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Business Analysis Fundamentals

Set yourself up for success, learn the key business analysis concepts to thrive in your Business Analyst career
Instructor:
The BA Guide | Jeremy Aschenbrenner
73,061 students enrolled
English More
Business Analysis basics – learn what a Business Analyst is, what they do, and how they do it
A breakdown of six project methodologies including traditional Waterfall and Agile frameworks
Learn how to properly initiate a project by creating a business case that aligns with the business objectives
Understand the basics of project requirements and six of the popular techniques used to elicit those details from your stakeholders
Gain an overview of various modeling diagrams to help you recognize and understand project documentation
Conduct requirement specification - including categorizing, deriving (breaking apart), prioritizing, and validating
Have the confidence to successfully facilitate requirements approval meetings

THE ULTIMATE FOUNDATIONAL COURSE – LEARN THE CORE BUSINESS ANALYSIS KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN BUILD UPON AND START YOUR BUSINESS ANALYST CAREER THE RIGHT WAY.

Set yourself up for success and learn the key concepts you’ll need to thrive in your Business Analyst career!

With over 10 years working as, hiring, and managing Business Analysts, I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience and knowledge. And today, I want to share that information with you. I’ll help you take the first step in a long and productive career in business analysis.

In this course, I have condensed everything I’ve learned in all my years working in the industry into a comprehensive guide to the basic elements that make up the most important tool in any Business Analyst’s career – your foundational knowledge.

Building a successful future without a strong foundation is an impossible task…

But when you have one in place, it’ll give your career the strongest possible start, and put you in a position to take the fullest advantage of the opportunities and experiences that come your way and achieve the success you’re dreaming of!

So, whether you’re an aspiring Business Analyst or one that’s new to the role – let this course be the first step of a lucrative and satisfying career.

Course enrollment grants you lifetime access, with no expiration, to all the course lectures, activities, handouts, and quizzes. In addition, you’ll also receive 1-on-1 support for any questions or uncertainties that come up. And this all comes with a money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Looking to get ECBA certified? – This course qualifies for 9 hours of Professional Development

Just ask the students who’ve already taken this course:

★★★★★ “The pace is perfect for those who are actively engaged, and there is a lot of value in the lectures, activities, and additional resources provided. I wholeheartedly recommend this course.” – Kenni

★★★★★ “The course is just awesome! Tbh [to be honest], I did not expect much from the online course and was really surprised when it turned out to be sooo interesting. The information is well-structured and divided into sections which makes it really easy to understand and grasp the important points. I enjoyed the way Jeremy conducts the lectures and truly hope to enroll into some more of his courses in future! Thanks a ton” – Nataliia

★★★★★ “Great quality work. I like how Jeremy breaks everything down, so it’s understandable even if you don’t have any background in the business analysis. Awesome courses!!!” – Oleg

Why be a Business Analyst in the first place?

1. Potential Earnings – Let’s be honest it’s the main reason we work in the first place. So, you’ll be happy to hear that a typical Business Analyst (BA) earns over $78,000 per year. And that is only the average. Work hard, continue to increase the value you provide, and just imagine how much you could end up making!

2. Market Growth – The Business Analysis job market is expected to grow at a rate of 19% over the next 10 years, so get in now and take advantage of an industry that’s on the rise. In fact, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, American employers will need 876,000 business analysis related professionals in 2020. It is a great time to be versed in business analysis!

3. Career Springboard The skills you learn as a Business Analyst are crucial to a host of many other professions, everything from IT to Business. This career path isn’t just a job, it’s an investment in your future.

4. Use Existing Industry Knowledge – Similarly, the skills you’ve learned outside of the business analysis world are highly valued in the industry – so rather than starting anew, you can be put your experience to good use.

5. It’s Never Boring – With new projects always on the horizon, and different challenges to tackle each day, the role of a Business Analyst never grows stale.

So if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, I highly encourage you to take a serious look into business analysis!

What exactly is included in this course?

– Business Analysis basics – learn what a Business Analyst is, what they do, and how they do it

– A breakdown of six project methodologies including traditional Waterfall and Agile frameworks

– Learn how to properly initiate a project by learning how to create a business case that aligns with a business’ objectives

– Understand the basics of project requirements and six of the popular techniques used to elicit those details from your stakeholders

– Gain an overview of various modeling diagrams to help you recognize and understand project documentation

– Conduct requirement specification – including categorizing, deriving (breaking apart), prioritizing, and validating

In addition to all the tools you’ll need to start planning the project, you’ll also get a foot into the field by way of an industry expert

I’m not just the instructor who wrote this course, I will also act as both a resource and a mentor to guide you to a long and rewarding career in Business Analysis!

