Top Business Analyst Tools For Improving Efficiency
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 7 November 2022
Published 25 October 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Business analyst tools help business professionals with brainstorming, documentation, data planning and project management. Business analysts require these tools to assess project requirements and deliver data-driven solutions aligning with business goals. Learning about the different types of tools available for business analysts can help you perform your role better. In this article, we list the top tools for every business analyst.
Why Do Professionals Require Business Analyst Tools?
The primary purpose of a business analysis exercise is to examine complex business data and information so that it becomes easier to find solutions and insights. Here are three business analysis stages and an overview of what kind of tools you may use during each of them:
Defining the scope
The scope includes identifying stakeholder expectations, setting objectives and performing shared understanding with multiple stakeholders. Following this, business analysts structure the problem statement and define the scope and limitations of the project.
The major tools they may need during this stage are requirement management and wireframing tools. You may also use collaboration tools, but the primary focus stays on documenting and diagramming the inputs. These tools capture all business requirements in a structured manner and improve the understanding of the project across the team.
Creating a delivery plan
This includes developing a delivery model for the project. Business analysis requires a robust implementation plan and several project management tools can help here. Presentation, visualisation, reporting and related tools are typically useful during this stage.
Supporting implementation and tracking post-delivery value
This step includes a significant amount of stakeholder involvement and management. This part of business analysis mostly requires collaboration and visualisation tools that focus on generating insights and tracking value. Furthermore, reporting, data collection and analysis tools may also be useful during these processes.
What Are The Top Business Analyst Tools?
Here are the top business analysis tools to simplify the role of business professionals and analysts:
MindMeister is a cloud-based application that allows team members to visualise and share their thoughts through mind maps. You can share updates in real-time across browsers and apps with team members and collaborators. The tool enables team members to work together and collaborate by sharing ideas and feedback and even voting on these details. You can even convert the maps you create into interactive presentations. Here are a few unique benefits that MindMeister offers:
Variety: There is a wide range of templates to choose from that fits different projects and industries.
Cloud access: Plan meetings, work on ideas and brainstorm with other members of your team remotely using the cloud.
Integrations: Connect with external cloud storage services to synchronise all map lists and share and export maps.
Pricing: The basic plan is free.
2. Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is a frontrunner among the top business analyst tools. It is Microsoft's productivity suite where you can choose from a diverse range of tools such as Excel, PowerPoint and Teams. These tools cover the full range of business needs like analysis, dashboarding, documentation and presentation.
Here is why you can add Microsoft Office 365 to your list of business analyst tools:
Smooth collaboration: Tools like Skype, Teams and Yammer ensure seamless communication among team members. The suite works like a social media tool for businesses and keeps employees updated about developments.
Shared access: The suite also offers centralised collaboration, enabling team members to share mailboxes, contacts and documents. This enables you to access shared mailboxes, see what documents others are editing and schedule meetings as per the team's convenience.
Remote access: Cloud technology ensures you can access the suite from any device, anywhere, as long as you can log in and access your account.
Data security and backup: Secure cloud storage keeps your data safe from malware and other cyber threats. This is no risk to business continuity in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Office 365 is a subscription-based service. It is available for home, business and education plans.
Pricing: ₹6,199 per year for two to six people
Trello is a web-based tool specialising in collaborative work management. The tool's appeal comes largely from its simplicity. While most project management and collaboration tools require professional project management skills, Trello is easy to use and people with limited digital skills can also learn to use it in a short time.
It can help stakeholder groups to collaborate dynamically across devices and other platforms, providing an omnichannel experience. It leverages a Kanban-style technique to prioritise and manage tasks, plan and monitor progress. Trello also includes some basic data analysis capabilities, plus the ability to track work history and view team activities. Here is why you can add Trello to your list of business analyst tools:
Manage large projects: Create unlimited boards and lists to organise and track project-related information. This is especially useful for large projects and workflows.
Automate tasks: There are built-in no-code automation capabilities that are especially useful for simplifying tedious, repetitive tasks.
Smart integrations: Access numerous enhancements and integrations with other cloud storage services and tools.
Trello is available as an app on different mobile devices, making it an effective on-the-go tool. You can get opt for the free version with limited features or get a paid subscription. The free version is useful for working on a limited scale, whereas the paid version supports enterprise requirements, especially around storage capabilities and data security.
Pricing: Trello has a free plan that is convenient for small teams. The standard pricing edition costs ₹4,507 per year.
Balsamiq is a cloud-based low-fidelity tool used for designing wireframes while conceptualising business requirements. The tool is perfect to put a structure to basic ideas and move visual elements around during brainstorming and reporting sessions. You can create as many digital sketches as you want before shortlisting specific design elements. You can also model the proposed specifications of a product or a system effectively here. Here are some other benefits:
Read-made templates: Balsamiq Cloud lets you use over 75 different design themes and templates.
Simpler collaboration: You are able to collaborate across multiple teams, which is particularly useful for stakeholder communication.
Cross-platform integrations: Balsamiq has integration capabilities with the likes of Google Drive, Jira and Confluence, which makes it flexible to use across these platforms.
Resources: It has comprehensive learning resources that can be helpful for new analysts.
Balsamiq is available both as a desktop app and a cloud version. You can purchase the desktop version on a per-user basis while the pricing of the cloud version or web app is done on a per-space basis, where you can fit a specific number of projects in each space.
Pricing: Starting ₹6,760 per year for two projects
Axure creates prototypes for websites through simple drag-and-drop features. You do not require to be a coder to create feature-rich UX prototypes with dynamic content animations and illustrations. With many designing features, it is an excellent business analysis tool for large- and small-scale projects, as you can build any number of UX prototypes for clients before designing the real product. Here is why Axure may benefit you:
Easy to use: Map desired interface behaviours in response to user actions.
Collaboration: Axure Cloud Discussions allow teams and stakeholders to discuss and share ideas. Whether you are working in an office or time zones apart, Cloud helps to collaborate remotely and easily get feedback on potential design changes.
Integrations: Connect with services such as MS Teams and Slack to have a great user experience.
Axure is available on a subscription model. There are three versions: Pro, Team and Enterprise, and they all have different pricing and feature layers.
Pricing: Starting ₹1,878 per month per user
6. Jira Software
Developed by Atlassian and known for agile project management, Jira has been a mainstay for business analysts and project managers around the world. Launched in 2002, the initial purpose of the software was to track bugs. Over the next decade, it developed into one of the most-used project management tools.
Jira comes in four packages, including Jira Align (strategic product management), Jira Service Management (IT operations and service desks), Jira Software (agile project management) and Jira Work Management (generic project management). Here are some benefits:
Streamlining and optimisation: Jira helps to streamline all of your business operations. Improved project visibility means everyone can browse their tasks, update their work status, and ultimately execute the project smoothly.
Useful integrations: There are over 3,000 integrations to support projects. From data analytics instruments to time and cost trackers, you would find everything at the Jira Marketplace.
Multi-purpose usage: Generate reports, flow diagrams and charts through Jira.
Jira is a commercial tool, and companies can purchase the license to use it. But, if you are an open-source project or an organisation meeting certain criteria, say an NGO, NPO or NCO, Atlassian provides Jira for free. For academia, Jira comes under a developer source license.
Pricing: Free for up to 10 users
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
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