This is one of the 52 terms in The Language of Technical Communication published by XML Press in 2016 and the contributor for this term is Christopher Ward.

What is it?

A research discipline that provides strategic solutions to business needs by analyzing changing markets and industry trends.

Why is it important?

Business analysis helps technical communicators better understand the audience they are writing for and helps them align content goals with strategic business goals, thus increasing product value and consumer loyalty.

Why does a technical communicator need to know this?

Companies spend large amounts of money on business analysis. Yet too many technical communicators are unaware of this valuable information. The audience for technical content is the same as the market your company serves. Understanding business analysis can help technical communicators create informative and engaging content that aligns with business goals. These elements must be accounted for to create successful content, making technical communication some of the most difficult content to author.

Business analysis provides a real-time analysis of the changing market (consumer base/audience) and can give technical communicators much-needed information to help them meet the requirements of business content creation.

Solutions are becoming more complex in today’s business environment, and they have to be easier for a consumer to use. This leads businesses to either put huge demands on their technical communicators or abandon them all together. Business analysis can help technical communicators understand not only the solution a company delivers but also what specific features about that solution are most important to particular markets. Technical communicators can also use business analysis metrics to determine market reaction to their content. This supports process improvements and increases the value of the product or service and the business.

Finally, business analysis can help us recognize trends in a changing market. Technical communicators can use this information to predict the future needs of their market and write to them. This marriage of content creation and business analysis will become the most pivotal element of a business’ continued success.