Traditionally, business analysts on business intelligence projects have spent their days interviewing, analyzing and organizing their work in what I call a document-centric manner. The documents in question are maintained with the usual office automation software, such as word processors and spreadsheets. Business requirements are listed in Microsoft Word, and data requirements are depicted with data models that usually started as static diagrams. And for basic content management, tools like Microsoft SharePoint are often used as repositories to provide access to the different artifacts stored as files.

These traditional approaches have worked for smaller projects. However, when multiple contributors maintain a formal business requirements document (BRD), take care to prevent people from overwriting the same sections of the document. Efforts by different contributors, including business analysts, subject matter experts, data architects and metadata experts need to be tracked and merged into the final document.

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