Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What is Information Architecture and how is it relevant to Business Analysts?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 1057 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Roles and Responsibilities, General

ANSWER

Business Analysts are most successful when they understand and practice many different disciplines that impact the software and application development process.  Having a working knowledge of disciplines such as UI design, user experience, interaction design, and information architecture, to name a few, results in more successful applications and better experiences.

Information Architecture is one of those lesser known disciplines which crosses multiple roles. 

The Information Architecture Institute summarizes information architecture as:

"...the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable...Information architectures (IAs) are in the websites we use, the apps and software we download, the printed materials we encounter, and even the physical places we spend time in. A good IA helps people to understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for – in the real world as well as online..."

A more prescriptive definition might be:

Information architecture is the thoughtful discipline of structuring an application, a website, a presentation, or a physical space in a way that allows the viewer to easily understand and explore (1) the scope and boundaries of the information being presented, (2) where the viewer exists within the space of that information, and (3) the paths available to traverse from one set of information to another.
access

Information Architecture draws from traditional areas of library science, cognitive psychology, and architecture. Key outputs of information architecture might be:

  • site maps
  • hierarchies
  • categorizations
  • navigation
  • wireframes
  • data models
  • metadata. 
Information Architecture spans and touches several different roles including Content Strategy (when organizing content into categories), and UI Design (when sketching and laying out horizontal and vertical menus and submenus).

It is the role of the Information Architect to ask questions such as: 

  • Is there a story that is being told by the information which might dictate a preferred order? And therefore what is the best flow through the app, website, presentation, museum, etc.  
  • How does the layout and structure of the information help a viewer catalog the information? This includes understanding what information exists and understand the scope and boundaries of the information presented.
  • How are discrete units of information presented to the viewer to show the  most necessary attributes and metadata?
  • What are the goals of the viewer and is the presentation of the information meeting them?

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Chris Adams
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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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