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What is a Concept Model?

Posted by Adrian M.

Article Rating // 4461 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA), Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA)


A concept model is a business analysis model whose purpose is to depict the core concepts of the problem or solution domain being studied.  At its core, it consists of the clear definition of the terms (nouns and verbs) which are important to the organization or the given domain.

Depending on the need and the experience of the business analyst, the concept model would be made up of a visual representation of the model, definitions of each concept in the model, as well as the model structure showing the relationships among the concepts.

The IIBA BABOK Guide Glossary defines the concept model as follows:

“An analysis model that develops the meaning of core concepts for a problem domain, defines their collective structure, and specifies the appropriate vocabulary needed to communicate about it consistently.”

What is a Concept Model?

Elements of a Concept Model

In a comprehensive concept model, there are a number of different types of elements:

Nouns - These are the key “entities” or “classes” of the domain being considered.  For example, for a banking system, the nouns in the concept model might include: account, customer, transaction amount.

Verbs - These are the key action terms which define the relationships among  noun concepts.  For example, for a banking system, the verbs in the concept model might include: deposit, withdraw, create.  This results in relationships such as: customer deposits transaction amount, customer opens account, etc.

The Purpose of a Concept Model

The goal of the concept model is to enable the mutual understanding and communication of key concepts among all the project participants and stakeholders.  The concepts defined in the model are then able to be consistently used when discussing project requirements, defining business rules, training new users, and much more.

Concept Model Representation

There are many ways and tools which can be used to create a concept model:

Having a concept model is often more important than the exact method of representing the model.  It is better to start with a simple list of terms, a basic glossary, and then expand and refine the model as dictated by the needs of the project or organization.



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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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