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User Acceptance Testing (UAT) – Meaning, How-to guide, Process Template and Agile Quality

user acceptance testing - uat testing

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) stands as a pivotal phase in the realm of software development, ensuring that software solutions align perfectly with user needs and expectations. As organizations strive for seamless and reliable software, UAT emerges as an indispensable process that bridges the gap between development and user satisfaction. In this article, we delve into the significance of User Acceptance Testing, exploring its definition, role in software development, and a glimpse into the content that follows.

Table of Contents

Definition of User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

User Acceptance Testing, commonly referred to as UAT, is the final testing phase before software is released to its intended users. It involves evaluating the software’s functionality and performance to ensure that it meets predefined acceptance criteria. UAT is primarily executed by end-users, validating whether the software fulfills their requirements and expectations. This testing phase extends beyond technical validation, focusing on the software’s user-friendliness, usability, and alignment with real-world scenarios.

Importance of UAT in Software Development

UAT holds immense importance in the software development lifecycle for several reasons. It serves as the ultimate litmus test, determining if the software is ready for its intended users. While previous testing phases uncover technical glitches, UAT ensures that the software makes sense from an end-user perspective. It safeguards against releasing software that might be functionally accurate but lacks practical usability. UAT serves as a direct feedback loop from users to developers, highlighting any deviations from the intended user experience.

Brief overview of the article content

In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the facets of User Acceptance Testing. We delve into a comprehensive guide on the UAT process, providing insights into each step from planning to execution. Discover how meticulous planning and thorough execution of UAT scenarios contribute to the overall software quality.

Unveil the numerous benefits UAT brings to the table – from ensuring software meets user requirements to enhancing user satisfaction and minimizing post-release surprises. Understand the key considerations that lead to effective UAT implementation, from defining clear acceptance criteria to addressing potential security concerns.

Explore real-world challenges that UAT endeavors to overcome, and the strategies employed to conquer them. Additionally, learn about the automation tools that amplify UAT efficiency and delve into a compelling UAT success story that underscores the impact of a meticulous testing approach.

As we journey through the various dimensions of User Acceptance Testing, one thing becomes clear: UAT is not just a phase; it’s a commitment to delivering software that aligns with user needs, enriching both the software experience and user satisfaction.

Business Analysts (BA) are expected to perform UAT testing. Become a great BA with the Business Analyst Work Experience Program

UAT Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) stands as the ultimate checkpoint in software development, where the rubber meets the road for end-user satisfaction. This comprehensive guide sheds light on the intricate process of UAT, unveiling its stages and essential steps that pave the way for flawless software delivery.

Explanation of the UAT process stages

The UAT process comprises distinct stages that collectively contribute to delivering software excellence.

User acceptance testing (UAT) process
User acceptance testing (UAT) process

Steps involved in planning UAT

User acceptance testing begins with understanding the software's objectives and scope, followed by devising test cases that mirror real-world user scenarios. Subsequently, executing these scenarios illuminates potential discrepancies between user expectations and the software's performance. Capturing and addressing defects that emerge during testing lead us to the final stages: reviewing and approving UAT results.

  1. Planning UAT: Laying the Foundation

    Effective UAT begins with meticulous planning. It involves collaborating with stakeholders to define clear acceptance criteria that the software must meet. This phase also necessitates identifying and involving the right participants – the end-users whose feedback will determine the software's readiness. The planning stage sets the tone for a structured UAT execution, ensuring every critical aspect is addressed.

  2. Executing UAT Scenarios and Test Cases

    With the groundwork laid, the execution phase commences. End-users embark on a journey to simulate real-life scenarios, testing the software's functionalities in various contexts. This stage is marked by the deliberate exploration of the software, evaluating its performance, ease of use, and alignment with user expectations. Each scenario and test case scrutinizes different aspects of the software, contributing to a holistic understanding of its capabilities.

  3. Capturing and Reporting UAT Defects

    UAT thrives on transparency, and defects are part of that reality. As end-users traverse the software landscape, any deviations from the expected user experience are noted and documented. This phase isn't about blame but improvement. It's an opportunity to refine the software based on real user interactions, fostering a user-centric approach to development.

  4. Review and Approval of UAT Results

    The journey concludes with a meticulous review of UAT results. Stakeholders and end-users collaboratively assess the software's performance against acceptance criteria. The insights garnered during testing guide the decision-making process. Upon approval, the software is deemed ready for release, backed by the confidence that it meets user needs and expectations.


Business Analysts (BA) are expected to perform UAT testing. Become a great BA with the Business Analyst Work Experience Program

Benefits of User Acceptance Testing

In the intricate realm of software development, one pivotal phase emerges as the lighthouse of assurance – User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This process not only bridges the gap between developer intentions and user expectations but also showers a multitude of benefits that elevate the entire software experience.

Ensuring software meets user requirements

The heart of UAT beats to the rhythm of user needs. It serves as the ultimate validation that software aligns with the intricate requirements of its intended users. As end-users meticulously navigate through the software, their interactions unveil the extent to which the software caters to their needs and aspirations. This process instills a profound sense of alignment, where every code and feature resonates with the essence of user expectations.

Minimizing post-release issues and user dissatisfaction

Imagine a scenario where a software release triggers an array of user grievances. User Acceptance Testing is the sentinel against such possibilities. By simulating real-world scenarios, UAT uncovers issues that might have remained dormant in the developmental shadows. By addressing these concerns pre-release, it becomes a guardian against the ripple effect of post-release dissatisfaction.

Increasing confidence in the software’s reliability

Software users seek reliability, an unwavering trust that the solution will deliver as promised. UAT emerges as a catalyst in cultivating this trust. As end-users meticulously validate the software’s functionalities, their experiences shape a robust belief in the software’s reliability. This phase doesn’t merely test; it builds an unshakable bridge of faith between the software and its users.

Enhancing user experience and satisfaction

User experience reigns supreme, and UAT serves as its advocate. Every test, scenario, and interaction contributes to refining the user journey. Flaws are ironed out, processes streamlined, and user-friendliness optimized. As end-users traverse the software landscape seamlessly, they’re greeted with an experience that mirrors their desires and aspirations. This harmonious user experience becomes the cornerstone of ultimate satisfaction.

Key Considerations for Effective UAT

Imagine a world where software meets not only functional standards but user aspirations. This world is within reach through User Acceptance Testing (UAT), a crucial phase that transforms software dreams into user realities. To harness the power of UAT, several key considerations come into play, ensuring the perfect blend of user satisfaction and software excellence.

Defining clear acceptance criteria for UAT

UAT doesn’t thrive in ambiguity; it flourishes with clarity. Defining crystal-clear acceptance criteria is akin to setting the compass for a successful UAT journey. These criteria outline the boundaries of excellence that the software must meet. With these boundaries set, UAT becomes a guided exploration, ensuring that every step aligns with user needs and expectations.

Involving end-users and stakeholders

End-users aren’t just passengers on this UAT journey; they are its navigators. Involving end-users and stakeholders isn’t a mere formality; it’s the essence of UAT’s success. Their insights, feedback, and experiences paint a vivid picture of what the software needs to be. With their fingerprints on the process, UAT evolves from a technical test to a user-centric voyage.

Realistic scenario creation for testing

UAT isn’t a robotic repetition of steps; it’s an intricate dance of real-life scenarios. Creating scenarios that mimic actual user interactions is the heartbeat of UAT’s effectiveness. This process delves into the essence of user journeys, simulating the highs and lows they encounter. These scenarios become the canvas on which UAT paints a masterpiece of user-friendliness and functionality.

Addressing security and data privacy concerns

In a digitized world, security and data privacy are non-negotiable. UAT doesn’t merely ensure software functionality; it safeguards user trust. Addressing security concerns means fortifying the software against vulnerabilities. It’s a commitment to building a fortress of reliability where user data is protected and user confidence is upheld.

Business Analysts (BA) are expected to perform UAT testing. Become a great BA with the Business Analyst Work Experience Program

UAT Best Practices

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) isn’t just a phase; it’s a gateway to software excellence that resonates with end-users. To harness the full potential of UAT, a set of best practices emerge as guiding lights, ensuring a user-centric and flawless software journey.

Collaborative approach between development and testing teams

The synergy between development and testing teams isn’t just essential; it’s the backbone of UAT success. A collaborative approach fosters a shared understanding of objectives, challenges, and solutions. Development teams provide insight into technical intricacies, while testing teams offer user perspective. This alliance ensures that UAT isn’t a standalone event but a harmonious symphony of expertise.

Examples of creating comprehensive UAT test cases

UAT isn’t guesswork; it’s a systematic exploration. Crafting comprehensive test cases paves the way for this exploration. These test cases are more than mere steps; they’re roadmaps that guide end-users through the software landscape. Each test case reflects a user scenario, ensuring that no corner of the software remains untested. This comprehensive approach eradicates guesswork and ensures that user experiences mirror the intended outcomes.

Test Case IDTest ScenarioTest StepsExpected OutcomePass/Fail
UAT_TC01User Registration1. Navigate to the registration page.Successful registration with a unique username and password.
2. Fill in valid user information.A confirmation message and email are received.
3. Submit the registration form.User is registered and can log in.
UAT_TC02Product Purchase1. Log in using valid credentials.Successful login.
2. Browse the product catalog.Products are displayed accurately.
3. Add a product to the cart.Product is added to the cart.
4. Proceed to checkout.Checkout process is smooth and error-free.
5. Complete the payment process.Payment is successful, and a confirmation is received.
UAT_TC03Account Settings Update1. Log in using valid credentials.Successful login.
2. Navigate to account settings.Account settings page is accessible.
3. Update email address or password.Changes are saved and confirmed.
4. Save the changes.User receives a notification of successful update.
UAT_TC04Content Publishing1. Log in with appropriate credentials.Successful login.
2. Navigate to content creation section.Content creation interface is accessible.
3. Create a new article or post.Content is created and saved without errors.
4. Add relevant media (images or videos).Media is added and displayed correctly within the content.
5. Publish the content.Content is published and visible to users.
UAT_TC05Search Functionality1. Access the search feature on the website.Search bar is present and functional.
2. Enter relevant keywords.Search results match the entered keywords.
3. Review displayed search results.Results include relevant content and are organized logically.
4. Click on a search result.User is directed to the selected content.

Real-world scenario simulation

UAT isn’t confined to sterile labs; it thrives in the real world. Simulating real-world scenarios elevates UAT from a technical process to a user-centric adventure. The software isn’t tested in isolation; it’s evaluated as users would engage with it. This simulation injects authenticity into the UAT process, addressing potential hiccups and ensuring a seamless user journey.

Incorporating end-user feedback

End-users aren’t passive recipients; they’re active participants in UAT’s success. Their feedback isn’t a footnote; it’s a cornerstone. Incorporating end-user feedback polishes the software, ironing out wrinkles that only users can uncover. This practice transforms UAT from a one-time event to an iterative process, driving continuous improvement and fine-tuning user experiences.

Business Analysts (BA) are expected to perform UAT testing. Become a great BA with the Business Analyst Work Experience Program

Real-Life UAT Success Story

Many companies across various industries have successfully implemented User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as a crucial step in their software development process. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Apple: Apple extensively uses UAT for testing new software releases, ensuring that their products meet the high standards expected by their users. This includes both macOS and iOS updates.
  2. Facebook: Social media giant Facebook employs UAT to validate new features and changes to their platform before they are rolled out to millions of users, ensuring a smooth user experience.
  3. Microsoft: Microsoft incorporates UAT in the development of its software products, such as the Windows operating system and Office suite. This helps them identify and address issues before widespread release.
  4. Amazon: E-commerce giant Amazon utilizes UAT to test new features and enhancements on their website and mobile apps. This helps them maintain a seamless shopping experience for their customers.
  5. Google: Google employs UAT to test updates and new features for their suite of products, including Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Android operating system.
  6. Salesforce: As a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Salesforce implements UAT to validate new features and customizations before they are available to their users.
  7. Netflix: Streaming giant Netflix uses UAT to ensure a glitch-free experience for their subscribers when rolling out new app versions and features.
  8. Uber: Ride-sharing company Uber employs UAT to thoroughly test updates and new features in their app to provide a reliable and user-friendly service.
  9. Airbnb: Airbnb utilizes UAT to validate changes to their platform, ensuring that hosts and guests have a smooth experience when using the website and app.
  10. Adobe: Adobe employs UAT to test updates and enhancements to their creative software products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro.

These companies, among many others, recognize the importance of UAT in delivering software and services that meet user expectations, enhance user satisfaction, and maintain their reputation for quality and reliability.

UAT and Agile Development

In the dynamic landscape of software development, agility has emerged as the guiding principle for innovation. The integration of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) within Agile methodologies has given rise to a symbiotic relationship that propels the development process towards excellence. This fusion not only accelerates software delivery but also enhances user satisfaction through a continuous cycle of testing and refinement.

Integrating UAT within Agile methodologies

Agile methodologies, characterized by their iterative and incremental approach, emphasize adaptability and collaboration. Integrating UAT seamlessly aligns with these principles, infusing the development cycle with user-centricity. In Agile, UAT is not an isolated event at the end of development but an ongoing process. As each iteration progresses, UAT becomes a checkpoint where user feedback is sought and incorporated, steering the software towards alignment with user needs. The use of acceptance criteria in the agile software development process makes for the inclusion of UAT like verifications.

There are two choices to integrate UAT as part of Agile:

  1. You treat it as “release to production” and the Product Owner contacts the users or Business Analyst to test the functionality in UAT.
  2. You treat it as part of the development. Then it should be in Definition of Done, and it should be part of the Product Backlog Item’s flow to “Done” i.e. To Do -> In Progress -> UAT -> Done.

UAT’s role in continuous delivery and frequent releases

Agile’s hallmark is continuous delivery and frequent releases. UAT plays a pivotal role in ensuring that these releases are not just swift but also polished. With UAT as a recurring step, each release undergoes meticulous user scrutiny. This process is a buffer against the introduction of defects and glitches, safeguarding the user experience. As Agile embraces change, UAT steps in to validate changes, making certain that they resonate positively with users.

The team’s Definition of Done should be such that downstream activities, such as integration or user acceptance testing, complete successfully. If the result of user acceptance testing is that the product is not acceptable, the team should understand why and make changes to their way of working to regularly create Increments that are likely to be acceptable. Any other feedback from UAT can be treated like customer or user feedback and ordered with the rest of the Product Backlog.

