Four-day Business Information Analysis


The emphasis of this four-day workshop is on the gathering and specifying of the Business Information.  As data is typically global (i.e. shared by many within the organisation), information analysis is a critical task for any organisation.

The inability to specify an organisation-wide set of data and their relationships can lead to mass redundancy of data and unsynchronized information as well as dead data (gathered, updated and never used).  This is regardless of any latest database implementation or stringent manual procedures.


Communication between the Business Owner and the Business Analyst is obviously the most critical during the analysis stage.  Business Information Analysis draws heavily on graphical as well as textual documentation (models) to assist in this critical gathering activity.  Because we can’t see analysis (although we can easily see design and implementation aspects), we need models to help us convey the Business Requirements.  Two widely accepted and applicable models for Information Analysis are Entity Relationship Diagrams and Data models which graphically represents an organisation’s stored data as Entities (cohesive groupings of facts), Relationships (associations between Entities) and Data Elements (business facts).


A real world case study is used to show the importance of deriving a logical view of data and their relationships in an organisation.  This logical view removes any design characteristics for folders, file cabinets, 3-part forms and sequential files, network/hierarchical/relational databases, mass storage devices, etc.  That may be in place today so that they don’t corrupt the new design of stored data.

The major focus of logical modeling is to derive a Business Event partitioned model that reflects the most customer-orientated, stable and maintainable view of the business data.  This logical view of the Business Information will flow naturally into the Enterprise/organisation Information Model and into data design.


Analysts, Product Developers or any information systems or business professional actively involved in producing a business requirements definition or product development or process improvement / engineering.  No Information Technology (IT) experience required.


NQF 3 / Matric and at least one years working experience from a business or systems development perspective.  Computer Literacy.


Instructor led, with approximately 6 hours of exercise for the delegate to test each new tool or technique in the classroom environment.  The case study takes the delegate through the 4 stages of information analysis i.e. as is design, As-Is analysis, To-Be analysis, To-Be design


After completing this workshop the delegate will be able to:

  1. Start analysing in a structured approach and know what deliverables are required i.e. Process models, process specifications, Entity Relationship Diagrams, entity, relationship and data specifications and the data dictionary.

  2. Which models are the most appropriate to use, flow charts, data flow diagrams (DFD), entity relationship diagrams (ERD), functional decomposition, object orientation, narrative text etc.

  3. How to identify a process from stimulus to response (Organisational Events)

  4. How to separate design issues from business issues

  5. How to apply Quality Assurance to each deliverable

  6. Use a systematic top down approach to information modelling

  7. Normalise data to 3rd normal form

  8. Develop a logical ERD

  9. Understand what a repository is and why it’s important.


  1. Identify the characteristics required from a case tool and understand the difference between a modelling tool and a case tool


  1. Develop a Business Requirements document that can be used as input to design (the Technical Specification / Functional Specification)

    Course Content


A Common Platform of Understanding


  • Evolution of Systems Thinking
  • Definition of Key Terms
  • A High Level View of A Development Life Cycle
  • The Need for Stored Data
  • Identifying the Essential Business Data
  • The content of Information Analysis
  • The Goals of Information Analysis


The Essence of Every Organisation
  • Forming an Organisation’s Core Business
  • Forming the Business Policy Layer
  • Forming the Technology/Customer Interface Layer
  • How Organisations Should Grow by Replication
  • How Organisations Should Accomplish Strategic Growth



Dis-Covering the Real Business
  • How Typical Organisations Have Fragmented an Event
  • Business Overgrowth
  • Everything you See Is a Design
  • Business Archaeology
  • Business Processing Overgrowth
  • Business Data Overgrowth
  • Organisational/Systemic Overgrowth


Recognising Historical Wrong Turns
  • Wrong Turn #1 – People Partitioning in Manual Systems
  • Wrong Turn #2 – Computer Partitioning in Automated Systems
  • Wrong Turn #3 – Program Partitioning in Automated Systems
  • Wrong Turn #4 – Data File Partitioning in Automated Systems
  • Wrong Turn #5 – File Partitioning in Manual Systems
  • Wrong Turn #6 – After-the-fact Quality Control
  • The Result of Historic Wrong Turns



The Nature of Systems
  • Fundamental Characteristics of Systems
  • Stimulus/Response Partitioning
  • An Example of System


The Need for Models
  • How Do We Currently Specify Business Requirements?
  • Models for Analysis
  • What to Model
  • Process-Oriented Models
  • Data-Oriented Models
  • Process & Data-Oriented Models
  • Samples of Models
  • How We “See” the Business
  • The Complete Specification – The Organisation’s Repository


