business Analyst - $1,980/per student website for additional • Jan 31 – Feb 3, 2005 Houston, TX public class offerings • Feb 21 – Feb 24, 2005 Louisville, KY and to check availability • Mar 7 – Mar 10, 2005 Boston, MA and register – • Apr 18 – Apr 21, 2005 Chicago, IL • May 16 – May 19, 2005 Seattle, WA Training-Courses • Jun 6 – Jun 9, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Oct 24 – Oct 27, 2005 Atlanta, GA On-site classes are also available. Detailing Business Data Requirements - $1,485/per student • Feb 7 – Feb 9, 2005 Atlanta, GA Call 865-675-2125 • Apr 11 – Apr 13, 2005 Houston, TX or email us at • Apr 18 – Apr 20, 2005 Louisville, KY • Jun 13 – Jun 15, 2005 Chicago, IL • Jul 11 – Jul 13, 2005 Seattle, WA • Sep 19 – Sep 21, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Oct 3 – Oct 5, 2005 Boston, MA Detailing Process and Business Rule Requirements - $1,980/per student • Apr 4 – Apr 7, 2005 Atlanta, GA • May 17 – May 20, 2005 Louisville, KY • Jun 6 – Jun 9, 2005 Houston, TX • Aug 1 – Aug 4, 2005 Chicago, IL • Sep 26 – Sep 29, 2005 Seattle, WA • Nov 14 – Nov 17, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Dec 5 – Dec 8, 2005 Boston, MA Requirements Testing for the Business Analyst - $1,485 per student • Jan 24 – Jan 26, 2005 Louisville, KY Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Permit #309 B2T Training Knoxville, TN 11795 Northfall Lane, Suite 601 Alpharetta, GA 30004