By removing external dependencies, you no longer need to worry about how to estimate or plan for these external dependencies during refinement or Sprint Planning events.

Moreover, UAT’s involvement in the Agile cycle nurtures a culture of collaboration. Developers, testers, and end-users converge, where user feedback shapes the software’s evolution. This real-time engagement refines the software, nurturing a product that evolves organically with user needs.

Business Analysts (BA) are expected to perform UAT testing. Become a great BA with the Business Analyst Work Experience Program

Frequently asked questions about User Acceptance Testing UAT

  1. What is user acceptance testing UAT and how it works?

    User Acceptance Testing (UAT), or software testing from the point of view of the users, is usually the final stage of any software development lifecycle (SDLC) before going live. UAT is the final stage of the development process to determine that the software does what it was designed to do according to the requirements originally stated.

  2. What is UAT vs QA testing?

    UAT and QA both involve testing. However, they have different objectives. The difference is that the QA teams work to ensure error-free software whereas UAT ensures that end users get the product they want. QA teams generally perform system integration testing while business analysts perform UAT.

  3. What is UAT in agile?

    UAT, or user acceptance testing, is the final stage in the software testing process. In Agile as well as waterfall projects, it is typically performed by the end-users, clients or business analysts to determine whether an application or feature fulfills its purpose. UAT must be completed before the software can be released to the market. UAT can be performed within a sprint or before a production release.

  4. What tool is used for UAT?

    With the help of Selenium, testers can automate the acceptance tests, ensuring that the application meets the requirements of the end users. However, it's important to note that Selenium alone may not be sufficient for all aspects of UAT and may need to be combined with other tools for a complete UAT solution. JIRA is also typically used to manage and maintain test cases.

  5. What is UAT in DevOps?

    User acceptance testing (UAT) is the last phase of the software testing process. During UAT, actual software users test the software to make sure it works as per real-world scenarios, and according to the requirements. DevOps incorporates the practice of UAT to allow for seamless delivery of high quality software products.

  6. Who prepares UAT?

    User acceptance testing is performed by business analysts, clients or the end-users. They will write a complete UAT test plan, prepare a UAT environment that mirrors production, write corresponding UAT test cases, execute these test cases, report defects if any, verify the fixes to the defects raised and finally confirm that the software is fit for use.

  7. Is UAT part of Agile?

    UAT is included in the agile framework, and should be part of the sub tasks for each use story in the product backlog. A user story describes a user, the feature they want to use, and how it helps them achieve their goal, and the UAT tests should describe an explain the acceptance criteria.

  8. Who manages UAT in Agile?

    This could be the Business Analyst or Product Owner. But because the ability to produce a “Done” increment would be so tightly coupled to this process, a Development Team should certainly take an interest in making sure UAT takes place at the right time and in the right way to maximize what they are able to achieve.

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Gap Analysis for Business Analysts – How to perform a gap analysis – format, template and techniques

gap analysis performed by business analysts - templates, format and guidelines

A gap analysis is a strategic planning tool used to identify the difference (“gap”) between the current state and the desired future state of a business or project. It helps organizations understand where they are currently, where they want to be, and what steps are needed to bridge the gap between the two.

Overview of the Gap Analysis

Gap analysis - Look for gaps in processes and technologies
Gap analysis – Look for gaps in processes and technologies

Gap analysis is a systematic approach to assess the current state of the organization or project and compare it to the desired future state. The analysis helps identify discrepancies or “gaps” between the two states, enabling the organization to plan and strategize for improvement.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Purpose of the gap analysis

The purpose is to understand the current performance, capabilities, or status of the organization or project in relation to its desired goals. The main objectives of the gap analysis may include:

  1. Identifying areas of improvement: Determine which aspects of the organization or project require enhancement to meet the desired objectives and performance levels.
  2. Setting realistic targets: Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets to bridge the identified gaps.
  3. Formulating actionable strategies: Develop strategies and action plans to address the identified gaps and improve the overall performance.
  4. Aligning with strategic goals: Ensure that the organization or project is aligned with its strategic objectives and long-term vision.

The gap analysis is usually performed by the business analyst or product manager. Learn more about the role of the business analyst here.

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Gap Analysis in 5 steps

  1. Identify Goals and Criteria: Clearly define the organization’s goals and objectives. Establish measurable criteria or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to assess the current state and measure progress towards the desired future state.
  2. Assess Current State: Gather data and information about the organization’s current performance and capabilities. Compare the current state against the predefined criteria to identify gaps and areas where the organization falls short of its goals.
  3. Define Future State: Envision the desired future state of the organization. Set specific, achievable, and time-bound targets aligned with the organization’s strategic vision. This step serves as the benchmark for assessing progress during the analysis.
  4. Analyze and Interpret Gaps: Analyze the gaps between the current state and the future state. Identify the root causes and contributing factors to the gaps, considering both internal and external factors that influence performance.
  5. Develop Action Plan: Create an action plan to bridge the identified gaps. Propose strategies, initiatives, and solutions to address weaknesses and capitalize on opportunities. Establish a timeline, allocate resources, and assign responsibilities for implementing the action plan. Regularly monitor progress and adjust strategies as needed to achieve the desired future state.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

The need to perform gap analysis / application of gap analysis / types of gap analysis

  1. Goal Alignment: Gap analysis helps align an organization’s objectives with its actual performance. It ensures that the organization’s goals are realistic, achievable, and grounded in the current capabilities and resources.
  2. Performance Evaluation: It provides an objective evaluation of an organization’s current state, including strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This evaluation is crucial for understanding where the organization stands in comparison to its desired future state.
  3. Strategic Planning: Gap analysis is an essential component of strategic planning. It helps organizations identify the gaps between their current position and their strategic vision. This information is critical for formulating effective strategies to bridge those gaps and achieve long-term success.
  4. Resource Optimization: By identifying gaps, organizations can optimize the allocation of resources. It allows them to prioritize areas that require immediate attention and allocate resources efficiently for the most impactful outcomes.
  5. Decision-Making: Gap analysis provides a data-driven basis for decision-making. It helps leaders and stakeholders make informed choices about resource allocation, investments, and strategic initiatives.
  6. Risk Management: Understanding gaps and weaknesses helps organizations identify potential risks and vulnerabilities. Addressing these gaps proactively can minimize risks and prevent potential issues from escalating.
  7. Continuous Improvement: Gap analysis fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the organization. It encourages regular assessment and adjustment of strategies to adapt to changing circumstances and remain competitive.
  8. Customer-Centric Approach: For businesses, gap analysis helps in understanding customer needs and expectations. By identifying gaps in customer satisfaction and experience, organizations can tailor their products and services to meet customer demands effectively.
  9. Performance Measurement: Gap analysis provides a benchmark for measuring progress and success. Organizations can track their improvements over time and evaluate the effectiveness of their initiatives.
  10. Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: In regulated industries, gap analysis helps organizations ensure compliance with industry standards, laws, and regulations. It allows them to identify and address gaps in meeting these requirements.

Scope of the gap analysis

The gap analysis will have its scope defined, including what aspects of the organization or project will be covered and what will be excluded. The scope may include specific departments, processes, systems, or functions. Be sure to clarify the boundaries and limitations of the analysis to manage expectations.

  1. Inclusions: Clearly state what will be covered in the gap analysis, such as financial performance, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, or specific project deliverables.
  2. Exclusions: Specify what will not be part of the analysis to avoid any misunderstandings. For instance, it might be necessary to exclude certain factors that are not within the scope of the current project.
  3. Timeframe: Mention the time period for which the analysis will be conducted. It could be the current fiscal year, a specific quarter, or a certain phase of the project.
  4. Data Sources: Describe the data sources that will be used to gather information for the analysis. These may include internal reports, interviews, surveys, or external benchmarks.
  5. Constraints: Highlight any constraints or limitations that may affect the analysis, such as resource availability, time constraints, or data accessibility.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Benefits of performing a gap analysis

Gap analysis offers several benefits to organizations and projects:

  1. Identifies Opportunities for Improvement: Gap analysis helps organizations identify areas where they are falling short of their goals or desired outcomes. By understanding the gaps between the current state and the future state, organizations can identify specific areas for improvement and growth.
  2. Sets Clear Objectives: Gap analysis sets clear and measurable objectives for the organization or project. It defines the target outcomes and provides a roadmap for achieving them, enabling better focus and direction for the team.
  3. Optimizes Resource Allocation: By identifying areas with significant gaps, gap analysis allows organizations to prioritize resource allocation. It ensures that resources such as time, budget, and manpower are allocated to the most critical areas for improvement.
  4. Enhances Decision-Making: Gap analysis provides a data-driven basis for decision-making. It helps leaders and stakeholders understand the potential risks, benefits, and impacts of various choices and strategies.
  5. Encourages Continuous Improvement: Gap analysis is a continuous process, and organizations can regularly assess their progress and adjust strategies accordingly. It fosters a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation to changing circumstances.
  6. Aligns Objectives with Strategy: By defining the future state and comparing it with the current state, gap analysis ensures that objectives are closely aligned with the organization’s strategic vision. It helps ensure that efforts are directed towards achieving the organization’s long-term goals.
  7. Promotes Accountability: Gap analysis assigns responsibilities and accountabilities for bridging the identified gaps. It clarifies who is responsible for what tasks, improving accountability and ownership among team members.
  8. Increases Efficiency and Productivity: Addressing identified gaps often involves streamlining processes and eliminating inefficiencies. This leads to increased overall efficiency and productivity in the organization.
  9. Mitigates Risks: Gap analysis helps identify potential risks and challenges that may hinder progress. By addressing these risks proactively, organizations can reduce the likelihood of negative outcomes.
  10. Boosts Competitive Advantage: By identifying and addressing gaps, organizations can gain a competitive advantage in the market. They can differentiate themselves by offering superior products, services, or processes compared to their competitors.

Techniques used to perform gap analysis

Several techniques are used to perform gap analysis, depending on the context and the specific requirements of the analysis. Some commonly used techniques include:

  • SWOT Analysis: SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a widely used technique to assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of an organization and external opportunities and threats it faces. By comparing strengths and weaknesses to opportunities and threats, gaps can be identified, and strategies can be developed to address them.
SWOT Analysis template for use during gap analysis
SWOT Analysis template
  • Benchmarking: Benchmarking involves comparing an organization’s performance metrics with those of industry peers or best-in-class companies. It helps identify performance gaps and highlights areas where the organization lags behind or excels, providing insights for improvement.
  • Performance Metrics Analysis: This technique involves analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) and other relevant metrics to assess an organization’s current performance against predefined targets or industry benchmarks. Any gaps between the current and desired performance levels can be identified and addressed.
  • Customer Feedback and Surveys: Collecting feedback from customers through surveys, interviews, or focus groups can help identify gaps in customer expectations and experiences. Customer feedback is crucial for understanding areas where the organization needs to improve to better meet customer needs.
  • Process Mapping: Process mapping visually represents the current processes within an organization, helping to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas of improvement. Comparing the current process with the desired future state can reveal gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Capability Maturity Model (CMM): CMM is a framework used to assess and improve the maturity level of an organization’s processes. By comparing the organization’s current maturity level to the desired level, gaps in process maturity can be identified.
  • Gap Analysis Surveys and Questionnaires: Specific surveys and questionnaires can be designed to gather targeted information about various aspects of the organization’s operations. The results can then be compared to ideal or desired conditions to uncover gaps.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Cost-benefit analysis helps evaluate the financial impact of different strategies and initiatives. It can be used to compare the cost of implementing improvements against the potential benefits to identify the most cost-effective solutions.
  • Risk Analysis: Analyzing potential risks and vulnerabilities can help identify gaps in risk management practices. This analysis enables organizations to develop risk mitigation strategies and improve their resilience.
  • Employee Feedback and Stakeholder Interviews: Gathering feedback from employees and stakeholders within the organization can provide valuable insights into operational challenges and potential gaps that need to be addressed.

The choice of technique(s) for gap analysis depends on the organization’s goals, available data, and the complexity of the analysis. Often, a combination of these techniques is used to gain a comprehensive understanding of the gaps and develop effective strategies for improvement.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Current State Assessment

Be sure to provide a comprehensive description of the current state of the organization or project. Include details about its current structure, processes, systems, and overall performance. Describe the organization’s current position in the market, its products or services, and any recent developments or changes that have taken place.

Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Metrics, Current State and Issues

Identify and present the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that are used to measure the current state. KPIs may vary based on the organization’s goals and objectives, but they should be relevant to the specific scope of the gap analysis. Common KPIs may include financial metrics (e.g., revenue, profitability), operational metrics (e.g., efficiency, productivity), customer metrics (e.g., satisfaction, retention), and quality metrics (e.g., defects, errors).

Assess and outline the strengths and weaknesses of the organization or project’s current state. Consider both internal and external factors that influence its performance. Strengths may include areas where the organization excels, such as strong brand reputation, efficient processes, or a talented workforce. Weaknesses may include areas of concern, such as outdated technology, inefficient workflows, or limited market share.

Identify and highlight any significant issues or challenges that are affecting the current state. These may include obstacles that hinder progress, obstacles that prevent the organization from reaching its goals, or issues that have the potential to cause significant impact. It’s essential to be specific and provide evidence or data to support the identified issues and challenges.

Future State Definition

Ensure that describe the desired future state of the organization or project. Paint a detailed picture of what the organization aims to achieve in terms of its structure, processes, capabilities, and overall performance. Explain how the future state aligns with the organization’s long-term vision and strategic objectives.

Outline the specific goals, objectives, and targets that the organization aims to accomplish in the future state. Goals are broad, high-level statements of what the organization wants to achieve. Objectives are more specific and measurable outcomes that contribute to the achievement of the goals. Targets are quantifiable metrics or milestones used to track progress toward the objectives.

For example:

  • Goal: Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Objective: Improve customer service response time by 30%.
  • Target: Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 90% by the end of the next quarter.

Explain the organization’s vision for the future state and how it fits into the broader strategic direction. The vision should be a clear and inspiring statement of the organization’s long-term aspirations and what it aims to become. Describe how the future state aligns with the organization’s overall strategy and how it supports growth, innovation, or market expansion.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Gap Identification

With the above done, you will not be able to conduct a detailed comparison between the current state (as described in Section II) and the desired future state (as outlined in Section III). Identify the gaps or differences between the two states in terms of processes, capabilities, performance, and any other relevant aspects. Use visual aids such as tables or diagrams to present the comparison clearly.

