Best Business Analyst Techniques Every Business Analyst Should Know

Business analysts bring positive organizational changes by analyzing needs and vulnerabilities to create the best possible solutions. Business analytics techniques are the processes used to create and execute plans to recognize an organization’s requirements and deliver the best outcomes accordingly. Moreover, these processes extract commercially critical information that improves business performance.

These techniques are not identical for all businesses. The reason is every organization or business has unique requirements. Moreover, these techniques may not be used all through the project. They can apply to a project’s particular phase, for example, the initial or completion phases.

A reliable business analytics technique helps you to perform the following functions efficiently:

  • Track and manage business requirements
  • Thoroughly explain the requirements
  • Model these requirements wherever applicable
  • Work together with stakeholders and team members

A business analyst (BA) must be familiar with various key business analysis techniques that can improve business effectiveness. But with plenty of tools and techniques, the choice can be difficult.

Best Business analytics techniques

1. Business Process Mapping (BPM)

BPM is one of the best business analytics techniques for understanding a procedure. It answers questions like how a business process is completed and who gets involved. Commonly, BPM is used as a tool in the initial stages of a project to understand the actions the organization takes now. Moreover, this technique suggests how an organization must operate.

BPM strategy demonstrates how the business operation’s process will move forward based on different roles. Individuals using it don’t have to worry about predicting the successive steps of the execution process. Consequently, this technique streamlines complex business analysis.

Being a BA, you embark on the following roles in a Business Mapping Project:

  • Strategic planning
  • Analyzing Business Model
  • Outlining and configuring business process
  • Technical analysis of those business solutions that may seem to be complex

With the BPM technique, you can efficiently handle all these roles.

2. Data Mining

Data mining for business analytics is known as an analytic technique that examines data, usually massive business-centric data sets (also called “big data”). The unique aspect of the data mining business intelligence technique is that it performs a thorough analysis in search of commercially important insights, links, or trends between variables that may help enhance the performance. 

Specifically, this technique proves advantageous when handling substantial data sets from which you aim to extract insights. Therefore, implementing this technique has streamlined data mining and business intelligence tasks.

3. Data Mapping

This technique maps how data flows throughout an organization. It can prove helpful as a sole reference for data that depicts how information from a data framework connects to that from another data framework. Defining the requirement for mapping allows you and your team to keep away potential threats to the venture or the situation that may arise in future development processes.

The Data Mapping technique is implemented as a preliminary step for different data integration tasks, including transforming or arbitration data among its source and destination.

This technique is also used in a venture’s analysis and design stages that want updates aligned to what, how, and where information is to be stored. It can be done to enhance programming. Furthermore, the Data Mapping technique guarantees that the information recorded at the system’s front is aligned with the information conveyed to the stakeholders.

Specifications for this technique are helpful in those projects that follow:

  • Migration of Data: Data source gets transferred to some new data destination.
  • Integration of Data: Data source gets transferred to a destination on a specific time interval (hourly or monthly), and both data sources don’t have to adopt a universal data model.

 Both these projects may sound identical. The fundamental difference between the two is that in ‘Migration of Data’, after data migration, the process is accomplished and the initial data is never again used or stored.  In ‘Integration of Data’, the process is accomplished after the data integration takes place; however, the two sources are retained.

4. SWOT Analysis

The SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) is a detailed analysis performed by a business analyst considering the internal factors (Strength and Weakness) and external factors (Threats and Opportunities).

It is a four-quadrant analysis in which business analysts position the data as the answer for every quadrant. They answer the questions placed in each quadrant. SWOT Analysis is one of the versatile business analytics techniques. This is because it can be employed at any stage of the business project.

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5. MOST Analysis

The term “MOST” stands for Mission, Objective, Strategy, and Tactics. Using this technique, the business analysts analyze the organization’s actions and plans to accomplish the goal. Moreover, it analyzes an organization’s actions to maintain strategic orientation. Therefore, MOST analysis thoroughly understands an organization in terms of its goal and abilities.

