Course Outline:   Analysing the Business

Duration:  5 days

Course Code:  PTYATB

Maximising Business Benefits from Information Systems

In the past, information systems were justified on the grounds of efficiency as they helped to save money. It is now recognised that effective information systems are critical to the overall success of the business and the way it operates. As a result, managers are increasingly demanding that information systems provide business benefits and assist them in achieving their strategic, tactical and operational objectives.

It is essential that analysts take a wider business perspective if they are to function effectively in this changing environment. They must be able to work with senior management to identify business issues and suggest how these can be tackled through the innovative use of information systems. This is becoming even more critical with the increasing use of the Internet. The analysts must provide real benefit to the organisation by adopting a business-led approach.

Who will the course benefit?

Experienced analysts who are closely involved with users in identifying how information systems can make the business more effective and provide competitive advantage.

Course Objectives

The course provides the analyst with a range of techniques for understanding the purpose of the business and the processes necessary to achieve that purpose, subsequently leading to the identification of information systems which will provide real business benefit. The analytical techniques covered within the course are aimed at identifying where information systems can provide real benefits to the business.

Skills Gained

This course will enable delegates to:

  • Work with senior management to identify their information needs based on the objectives and plans of the business area under study.
  • Define the business area in terms of the processes carried out and the data upon which those processes depend.
  • Identify the scope of potential information systems.
  • Estimate the risk factors associated with the proposed information systems.
  • Evaluate the contribution that information systems can make in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and competitive edge.

It is assumed that delegates have basic systems analysis skills and an understanding of how the business functions.

Course Content

Managing change

Business Analyst as a change agent.
Case study and exercises.


Benefits of the business led approach to system development.

Organisational analysis

Planning and control techniques, including SWOT, financial ratio analysis and competitive forces analysis.

Business planning

Hierarchies of objectives.
Strategy and plans.
Corporate strategy and information systems.

Information needs

Wants and needs.
Management decision making.
Objectives and information needs.

Defining processes

Top-down analysis.
Business events.
Reactive versus proactive processes.
Value chain analysis. RAEW matrix.

Defining data

Subject area diagrams.
Scoping data model.
Major entities.

Identifying systems

Characteristics of a system.
CRUD matrix.
Affinity analysis.

Investment appraisal

Cost benefit analysis.
Evaluating system effectiveness.
Evaluating the impact on competitive advantage.

Risk assessment

Types of risks.
Ranking risks.

Focus Project Management, 57a Church Street, Market Deeping, Peterborough, PE6 8AN

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