If feasible, quantify the gaps between the current and future states using the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics identified in Section II. Provide numerical values to represent the differences and demonstrate the extent of improvement required to reach the future state targets. Quantifying the gap helps in prioritizing areas for improvement and sets a clear target for each identified gap.

For example:

  • Current State: Customer satisfaction rating of 75%.
  • Future State Target: Customer satisfaction rating of 90%.
  • Gap: 15 percentage points.

Subsequently, delve into the root causes behind each identified gap between the current and future states. Use various analytical techniques, such as brainstorming, cause-and-effect diagrams (Ishikawa or Fishbone diagrams), or 5 Whys analysis, to identify the underlying reasons for the gaps. Understanding the root causes is critical for devising effective solutions and action plans.

Gap analysis - Fishbone diagram for root cause analysis
Fishbone diagram for root cause analysis

For example:

  • Gap: Customer service response time not meeting the future state target.
  • Root Causes: Insufficient staff training, outdated technology, and lack of automated response systems.

Factors Contributing to the Gap

Internal Factors (e.g., Processes, Systems, Resources, Skills):

Identify and analyze the internal factors within the organization that contribute to the gaps between the current and future states. These factors are within the organization’s control and can be influenced through strategic decisions and actions. Some examples of internal factors include:

  1. Processes: Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes. Identify any bottlenecks, redundancies, or gaps in the workflows that hinder progress towards the future state.
  2. Systems and Technology: Evaluate the organization’s current technological infrastructure and tools. Determine whether the existing systems support the desired future state requirements or if upgrades are necessary.
  3. Resources: Examine the availability and allocation of resources, including human resources, financial capital, and equipment. Determine whether the organization has the necessary resources to achieve the future state objectives.
  4. Skills and Training: Assess the skill sets and capabilities of the workforce. Identify any gaps in skills and knowledge that may hinder the organization from reaching the future state targets.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

External Factors (e.g., Market Trends, Competitors, Regulatory Changes):

Identify and analyze the external factors that contribute to the gaps between the current and future states. These factors are outside the direct control of the organization but can significantly influence its performance and success. Some examples of external factors include:

  1. Market Trends: Analyze current and emerging market trends, consumer preferences, and industry developments. Identify how these trends impact the organization’s ability to achieve its future state objectives.
  2. Competitor Analysis: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competitors and how they compare to the organization’s capabilities. Identify areas where the organization lags behind or can gain a competitive advantage.
  3. Regulatory Changes: Assess how changes in laws, regulations, or industry standards may impact the organization’s operations and ability to meet the future state requirements.
  4. Economic Factors: Consider economic conditions, such as inflation, interest rates, and market stability, that can influence the organization’s financial performance and ability to invest in future state initiatives.

Risks of not addressing the gap and Opportunities of having addressed the gap

Risks of not addressing the gap

Identify and assess the potential risks and negative consequences that the organization may face if the gaps between the current and future states are not addressed. Failure to bridge the gaps could lead to various challenges, setbacks, and missed opportunities.

Some common risks associated with not addressing the gap include:

  1. Loss of Competitive Advantage: Not achieving the desired future state may result in the organization losing its competitive edge and market position.
  2. Customer Dissatisfaction: Failure to meet customer expectations and demands may lead to decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Inefficient Processes: Unaddressed gaps in processes may lead to inefficiencies, increased costs, and operational inefficiencies.
  4. Financial Losses: Failure to achieve the future state objectives may lead to financial losses, missed revenue opportunities, and increased costs.
  5. Employee Disengagement: Lack of progress towards the desired future state may impact employee morale and engagement.
  6. Compliance and Legal Issues: Failure to meet regulatory requirements or address changes in compliance standards could lead to legal or reputational risks.

Opportunities Gained from Addressing the Gap

Highlight the potential opportunities and positive outcomes that the organization can gain by addressing the identified gaps. Successfully bridging the gaps can lead to several advantages and benefits. Some opportunities gained from addressing the gap include:

  1. Increased Market Share: Achieving the desired future state may lead to increased market share and a larger customer base.
  2. Enhanced Customer Experience: Meeting customer expectations and delivering on the desired future state can lead to improved customer experience and loyalty.
  3. Improved Efficiency and Productivity: Addressing process gaps can lead to streamlined workflows and increased efficiency.
  4. Cost Savings: Closing gaps in operations can lead to cost savings and better resource allocation.
  5. Innovation and Differentiation: Successfully implementing future state initiatives can lead to innovation and differentiation from competitors.
  6. Attracting Talent: Progressing towards the desired future state can enhance the organization’s reputation and attractiveness to potential employees.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Recommendations and Solutions for Gap Analysis

Proposed Strategies to Bridge the Gap

In this section, present the recommended strategies and approaches to bridge the gaps between the current state and the desired future state. Each strategy should directly address the identified gaps and align with the organization’s goals and objectives. Consider both short-term and long-term strategies that will lead to sustainable improvements. Clearly explain the rationale behind each proposed strategy and how it contributes to achieving the future state.

Action Plan with Specific Steps and Milestones

Outline a detailed action plan that lays out the specific steps and milestones required to implement the recommended strategies. The action plan should be well-structured, sequential, and time-bound. Include responsible parties or teams for each action, along with expected completion dates for each milestone. This ensures clear accountability and helps track progress throughout the implementation process.

Resource Requirements (Financial, Human, Technological)

Identify the resource requirements needed to execute the action plan effectively. These resources may include financial investments, human resources, technological upgrades, or external expertise. Quantify the estimated costs associated with each strategy and provide a budget for the entire implementation process. Ensure that the organization has the necessary resources to support the gap-closing initiatives.

Risk Mitigation Plan for Implementing Solutions

Outline the risk mitigation plan to address potential challenges and obstacles that may arise during the implementation of the recommended solutions. Identify key risks and uncertainties, along with their potential impact on the success of the gap-closing initiatives. For each risk, propose specific mitigation strategies to reduce or eliminate its negative effects. The risk mitigation plan helps ensure a smoother implementation process and minimizes disruptions.

Implementation Plan of the Gap Analysis

Timeline and Sequence of Activities

Provide a detailed timeline and sequence of activities for the implementation of the proposed strategies and action plan. Break down the action plan into smaller tasks or phases, and assign estimated start and end dates for each activity. Ensure that the timeline is realistic and considers any dependencies or interrelationships between tasks. Include milestones to track progress and celebrate achievements.

Roles and Responsibilities in performing a Gap Analysis

Identify and assign specific roles and responsibilities to individuals or teams involved in the implementation process. Clearly define who will be accountable for each task, who will be responsible for executing it, and who will be consulted or informed. Ensuring clear roles and responsibilities helps streamline communication and decision-making during the implementation phase.

For example:

  • Project Manager: Overall coordination and management of the implementation plan.
  • Department A Team: Responsible for implementing Strategy 1 and Strategy 2.
  • Department B Team: Responsible for implementing Strategy 3 and Strategy 4.
  • Finance Department: Responsible for budget allocation and financial oversight.
  • Senior Management: Decision-makers and sponsors for the implementation process.

Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Plan

Outline a communication and stakeholder engagement plan to ensure effective communication with all relevant stakeholders throughout the implementation process. Identify key stakeholders, such as employees, management, customers, suppliers, or external partners, and determine the appropriate communication channels and frequency of updates.

The communication plan should include:

  • Regular progress updates to stakeholders on the status of implementation.
  • Channels of communication (e.g., meetings, emails, progress reports, presentations).
  • Stakeholder engagement activities to involve them in the process and address any concerns.
  • A feedback mechanism to capture suggestions or concerns from stakeholders.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Gap Analysis project

Key Performance Indicators to Measure Progress

Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to monitor and measure the progress of the implementation plan. These KPIs should be aligned with the objectives and targets set in Section III and should reflect the organization’s priorities. The selected KPIs should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

For example:

  • KPI: Customer satisfaction rating.
  • Target: Achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 90% by the end of the next quarter.
  • Progress: Monitor customer satisfaction scores on a monthly basis and compare them against the target.

Evaluation Criteria for Success:

Define the criteria that will be used to determine the success of the implementation plan. These criteria should be based on the achievement of the desired future state and the objectives set in Section III. The evaluation criteria should be clear, objective, and aligned with the organization’s overall goals.

For example:

  • Criterion: Increase in market share.
  • Success: Achieving a market share growth of 5% within the next six months.

Review Mechanisms and Frequency

Outline the review mechanisms and the frequency of evaluation to assess the progress of the implementation plan. Determine when and how progress will be reviewed, who will be involved in the review process, and the format of the review meetings or reports.

For example:

  • Monthly Progress Review: Hold monthly meetings with the project team to review the progress, discuss challenges, and make necessary adjustments to the implementation plan.
  • Quarterly Performance Review: Conduct quarterly evaluations to assess the achievement of targets and alignment with the desired future state.


Gap analysis is a valuable tool that supports decision-making, goal-setting, and continuous improvement efforts. It provides organizations with a systematic approach to identify and address challenges, maximize opportunities, and ultimately drive success and growth. It is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to make informed decisions, align their strategies with their objectives, and continuously improve their performance. It enables organizations to bridge the gap between their current state and their desired future state, driving growth, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Download the Gap Analysis Template

Frequently asked questions about gap analysis

  1. What do you mean by gap analysis?

    A gap analysis is performed to recognize an organization's current state—by mapping processes, activities and measuring time, money, and labor—and comparing it with its desired state. By defining and analyzing these gaps between the desired state and the current state, the project team can create an action plan to move the organization forward and fill in the gaps.

  2. Why is gap analysis important?

    Gap analysis helps organizations set clear objectives, optimize resource allocation, and make informed decisions. It promotes continuous improvement and ensures alignment with strategic goals.

  3. What is a gap analysis also known as?

    A gap analysis is also called a needs analysis and is important for ongoing improvement of the performance of any organization.

  4. How do you write a gap analysis example?

    1. Identify the organizational area to be analyzed.
    2. Identify the goals to be accomplished.
    3. State the ideal future state.
    4. Analyze the current state.
    5. Compare the current state with the ideal future state.
    6. Describe the gap and quantify the difference.
    7. Create a plan of action (project) to bridge the gap.

  5. What are the techniques used in gap analysis?

    Techniques include SWOT analysis, benchmarking, performance metrics analysis, customer feedback, process mapping, CMM, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, and surveys.

  6. Is a SWOT analysis a gap analysis?

    SWOT analysis is a technique used while performing a gap analysis. Using a SWOT analysis diagram is one of the ways to take understanding where an organization stands, its current state position in the competitive landscape, what it is doing well, and what it could be doing better.

  7. What is the value of gap analysis?

    A gap analysis is a good way to determine and move to a higher state of organizational productivity. By evaluating ongoing performance, inputs and outputs, and comparing these to desired higher states, one is able to determine the difference and work out ways to navigate that gap.

  8. Who should perform gap analysis?

    Business analysts are usually the ones who undertake gap analyses to determine how to make improvements. The gap analysis can be applied to performance of a department or team, an individual, or the entire company. Whenever there are growth goals, or existing objectives are not met, it is an indicator to discover what may be getting in the way through a gap analysis.

  9. How does gap analysis benefit decision-making?

    Gap analysis provides data-driven insights that assist in making informed decisions about resource allocation, investments, and strategic initiatives.

  10. What are the three 3 fundamental components of a gap analysis?

    The three fundamental components of a gap analysis are the current state, desired state, and the gap. A gap analysis is used in organizations to help them understand the differences between their current and desired state. By understanding this, they can work on strategies to help close the gaps.

  11. What role does gap analysis play in strategic planning?

    Gap analysis helps identify gaps between the current state and the strategic vision, enabling the development of effective strategies to bridge those gaps.

  12. How does gap analysis support continuous improvement?

    By regularly assessing progress and adapting strategies, gap analysis fosters a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation to changing circumstances.

  13. How does gap analysis help organizations prioritize improvements?

    Gap analysis prioritizes areas requiring immediate attention, optimizing the allocation of resources for the most impactful outcomes.

  14. What are the potential risks of not conducting gap analysis?

    Without gap analysis, organizations may lack direction, miss growth opportunities, and face operational inefficiencies due to a lack of focus on key improvement areas.

  15. Can gap analysis be used in various industries?

    Yes, gap analysis is applicable across industries, from business and healthcare to education and technology, as it provides a universal framework for improvement.

  16. What is the outcome of gap analysis?

    The outcome of gap analysis is a comprehensive report highlighting identified gaps, recommended solutions, and a roadmap for achieving the desired future state.

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Agile User Stories: 40+ user story examples, formats and templates for product triumph!

user story in agile software development

A user story is a description of a feature / functionality described from the perspective of the end-user. User stories describe the users’ expectations of the system. User stories are described in Agile projects, and are organized in a product backlog, which is an ordered list of product functions. It is a concise, simple description of a feature or functionality that is written from the perspective of an end-user or customer. User stories are commonly used in agile software development as a way to capture requirements and guide the development process.

A typical user story includes three main components:

  • the user,
  • the action, and
  • the benefit.

A typical user story is written like this:

As a <type of user>, I want to <achieve / perform some task> so that I can <get some value>.

Example of a user story for an e-commerce website might look like this:

As a customer, I want to add products to the cart so that I can checkout.

Another example:
As a customer, I want to be able to view my order history, so I can track my purchases and see when they will be delivered.

In this example, the user is the customer, the action is to view the order history, and the benefit is the ability to track purchases and delivery dates. User stories are usually short and simple, and they are written in a way that is easy for both developers and non-technical stakeholders to understand. They are designed to be flexible and open to negotiation, allowing the development team and stakeholders to collaborate and refine the requirements over time as new information becomes available.

When are user stories created?

User stories are typically created during the planning and requirements gathering phase of a project, which is usually done at the beginning of each development cycle in agile software development. This process involves working closely with stakeholders, including end-users, customers, and product owners, to identify the key features and functionalities that are needed in the software.

During this process, user stories are used as a way to capture and communicate requirements in a simple, easy-to-understand format. The development team works with stakeholders to identify the key user roles and personas, and to define the actions and benefits that are needed to meet their needs.