Let’s understand each element of this analysis.

Mission: Known as the critical element for organizations, it defines its purposes and goals to be achieved. If the organization has a clear mission, it becomes easier to analyze and determine the remaining factors.

Objectives: They are the collection of goals that accumulates as a result of the organization’s mission. Objectives should follow the S.M.A.R.T approach, i.e.,

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Achievable

R: Realistic

T: Timely

Strategy: This element denotes an organization’s actions to fulfill the objectives and achieve the mission. A group of tactics creates a strategy.

Tactics: They are the distinct methods that an organization works on to fulfill its strategies. They ensure that an organization maintains focus on the mission, which is the critical factor determining organizational success.

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6. Brainstorming

Brainstorming specializes in team sessions and is one of the best business analytics techniques for business analysts. It focuses on making a creative strategy for arranging a meeting to explore ideas and underlying issues and advising answers for those issues. Moreover, it facilitates innovation for other techniques of business analysis.

This technique encourages various phases a venture can attain, from differentiating partners to suggesting the requirements. It is inevitable during the beginning stage and at all those points where the venture is at a dead end.

It aims to explore different new concepts and understand the subjects for detailed analysis. Thus, it is one of the most potent techniques in nearly all developing phases of a venture. Moreover, Brainstorming encourages less innovative partners to think creatively and induces innovativeness.

7. Use Case Modelling

A Use Case Modelling technique pictorially demonstrates how the business functions must work in a projected system via user interactions. Primarily, it is used in the software development project and during the design phase to convert business requirements into functional specifications in any current development project. Various tools used to draw the UML diagrams are IBM’s Rational Rose, Microsoft Visio, etc.

This technique’s key components illustrated in a UML diagram are:

  • System
  • Use case
  • Actors
  • Association
  • Stereotypes

8. Investment Appraisal

Business analysts may have to go through the project’s financial aspects like assessing the profits, expenses, costs, and payback periods. The investment Appraisal technique allows them to better understand the funds needed for the project’s every stage. It also determines whether building ahead with the project is valuable or not, depending on the values delivered.

The two key estimating strategies used in the Investment Appraisal technique are Payback Calculation and Discounted Cash Flow. They are explained below:

  • Payback Calculation:

It is less complex than the Discounted Cash Flow strategy. It is often used to estimate project development or transformation income.

  • Discounted Cash Flow:

Also recognized as the Present Net Value, it evaluates the monetary time value. It ensures that all money streams are well-adjusted for inflation and various elements.

9. Non-functional Requirement Analysis

It is used when a technology solution changes. For instance, migration from one technology to another will carry out builds from scratch. When using this technique, business analysts primarily focus on data storage requisites and system performance to determine the performance factors of the projected system for the live data.

This technique is used during a project’s ‘Analysis phase’ and executed during the ‘Design phase’.  Moreover, it works on performance, Security, Logging, and Reliability. Without this technique, attaining an intended result is pretty impossible.

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All these business analyst techniques thoroughly analyze a business’ requirements to ensure it effectively reaches its goals. They streamline business operations after thoroughly evaluating and guiding effective actions.

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What do business analysts do?

Business analysts are professionals who thoroughly go through a business’ processes and systems to obtain critical information. They assess its business model, recognize vulnerabilities, and invent feasible solutions. They are experts at drawing only relevant information and critically think with an impeccable analytical approach. Although they use minimal resources, they guarantee the most efficient solution.

What are the key skills of a technical business analyst?

A technical business analyst can analyze enterprise and system architecture. They can interpret the information on a business model and devise an improved model whenever a need arises. However, they are not ought to design the models. They only need to be familiar with the system architecture. They should be able to assess data amassed from different data collection methods and articulate facts from the beliefs.

Can anyone become a business analyst?

Although becoming a Business Analyst without a degree may be hard, a degree is not compulsory. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, Business administration, Accounting, Finance, Data Science, Logistics, Human resources, Operations management, Information systems, or Enterprise architecture will be helpful.

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