Ontologies for Business Analysis
What you'll learn
- Conceptualise ontologies in the context of business analysis, with a focus on their purpose, importance and the underlying business case for their application
- Understand how to define 'blueprints' for organising enterprise domain knowledge by using the building blocks of ontologies and how they are arranged
- Appreciate the importance of rigour in business modelling, by capturing formal semantics (meaning) and logical axioms for defining business rules
- Become familiar with the Web Ontology Language (OWL) for building structures that have inherently complex relationships
- [Skills - Must Have] Good appreciation of the purpose and scope of business and enterprise analysis
- [Skills - Must Have] Comfortable with jargon used in the IT and information systems domain and the ability to grasp technical concepts
- [Skills - Optional] Ideally some basic understanding of structured modelling approaches (e.g. information modelling using UML) and the ability to recognise patterns in information structure
- [Skills - Optional] Basic familiarity with ontologies and knowledge graphs
The practice of Business Analysis revolves around the formation, transformation and finalisation of requirements to recommend suitable solutions to support enterprise change programmes. Practitioners working in the field of business analysis apply a wide range of modelling tools to capture the various perspectives of the enterprise, for example, business process perspective, data flow perspective, functional perspective, static structure perspective, and more. These tools aid in decision support and are especially useful in the effort towards the transformation of a business into the "intelligent enterprise", in other words, one which is to some extent "self-describing" and able to adapt to organisational change.
However, a fundamental piece remains missing from the puzzle. Achieving this capability requires us to think beyond the idea of simply using the current mainstream modelling tools. Instead, we need to take into account methods that provide a basis for sharing meaning at both human and computational level, and that are geared to capturing the semantics (i.e. the meaning) of entities that describe our enterprise perspectives. This is where the concept of ontologies come in. Ontologies are representations that provide a basis for sharing meaning at human and computational level, and are an invaluable addition to any business analyst's toolkit.
Ontologies help you formally represent domain knowledge that is accurate and reusable, which aligns very well with your reuse strategy for enterprise knowledge. Ontologies are platform-agnostic knowledge models and building them does not require you to have any extensive technical or software engineering skills. This means that as business analyst, you are able to produce the blueprints for any system or software design project, allowing you to more rapidly prototype information structures and test them out before passing your specifications over to software engineers to implement. Consequently, ontology modelling empowers business analysts as information and knowledge architects.
In addition, ontologies are extremely relevant to the area of information systems interoperability, providing you with the mechanisms to drive semantic data exchange and federation across multiple information sources and repositories. They can also be extended into structured knowledge bases for constantly-evolving linked data that have complex relationships and are held in dynamic schemas, thereby responding very well to changes in organisational knowledge. The thing is - that's just a glimpse of some of the useful benefits of ontologies from a business analysis standpoint - ontologies, in practice, do much more than that!
Unfortunately, ontology modelling is an underused technique chiefly as a result of a lack of awareness in the industry domain, and because tool support has been relatively limited in the past. But this course is intended to be a game changer, focusing on providing a comprehensive introduction to ontologies in the context of business analysis application, in order to encourage the adoption of the approach. The material provided in the course covers relevant background information to get comfortable with the concepts being explained, the justifications for applying ontologies in business analysis practice, walkthrough examples, and other important details that are pertinent for you to be able to hit the ground running with using ontologies within your own business analysis pipeline. Become a pioneer of applied ontology in the field of business analysis and lead the way to telling your success story!
Who this course is for:
- Professionals who work in the field of business analysis, enterprise analysis, enterprise architecture and knowledge management
- Change champions willing to keep abreast of leading-edge methods for supporting enterprise and business transformation programmes
- Data modellers and information architects (but more generally people who work with structured modelling approaches for data and information) who do not have prior exposure to ontologies
- Practitioners involved in model-driven and service-oriented architectures with an interest in systems interoperability
- Academics with an interest in the ground-breaking applications of ontology tools and techniques
I am a seasoned technology professional with a passion for empowering people to apply innovative and best-in-class approaches targeted at information architecture, product management, business analysis and technical publications.
As a bestselling online instructor, one of my goals is to advocate for knowledge graph technology in order to augment enterprise data architecture, promote systems interoperability and extend product lifecycle management capabilities.
I have a Ph.D. in systems & knowledge engineering and an extensive background in product design engineering.