Once the initial set of user stories has been created, they are typically prioritized based on their value to the end-user and their impact on the overall project goals. This allows the development team to focus on the most important stories first, and to deliver incremental improvements to the software in each development cycle.

Throughout the development process, user stories may be refined and updated as new information becomes available or requirements change. This allows the development team to remain flexible and responsive to changing needs, while still delivering software that meets the needs of the end-users. Business analysts are usually the professionals who create user stories and capture requirements.

Learn to create brilliant user stories and become a business analyst with work experience!

Analytics User Stories Examples – Agile requirements template and format

The following user stories are examples in the analytics domain. These include those for business intelligence like charts, and machine learning like sentiment analysis.

  1. As a strategy consultant, I would like to review KPIs related to my domain, because that would help me understand the status of the business.
  2. As a business manager, I would like to review progress over a period of time as a line chart, so that I can make necessary corrective adjustments.
  3. As a SEO copywriter, I would like to generate positive-negative-neutral sentiments of my copy, so that I can write better effective and catchy articles.
  4. As the president of the department, I would like to review charts of income and expenses, because I can determine the profitability of the department (and the security of my job?)
  5. As the chief investment officer, I would like to have an aggregation of all spends and ROI, so that I can determine investment areas of greater return on investment.

Business intelligence user stories examples – Agile requirements template and format

Here are some examples of business intelligence user stories:

  1. As a marketing manager, I want to view real-time dashboards of customer behavior and engagement, so I can optimize marketing campaigns and improve customer retention.
  2. As a sales representative, I want to access detailed reports on customer interactions and sales performance, so I can identify sales trends and opportunities to improve performance.
  3. As a finance analyst, I want to generate ad-hoc reports on financial metrics and KPIs, so I can analyze financial performance and identify areas for cost reduction and optimization.
  4. As an operations manager, I want to monitor key performance indicators for operational efficiency, such as cycle time, throughput, and inventory levels, so I can identify opportunities to improve operational performance.
  5. As a product manager, I want to track customer feedback and sentiment data, so I can identify customer needs and preferences and make data-driven decisions about product development and marketing.

E-commerce user stories examples – Agile requirements template and format

The following user stories capture various aspects of an e-commerce website from the perspective of the end-users (customers) and the store owner. They focus on the functionalities and features that are important for a seamless and convenient online shopping experience, while also addressing the needs of the business owner for effective store management and data analysis.

  1. As a customer, I want to be able to search for products by category or keyword, so I can easily find and purchase the items I am interested in.
  2. As a customer, I want to be able to add products to my shopping cart, view the contents of my cart, and proceed to checkout, so I can complete my purchase quickly and easily.
  3. As a customer, I want to be able to create an account, save my payment information, and view my order history, so I can have a personalized shopping experience and easily track my purchases.
  4. As a customer, I want to be able to view product details, including images, descriptions, prices, and customer reviews, so I can make informed purchasing decisions.
  5. As a customer, I want to be able to apply discount codes, promotions, and gift cards to my purchase, so I can take advantage of special offers and discounts.
  6. As a customer, I want to receive email notifications about my order status, including order confirmation, shipping updates, and delivery notifications, so I can stay informed about my purchases.
  7. As a customer, I want to be able to provide feedback and reviews on products, so I can share my experiences and help other customers make informed purchasing decisions.
  8. As a store owner, I want to be able to manage my product inventory, update product details, and track sales and revenue, so I can effectively manage my online store and make data-driven decisions about my business.

Create ecommerce recommendation engines as a machine learning engineer to drive greater sales through intelligent and timely suggestions

Media advertising technology user stories examples – Agile requirements template and format

These user stories highlight the key functionalities and features that are important for a media ad tech tool, covering the needs of different user roles such as media buyers, marketing managers, creative designers, publishers, data analysts, account managers, advertisers, and campaign optimizers. These stories focus on the capabilities that enable effective campaign management, performance tracking, ad creation, targeting, audience management, and optimization, among others.

  1. As a media buyer, I want to be able to create and manage advertising campaigns, including setting campaign budgets, targeting criteria, and ad creatives, so I can effectively reach my target audience and achieve my marketing goals.
  2. As a marketing manager, I want to be able to track and analyze the performance of my advertising campaigns in real-time, including impressions, clicks, conversions, and return on investment (ROI), so I can optimize my ad spend and make data-driven decisions to improve campaign performance.
  3. As a creative designer, I want to be able to upload and manage ad creatives, including images, videos, and ad copy, in various formats and sizes, so I can easily create and update ads for different platforms and placements.
  4. As a publisher, I want to be able to monetize my website or app by displaying ads from different advertisers, and to have control over the types of ads that are displayed, the frequency, and the placement, so I can generate revenue and provide a positive user experience.
  5. As a data analyst, I want to be able to access and analyze ad performance data, including impressions, clicks, conversions, and audience demographics, in a visual and customizable way, so I can generate insights and reports to inform marketing strategies and optimizations.
  6. As an account manager, I want to be able to manage multiple client accounts within the ad tech tool, including creating and managing campaigns, setting budgets, and providing performance reports, so I can effectively serve my clients and track their advertising performance.
  7. As an advertiser, I want to be able to define and manage custom audiences, including demographic, geographic, and behavioral criteria, so I can target my ads to the most relevant audience and maximize my ad effectiveness.
  8. As a campaign optimizer, I want to be able to use machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to automatically optimize my advertising campaigns based on performance data, so I can improve campaign efficiency and achieve better results over time.

Optimize campaign performance as a machine learning engineer and generate create returns on ad spends (ROAS).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) user stories examples – Agile requirements template and format

These user stories cover various user roles within a CRM tool, including sales representatives, sales managers, customer service representatives, marketing managers, executives, product managers, system administrators, and mobile salespeople. They address the functionalities and features that are important for managing customer relationships, sales activities, marketing campaigns, customer feedback, and overall business performance.

  1. As a sales representative, I want to be able to track my leads, opportunities, and deals in a centralized CRM system, so I can easily manage my sales pipeline, prioritize my tasks, and close deals effectively.
  2. As a sales manager, I want to be able to monitor the performance of my sales team, including their sales activities, deal progress, and revenue targets, so I can provide coaching, feedback, and support to improve their performance and achieve team goals.
  3. As a customer service representative, I want to be able to access customer information and interaction history in the CRM system, so I can provide personalized and efficient support, resolve issues, and deliver a positive customer experience.
  4. As a marketing manager, I want to be able to segment and target my customers and prospects in the CRM system, based on criteria such as demographics, behaviors, and engagement levels, so I can deliver relevant and personalized marketing campaigns to drive customer engagement and retention.
  5. As an executive, I want to be able to access high-level dashboards and reports in the CRM system, so I can monitor overall sales performance, customer acquisition, retention, and lifetime value, and make data-driven decisions to drive business growth.
  6. As a product manager, I want to be able to gather and analyze customer feedback and product usage data in the CRM system, so I can identify customer needs, preferences, and pain points, and incorporate them into product development and improvement strategies.
  7. As a system administrator, I want to be able to configure and customize the CRM system to match our organization’s sales, marketing, and customer service processes, so I can ensure that the CRM tool is aligned with our specific business requirements and workflows.
  8. As a mobile salesperson, I want to be able to access and update customer and prospect information in the CRM system on my mobile device, so I can manage my sales activities and update customer interactions on the go.

Analyze customer needs and create stunning products as a business analyst / product manager

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool user stories examples – Agile requirements template and format

These user stories cover different functional areas within an ERP tool, including procurement, production planning, finance, human resources, sales, warehouse management, business analysis, and system administration. They highlight the key functionalities and features that are important for managing various aspects of an organization’s operations, such as procurement, production, finance, human resources, sales, inventory, and data analysis.

  1. As a procurement manager, I want to be able to create and manage purchase orders in the ERP system, including selecting vendors, defining quantities, and tracking order status, so I can effectively manage the procurement process and ensure timely delivery of goods and services.
  2. As a production planner, I want to be able to create and manage production schedules in the ERP system, including defining production orders, allocating resources, and tracking progress, so I can optimize production capacity and meet customer demand.
  3. As a finance manager, I want to be able to manage financial transactions and records in the ERP system, including recording invoices, payments, and expenses, reconciling accounts, and generating financial reports, so I can accurately track and report on the financial health of the organization.
  4. As a human resources manager, I want to be able to manage employee information, including hiring, onboarding, performance evaluations, and benefits administration, in the ERP system, so I can effectively manage the workforce and ensure compliance with company policies and regulations.
  5. As a salesperson, I want to be able to create and manage sales orders, track customer orders, and view inventory availability in the ERP system, so I can efficiently process customer orders, manage order fulfillment, and provide accurate order status updates.
  6. As a warehouse manager, I want to be able to manage inventory levels, including receiving, stocking, and picking inventory items, in the ERP system, so I can maintain accurate inventory records, optimize warehouse space, and ensure timely order fulfillment.
  7. As a business analyst, I want to be able to access and analyze data from various modules in the ERP system, including sales, inventory, procurement, and finance, so I can generate insights, trends, and reports to inform decision-making and strategic planning.
  8. As an IT administrator, I want to be able to configure and customize the ERP system, including setting up user permissions, defining workflows, and integrating with other systems, so I can ensure that the ERP tool is aligned with our organization’s business processes and requirements.

Create your own user story online

Savio Education Global User Story Generator · Streamlit (

INVEST in User Stories

Finally, all user stories must fit the INVEST quality model:

  •         I – Independent
  •         N – Negotiable
  •         V – Valuable
  •         E – Estimable
  •         S – Small
  •         T – Testable
  1. Independent. This means that you can schedule and implement each user story separately. This is very helpful if you implement continuous integration processes.
  2. Negotiable. This means that all parties agree to prioritize negotiations over specification. This also means that details will be created constantly during development.
  3. Valuable. A story must be valuable to the customer.  You should ask yourself from the customer’s perspective “why” you need to implement a given feature.
  4. Estimable. A quality user story can be estimated. This will help a team schedule and prioritize the implementation. The bigger the story is, the harder it is to estimate it.
  5. Small. Good user stories tend to be small enough to plan for short production releases. Small stories allow for more specific estimates.
  6. Testable. If a story can be tested, it’s clear enough and good enough. Tested stories mean that requirements are done and ready for use.

Best practices to write good user stories

Consider the following best practices when writing user stories for agile requirements:

  1. Involve stakeholders: Involve stakeholders such as the product owner, end-users, and development team members in the process of creating user stories. This helps ensure that everyone has a shared understanding of the goals and requirements.
  2. Focus on end-users: User stories should focus on the needs and goals of the end-users. It’s important to avoid writing stories that are too technical or feature-focused.
  3. Use a consistent format: User stories should be written in a consistent format that includes the user, action, and benefit. This helps to ensure clarity and consistency across the stories.
  4. Keep stories small: Keep user stories small and focused on a specific goal or outcome. This makes it easier to estimate, prioritize, and complete the stories within a single iteration.
  5. Prioritize stories: Prioritize user stories based on their value to the end-user and their impact on the overall project goals. This helps to ensure that the most important stories are completed first.
  6. Make stories testable: User stories should include clear acceptance criteria that can be used to verify that the story has been completed successfully. This helps to ensure that the resulting software meets the needs of the end-users.
  7. Refine stories over time: User stories should be refined and updated over time as new information becomes available or requirements change. This helps to ensure that the stories remain relevant and useful throughout the development process.

By following these best practices, development teams can create effective user stories that help to guide the development process and ensure that the resulting software meets the needs of the end-users.

Learn the best practices of user story writing and become a business analyst with work experience!

Prioritizing Agile User Stories

User stories are typically prioritized based on their value to the end-user and their impact on the overall project goals. Here are some common factors that are considered when prioritizing user stories:

  1. User value: User stories that provide the greatest value to the end-users are typically given higher priority. For example, a user story that improves the user experience or solves a critical user problem may be considered more important than a story that adds a new feature.
  2. Business value: User stories that have the greatest impact on the business goals and objectives are typically given higher priority. For example, a user story that increases revenue or reduces costs may be considered more important than a story that provides a minor improvement to the software.
  3. Technical feasibility: User stories that are technically feasible and can be implemented easily are typically given higher priority. For example, a user story that can be completed quickly with minimal effort may be considered more important than a story that requires significant development effort.
  4. Dependencies: User stories that have dependencies on other stories or features may be given higher priority to ensure that they are completed in the appropriate order.
  5. Risks: User stories that address high-risk areas of the project or software may be given higher priority to mitigate potential issues.

The prioritization of user stories is usually done in collaboration with stakeholders, including product owners, end-users, and development team members. By considering these factors and working collaboratively, the team can ensure that they are delivering software that meets the needs of the end-users and achieves the project goals.

User Story – Acceptance Criteria Example and Template

User stories must be accompanied by acceptance criteria.  It is important to have descriptive summaries and detailed acceptance criteria to help the team know when a user story is considered complete or “done.” These are the conditions that the product must satisfy to be accepted by users, stakeholders, or a product owner. Each user story must have at least one acceptance criterion. Effective acceptance criteria are testable, concise, and clearly understood by all stakeholders. They can be written as checklists, plain text, or by using Given/When/Then format.


Here’s an example of the acceptance criteria checklist for a user story describing a search feature:

  • A search field is available on the top-bar.
  • A search is started when the user clicks Submit.
  • The default placeholder is a grey text Type the name.
  • The placeholder disappears when the user starts typing.
  • The search language is English.
  • The user can type no more than 200 symbols.
  • It doesn’t support special symbols. If the user has typed a special symbol in the search input, it displays the warning message: Search input cannot contain special symbols.
user stories acceptance criteria format
Acceptance Criteria for Scenario Tests

Acceptance Criteria Formatted as Given-When-Then

According to the Agile Alliance, the Given-When-Then format is a template intended to guide the writing of acceptance criteria / tests for a User Story. The template is as follows:

(Given) some context
(When) some action is carried out
(Then) a particular set of observable consequences should obtain
An example:

Given my bank account is in credit, and I made no withdrawals recently,
When I attempt to withdraw an amount less than my card’s limit,
Then the withdrawal should complete without errors or warnings

The usual practice is the have the acceptance criteria written after the requirements have been specified and before development sprint begins. The acceptance criteria are often utilized during the user acceptance testing (UAT) of the product.

