BA Techniques: Observation



Observation is used to elicit information by viewing and understanding activities and their context. It is used as a basis for identifying needs and opportunities, understanding a business process, setting performance standards, evaluating solution performance, or supporting training and development. 

Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®) 

The Observation method is most commonly used method in behavioral science. It is a process of recording the behavior patterns of people, objects, and occurrences without questioning or communicating with them. In 1989, Gorman Clayton define observation as the systematic recording of observable phenomena or behavior in a natural setting. The observational data usually consists of detailed information about particular group or situation. It allow the researcher to study people in their natural setting without their behavior being influenced by the presence of researcher. It is based on both mental and physical activity, in which the observation eye catches many thing that are sighted. Observation is purposive and not causal because it is made for a specific purpose to know many things.   

In marketing, observational research is a social research technique that involve the direct observation in their setting. It is a method of data collection that is associated with the qualitative research. The main advantage of observational research is that the flexibility of the information that is gathered about a specific topic. Observational research measures the behavior directly, rather than the subject self report their own behavior. Observation plays a major role in the scientific research. Observational research is a type of correctional research in which the researcher observes the on going behavior. For a small business, this technique is one of the most simple ways that one can find out many things about their customer and clients.  

Some of the articles related to Observation techniques are as follows,

The observation template can be used to gather the observed data in spaces about the thing that you have observed. It is a tool for learning more about the information gathered. Some of the guidelines can be used to organize the observed data. It has the attitude and perception section, which describes the overall view of the activity that has held. We can acquire and integrate knowledge about many things that we observe so that we can explore ourselves more. The knowledge we gather from that observation will be useful in another activity to gain the profit. In observation, our mind plays a major role where we have to observe many thing and we should have knowledge about the things that we observe.  

Some of the methods used in the industry for Observation are,

  • Controlled Observation
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Participant Observation

The controlled observation is a structured observation that the researchers have many questions in their mind including participants, location, and circumstances surrounding the research. Naturalistic Observation is research method used by the market researchers to study the behavior of the participants in natural way. Participant observation is same as naturalistic observation but the difference is that the market researchers will insert themselves into the environment.

Some of the books and magazines for Observation techniques,


Written by Bharath Ravi

Business Consultant whose qualification includes a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Mechanical specialized in Automobile & Manufacturing; Trained in Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Certification, Hands on Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis, BCS (UK) and Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE-FL).

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