Methodology:: Business Analysis

This page represents my collection of the Business Analysis related diagrams and slides. You may download slides in Visio format as zip file: compress business_analysis_visio.zip (233 KB).

Finance Applications: Data Flow

Data Flow

Fig. 1. Data Flow Diagram

When you are doing Business Analysis for some Company, there are few key issues: (1) It is necessary to find out, how the Payroll is integrated with General Ledger; (2) It is necessary to find our how Fixed Assets are integrated with General Ledger; (3) Is Interface to Business Applications exists and if yes, is the Interface bi-directional; (4) Does Workflow Automation applications exists.

By answering to these questions you actually will prepare draft of the Company Automation Proposal.

Fig.1 shows generic template of the Data Flow. After you will fill the template with names of the systems / applications used by the Company and show existing interfaces with the General Ledger you will create Data Flow Diagram for the Company you are working with. Based on the analysis of the Data Flows you may then set priorities, choose (or replace) applications for the functions, propose and implement controls and interfaces.

Business Applications and In-House developed Applications: Applications Map

Applications Map

Fig. 2. Applications Map Diagram

To simplify your work as a first step you can map all Business Applications to the following list: (1) Front Office; (2) Middle Office and Finance; (3) Back Office and Reporting; (4) External Links. Fig.2 shows the example of such mapping.

After you will list all existing systems and document interfaces between them - you may show the resulting map to Company Management, and you will prove that you do understand Company Business Flows and Applications. As a side effect, you will really understand Company Business, and may explain it to Development Team. As another side effect, you will see which interfaces are missing or need to be improved.

Business Applications and In-House developed Applications: Business Function Mapping

Business Function Mapping

Fig. 3. Business Function Mapping Diagram

If you will map business functions to existing systems (Fig.3), you may find Primary and Derivative systems Company using. Again, such map may serve as a good tool for the analysis.

Business and Finance Applications: Inadequacies (Assessment)

Inadequacies (Assessment)

Fig. 4. Inadequacies (Assessment) Diagram

To estimate quality of the particular system, it is fashion at present time to use so-called “magic quadrant” (will not shown). If you will use instead R-A-G diagram (shown on Fig.4) you will (1) use better analysis tool; (2) use 3-level logic instead of 2-level used in so-called “magic quadrant”; (3) use tangential dependencies between adequacies and system serve readiness - closer to reality.

As a result, your estimation of the systems will be better than if you will use so-called “magic quadrant”, (will not shown) which is linear simplified approximation of R-A-G diagram (Fig.4).