What are user story points?

User story points are a unit of measure used in agile software development to estimate the relative effort required to implement a user story. They are assigned to each user story based on the amount of effort and complexity involved in completing it, and help teams to prioritize and plan their work. Points are typically assigned using a scale such as Fibonacci numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.), where each number represents a larger increment of effort than the previous one. The purpose of using story points is to provide a rough, relative estimate of effort, rather than an exact estimate in terms of hours or days.

Fibonacci series used for user stories point estimation
Fibonacci series

User story points are determined through a process called estimation. This is typically done as part of a team-based effort, with representatives from all relevant departments, such as development, testing, and product management.

Estimation is done by comparing each user story to others that have already been completed and assigned points, and by considering various factors that impact the effort required to implement the story, such as complexity, size, and uncertainty. The team then agrees on a point value for each story, usually using the Fibonacci scale. The way to think about estimating these points is similar to the way gap analysis is performed.

It’s important to note that the goal of user story points is to provide a rough, relative estimate of effort. The actual points assigned to each story are less important than the consistency in the way they are assigned and the fact that they allow the team to prioritize and plan their work. Over time, the team will gain a better understanding of what different point values represent and will become more accurate in their estimations.

If you’re using JIRA, then you see these points in the image as follows:

Points in JIRA scrum board for user stories
Points in JIRA scrum board for user stories

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Techniques to estimate points and size user stories

There are several different techniques that can be used to size (estimate the effort required for) user stories in agile software development. Some of the most common techniques include:

  1. Planning Poker: A consensus-based technique where team members hold cards with values from a predetermined scale (such as Fibonacci numbers) and simultaneously reveal their estimates for each story. Discussions ensue until the team reaches a consensus on the story’s point value.
  2. T-Shirt Sizing: A quick and simple technique where team members use descriptive terms such as XS, S, M, L, XL, etc. to size stories, based on their complexity and effort required.
  3. Affinity Mapping: A technique where team members write down their estimates for each story on sticky notes, and then group similar stories together based on their estimates. The resulting clusters of stories can then be assigned point values based on the average of the estimates within each cluster.
  4. Expert Judgment: A technique where an individual with expertise in the relevant domain (e.g. a senior developer) provides estimates for each story based on their experience and knowledge.
  5. Analogous Estimation: A technique where the team estimates the effort required for a new story based on similar stories that have been completed in the past, taking into account any differences or additional complexities.
planning poker cards template for user stories point estimations
Planning poker cards template for user stories point estimations. Get these cards here: redbooth/scrum-poker-cards (

These are some of the most common techniques used in agile software development to estimate the effort required for user stories. The choice of technique will depend on various factors such as the team’s experience, the size and complexity of the project, and the culture and preferences of the organization.

Steps to measure the team’s velocity with user story estimations

The velocity of an agile team is a measure of the amount of work the team can complete in a given period of time, usually a sprint. The velocity of a team can be determined by tracking the number of points completed in each sprint and taking an average over several sprints.

To determine the team’s velocity, follow these steps:

  1. Assign story points to each user story: Use a sizing estimation technique, such as planning poker or T-shirt sizing, to estimate the effort required to complete each story.
  2. Track completed story points in each sprint: At the end of each sprint, tally the number of points assigned to each story that was completed and accepted by the customer.
  3. Calculate the average velocity: Divide the total number of completed story points by the number of sprints to calculate the average velocity. For example, if a team completed 40 story points in the first sprint and 50 story points in the second sprint, its average velocity would be 45 story points.
  4. Use the velocity to plan future sprints: The team’s velocity can be used to plan future sprints, by taking into account the number of story points the team is capable of completing in a given sprint.

It’s important to note that the velocity of a team can change over time, based on various factors such as changes in team composition, the complexity of the work, and the team’s level of experience. As such, the velocity should be re-evaluated regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects the team’s current capabilities.

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Elements of Agile Requirements

In addition to user stories, there are several other elements of agile requirements that are important to consider when developing software using agile methodologies. Some of these elements include:

  • Epics: These are large-scale user stories that describe a high-level goal or feature. Epics are usually broken down into smaller user stories or tasks that can be completed in shorter iterations.
  • Acceptance criteria: These are the specific conditions or requirements that must be met for a user story to be considered complete. Acceptance criteria are typically defined in collaboration with the product owner and the development team.
  • User personas: These are fictional characters or archetypes that represent the different types of users who will be using the software system. User personas help the development team to understand the needs, goals, and behaviors of the end-users.
  • Backlog: This is a prioritized list of user stories and tasks that need to be completed in the current iteration or sprint. The backlog is continuously updated and reprioritized based on feedback from the product owner, the development team, and other stakeholders.
  • Iterations/sprints: These are short, time-boxed periods (usually 1-4 weeks) during which the development team works on a specific set of user stories and tasks. At the end of each iteration/sprint, the team delivers a working increment of the software system that can be reviewed and tested by stakeholders.

Frequently Asked Questions about Agile User Stories

  1. What are user stories in Scrum?

    A user story in agile scrum is a structure that is used in software development and product management to represent a unit of work. It provides an informal, natural language description of a product feature from the user's perspective and the value to them.

  2. What is in a user story?

    A user story is an informal explanation of a software feature written from the end user's perspective. Its purpose is to articulate how a software feature will provide value to the customer. A user story looks like: “As [a user persona], I want [to perform this action] so that [I can accomplish this goal].”

  3. What is a user story example?

    A user story is a small, self-contained unit of development work designed to accomplish a specific goal within a product. A user story is usually written from the user's perspective and follows the format: “As [a user persona], I want [to perform this action] so that [I can accomplish this goal].”

  4. Who writes a user story in agile?

    The Business Analyst or the Product Owner usually writes User Stories. Most of the times, these are developed by the BA in conjunction and consultation with the development team and other relevant stakeholders.

  5. What is Jira user story?

    A Jira user story helps the development team determine what they're working on, why they're working on it, and what value this work creates for the user. The JIRA user story can contain sub-tasks, the size in terms of story points, the acceptance criteria, the EPIC to which it belongs, and the sprint in which it must be completed.

  6. What is epic and user story?

    User stories are requirements or requests written from the perspective of an end user. Epics are large parts of work that are broken down into a number of smaller tasks (called user stories). Think of Epics as the logical grouping of features and work.

  7. What are the 3 C's of user stories?

    These 3 C's are Cards, Conversation, and Confirmation. These are essential components for writing a good User Story. The Card, Conversation, and Confirmation model was introduced by Ron Jefferies in 2001 for Extreme Programming (XP) and is suitable even today.

  8. What is the format of a user story? Which 3 elements should a user story have?

    The format of a user story includes three elements of the standard user story template: Who wants the functionality? What it is they want? Why do they want it?

  9. What is the template syntax of a user story?

    A user story is usually written from the user's perspective and follows the format: “As [a type of user], I want [to perform an action] so that [I can accomplish this goal].”

  10. How does and epic relate to a user story?

    An epic is a portion of work which is too big to fit into a sprint. This can be a high-level story that is usually split into smaller user stories, each of which can be completed within a sprint. An epic can be considered as a logically grouped collection of user stories.

  11. What are acceptance criteria?

    Acceptance Criteria is defined as a set of conditions that a product must satisfy to be accepted by a user, customer or other stakeholder. It is also understood as a set of standards or requirements a product or project must meet. These criteria are set in advance i.e. before development work begins.

  12. When are acceptance criteria written?

    Acceptance criteria are documented before the development of the user story starts. This way, the team will likely capture all customer needs in advance. It's usually enough to set the acceptance criteria of user stories across the next two sprints in the agile Scrum methodology.

  13. What is INVEST in a user story?

    The acronym INVEST stands for Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small and Testable. Business analysts should design user stories that exhibit these six attributes.

  14. How do you calculate story points?

    It's the total completed story points divided by the total number of sprints. For example, let's say that your team finishes 50 story points in 2 sprints. Then, their sprint velocity will be (50/2) = 25 points per sprint.

  15. What is the velocity of the team in Agile?

    Velocity ​​in agile terms means the average amount of work a team can complete in one “delivery cycle” – typically a sprint or a release for Scrum teams or a time period such as a Week or a month for Kanban teams. (It is also referred to by many as the Throughput, especially by Kanban teams).

  16. What does team velocity mean?

    According to Scrum, Inc., team velocity is a “measure of the amount of work a team can tackle during a single sprint and is the key metric in Scrum”. When you complete a sprint, you'll total the points for all fully completed user stories and over time find the average number of points you complete per sprint.

  17. How do you calculate your team's velocity?

    Teams calculate velocity at the end of each Sprint. Simply take the number of story points for each completed user story during your Sprint and add them up. Your velocity metric will be the absolute number of story points your team completed.

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Business requirement document (BRD) – Examples and Template

business requirement document brd

Every successful project has a detailed and well developed business requirement document (BRD). The BRD describes the problems the project is trying to solve or the opportunities the project is attempting to benefit from, and the required outcomes necessary to deliver value. The business analyst is usually the person who develops the BRD.

When done well, the business requirements document directs the project and keeps everyone on the same page. However, requirements documentation can easily become unclear and disorganized, which can quickly send a project off track.

What is a business requirement document (BRD)?

Definition: A business requirements document describes the business solution for a project (i.e., what a new or updated product, service or result should do), including the user’s needs and expectations, the purpose behind this solution, and any high-level constraints that could impact a successful deployment.

Business requirements document also emphasizes on the needs and expectations of the customer. In simpler terms, BRD indicates what the business wants to achieve.  The BRD indicates all the project deliverables at a high level. Essentially, a BRD acts as the guideline for stakeholders to make decisions regarding project priorities, design, and structure to ensure the project remains aligned with the overall goals of the business.

In outsourced projects, it also represents a basic contract between the customer and the vendor outlining the expectations and deliverables for the project. The BRD sets the standards for determining when a project has reached a successful completion.

Objectives of a business requirement document:

Project utilize BRDs for the following objectives:

  • To build consensus among stakeholders.
  • To communicate the business needs, the customer needs, and the end result of the solution that must satisfy business and customer needs.
  • To determine the input to the next phase of the project.

Business Requirements Document (BRD) Template Download

Sections in a Business Requirement Document BRD

Most businesses follow a template for all their project requirements documentation. This is helpful for keeping documentation standard across the organization.

The structure may vary but a basic business requirement document BRD will include the following sections and components:

  • Executive Summary
  • Project overview (including vision, and context)
  • SWOT analysis
  • Success factors
  • Project scope
  • Desired goals and project objectives
  • Stakeholder identification
  • Current state using BPMN
  • Future state using BPMN
  • Business requirements and corresponding priority
  • Assumptions, Limitations, Constraints

Additionally, depending on the organization’s documentation process, sections for feature analysis, competitive analysis, benchmarking results, functional and non-functional requirements may also be included in a BRD rather than in separate requirements documents.

Steps to Create a Business Requirement Document

  1. Project scope: The project scope draws the boundaries of the project and helps managers decide what is included in the project and what isn’t. Having a clear scope helps keep the team aligned and avoids unnecessary wastage of resources. All project functionalities or special requests need to be included here.
  2. Goals and Objectives: In this section, describe the high-level goals and objectives of the project. What will the project ultimately achieve? Who’s it for? How does the project goals tie up to the overall business objective and mission? Describe in detail what success will look like.
  3. Need for the project: Provide a rationale for the project. Having a needs statement in your document helps convey the importance of the project and how it will impact the company’s bottom line in the long run. This helps gain stakeholders’ and employees’ trust and confidence in the project and ensures smooth implementation.
  4. Identify Stakeholders: Identify key stakeholders to elicit requirements from. You can include each person’s name, department, and their role in making the project a success.
  5. Conduct a SWOT analysis: A flawless business requirements document (BRD) should contain a SWOT analysis of the project and how it fits in the big picture. The analysis should carefully articulate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the project has. Adding this section to your BRD helps boost your credibility with upper management and external partners as it shows how aware you are of the project’s limitations and scope.
  6. Requirements: The next step is gathering requirements from stakeholder and documenting them. Read more about elicitation techniques.
  7. Assumptions, Limitations, Constraints: The team working on the project should be made aware of the possible assumptions, limitations and constraints in creating this document, and its contents.
  8. Executive Summary: The executive summary summarizes the entire document, outlining the need for the project, its requirements, and how does it tie up to your overall business goals. Develop this section after completing other sections, and place it at the top of the business requirement document BRD.

Business Requirements Document (BRD) Template Download

How to write the perfect BRD

Now that you have a grasp on what a business requirements document should accomplish, you can follow these guidelines to make sure that you write an exceptional one.

1. Practice effective requirements elicitation

Even if you write an impressive BRD, it won’t be effective if you haven’t identified and documented all the requirements necessary. To ensure your BRD is complete and cohesive, you’ll need to apply proper elicitation methods.

A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (more commonly known as the BABOK Guide) lists nine primary elicitation methods:

  • Brainstorming
  • Gap analysis
  • Document analysis
  • Interface analysis
  • Focus groups
  • Prototyping
  • Requirements workshops
  • Interviews
  • Observation
  • Surveys

You could use all nine or a select few, but you will certainly need to incorporate multiple approaches to gather a comprehensive set of requirements.

Whatever methods you use, consider the following tips for improving your elicitation process.

Continually gather requirements

While most requirements gathering occurs early on in the project lifecycle, the business analyst should always be open to identifying and documenting new requirements as needed. It can be tempting to sweep new information under the rug if you’ve already progressed past the initial stages of the project. However, the end product will be better if you have fleshed out all the requirements necessary—even if they were added later in the game.

Get to know your stakeholders

Build a rapport with your stakeholders and learn how they operate. Tailor your elicitation methods to their style or preferred method. While some people work best in interviews, others might prefer to prepare written answers. By adapting your methods to the person, you will be more efficient and effective in gathering requirements.

Always be prepared

Come to stakeholder meetings prepared with questions and even answers. The right questions are often enough to get the ball rolling, but if the team is struggling to find an answer, propose one yourself. Offering options can get the group brainstorming and thinking through the problem more strategically.  

2. Use clear language without jargon

Requirements documents are often long and text-heavy. To prevent confusion or misinterpretations, use clear language without jargon. Keep in mind that multiple stakeholders will be using this document, and not all of them will be technically-minded. By keeping your language clear, you can ensure everyone can understand it.

