Questions to Ask to Understand Your Industry

Getting started as a business analyst in a new industry requires knowing the ropes, which means seeking quality information. What are the right questions to ask to learn more about your industry?

Knowing the environment

The business analyst has to immerse himself in the environment and, by extension, in his client’s business processes if he wants to provide tailored solutions. Who is the client? What support does an analyst provide? What are the partners and stakeholders involved in the project? How do you approach and carry out these business relationships?

Knowing the product or service

Do not hesitate to ask for details about the product or service: is it sold, offered or distributed online, in person, over the phone? How is it produced or developed? How is it marketed and distributed? A good knowledge of what is central to an organization’s mission is essential in all spheres of analysis.

Establishing the financial structure

Knowing how costs are set and understanding the financial flow is also some of the information necessary for good understanding of the environment.

What is the cost structure associated with the product or service? Is it distributed or sold by the unit, by subscription, etc.? Where to the revenues from these sales of products and services go?

Understanding the information process

Information is central to the business analyst’s work, regardless of the nature.

What information is managed by the company or organization? Which or what sector is responsible for creating and updating it? What type of systems are used to manage this information and data?

The answers to these questions ensure a clear vision of the business process and sector of involvement. For more specific projects, a questionnaire dedicated to the specific needs and objectives can be prepared on the basis of these questions.

The business analyst will be able to complete this quest by making sure that he has the strategic tools inherent to his industry: a glossary that brings together the lexical field of a sector or even of a project, illustrations of business processes presenting the pathways to achievement of objectives, and models of functional requirements of the system (use cases) providing understanding of the sequence of events that make up the system and its usefulness.

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