This is what my students had to say about the content of this course:

★★★★★ “The course is awesome, didn’t see similar before. Like how Jeremy explains, how he highlight key points and how he provide us by different types of a very useful templates, which we can use in our daily job. Really, excellent course, and will wait with a big impatience for another ones. Highly recommended for everybody who wants to become an experienced business analyst. Jeremy and his courses will definitely help you to achieve your goal!” – Aykhan

★★★★★ “If I had to rate this […] I would give 10 out of five!! this is one of the great lectures I have ever had. Extremely satisfied and learnt a lot!! Thanks Jeremy!!” – Swati

★★★★★ “Great inside knowledge from Jeremy, clear and concise. Explains Business Analysis concepts in a way that is easy to understand and gives a solid base of the fundamentals.” – German

Still Unsure?

I understand – you’re a Business Analyst at heart and you like to have all the information at hand before making a decision… so here’s a list of extra bonuses that are included, as part of your enrollment to the course:

– Access to a searchable Business Analyst Glossary – Never again will you feel lost in a sea of complex terms and acronyms. This searchable glossary is an essential tool that makes it easy to recall and understand all the “Business Analysis Speak” you come across (on and off the job!)

– A Business Requirements Document (BRD) Example Template – so you can utilize your newly learned requirement documentation skills. Documenting requirements into a template like a BRD will play an integral part of your day-to-day as a Business Analyst.

– A Business Case Template – Organize your thoughts and sell the value of your project by using our intuitive and easy to follow template

And if you’re still not sure – here’s my promise to you:

This course comes with a money-back guarantee! That means, if you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase, I’ll give you a refund – no questions asked!

By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and the means to apply that knowledge, to not only become a Business Analyst – but to excel at it.

So, if you have any interest at all in making your career as a Business Analyst a successful one, enroll today, and get started learning the fundamentals of the job today!

Welcome to the Course!

1
Course Introduction

The lecture gives the thousand foot view of the course as a whole. Having a clear understanding of what the course will teach you, allows you to work at your own pace knowing what information is yet to come.

2
Top 7 Reasons You Should Become a Business Analyst

Business Analyst is not a role that often comes up when researching career paths, so in this lecture, we will provide you with seven of the top reasons you should become a Business Analyst.

3
IMPORTANT LINKS - Please review and bookmark
4
Course Resources - for your convenience

In this lecture, we provide you a ZIP file that contains all of the downloadable resources for the course. While those downloads are still available on appropriate lectures throughout the course, we're providing this ZIP file for convenience and to avoid some of the nuances and issues with downloading the files individually. It is our recommendation that you download this file now and then pull up the files as they are referenced within the course. Happy learning!

The Basics

1
Introduction to Business Analysis, the BA Role, and the Value BAs Provide

Understanding what Business Analysis is, what a Business Analyst does, and the value they provide to companies is the critical foundation knowledge needed before we go any further.

Terms: Business Analysis, Business Analyst

2
Udemy Review System
3
Tasks of a Business Analyst

Now that you have a foundational understanding of business analysis, the next area of importance is understanding the high-level tasks a Business Analyst performs.

Terms: Business Analyst

4
Real World Example of Tasks a Business Analyst Performs

Throughout the course, I will be providing you with real-world examples that will help you to solidify the knowledge you have learned.  With being in your shoes not that many years ago, I know how important it is to give practical application to the information being provided.  This lecture will walk you through a real project I was a Business Analyst for and how I performed each of these high-level tasks.

Terms: Business Analyst

5
Roles of a Business Analyst

Some organizations have Business Analysts play a very general role within their organization.  The Business Analysts may be involved in all aspects (or tasks) of a project and need to be versed to do so.  Other organizations are taking a more streamlined approach and breaking the Business Analyst position into various roles that perform different actions.  This lecture dives into some of the most common roles a Business Analyst can play and what duties they perform within such roles.

Terms: Business Process Analyst, Requirements Analyst, Systems Analyst, Data Analyst, User Experience Analyst

6
Validate Understanding of the Basics

This quiz is utilized to validate your understanding of the basics of Business Analysis.