When you do need to include jargon or other technical terms, be sure to add those to a project dictionary section in the document. This section can serve as a useful reference of all uncommon terms found throughout the document so no one misunderstands the requirements.  

Business Requirements Document (BRD) Template Download

3. Research past projects

A great way to jump-start your documentation process is to research similar projects your organization has completed in the past.

Review the documentation for those projects and use those insights to help you identify requirements and other key points to include in your own BRD. These projects can also help your team justify certain requirements based on successful past results.

4. Validate the documentation

Once you’ve finished writing the requirements document, have a subject matter expert and the project stakeholders review it. This is the time for everyone to validate the information and offer feedback or corrections.

This step is crucial to a creating a successful BRD. Without it, you risk missing key requirements or leaving critical errors that could set your project off track.

5. Include visuals

Although BRDs tend to be text-heavy in nature, visuals play an important role in presenting and clarifying information and making the document more user-friendly. Break up walls of text with data visualizations such as process flows and scope models.

One of the most common diagrams for a BRD is the business process diagram. This diagram visualizes a workflow process and how it relates to your business requirements. Depending on how complex your documentation is, you can use the process diagram to present high-level processes or drill down into more comprehensive and detailed processes for multiple requirements sections.

Business requirements vs. functional requirements

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, business requirements are not the same as the functional requirements for a project. The business requirements describe what the deliverables are needed, but not how to accomplish them.

That information (the “how”) should be documented in a project’s functional requirements document FRD. These are typically outlined within the software requirements documentation for development projects, but some organizations include a functional requirements section in their BRD. These functional requirements detail how a system should operate to fulfill the business requirements.  

Business requirements are the means to fulfilling the organization’s objectives. They should be high-level, detail-oriented, and written from the client’s perspective.

In contrast, functional requirements are much more specific and narrowly focused and written from the system’s perspective. Functional requirements are the means for delivering an effective solution that meets the business requirements and client’s expectations for that project.

Though the distinction is subtle, it’s important to know the difference between business and functional requirements to ensure effective requirements elicitation, documentation, and implementation. Understanding the difference also helps you keep the project properly focused and aligned so that your team can meet both the user needs and the business objectives at the end of the project.

Business Requirements Document (BRD) Template Download


  1. What does BRD stand for in business?

    BRD stands for business requirements document. The BRD is an abbreviation for business requirements document. It is the key to a successful project when it documents thoughtful and well-written business requirements.

  2. What is a BRD

    A business requirements document BRD describes the business needs of a project. The project could create something new or unique, or introduce an enhancement to an existing product / service. The BRD includes the company's needs and expectations, the purpose behind these requirements, and any high-level assumptions, constraints, risks and issues that could impede a successful implementation.

  3. What is the purpose of BRD document?

    The Business Requirements Document (BRD) is authored by the business analyst for the purpose of capturing and describing the needs of the customer / business owner / business stakeholders. The BRD provides insight into the current state (AS-IS) and proposed (TO-BE) business processes, identifying stakeholders and profiling primary and secondary user communities.

  4. Who prepares the business requirements document BRD?

    The BRD is typically prepared by a business analyst. There are several individuals who may also be involved in creating it like the project team, business partners and key stakeholders. The BRD is one of the first few documents created in a project's lifecycle.

  5. Is BRD used in agile?

    In Agile, the product owner, business analyst or customer representative typically defines product features. The features are considered an epic in Agile, and these epics encompass everything defined in the BRD. The Agile project manager / scrum master works with the product owner to translate the BRD into epics that define the product.

  6. What is difference between BRD and FRD?

    The Business Requirement Document (BRD) describes the business needs whereas the Functional Requirement Document (FRD) outlines the functions, features and use cases required to fulfill the business need. BRD answers the question what the business wants to do whereas the FRD gives an answer to how it is done.

  7. How are business requirements captured in agile?

    While the BRD may be used is agile project management, agile teams will make use of Epics to represent high level features that need to be fulfilled. These represent business requirements in an agile project. Functional requirements will take to the form of user stories.

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Business Analyst Salary in the US – A good time to be one

business analyst salary in the us

Being a business analyst is one of the best career options now and for the next two decades. Business analyst salaries have skyrocketed since the onset of the corona virus pandemic, because companies have increased digital adoption. This adoption has further fueled the demand for the role of the business analyst! In this article, discover credible and latest data about business analyst salary and launch your career as a business analyst. This is a good time to be a business analyst!

Business Analyst salary in United States

The average base salary a Business Analyst makes in the United States ranges between $82,411 and $93,000. (Data: Indeed and BLS).

Top 5 States for Business Analyst Employment Opportunities in the US

The following are the top 5 states in terms of employment opportunities.

StateEmployment per thousand jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
District of Columbia29.43$ 53.21$ 110,670
Virginia14.98$ 52.35$ 108,890
Massachusetts8.69$ 56.19$ 116,870
Illinois8.36$ 54.05$ 112,420
Rhode Island8.28$ 51.56$ 107,250

Top paying states for Business Analysts in the US

The following are the top paying states for Business Analysts in the US:

StateEmployment per thousand jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Massachusetts8.69$ 56.19$ 116,870
New Jersey4.40$ 56.14$ 116,780
New York6.39$ 55.26$ 114,950
Washington7.01$ 55.16$ 114,730
Illinois8.36$ 54.05$ 112,420

Most common benefits for Business Analysts

Business analyst salaries exclude cash bonuses of $3,500 per year plus a host of other benefits that varies with company.

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • AD&D insurance
  • Adoption assistance
  • Commuter assistance
  • Dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee discount
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Flexible schedule
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Life insurance
  • On-site gym
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Pet insurance
  • Professional development assistance
  • Profit sharing
  • Referral program
  • Relocation assistance
  • Retirement plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Unlimited paid time off
  • Vision insurance
  • Work from home

Business Analyst Salary across states in the US

The following are business analyst salaries across all states in the US.

Business Analyst Salary across states in the US
Business Analyst Salary across states in the US

The following is a state wise breakdown of business analyst salaries in the US:

  • Business Analyst Salary in Massachusetts: $116870
  • Business Analyst Salary in New Jersey: $116780
  • Business Analyst Salary in New York: $114950
  • Business Analyst Salary in Washington: $114730
  • Business Analyst Salary in Illinois: $112420
  • Business Analyst Salary in Virginia: $108890
  • Business Analyst Salary in Rhode Island: $107250
  • Business Analyst Salary in Connecticut: $94123
  • Business Analyst Salary in California: $92823
  • Business Analyst Salary in Texas: $92476
  • Business Analyst Salary in Georgia: $92441
  • Business Analyst Salary in North Carolina: $90400
  • Business Analyst Salary in Minnesota: $89999
  • Business Analyst Salary in Wisconsin: $89117
  • Business Analyst Salary in Indiana: $88793
  • Business Analyst Salary in Oregon: $87832
  • Business Analyst Salary in Maryland: $87750
  • Business Analyst Salary in Ohio: $87750
  • Business Analyst Salary in Pennsylvania: $87500
  • Business Analyst Salary in Kansas: $85650
  • Business Analyst Salary in Iowa: $85158
  • Business Analyst Salary in Tennessee: $85150
  • Business Analyst Salary in Alaska: $85000
  • Business Analyst Salary in New Hampshire: $85000
  • Business Analyst Salary in Delaware: $84995
  • Business Analyst Salary in Missouri: $84945
  • Business Analyst Salary in Colorado: $84023
  • Business Analyst Salary in Arizona: $84000
  • Business Analyst Salary in Alabama: $82931
  • Business Analyst Salary in Michigan: $82875
  • Business Analyst Salary in Florida: $82847
  • Business Analyst Salary in West Virginia: $82500
  • Business Analyst Salary in Oklahoma: $80760
  • Business Analyst Salary in Wyoming: $80313
  • Business Analyst Salary in New Mexico: $80000
  • Business Analyst Salary in Mississippi: $78000
  • Business Analyst Salary in Vermont: $77544
  • Business Analyst Salary in Nevada: $77500
  • Business Analyst Salary in Louisiana: $77500
  • Business Analyst Salary in Kentucky: $77303
  • Business Analyst Salary in Utah: $76481
  • Business Analyst Salary in South Carolina: $76050
  • Business Analyst Salary in Nebraska: $75000
  • Business Analyst Salary in Arkansas: $73500
  • Business Analyst Salary in Maine: $65325
  • Business Analyst Salary in Idaho: $62200
  • Business Analyst Salary in North Dakota: $60450
  • Business Analyst Salary in South Dakota: $60450
  • Business Analyst Salary in Hawaii: $57822
  • Business Analyst Salary in Montana: $57106
Business Analyst Salaries in the US. Become a business analyst.
Business Analyst Salaries in the US

Allied Professions of Business Analysis

The following are occupations with job duties that are similar to those of business analysts along with their media salaries.

ActuariesActuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the economic costs of risk and uncertainty.Bachelor’s degree$105,900
Computer and Information Research ScientistsComputer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing computing technology.Master’s degree$131,490
Computer and Information Systems ManagersComputer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.Bachelor’s degree$159,010
Computer Network ArchitectsComputer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.Bachelor’s degree$120,520
Computer ProgrammersComputer programmers write, modify, and test code and scripts that allow computer software and applications to function properly.Bachelor’s degree$93,000
Computer Support SpecialistsComputer support specialists maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users.Bachelor’s degree$57,910
Database Administrators and ArchitectsDatabase administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure data.Bachelor’s degree$101,000
Information Security AnalystsInformation security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.Bachelor’s degree$102,600
Network and Computer Systems AdministratorsNetwork and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks.Bachelor’s degree$80,600
Operations Research AnalystsOperations research analysts use mathematics and logic to help solve complex issues.Bachelor’s degree$82,360
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersSoftware developers design computer applications or programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report defects.  Bachelor’s degree$109,020
Web Developers and Digital DesignersWeb developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability.Bachelor’s degree$78,300

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Analyst Salary in the US

  1. How much do business analysts earn in the US?

    The national average salary for a Business Analyst is $82,411 in United States.

  2. Is business analyst in demand in USA?

    The demand for business analysts has increased in recent years and is projected to continue. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth between 2022 and 2032 for similar roles to range from 7% (computer systems analysts) to 25 percent (operations research analysts).
    Employment of systems analysts is projected to grow 9-10% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

  3. How many business analysts' jobs are open in the US?

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects about 101,900 openings for analysts are projected each year, on average, over the next decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

  4. Is business analyst a good career in USA?

    Business Analyst is a good career because it offers strong salaries, plentiful job opportunities, and BAs generally report high job satisfaction and work-life balance. Another perk of a career in business analysis: the possibilities are endless.

  5. Does business analyst require coding?

    While the ability to program is helpful for a career as a business analyst, being able to write code isn't necessarily required. No-code, low-code softwares such as Tableau, PowerBI, SPSS, Alteryx, Weka, and even Excel can be used when managing and analyzing data.

  6. Do business analysts earn more than data analysts?

    Business analysts on average earn around $83,000 per year while data analysts earn around $67,000 per year. So yes, business analysts do earn more than data analysts on average.

  7. What is the career growth and progression of a business analyst?

    After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you could advance to VP of business analysis or project management, project management office (PMO) director, chief technology officer, or chief operating officer.

Become a Business Analyst with Experience

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5 BPMN examples in 3 easy steps – Editable BPMN – Here’s how to draw business process models

One of the tasks of a business analyst (BA) is to map out the current state and future states of the organization or processes. To clearly illustrate these states, BAs frequently use business process models. These process models utilize specific shapes that convey meaning in terms of processes and tasks.

What is BPMN (business process modelling notations) for business analysts?

Business process modelling notations (BPMN) are a suit of symbols and shapes used to represent business processes. Visually representing a business process offers business analysts the ability to communicate clearly with business as well as technical stakeholders.

Following a uniform Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) provides organizations with the capability of understanding their business procedures graphically and will give them the ability to communicate these procedures in a standardized way; a way that all stakeholders can understand.

In this article, we’ll learn to draw business process models using a process mapping / modelling tool. Note that there are several visual modelling tools available and most are well suited for the job including MS Visio.

Business Process Modelling Notation – BPMN Examples

Business analyst make frequent use of BPMN diagrams to ensure that the diverse teams they work with are on the same page. These diagrams are usually incorporated into the business requirements document (BRD), functional requirements document, and / or specifications.

Types of BPMN events

The three types of events in BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) are:

  1. Start Events: Start events represent the beginning of a process or a subprocess. They indicate where a process flow starts and can have different triggers, such as receiving a message, a timer reaching a specific point, or the occurrence of a specific condition. Start events are depicted with a single thin border.
  2. Intermediate Events: Intermediate events occur within a process flow, between the start and end events. They represent points where something happens or is expected to happen during the execution of the process. Intermediate events can be triggered by various events, such as the completion of a task, receiving a message, a timer, or the occurrence of an exception. Intermediate events are depicted with a double border.
  3. End Events: End events mark the completion of a process or a subprocess. They represent the point where the process flow terminates, either successfully or due to an exception or error. End events are depicted with a single thick border and may have different outcomes based on the flow preceding them.

These three types of events—start events, intermediate events, and end events—help define the flow and structure of a BPMN diagram by indicating where a process begins, where it ends, and the events that occur in between.

BPMN Walkthrough

Let’s work to develop a business process model for the following example scenario:

Once the boarding pass has been received, passengers proceed to the security check. Here they need to pass the personal security screening and the luggage screening. Afterwards, they can proceed to the departure level.

Time Needed : 1 hours

I'll advise you to first have an understanding of business needs and the proposed solution. A business process model is usually made for solutions that are envisioned for implementation. Once you have that ready and clearly defined in a business requirements document (BRD), you may then proceed to follow the steps enlisted below. Lets take an example and develop the process model:

  1. Explore available BPMN shapes that are frequently used

    BPMN diagrams frequently make use of shapes to represent events, activities and gates. You can get started quickly by mastering these symbols and shapes that are frequently used.
    There are three main events in BPMN i.e. start events, intermediate events and end events.

  2. Order the activities and events

    In the context of the example provided above, the following will be the order of activities: boarding pass received > proceed to the security check > pass the personal security screening and the luggage screening > proceed to the departure level > departure level reached.

