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What is Enterprise Architecture, and why is it relevant to a Business Analyst?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 16931 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA)


Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the practice of fully describing and viewing an enterprise through the use of models and other representations. EA’s views of the enterprise cut across all of the domains that a complex enterprise contains: security, strategy and performance, business, data, infrastructure, and applications.

For each of these domains, EA asks the questions of Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How related to absolutely everything an enterprise does. It answers those questions using a number of different perspectives you will find in an enterprise ranging from the highest level executive perspective to the lowest level perspective of software engineers and configuration specialists.

EA primarily provides value through the use of taxonomies and architectural models. Taxonomies are a sort of “dictionary” that describes something an enterprise does using a common language so that everyone is on the same page. For example, an enterprise might have a business taxonomy that names and lists every single process of an organization. That helps keep the enterprise keep track of what it has, and also minimize duplication of effort when new work is being done.

Architectural models provide views of different enterprise systems. These views show the important entities and relationships between those entities. The business process model is an example of an architectural view that helps describe the business domain, with entities being actors and decision points and relationships being the process flow.

EA’s end goal is to describe an enterprise as fully as possible, for only if you know what you currently have can you safely and efficiently make changes to it. EA provides current state views, future (target) state views based on the needs of the organization, and road maps from getting from point A to point B. All of this work is guided by certain EA principles such as scalability and re-using things whenever possible to eliminate duplication and waste.

This is all important for a Business Analyst in a number of ways. EA provides the desired target state and road map for the organization, and everything that a BA does must adhere to them. When a BA does business process re-engineering or captures new requirements, for example, the BA must ensure that the proposed work is consistent with the EA target state that reflects the overall goals and objectives of the organization.

EA can also make a BA’s life easier. If enterprise architecture maintains an updated list of all business processes or a repository of business process models, for example, these artifacts can serve as resources upon which the Business Analyst can do her work rather than forcing her to create things from scratch.

Third, EA may ask the BA for help in defining business views of the organization. This gives the BA the opportunity to help guide what the future organization is going to look like, since her feedback will translate directly into the EA target state.



Joe Barrios
Business Analyst Career Coach



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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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