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Business Analyst Tip for Learning New Terms

When we first engage in a new requirements project, one of the things we need to do really fast is learn the language of the project. One of the tougher things for me is the nouns. I understand the concepts, but I sometimes have trouble remembering which noun goes with which definition. I was talking to a colleague who was having the problem, and I reminded him of a technique that we had both used in school:  flash cards. 

A quick refresher on flash cards. You can create your own flash cards using index cards. Put the term on one side and the definition on the other. Go through them one at a time to test yourself until you can get them all right: look at the term, state the definition, flip over the card and make sure you got it right. Shuffle them as you are testing yourself to make sure you can retrieve the information without respect to a certain order.

I used these on a particularly tough project once and they worked. I chose to write them out long hand, because that provided one more chance to reinforce the knowledge. You can search the internet and find tools for creating flash card as well. I don’t always have to do this, because creating the data models—Business Data Diagrams and Data Dictionaries—is frequently enough to master the terms.  But, when I do need a little more help…

I know it sounds a little silly, but it helped my colleague, so there are probably a few business analysts who flash cards could help as well.

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