A reader asks:
What is the difference between business analysis and business development?
Business development is just that; the growth of new or existing business. It is usually associated with the sales team within an organization. Sales and marketing are responsible for growing existing business – so finding areas of customers that have not purchased a product. They are also responsible for meeting their targets in growing new business by introducing new products or services. Wikipedia’s definition is:
“New business development concerns all the activities involved in realizing new business opportunities, including product or service design, business model design, and marketing.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_business_development)
Business analysis is defined by the International Institute of Business Analysis as:
“…the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions to enable the organization to achieve its goals.”
The business analyst works with the defined set of tasks in the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, IIBA) and utilizes tools such as:
- Stakeholder analysis
- Business requirement elicitation and validation
- Gap analysis
- Documentation such as mapping and training
- Use cases
Development of new products will often include the business analyst due to the impact on the business stakeholders and the business process. While Sales is looking after the external analysis for a new product, the BA is looking after the internal analysis of the impact of the new product on the business.
On a personal note, I have been involved in new product introductions as a BA and it is quite exciting. I wish they would involve us earlier in the process so I could do the business intelligence research.
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