Has anyone seen my data?

How data requirements and data analysis impact project success.

Karl Wiegers
Analyst’s corner
Published in
5 min readMay 8, 2023

--

A screenshot of some computer code.
Image by James Osborne from Pixabay

The computing business used to be called “data processing” for a reason: all software applications create, consume, manipulate, or delete data. We can think of data as the glue that connects all the other requirement types; alternatively, functionality exists to process data. Both perspectives underscore the importance of exploring data considerations during requirements elicitation. Practice #8 in the book Software Requirements Essentials is to assess data concepts and relationships.

Understanding data objects and their relationships

Data elicitation, analysis, and management are not small tasks. However, the BA needs to understand all the data objects in their problem and solution spaces to be able to specify the correct set of functional and nonfunctional requirements. To gain — and communicate — that understanding, the BA will create multiple views of the data over time and for different audiences.

Begin your data exploration by acquiring a full list of data objects: the logical representation of system information. After identifying likely data objects (entities), you can create a data model to show the logical connections between them (relationships). The entity relationship…

--

--

Karl Wiegers
Analyst’s corner

Author of 14 books, mostly on software. PhD in organic chemistry. Guitars, wine, and military history fill the voids. karlwiegers.com and processimpact.com