Andyblg's Blog

July 20, 2009

Constraints, business and technical requirements to analysis solution

Filed under: Analysis Solution — andyblg @ 22:49
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To design an analysis solution efficiently, you need to be able to identify both the business and technical requirements involved in the project. You also need to be able to identify and work with any project constraints.

Business requirements

It is essential to identify business requirements when you design an analysis solution. Business requirements describe what the business needs the analysis solution to achieve. To identify the factors that are critical to your design, you must obtain answers to the following questions:

  • What business decisions must be supported by the solution?
  • Who needs access to the data to make those decisions?
  • What differences exist between user constituencies and their definitions of data measurements? For example, does the sales team measure profit in the same way that the production team does?
  • What level of interactivity with the data is required?
  • What data latency is tolerable? For example, do users need to perform analysis on a historic snapshot of the business data, or do they need to perform real-time analysis?

Technical requirements

Technical requirements are those that relate to the technical implementation of the solution.

Business requirements define what the solution must do, and technical requirements define how that solution will be achieved.

Some technical requirements are driven by the business requirements (for example, sales data that is specified in a business requirement is stored in a specific data store).

Some technical factors to consider include:

  • The data sources that exist
  • The data extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) operations that need to be performed
  • Interoperability
  • Performance and scalability
  • Security
  • Availability
  • Client access requirements

Constraints

You must understand constraints if you want to successfully design any analysis solution. Constraints are the factors that limit the solution.

Some constraints you might need to consider include:

  • The users’ familiarity with a computer interface.
  • Limitations on implementation and maintenance costs, including issues such as training and making regular backups.
  • Limitations on administrative overheads, including ongoing ETL requirements.
  • Limitations caused by technology policies and standards. (For example, a requirement that only approved software versions service packs from a centrally managed list can be deployed in the production environment.)

© Microsoft Corporation

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