Overview of Information Analysis
  • Definition of Information Analysis
  • The Context of Information Analysis
  • Tools for the Information Analyst
  • Definition of an Information Model
  • Sample Information Models
  • Using ERDs to Model Design and Analysis Issues
  • Definition of an Entity
  • Sample Entity Specification
  • Definition of a Relationship
  • Sample Relationship Specification
  • Definition of a Data Element
  • Sample Data Element Specification
  • Sample Complete Information Analysis Specification
  • Detailed View of Information Analysis Methodology
  • Separating Analysis/Design and Current/New Issues


Analysis of Entities
  • The Universal Entity Concept
  • Definition of an Entity
  • How do we Form Entities?
  • Rules for Validating Entity Types
  • Entity-Type and Entity Occurrence
  • Discovering Entities Using Top-down Information Analysis
  • Discovering Entities Using a Process Specification
  • Sample entity specification



Exercise 1
The Flavours of Entities
  • Flavours of Entities
  • Discovering Supertype and Subtypes
  • A Supertype/Subtype Test
  • Specifying Optional/Mandatory Business Data Rules
  • Sample Supertype/Subtype Models
  • Supertype/Subtype Rules


Analysis of Relationships
  • Eliminating Data Redundancy through Relationship
  • Definition of a Relationship
  • Defining Meaningful Relationships
  • Representing Relationship Cardinality
  • Relationship Type and Relationship Occurrence
  • Discovering Relationships
  • Capturing Necessary Relationships
  • Specifying Organisation-wide Relationship Connection Rules
  • Specifying Organisation-wide Relationship Cardinality
  • Sample Relationship Specification (Event Level View)



Exercise 2
Analysis of Data Elements
  • Definition of a Data Element (attribute)
  • Sample Data Element Specification
  • Discovering Data Elements
  • Data Elements Names
  • Data Element Format, Content/Domain




Exercise 3
Normalisation – Bottom Up Information Analysis
  • The Need for Attribution and Normalisation
  • Definition of Normalisation
  • First Normal Form
  • Second Normal Form
  • Third Normal Form
  • The Benefits and Limitations of Normalisation




Exercise 4
Organisational Event Modelling
  • Organisational Event Definitions
  • Classical Vs. Organisational Event Partitioning
  • Organisational Event Naming
  • What Constitutes A Total Organisational Event
  • Organisational Event Source and Stimulus
  • Organisational Event Processing and Memory
  • Organisational Event Response and Recipient
  • Organisational Event Level Vs. Detail Level Modelling
  • Separating Organisation Events
  • Types Of Events
  • Definition of Strategic Events
  • Recognising Strategic Events
  • Definition of Systems Events
  • Definition of Business Events
  • Definition of Regulatory Events
  • Definition of Dependent Events
  • Determining Events Types
  • Business Event Partitioning Vs. Human or Computer Partitioning
  • Data Cohesion Vs. Data Conservation of Business Events
  • Understanding Event Primers
  • Benefits of Business Event Methodology
The Need for Process Analysis
  • The Task of the Information Analyst
  • Overview of Data Flow Diagrams
  • Sample Business Event Process Model
  • Encapsulating Business Event Memory
  • Sample Process Analysis Business Event Memory Input
  • The Synergy of Process and Information Analysis



Business Event Driven Information Analysis
  • Modeling Analysis Data Store Redundancy
  • Forming the Organisation’s Information Model
  • Adding business Event Memory to the Information Model
  • Important Levels of the Information Model
  • Data Element Conservation across the Organisation
  • Data Entity Conservation across the Organisation
  • Relationship Conservation across the Organisation
  • Object Conservation across the Organisation
  • Sample Business Event Models
  • Re-usability Via the Business Engineering Methodology
  • Progressing from Design to Analysis Information Models



Exercise 5
Access Path Diagramming
  • The First Step Towards Data Design
  • The Access Path Analysis Method
  • Forming a Logical Access Path Diagram (LAPD)
  • Mapping the Navigation Paths
  • Two Sample LAPD’s




Exercise 6

Forward into Design

  • Sample Beginnings of Design
  • The Analysis Specification IS the Business
  • The Essential Corporate Library
  • Engineering the Organisation
  • Cost & Benefits of Creating a Customer Focused Organisation
  • Costs and Benefits of Business Process Analysis


Who We Work With

  • AlexanderForbes
  • Rhodes
  • Bestmed
  • Anglo American
  • DataCentrix
  • Enviroserv
  • FirstRand
  • Sasol
  • FTP
  • MTN
  • Omnia
  • PEP
  • SABS
  • Sasol
  • StandardBank
  • SunCityResort