What Are the Best Business Analysis Tools That Can Help Professionals Perform Their Tasks?
The business analysts need to use the best business analysis tools when they are performing their tasks. There are so many reasons for this. Basically, the tools are used to carry out the following functions:
- To manage the requirements;
- To track the requirements;
- To collaborate with the stakeholders and teams;
- To diagrammatically model the requirements wherever reasonable, for example, a business process diagram;
- To describe the requirements in detail.
To be able to perform all these functions easily, quickly, and effectively, you need to use the best tools. The focus of this blog post is on the best business analysis programs that you should know to be considered a professional. Let’s take a look at each of them.
1. Microsoft Office Suite
There are various applications of Microsoft Office Suite that come under the list of the top business analysis tools. They are:
This is a popular modeling tool used by the business analysts to effectively capture and represent ideas to the stakeholders in the form of user interactions and business functions. There are several utilities of MS Visio with the main ones, including the following:
- UML diagrams creation, such as activity, sequence diagrams, and use case;
- Creation of architecture diagrams;
- Generation of data models;
- Preparation and organization of process flow charts.
Data analysis forms part of business analysis. Data analysis can take different forms, such as:
- Creating graphs or charts;
- Creating pivot tables;
- Sorting and filtering data;
- Scrutinizing data trends.
A business analyst can effectively perform all these tasks using Microsoft Excel. Being a spreadsheet-like tool, it also provides a number of built-in financial and mathematical functions that can help data analysis.
It is a software used in preparing and delivering formal presentations. As a business analyst, you will encounter such situations whenever you want to communicate ideas, deliver or justify project updates to the stakeholders. Such communication is often more effective if the representation is done through PowerPoint.
Most projects often demand wireframing applications to demonstrate mockups of the proposed system. Wireframing typically focuses on the user’s interaction and content. Balsamiq is one of the best business analysis tools you can use to create wireframes. It uses brainstorming sessions and provides immediate feedback from the stakeholders. The Balsamiq Mockups help the business to work smarter and faster. What’s more, it also allows the projects to be hosted online. Moreover, it works as a collaboration tool between the clients and the teams.
Some of the main features of Balsamiq are as follows:
- Allows building wireframes;
- Offers fast and intuitive user interface;
- Provides enough user interface icons and controls;
- Uses PDF and embedded links to present mockups;
- Generates reusable templates and component libraries;
- Provides an extensive library for ready-to-use controls;
- Allows the users to easily access prototypes for usability testing and demos.
3. Google Docs
This is a very great tool for sharing documents online, which makes it an excellent business analysis program because sharing project documents is an important part of project management. It enables you to share documents online with the stakeholders and project members. Google Docs supports .docx, .txt, .pdf, and other types of files.
This program is widely used to evaluate a business and conduct strategic analysis. It is the most secure tool, and it is absolutely free to use. SWOT allows exporting and viewing PNG files. Moreover, it also allows you as a business analyst to easily load and save your analysis to your local XML files.
5. Rational Requisite Pro
This is among the best business analysis tools, especially for requirements measurement. It provides a strong solution for business requirement management, especially for large projects. Moreover, it offers business requirements management the functionality of word processing. In addition, this tool can also query and even sort data by using a dynamic database. Therefore, Rational Requisite Pro makes it easy to trace requirements and their priority and changes.
This is a great collaboration tool for business analysis that helps communicate between different teams. Trello also allows you to securely share information. Moreover, it also allows the admin to easily analyze business data.
The following features make Trello a useful business analysis tool:
- Provides secure collaboration with the team;
- Allows you to view team activity across boards;
- Allows the export of data within just a single click;
- Associates and organizes the boards with Collections;
- Allocates the admins for secrecy settings management;
- Helps deactivate the old members and save their work history;
- Allows the inclusion of members from the Google Apps account.
7. Version One Lifecycle
This is one of the greatest business analysis tools available. What makes it great is the fact that it can integrate freely with open source software and enterprise application tools. Here are some of its great features:
- Is basically aligned with Agile software development;
- Provides Agile Data Mart designing as a special feature;
- Automates decision-making throughout the software lifecycle;
- Allows immediate updating of the user’s built-in attribute editing;
- Allows unconventional analysis to take decisions that are fact-based;
- Is flexible for easily scaling with project workspaces, locations, across teams, and portfolios.
Prototyping is a very vital part of the requirement gathering phase as it assists in getting confirmation from the customers on the requirement. Besides, making a quick prototype is important as it helps the customer to easily understand both the feeling and the appearance. And Pencil is the prototyping tool that can help do this.
Pencil is a very powerful prototyping tool that comes as a standard one that you can download and use locally. It comes with a very simple interface that allows you to easily drag and drop the elements to create a screen.
This is a real-time work management tool created for the purposes of business analysis. It stores information centrally thereby helping in decreasing the overall cost of project analysis. Here are some of the features of Wrike:
- Allows the project reporting;
- Provides the core building blocks of work;
- Allows the user to request forms and automation;
- Offers time tracking for budget management and planning;
- Provides a visual timeline so you can view the project schedule.
This is a very popular business analysis tool among the business analysts as they use it to make their project management task simpler. This program helps them automate activities, such as delete shapes, move shapes, and add them. It also helps the specialists maintain security as they install it behind. Moreover, it supports more than 100 languages for creating diagrams.
Of course, the business analysis tools listed in this blog post help you work in a smarter way but they are not the only task that you need to succeed. You also need to gain basic business analyst skills in order to become an efficient and successful business analyst. The IT certifications, such as PMI-PBA, CBAP, CCBA, and ECBA, provide the best roadmap for you to learn the best business analysis practices.