7
Activity: Identify Your Top 2 Roles

Software Development Lifecycles (SDLC)

1
Business Analyst Glossary of Terms + Download

This is a brief introduction lecture to The BA Guide's Business Analyst Glossary of Terms. I walk you though the glossary and explain how to utilize it.

2
Software Development Lifecycle Overview

Every organization has different needs and speeds in which they expect change to happen. Traditional organizations may prefer a more rigid approach to software development that is slower moving but offers them greater control and approvals.  Other organizations, who are generally younger or want to by more flexible to their changing landscape, may opt for a different approach to meet their needs. This lecture will frame up the most common Software Development Life Cycles (SDLC).

Terms: Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

3
Waterfall

The original and arguably the most rigid SDLC out there. Let's take a ride down the waterfall, but I hope you don't forget anything on the way down because there is no way to get back up.

Terms: Waterfall

4
Incremental

The incremental model is all about building upon a starting point and continuing its evolution. This lecture will introduce you to the incremental model and explain how it works to achieve business needs.

Terms: Incremental, iterative

5
Spiral

Prone to motion sickness?  If so, this SDLC methodology may not be for you. This model is all about being risk-averse and spiraling toward your end project goals.

Terms: Spiral, risk, prototype

6
Scrum [Agile] PART 1

Agile methodologies have evolved over many years after companies utilized and struggled with more rigid processes, like Waterfall.  As of 2016, Agile is extremely popular among larger companies, including Google and Walmart.  This two-part lecture explains the concepts of the Scrum methodology, as well as many of the terms, artifacts, and meetings that are used within.

Terms: Scrum, sprint, sprint backlog, product backlog, product owner, scrum master

7
Scrum [Agile] PART 2

Part 2 of the Agile - Scrum methodology deep dive.

Terms: Scrum, sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, sprint retrospective, product backlog refinement

8
Rapid Application Development (RAD) [Agile]

Another, slightly less popular version of Agile, is the Rapid Application Development.  This utilizes pieces of the Agile base to allow products to get out the door extremely quickly.

Terms: RAD, prototype

9
Prototyping

While not a standalone methodology, prototyping is used in many methodologies, so it is important to have a clear understanding of what it is and how it is used.

Terms: Prototype

10
Software Development Life Cycles Knowledge Check

This quiz will validate your understanding of the common Software Development Life Cycles including their advantages and disadvantages.

11
Activity: Software Development Life Cycles Brainstorm

DO NOT SKIP!  Activities are extremely important to cement what you have learned.

Initiating a Project

1
Activity: Begin to think logically

This activity is a quick warm up to get you thinking logically.

2
Activity: Begin to think logically - Solution and Explanation

This lecture contains the answer and the explanation to the warm-up activity

3
Understanding the Business Objective

One of the most crucial steps in any project is understanding the business objective. Without knowing what success looks like, it is very hard to achieve.

Terms: Return on investment (ROI)

4
Creating a Business Case [PART 1]

In order to get a project idea approved and budgeting set aside, many Business Analysts have the responsibility to create a Business Case. This lecture will give you the basics of what a Business Case is and why it is important.  (Part 1 of 2)

Terms: Business case, return on investment (ROI)

5
Creating a Business Case [PART 2]

Part 2 of 2 on Business Cases

In order to get a project idea approved and budgeting set aside, many Business Analysts have the responsibility to create a Business Case. This lecture will give you the basics of what a Business Case is and why it is important.

Terms: Business case, return on investment (ROI), risk, cost-benefit

6
What is a Stakeholder and How to Identify Them

Identifying stakeholders is important to your project because it is not possible to elicit requirements from stakeholders that you don't know exist. When you miss stakeholders, you miss requirements. And missed requirements means failed projects. In this lecture, we will discuss what stakeholders are and how you can identify them.

Terms: Stakeholder

7
Assigning Responsibilities to Stakeholders using a RACI Matrix

Once stakeholders have been identified, it is a good idea to assign them responsibilities to help prevent confusion about their role throughout the project.

Terms: Stakeholder, RACI

8
Initiating a Project Quiz

This quiz will validate your understanding of the knowledge taught in this Initiating a Project section of the course.

9
Activity: Create a Business Case

DO NOT SKIP!  Activities are extremely important to cement what you have learned.

