Business analysis services can encompass data analysis, project management, implementation support, training support, and risk management. These types of services are usually performed by independent firms for other companies. The reason is often two-fold. Employing a third-party agency ensures that most bias is removed from the evaluation process and that a higher level of quality analysis is performed.
Companies may seek out business analysis services to help collect and analyze data. Since managers rely on data analysis to make strategic decisions, it is important that it be conducted as accurately as possible. Firms that specialize in data analysis may examine the information that a firm collects, how it is collected and how it is currently being presented. Recommendations may be made regarding database server applications, disposal of unneeded information, collection and interpretation methods.
Project management support is another of the types of business analysis services. An analyst will typically consult with a company's leaders to determine what they would most like to accomplish. Projects related to acquiring new customer segments, reducing distribution costs, or improving customer service levels may be recommended. Support services can begin with project design and extend to implementation and follow-up.
Measurements of performance and other metrics can be provided by companies that do business analysis services. Some firms may not have the technology or knowledge to track and monitor how a project's results are measuring up to predefined objectives. Part of an analyst's role is to build in measurable objectives and find ways to determine the effectiveness of a project's implementation. For example, consumer response to a new advertising campaign may be determined and measured through survey questions that elicit responses regarding perceptions of a company's brand.
Part of the organizational change and follow-up process involves training and mentoring support. Organizations may not have adequate in-house staff to educate workers about desired improvements. Business analysis services can provide specific instruction in areas that a company may not have expertise in. For example, if a company wishes to expand into an unknown market it may be best to bring in sales trainers who are already familiar with that market's consumer base.
Risk management entails the resolution of issues and conflicts throughout a project's life span. A portion of this service also involves analyzing the potential financial and non-financial risks of project implementation. For example, expansion into a foreign market may be costly at the initiation stage, but shows the potential to grow market share beyond what it would be otherwise. During the implementation stage, issues may arise that need prompt attention and correction in order to get the project back on track.