Business analysis is the discipline of discovering business needs and proposing solutions to business problems. These solutions may often include an ICT systems component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development. The person who carries out this task is called a business analyst or BA.
Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders and then tracking the development and delivery of these solutions throughout the project (and product) lifecycle to ensure that that value is indeed realized. Job titles for business analysis practitioners include not only business analyst, but also systems analyst, requirements engineer, process analyst, product manager, product owner, enterprise analyst, business architect, management consultant, business intelligence analyst, etc.
The Business Analyst is a change agent. Business Analysis is a disciplined approach for introducing and managing changes to organizations. Business analysis is used to identify and communicate the need for change in how organizations work, and to facilitate the delivery of that change.
Business analysts work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in an organization’s technology and processes.
BA’s have the specialized knowledge to act as a guide: to lead the business from its current state to its desired state. The value of business analysis is in realization of benefits, avoidance of risk and cost, identification of new opportunities, understanding of required capabilities and modeling the future state of the organization. It is the role of the BA to ensure an organization realizes these benefits, ultimately improving the way they do business.