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 Wikipedia as:
“the discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a systems development 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. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_analysis)
“A Business Analyst (BA) analyzes the organization and design of businesses, government departments, and non-profit organizations; BAs also assess business models and their integration with technology.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_analyst)
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 gathering and validation
- BRD (Business Requirements Document)
- Gap analysis
- Documentation such as mapping and training
- Use cases
- Development of functional testing, system integration testing (SIT) and user acceptance testing (UAT)
Development of new products will often include the business analyst due to the impact on the business stakeholders and the 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.
How would you answer this reader’s question?