Requirement Basics

1
Overview of Requirements

For most Business Analyst roles, requirements are the key to their success. This lecture provides you an understanding of what requirements are, why they are important, and how they are categorized.

Terms: Functional requirements, non-functional requirements, constraints, assumptions, scope

2
SMART Requirements

Writing SMART requirements are crucial to every project. Come learn about what makes SMART requirements and how they make it easier for stakeholders in any role to understand them.

Terms: SMART, traceability, dependency

3
SMART Requirements Clarification

This is a short lecture to clarify some possible confusion or misconceptions that could come from the SMART Requirements lecture.

Terms: SMART

4
Tips for Producing Valid Requirements

In this lecture, I will share with you a long list of requirements best practices I have learned throughout my career as a Business Analyst.

Terms: Requirements

5
Phases of the Requirements Process

Within projects, requirements go through several phases. This lecture will help to explain those phases and how when put together they make the full Requirement Process.

Terms: Elicitation, analysis, specification

6
Business Rules

This lecture helps to explain what business rules are, how they compare to business requirements, and some best practices for identifying and using business rules.

Terms: Business rules, business requirements

7
Requirement Basics Quiz

Requirement Elicitation

1
Requirement Elicitation Basics

In this lecture, we breakdown the term elicitation and discuss what is and what it is not.

Terms: Elicitation

2
Elicitation Technique: Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a great technique to drive lots of high-level ideas on how you can solve a particular problem. This is crucial when you are hoping to generate ideas on how to proceed with a specific requirement or issue.

Terms: Brainstorm, timekeeper, scribe, facilitator

3
Elicitation Technique: Requirement Workshops

Requirement Workshops pull together individuals, even those from different departments and units, to define, discuss, and analyze project requirements. By getting everyone together, you are able to get feedback based on everyone's varying perspectives.

Terms: Requirement workshop, end-user, Subject Matter Expert

4
Elicitation Technique: Interviewing (PART 1 OF 3)

Interviewing is one of the most common requirement elicitation techniques utilized by Business Analysts. While it can take some time to set up and conduct, the value of getting immediate feedback to your questions and the ability to ask follow up questions often makes it well worth the effort.  (Part 1 of 3)

Terms: Interview, job shadow, task analysis

5
Elicitation Technique: Interviewing (PART 2 OF 3)

Interviewing is one of the most common requirement elicitation techniques utilized by Business Analysts. While it can take some time to set up and conduct, the value of getting immediate feedback to your questions and the ability to ask follow up questions often makes it well worth the effort.  (Part 2 of 3)

Terms: Interview

6
Elicitation Technique: Interviewing (PART 3 OF 3)

Interviewing is one of the most common requirement elicitation techniques utilized by Business Analysts. While it can take some time to set up and conduct, the value of getting immediate feedback to your questions and the ability to ask follow up questions often makes it well worth the effort.  (Part 3 of 3)

Terms: Interview, open-ended

7
Elicitation Technique: Surveys

The survey elicitation technique is great to gain quantifiable data that can be used to help identify pain points and create a baseline for your project.

Terms: Survey. open-ended, closed-ended

8
Elicitation Technique: Documentation Review

While not always defining requirements, documentation review is a great first step in requirement elicitation. Reviewing past documents and user guides can help you get your arms around the current landscape of the business and its processes.

Terms: Documentation review, scope

9
Elicitation Technique: Analyzing Interfaces

While not a stand-alone elicitation technique, it is important to cover analyzing interfaces because nearly every system has an expectation of information going in and information coming out. Analyzing interfaces ensures we define those needs because missing those requirements can prove to be critical to your project.

Terms: Interface, input, output

10
Activity: Utilize the elicitation skills you've learned

DO NOT SKIP!  Activities are extremely important to cement what you have learned.

Requirement Analysis

1
Introduction to Requirement Analysis

Once we've elicited the requirements, it is time to analyze them. In this lecture, introduce the concept of analyzing requirements and explain why it is so important.

Terms: Requirement analysis

2
Visual Modeling Concepts

Visual modeling is one of the best ways to help others understand requirements. This lecture will go over the foundational concepts and benefits of creating visual models.

Terms: Visual modeling, requirements, as-is, to-be

3
Business Models

I like to break up visual models into two categories; Business Models and Technical Models. This lecture introduces the most commonly used Business Models.