  3. Use and connect the appropriate BPMN symbols

    Use gates, in this context, parallel gates to demonstrate the two activities that will be conducted in parallel. Converge the two paths with the same gate.

  • Any BPMN tool.
  • Analytical thinking, BPMN shapes.

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Types of BPMN Diagrams

These three types of BPMN diagrams serve different purposes and provide varying levels of detail, allowing for comprehensive modeling and documentation of business processes at different levels of abstraction and complexity. The three types of BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) diagrams are:

Process Diagrams

Process diagrams are the most commonly used type of BPMN diagram. They represent the flow of activities, events, and decisions within a single process. Process diagrams use various symbols to illustrate the sequence of tasks, gateways for decision points, start and end events, and the flow of data or messages between process elements.

Example: Purchase Order Process

This process diagram represents the flow of activities, events, and decisions involved in a purchase order process. It includes symbols such as start event, activities, exclusive gateway for approval decision, and end events. The diagram illustrates the sequence of tasks, the decision point for approving or rejecting the purchase order, and the overall flow of the process.

Collaboration Diagrams

Collaboration diagrams, also known as choreography diagrams, focus on illustrating interactions and collaborations between multiple participants or business entities. They show the exchange of messages, events, and tasks between different process participants, representing the coordination and synchronization of activities across organizational boundaries.

Example: Order Fulfillment Collaboration

This collaboration diagram showcases the interactions between different participants in an order fulfillment process, such as a customer and a warehouse. It visualizes the exchange of messages, events, and tasks between the participants. The diagram demonstrates the coordination and synchronization of activities between the customer and the warehouse, representing the flow of information and tasks across organizational boundaries.

Choreography Diagrams

Choreography diagrams provide a higher-level view of interactions between multiple participants in a process. They emphasize the sequence and coordination of activities among different participants rather than the internal details of each participant’s process. Choreography diagrams typically show the flow of messages and tasks exchanged between participants, along with any associated conditions or constraints.

Example: Customer Support Interaction

This choreography diagram illustrates the interaction and coordination between a customer and a support agent in a customer support process. It highlights the sequence and coordination of activities between the participants. The diagram shows the flow of messages and tasks exchanged between the customer and the support agent, capturing the responsibilities and interactions between them.

5 BPMN examples

Purchase Order Process

This scenario represents the process of handling purchase orders within a business. It starts with the reception of a purchase order, followed by activities such as validating the order, checking inventory availability, and approving the purchase order. The approval decision is made using an exclusive gateway. Finally, the process ends with the purchase order either being approved or rejected.

View editable BPMN

This is a Purchase Order Process

Customer Onboarding Process

This scenario outlines the steps involved in onboarding a new customer. It begins with the customer registration and includes activities such as verifying customer information, creating a customer account, conducting a background check, and issuing a welcome package. The background check and account creation activities run in parallel using a parallel gateway. The process concludes when the customer onboarding is complete.

View editable BPMN here.

Customer Onboarding BPMN Process

Expense Reimbursement Process

This scenario focuses on the reimbursement of employee expenses. It starts with the submission of an expense report, followed by activities like verifying the report, approving it, and processing the reimbursement. An exclusive gateway is used to determine whether the expense report is approved or rejected. The process ends when the reimbursement is processed.

Product Development Process

This scenario outlines the process of developing a new product. It begins with a new product idea and involves activities such as conceptualizing the product, conducting market research, developing a prototype, testing the prototype, and refining the product based on feedback. The process ends when the product is deemed ready for launch.

Customer Support Process

This scenario represents the steps involved in handling customer support tickets. It starts with the creation of a support ticket and includes activities such as assigning the ticket to an agent, investigating the reported issue, troubleshooting the problem, and potentially escalating it if needed. The investigation and troubleshooting activities run in parallel using a parallel gateway. The process concludes when the ticket is resolved.

Become a Business Analyst by mastering BPMN

Discover and experience the entire life cycle of business analysis with our unique, intensive and affordable Business Analyst Work Experience Certification and Training Course program.

Frequently asked questions about business process modelling notations

  1. What is a BPMN diagram?

    A BPMN (business process modelling notation) diagram is a visual representation for illustrating processes in a business process model. Process models are usually sequence of steps that are performed to attain an objective or result.

  2. What are the three types of BPMN

    There are three types of BPMN diagrams namely Process Diagrams, Collaboration Diagrams, and Choreography Diagrams.

  3. What are the three types of events in BPMN?

    There are three main events within business process modeling BPMN i.e. start events, intermediate events, and end events.

  4. What are Process Diagrams?

    Process diagrams are the most commonly used type of BPMN diagram. They represent the flow of activities, events, and decisions within a single process.

  5. What are Collaboration Diagrams?

    Collaboration diagrams, also known as choreography diagrams, focus on illustrating interactions and collaborations between multiple participants or business entities.

  6. What are Choreography Diagrams?

    Choreography diagrams provide a higher-level view of interactions between multiple participants in a process. They emphasize the sequence and coordination of activities among different participants rather than the internal details of each participant's process.

  7. Who began BPMN?

    BPMN was originally developed by the Business Process Management Initiative. BPMN has been maintained by the Object Management Group since the two organizations merged in 2005.

  8. What is BPMN used for?

    BPMN is used to visualize coded flows in an understandable way. For example, business analysts frequently create BPMN diagrams representing business processes. BPMN diagrams are usually embedded into the business requirements document and the functional requirements document.

  9. Is BPMN a flowchart?

    Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a charting technique that illustrates the steps of a planned business process from end to end. A key element of Process Management, BPMN diagrams visually depict detailed sequences of business activities and information flows needed to complete a process and complete a task or produce a result.

  10. What is BPMN in business analysis?

    BPMN is the use of symbols to clearly illustrate the flow and processes of business activities. Its primary goal is to eliminate confusion, build common understanding of current states and envisioned future states of business processes.

  11. Why do we create BPMN diagrams?

    The greatest value of demonstrating processes diagrammatically is the elimination of confusion, thereby building common understanding among all stakeholders who view the diagram. Usually, business analysts illustrate the current states and envisioned future states of business processes.

  12. Is BPM and BPMN same?

    BPM is an abbreviate for business process model, while BPMN is a notation, a set of rules and symbols to represent the steps of a process graphically.

  13. What are the BPMN basic shapes?

    While there are many shapes as outlined in the BPMN guide, there are four main shapes that set the foundation for describing processes: task, event, decision, and flow.

  14. What are BPMN tools?

    BPMN tools are graphical software used to design and illustrate systematic approaches to represent business processes. They are used to model, implement, and automate business workflows with the goal of improving organizational performance by minimizing errors, inefficiencies, miscommunication and build common understanding.

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Professional Business Analyst Training and Certification with Work Experiences in USA

Business Analyst Certification Course and work Experience course by Savio Education Global

Participants join our simulated business analyst work experience course around the world for 8 weeks, throughout the year, to work in teams. Successfully completing this business analyst course within the stipulated time will ensure that you can demonstrate your competence as a business analyst and meet real world expectations. This work experience offers you a professional business analyst certification that is greatly valued by hiring managers.

When you join Savio Global in this simulation of a Business Analyst, you are joining a firm that will challenge you and ensure your professional development. In this role you will work on the best teams to solve difficult business problems and perform professional business analysis. You will also work with many experts, from data scientists and researchers to software and app designers. This program is a 100% experiential learning program that readies you for a career as a business analyst.

Your Business Analyst Certification and Work Experience

You’ll work in teams of typically 3 – 5 consultants, playing an active role in all aspects of the business engagement.

In this Business Analyst course, you will perform business analysis, which includes gathering and analyzing information, formulating and testing hypotheses, performing benchmarking, business data analysis and developing and communicating recommendations. You’ll also have the opportunity to present results to management and implement recommendations in collaboration with team members.

You will work from home with your Savio Global colleagues, owning a distinct piece of the project. Some examples of the specific work may include interviewing people, leading teams, building business and technological models, creating and delivering presentations, and working with Savio Global subject experts to develop perspectives and insights.

Our Business Analyst Work Experience program gives participants first-hand and immersive experiences. Through this simulation course, you will participate in continuous training, as well as a range of continuous learning activities to get to know your work leading up to your professional business analyst certification.

Business Analyst Training – Be the best in business analysis

You’ll gain new skills and build on the strengths you may already have. You as a Business Analyst will receive exceptional training as well as frequent coaching and mentoring from colleagues on your teams. This support includes daily training. Moreover, to ensure that you are a truly certified business analysis professional, an expert from our practice is assigned to you to help guide you throughout your work experience.

Through one month of mentor guided work experiences in business analysis, you will learn, grow and be evaluated in the abilities to:

  • create professional requirements documentations using prioritization techniques, user stories, and more!
  • use advanced business modelling notations for communication
  • apply advanced SQL for database querying
  • use MS Excel for dashboarding
  • develop tests for product verification
  • use Tableau to create and present stunning visualizations
  • develop insights from data and guide business decision making
  • communicate professionally

Includes over 25 hours of instructional videos for FREE!
Placement assistance included. Know more here.

This low cost, high value Business Analyst Work Experience provides you a business analyst certification and prepares you and enhances your skills to secure a job as a business analyst. Explore thousands of Business Analysis Jobs (Credly: External Site).

Learn business analysis from Master Facilitator and Professor, Savio Saldanha, PMP

Prof. Savio Saldanha will mentor you in this business analyst certification program. Learn from the best; be the best!

Savio is an industry professional and veteran project manager. He has served in several techno-functional roles at companies including Dentsu International, Bank of America, CITI Bank, TCS and L&T Infotech. He is recognized by LinkedIn as being among the top 5% in AI ML globally. He also serves as an Advisor to Harvard Business Review Council, USA and is a Contributing Member to the Python Software Foundation, USA. Savio has authored two books on project management and business analysis and is a Contributing Author to the Project Management Standard Seventh Edition 2021, PMI USA. He is a Certified Project Management Instructor and Professional, Software Quality Assurance Specialist, (ISTQB Belgium) among others. He currently also serves as Adjunct Professor for Analytics and Project Management at Universal Business School, Mumbai.

Business Analyst program reviews by participants

Business analyst salaries in the US

The average base salary a Business Analyst makes in the United States ranges between $82,411 and $93,000. (Data: Indeed and BLS). The average additional cash compensation for a Business Analyst in US is $7,869. The average total compensation for a Business Analyst in US is $90,742. To know details of business analyst salaries in every state in the USA, read here.

Who is this business analyst certification for – Beginners or Experienced Professionals?

Our Business Analyst certification program is designed to cater to beginners, freshers as well as experienced professionals. Because of the depth of the program, the ideal candidate is one who is willing to invest the effort to complete the projects, tasks, and stakeholder presentations, within a timely manner. Our team of educators are constantly evaluating you on key business analyst skills like critical thinking, analytical reasoning, communication abilities, and many more in order to develop and enhance you.

Frequently asked questions about business analyst training and certification with work experiences

  1. What are the eligibility criteria for this Post Graduate Program in Business Analysis with Immersive Experiences?

    For admission to our Work Experience Program in Business Analysis, candidates should have a bachelor's / master's degree in any discipline with an average of 50% or higher marks.

  2. Can candidates from non programming backgrounds apply?

    Yes. The program develops skills in business analysis. Business analysts are semi-technical roles, that do not emphasize programming. However, our program includes building skills in SQL, which we begin from the basics.

  3. Can freshers or beginners join the program, those without work experience?

    The program is designed for freshers / beginners as well as working professionals.

  4. What can I expect from this program?

    In addition to experiencing the role of a business analyst yourself, you also gain:
    – Gain the necessary skills to secure your business analyst job
    – Be ready to crack your next business analyst interview
    – Gain an industry recognized certificate from Savio Global
    – Lifetime access to all program elearning content
    – Lifetime career coaching, guidance, and placement assistance

  5. What are the placement assistance options I get?

    Savio Global's Job Assist program is a country-specific offering to help you land your dream job. With the Job Assist program, we offer extended support for the certified learners who are looking for a job switch or starting with their first job. Upon successful completion of this immersive and experiential business analyst program, you will be eligible to apply for Job Assist and your details will be shared with our network of recruiters and hiring managers. As a part of this program, we offer the following exclusive services:
    – Resume building assistance 
    – Career Mentoring and Interview Preparation sessions

  6. Will I get live coaching and mentoring to be a business analyst?

    Yes, you will receive regular business analysis mentoring and coaching from senior industry professions and leaders twice every week for the duration of the program. Industry veterans include VPs, directors, and professionals in the field of business analysis.

  7. What qualifications do you need to be a business analyst?

    – A graduate / post graduate degree
    – Relaxed education qualifications in some companies – High school diploma
    – the ability to use your initiative
    – the ability to work well with others
    – good verbal communication skills

  8. Can fresher join as business analyst?

    Usually, business analysts come from engineering or business (MBA) backgrounds. For a complete fresher / recent graduate without any work experience, the only way to enter a career as a business analyst is by undertaking the Business Analyst Work Experience Program offered by Savio Global. Such a program helps fill gaps in your experience, offers new and real-world experiences, and prepares you for the workplace.

  9. Is business analyst easy to learn?

    Business analysis is a career with much variety, demanding skills such as problem solving, relationship management, time management and good communication. It can be very satisfying for those with the inclination to pursue it and the diversity it offers.

  10. How do I start a business analyst career?

    – Learn business analysis fundamentals.
    – Take a business analysis work experience program.
    – Work on projects to develop your practical business analysis skills.
    – Develop visualizations and practice presenting them.
    – Develop a Business Analyst portfolio to showcase your work.
    – Get familiar with important software used in business analysis.
    – Familiarize yourself with glossaries around business analysis.

  11. Are business analysts well paid?

    The average Business Analyst makes over $93,000 per year! Learn more about business analyst salaries and earnings.

  12. Can a non engineer become a business analyst?

    It is completely possible for a non-IT / non engineering professional to become a business analyst. Many of our program participants did not have engineering backgrounds and have been hired in the roles of business analysis. Read reviews here.

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Typical Job Description of a Business Analyst

Typical job description of a business analyst

While different industries require industry specific skills, our research shows that most business analyst jobs vacancies tend to require a common set of competencies. The following is our compilation of the typical job description of a business analyst profile.

