Business Analysis in Web Design

The term business analysis refers to the discipline of identifying needs within a business, and determining the best solution.

In a any web design project the goal should always be to meet a business need.  The need for more customers, the need for more sales, the need to distribute information, store information, collect information etc.  The different needs of a business that can be satisfied with a website or web based application are endless.

Working with business owners and stakeholders, a business analyst determines what these needs are, and helps to determine the best solution for these needs. Acting as the liaison between the business and the technical team, the business analyst can speak to both and ensure that requirements and specifications are communicated accurately, and any technical constraints or challenges are transmitted back to the business in business terms.

A web design project has many elements aside from the actual design of the site.  Things such as integration with social media, integration with email marketing software, optimizing your site for search engines, merchant accounts for e-commerce solutions, privacy requirements for collecting data etc. are not the expertise of the graphic designer or web programmer, and are often overlooked when working with just a graphic designer.

The Business Analyst knows what is needed to ensure the success of your web project, understands your business goals as a whole, and can coordinate with the experts in each of these fields to bring all of the required elements together.  By acting as the liaison between the client and the technical team the client is kept up to date on the progress of all teams and can identify any potential integration issues by keeping an eye on the big picture.

Depending on the size of project a separate project manager may be assigned to develop and maintain the project plan.  In the case of smaller projects the business analyst is trained and will act as the project manager as well.

An astonishing number of web projects are a failure as the clients’ overall business needs and goals are not properly understood or delivered by the design firm. By simply asking around you will find all too many dissatisfied business owners with a new website that is not meeting their needs.  There are hundreds of designers out there – great at design – not so great as business.  Make your business needs the first priority in your next web project and hire a business analyst specializing in web solutions.

Lisa - Lisa Apfeld is the founder of Reid Business Services.

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