Terms: Organizational chart, scoring matrix, stakeholder map, use case, process flow, wireframe

4
Technical Models

Technical Models are not something most Business Analysts will create, but it is good to have an understanding of how to read the model. This lecture introduces the most commonly used technical models.

Terms: System context diagram, data flow diagram, CRUD matrix, state diagram, ERD

5
BPMN vs UML

There always seems to be much confusion between BPMN and UML. This lecture gives you an understanding of what BPMN and UML are, their similarities, their differences, and which one I would recommend learning over the other.

Terms: Process flowchart, UML, BPMN, swimlane

6
Engaging Your Technical Team

It is important to engage your technical team on projects. In this lecture, we discuss when, how, and why you should engage with your technical team in projects.

Requirement Specification

1
Introduction to Requirement Specification

In this lecture, we continue our teaching of the Requirements Process and turn our focus to the third step, Requirement Specification.

Terms: Specification

2
Categorizing Requirements

One part of the Requirement Specialization step is to categorize requirements. This lecture explains why it is important to categorize requirements, as well as it provides some example categories that could be used.

Terms: Categorize, prioritize, functional, non-functional, constraints

3
Deriving Requirements

Another aspect of Requirement Specialization is deriving requirements. This helps to add details, remove ambiguity, and increase clarity.

Terms: Derive, ambiguity, parse

4
Assigning Requirement Attributes

All requirements have certain attributes or properties that are important to capture. In this lecture, we will explore those elements and discuss some example attributes you can use with your requirements.

Terms: Requirement

5
Prioritizing Requirements

Not all requirements are created equal. Some are significantly more important than others in helping to achieve the goals defined by the project. In this part of Requirement Specialization, we learn about how prioritization can be used to help ensure the most important requirements are completed first.

Terms: Prioritize

6
Validating Requirements

It is crucial that your requirements are valid. In this lecture, we remind you about ensuring your requirements are clear, concise, and follow the SMART acronym.

Terms: SMART

7
Business Requirements Document (BRD)

Now that you understand how to elicit requirements, it is important to understand where you document them. One common place to document requirements in traditional projects is the Business Requirements Document (BRD). In this lecture, we will break down the BRD, how it is created, and discuss its most common sections.

Terms: BRD

Requirements Approval

1
Introduction to Requirements Approval

Once you have the requirements detailed and polished, you need to get them approved. This is your opportunity to validate with the business team, technical team, and Project Sponsor that the requirements you defined are accurate and provide a clear picture of the needs of the business and its stakeholders.

Terms: Requirements

2
Gaining the Business Approval

The first step in your approval process should almost always be to gain business approval. This is where you validate with the business team what you captured accurately represents their needs and wants.

Terms:  Requirements, SME

3
Gaining the Technical Approval

Now that you've gained the approval of the business, it is time to check with the technical team to highlight any technical concerns and to validate there are enough details to move forward with a design.

Terms: Requirements, SME, design

4
Gaining Sponsor or Committee Approval

And finally, we need to gain the Project Sponsor approval. Since the Project Sponsor is ultimately the one who is providing the budget for the project, it is important they are in agreement with the requirements and the plan for moving forward.

Terms: Project Sponsor, requirement

After the Project

1
Conducting a Project Review

Once projects are complete, it is important for the team to conduct a project review to elicit feedback from the project team. This feedback can then be used to both celebrate project wins and to highlight changes and enhancements that will positively affect future behaviors and projects.

Terms: Stakeholders, survey

2
Verifying the Completion of a Project

Once a project is thought to be complete, it is important to conduct one final check, the Project Completion Verification. This validates the project has adequately met the goals it set out to achieve.

Miscellaneous Other Topics

1
Application Environments

In the corporate world, most organizations will have various environments including dev, test, and production. This lecture will help to explain the use of each environment and how they work together to help create successful project outcomes.

2
Tip for Success: Own Your Conference Calls

Run your conference call. Don't let your conference call run you.

3
Tip for Success: Include a Meeting Agenda

Meeting agendas are great to both inform your meeting invitees the topics for the discussion and to help keep the meeting conversation on track to meet its goals. In this lecture, we will break down those concepts.

4
Tip for Success: Stop with Formal Meeting Agendas

Meeting agendas are great but don't get too rigid. Planning out every minute of your meeting makes it difficult to adjust to new learnings.

Bonus Section

1
Bonus Lecture...What's Next?
You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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