  • Bachelor’s Degree or related experience (preferred in IT, technology, business, marketing, or a industry related field).
  • 0-5 years’ experience.
  • Data visualization (Tableau / Power BI) & SQL skills and experience.
  • Advanced MS Excel skills including formulas, pivot tables, data filters/sorts.
  • Works collaboratively with stakeholders and business leaders to understand, review, analyze and evaluate business needs.
  • Responsible for business requirements: definition and documentation for new and changed application deliverables.
  • Act as a liaison between business partners and IT development team.
  • Scope, elicit, analyze and document business requirements – BRD for both new and existing applications using a variety of techniques and tools.
  • Translate business requirements into functional requirements through the use of a functional requirement document FRD.
  • Define and manage the scope of projects anticipating issues and proactively recommending solutions.
  • Construct workflow charts, process diagrams and models.
  • Self-motivated, willing to learn new technologies and able to work independently & cross-functionally
  • Goal-oriented, passionate, high-energy professional with a “no excuses” attitude
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Must be comfortable and competent in communications with senior stakeholders both internally & externally 
  • Possesses the drive to participate and succeed in the growth of the company
  • Strong computer skills with experience using MS Office, and Google applications

Our Business Analyst Work Experiences help students and candidates master these specific skills needed to succeed in interviews and jobs as business analysts.

These critical skills are also useful in a wide variety of allied job roles as well including Data Analyst, Project Manager, Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, and many more. Read more about related roles here.

We’ve also described key differences between the roles of the business analyst and the data analyst.

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Data Analysts vs Business Analysts – Successful Careers

business analyst vs data analyst

Business analysts and data analysts share many responsibilities. But there are some key differences between them, too. Discover what the role of the business analyst and data analyst are, and how to decide which role might suit you best. To maintain a competitive edge, organizations rely ever more on data insights. This is either to solve existing problems or to identify new ones. Two common data roles you may come across are business analysts and data analysts. However, the many similarities between these roles can cause confusion when trying to distinguish between them.

In today’s world, data and technology increasingly pervades every industry and every aspect of how a business is run. This makes a career in data and technology a compelling prospect for many, with a variety of exciting career paths to choose from.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between data analysts and business analysts. We’ll look at their responsibilities, how much they earn, and offer some tips for deciding which career path to take. We’ll cover:

  1. What are the different responsibilities for business analysts and data analysts?
  2. Should you become a data analyst or a business analyst?
  3. Key takeaways

1. Business analysts vs. data analysts: What is the difference?

Before digging into the differences between business analytics and data analytics, it’s important to understand that they share many skills. For this reason, the terms are often used interchangeably and the responsibilities between them can be quite fluid. However, the core differences between data analysts and business analysts are threefold:

  • What value each role brings to the organization
  • The stakeholders they work with
  • The skills required to succeed in the role

Let’s explore further.

What do business analysts do?

Business analysts help identify problems, opportunities, and solutions for their organizations.

A business analyst is someone who focuses on an organization’s business operations. While they work with data, their main aim is to help find solutions to known business issues. For instance, how to improve products, services, internal processes, or financial reporting. While business analysts need to understand and apply aspects of the data analytics process, this is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. In short: data guides them, but profit drives them.

Business analysts are practical problem-solvers. They take a high-level view of what’s needed to make a business run more effectively. They’re strategic-minded and commercially focused. Business analysts need technical expertise, but their most invaluable traits are communication and leadership skills. In many ways, business analysts are not just problem-solvers, but salespeople. They must work with executive directors, board members, and other key decision-makers to get buy-in for their ideas. Having excellent powers of persuasion is vital for a business analyst. They must frame solutions in a way that convinces senior management that their chosen path is the right one for the business.

It can help to think of a business as a cruise ship. A business analyst would be the ship’s navigator. While they don’t make the final decision about the ship’s route (that’s up to the captain and other senior staff) they do have a better understanding than most of the ship’s quirks and nearby ocean topography (or the business landscape). As the most knowledgeable person on these matters, their job is to recommend the most scenic route—preferably one that also avoids unexpected icebergs!

They do this by:

  • Evaluating a company’s current functions and IT structures
  • Reviewing processes and interviewing team members to identify areas for improvement
  • Presenting findings and recommendations to management and other key stakeholders
  • Creating visuals and financial models to support business decisions
  • Training and coaching staff in new systems

What do data analysts do?

Data analysts gather, clean, analyze, visualize, and present existing data to help inform business decisions. An effective data analyst uses data to answer a question and empower decision makers to plot the best course of action.

Unlike a business analyst, a data analyst focuses more closely on data. While their insights are used to inform business decisions, a data analyst’s role is usually less strategic. Of course, an outstanding data analyst will exhibit great communication and persuasion skills. But this is less of a vital skill than it is for a business analyst.

Instead, a data analyst’s value lies more in their technical abilities. Excellent programming skills, math and statistics, knowledge of a wide range of analytical processes, domain expertise, and creating custom dashboards and visualizations are a data analyst’s most indispensable skills.

To follow our cruise ship analogy, a data analyst can be seen as the ship’s engineer. While the navigator (or business analyst) sits on the bridge, the engineer (or data analyst’s) work usually takes place below deck. They have a much more in-depth understanding of all the ship’s systems. From the engine room to the propellers, the generators, and electrical systems, their job is to keep tabs on every aspect of the ship’s performance. While their insights are invaluable to the captain and for keeping the ship in tip-top shape, they don’t necessarily play a direct role in directing where it goes.

Common tasks for a data analyst might include:

  • Working with business leaders and stakeholders to define a problem or business need
  • Identifying and sourcing data 
  • Cleaning and preparing data for analysis
  • Analyzing data for patterns and trends
  • Visualizing data to make it easier to understand
  • Presenting data in such a way that it tells a compelling story

Educational background

Business and data analysts can come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, though most companies look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. Generally speaking, business analysts might have a degree in a business-related field, while data analysts often have degrees in STEM fields like statistics, math, or computer science.

2. Skills: business analyst vs. data analyst

Data analysis and business analysis involve a different skillsets. While both occupations work with data, they do so in different ways and to varying degrees.

Business Analysts Skills and Work

Data Analysts Skills and Work

  • Data collection: Scraping data from various sources, including the web, primary and third-party systems.
  • Data modeling and processing: Devising new ways of collecting, storing, and manipulating data, often using tools like Python or Excel.
  • Data cleaning: Tidying datasets and removing duplicate data points or inconsistencies in preparation for analysis.
  • Data analysis: Knowledge of a broad range of analyses, including exploratory data analysis, descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analytics (amongst others).
  • Data visualization and reporting: Creating complex reports and eye-catching visualizations, using a variety of software and tools like Tableau.

Both our experiential programs – Business Analyst Work Experience program and the Data Analyst Work Experience Program teach you Tableau!

  • Domain expertise: Data analysts often specialize in a very specific area of business operations, such as sales or finance (as opposed to the more organizationally global skills of a business analyst)
  • Communication: Presenting findings in a variety of ways, e.g. multimedia reports, written reports, visualizations, or face-to-face presentations.

Here’s a look at a common comparison of skills for each.

Data analystBusiness analyst
Data analysisNeeds / requirements analysis
Knowledge of data structuresKnowledge of business structures
SQL and statistical programmingMicrosoft Visio and software design tools, and at times, SQL
A comparison of business analysis skills alongside data analysis skills

The two roles share several skills as well. Whichever path you choose, you can set yourself up for success by being a good:

  • Strong oral and written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Organizing
  • Collaborating

3. Who earns more, business analysts or data analysts?

Despite different responsibilities, business analysts and data analysts earn approximately the same amount. To offer an idea of the salaries for each role, we’ve pulled data from the salary comparison site Payscale.

According to Payscale, data analysts in the United States earn a median salary of $61K. This ranges from $43K for entry-level positions, to around $85K for senior roles.

Meanwhile, business analysts also earn a median of $61K. Salaries range from $45K to $82K, depending on skill level.

While the difference here is minimal, data analysts often earn slightly more. This is because they usually need more technical expertise. From a practical standpoint, there are also many more graduates with business degrees than those with degrees in technical subjects such as math or statistics (more common requirements for data analysts). This reduces the pool of candidates for data analytics roles, contributing to the higher salary.

Importantly, what you’ll actually earn is more reliant on job-specific factors. For instance: the responsibilities and seniority of the role, the industry you’re working in, and an organization’s size. However, when choosing between the two career paths, salary shouldn’t be a key deciding factor. It’s far better to follow the one that most interests you.

4. Should you become a data analyst or a business analyst?

How can you decide which career path to choose? Hopefully, the first three sections of this post should give you a rough of idea which role might suit you best. If you’re still unsure, though, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Should you become a data analyst?

Do you have a technical degree in a field like data science, math, statistics, or computing? Perhaps you have a technical background, with a career in software development or information systems management? Do you have a natural flair for making sense of abstract data? Are you happier working with spreadsheets and programming languages than interacting with people in high-stakes negotiations? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then a future in data analytics might be your best bet. Alternatively…

Should you become a business analyst?

Do you have a degree in a field like business administration, finance, or accounting? Perhaps you’ve spent much of your career working in senior management roles, dealing with commercial negotiations or strategic planning? Are you a big-picture person who enjoys getting hands-on with practical business problems? Do you love the challenge of dealing with different people, figuring out how to communicate data in ways that will push an agenda forward? If the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, then business analytics might be your preferred path.

5. Key takeaways

In this post, we’ve explored the differences between business analysts and data analysts. We’ve learned that:

  • Business analysts use data to create specific business solutions, such as how to improve products, services, processes, or increase profit.
  • Data analysts take a slightly less strategic role, focusing on a deeper analysis of more complex datasets, often deriving broader insights from that data.
  • Business analysts usually focus on strategic activities like driving new product development and winning stakeholder buy-in for new ideas.
  • Data analysts (though requiring business know-how) tend to focus on the technical aspects of data analytics, e.g. data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  • Data analysts and business analysts both earn about the same amount.

The demand for business analysts and data analysts is growing. As the digital economy adapts with the times, you can be certain that both roles will become even more in-demand, evolving in unexpected but fascinating directions.

Frequently Asked Questions about the difference between business analysts and data analysts

  1. Is data analyst same as business analyst? What is the difference?

    Business analysts use data to help organizations achieve strategic goals with tactical outcomes. In contrast, data analysts gather and analyze data for the business to evaluate and to make better decisions.

  2. Which is better data analyst or business analyst?

    Data analysts tend to work more closely with the data itself, while business analysts tend to be more involved in addressing business needs and recommending solutions. Both are highly sought-after roles that are typically well-compensated.

  3. Do business analysts use SQL?

    SQL is not required for most business analyst positions. Based on Glassdoor data, only 27% of business analyst job listings have SQL as a requirement and 73% do not. However, this need for SQL is dependent on company, career experience, and a technology stack used at the company. Hence, it is a wise decision to master this skill and gain competitive advantage.

  4. Who can become business analyst?

    Most Business Analysts possess a bachelor's degree – often in business administration, finance, accounting, statistics, or computer science or programming – and for many people, this degree may be the most logical first step in getting some exposure to business analysis theory. IT professionals working on projects regularly graduate to becoming business analysts.

  5. Can you become a business analyst without experience?

    In short, yes. While many organizations seek candidates who have at least some experience in a business analyst role, there are ways to work around this requirement by developing and demonstrating the skills needed to do the job of BA. Explore the Business Analyst Work Experience program.

  6. What is the difference between business analytics and business analyst?

    Business analytics refers to the field of work around driving decision making through (usually big) data analysis and visualization. Business analysts work as a function of project management, helping determine organizational requirements and chart a course towards improvement.

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How to start a career as a business analyst?

Most students and academicians aren’t familiar with the role of the business analyst. This leads to a mismatch of expectations between industry needs and academic deliverables. While many may have heard of it, few understand the role. In this post, I’ll offer you step by step instructions on what you will need to begin your career as a business analyst.

Time Needed : 30 days

A business analyst is a problem solver, and helps find ways to quickly deliver solutions and products to market, leads change, and makes organizations effective. Business analysts focus on achieving business needs and requirements by bridging the gap between an organization’s current position and the one it desires to reach.

  1. Know the responsibilities of a business analyst:

    The Project Management Institute observes that the career duties of a business analyst include gathering information about problems to be solved or procedures to be improved, interviewing personnel and conducting onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed, finding root causes for problems and proposing solutions that many include new systems, procedures, or personnel changes, and presenting findings to decision makers.

  2. Understand the documents created by a business analyst:

    The career of a business analyst involves developing several documents critical the the business objective including but not limited to Business Requirement Document (learn more), User stories, Use cases, Functional requirement specification (FRS) / Functional Requirement Document (FRD) (learn more), Requirement traceability matrix (RTM), and Test cases.

  3. Gain experience performing business analysis:

    The best way to gain experience as a business analyst is to enroll in a work based learning program like the one we have. Our Business Analyst Work Experience program helps recent graduates and experienced professionals gain the needed experience to crack tough business analyst interviews and secure the jobs they desire. Alternatively, an internship in business analysis could help but usually does not expose interns to real world work, thereby limiting learning outcomes.

  4. Get your business analysis skills certified:

    Showcase your skills in business analysis by being certified in the Business Analyst Work Experience program. Additionally, demonstrate your BA competence with functioning deliverables, documents, and results to delight your recruiting managers. View an example of a work experience participant here.

  • Business Analyst Work Experience Program
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  • Persistence.
  • Desire to learn new tools.
  • Desire to communicate confidently.

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Frequently asked questions about business analyst skills

  1. What skills are needed for business analyst?

    – Requirements elicitation skills
    – Meeting facilitation skills.
    – Oral and written communication skills.
    – Analytical thinking and problem solving.
    – Business process modelling skills (BPMN).
    – Interpersonal and people skills.
    – Consultation skills.
    – Being detail-oriented and capable of delivering a high level of accuracy.
    – Knowledge of the domain of the organization. For example: finance, healthcare, banking, advertising, etc.
    – Stakeholder analysis.

  2. What technical skills should a business analyst have?

    – SQL
    – Tableau / PowerBI
    – Advanced MS Excel
    – Business process modelling (BPMN)
    – SQL (preferably)
    – Clear understanding of cloud computing
    – Ability to document business and functional requirements clearly.