A business network usually includes all hardware, software, and telecommunications devices professionals use to communicate with one another and store and access data. Business network analysis can be performed by information technology (IT) managers, consultants, and change specialists who are interested in how a business network functions and whether or not it is effective. As a general rule, a business network analysis aims to locate areas of inefficiency and improve them by designing new networks and implementing new software and hardware.
An analyst's first step might be to consult organizational leaders. It is important that each business network analysis begin with a clearly stated goal. For example, an executive might want to learn how he or she can improve a network by allowing for streamlined workflow among departments.
It also is common for a business network analyst to interview the heads of various departments. He or she can learn where systems allow for clear and efficient communication and how they can be improved. Business network analysis often includes a study of the way decisions are made and how departments communicate with one another.
Once a business network analysis specialist analyzes data, he or she discovers solutions. These solutions are often based on the analyst's familiarity with business programs and hardware. He or she creates a report in which he or she illustrates a system's shortcomings, along with an IT solution that addresses each problem.
In most cases, an analyst presents his or her findings to organizational leaders, who may ask for revisions to some solutions to meet their preferences. Once a solution is agreed upon, a business network analysis normally concludes with the implementation of proposed IT solutions. In some other cases, analysts can act as project managers, overseeing design, performing quality assurance testing, and assisting in new training courses.
Sometimes the term "business network" also refers to a business's social networking initiatives. Most businesses employ marketing professionals who specialize in improving online visibility. This kind of analyst might look at the numbers of new customers brought in through social networking and design new strategies for reaching out to Internet users.
All business network analysis professionals tend to have experience working within the industries they consult for. They commonly act as experts who use experience and knowledge technological developments to make suggestions for increasing profitability. Professionals in the business analysis field can either work as full time consultants for organizations or as consultants in a larger firm.