How to find the information you need to solve a business problem | How to be a Business Analyst/Consultant — The Series Pt. I
This blog is a part of a series to teach the fundamental skills, knowledge, and necessary education to become a great business analyst or consultant in any field, and solve any business problem that comes you way.
Elicitation: Requirements gathering, researching, discovery. Whatever you call it, it’s an important first step in solving a business problem. You need to quickly get up to speed, learn what the goal is, and figure out what wants, needs, and data is available for you to provide an answer to the question at stake.
After you’ve encountered a business problem, and perhaps have come up with a reasonable hypothesis, the next step to solving said problem is to do analysis and research work. So how do you start? The answer: Elicitation. Information gathering. Discovery.
Number one, go ahead and start looking into what existing documentation is available within the database that you’ve been provided with the organization you’re working with. This could be a company intranet, a wiki site, a CRM, a website with various blogs and documents, or even an archaic folder system filled with years worth of data.
Start looking into what existing documentation is available within the database that you’ve been provided with the organization you’re working with.
Whatever it may be, remember, your job as a business analyst is to find the wants, needs, and data that everyone is throwing at you — break it down, organize it, and prepare it for analysis. This is why they pay you the big bucks, to find holes, figure out how you can fill those holes with what you have, and prepare all that for consumption.
Ex: I was on a project to implement a new SaaS version of a software system the client had been using for years. Like many organizations they had paid big bucks to customize and enhance the on-premises version of the software to fit their needs. However, that method of software has gone the way of the dinosaurs and as new features start to be implemented, that heavy customization makes is extremely difficult, expensive, if not downright impossible to implement new features without heavy customization. So the new SaaS version was modeled to be based in the cloud, modular (so…