Professional business analysts, seeking formal certification of their business analysis skills, can pursue the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) course that is offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
Business analysts, who pursue the CCBA course, gain a certified recognition for their wide experience in the field of business analysis, and certify their ability to assume greater professional responsibility.
Founded in 2003, the IIBA serves the purpose of promoting the careers of business analysts around the world. This organization has over 100 chapters around the world and over 27,000 members.
The IIBA created the Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK guide), which defines the global standards for the practise of business analysis. It reflects the collective knowledge of the community of business analysts, along with the accepted business practises.
The BABOK guide defines 6 knowledge areas, specific to the field of business analysis, namely:
1. Business analysis planning and monitoring, which detail the tasks of a business analyst, used for organizing and coordination.
2. Elicitation and collaboration, which detail the tasks required for preparing and conducting elicitation activities.
3. Requirements Life Cycle management, which detail the tasks required to manage requirement and design information through the entire life cycle.
4. Strategy Analysis, which provides details of the tasks required to identify the business needs within an organization, and devise the change strategy for business.
5. Requirement Analysis and Design definition, which detail the tasks used for requirement organization, model design, information verification and validation, solution options, and estimating the final business potential.
6. Solution Evaluation, which detail the tasks used for assessing the performance of a solution, along with recommendations for improvements.
Business analysts, seeking the CCBA certification course, can only qualify for the examination if they meet the following prerequisites:
• Possess a work experience of at least 3750 hours (as stipulated in the BABOK guide) over the past 7 years.
• Possess knowledge of all the 6 knowledge areas, defined in the BABOK guide. Of these 6, the applicant must be highly proficient in at least 2 of the areas (with over 900 hours of experience), and 500 hours of work experience in the remaining 4 knowledge areas.
• A minimum of 21 hours in professional development in the past 4 years.
• Must possess at least high school education or any equivalent certificate.
• Must agree to the CCBA code of ethical conduct and professional standards, which includes abiding by the exam testing rules and policies, prohibited conduct on the use of examination notes during the testing period, and maintaining the confidentiality of the CCBA exam contents.
Available in English and Japanese languages, the CCBA examination is a computer-based test and can be taken from any part of the world.
CCBA certification benefits offer not only to the business analyst (BA) being certified, but also to the BA’s organization.
Listed below are the benefits for the business analyst:
• Achieve certified competence in the principles and practices of business analysis.
• Formal recognition of the professional competence of the business analyst.
• Advances the career potential for the individual, as a recognized BA practitioner.
• Higher range of employee remuneration due to the formal recognition of the business analyst. Business analysts with CCBA certification earn an average salary of USD 82,000, which is around 10% higher than business analysts with no certification.
• Increase in professional opportunities for the certified BA.
• Ensures a path of continuous improvement and upgrading in business analysis skills, in order to maintain the certification.
• Improvement in individual performance and motivation.
Additionally, here are some benefits for the organization, as well:
• Advancing the careers of its staff including the business analyst.
• Demonstration of industry-standard business analysis practices for the company customers and investors.
• Effective implementation of business analysis skills (as outlined in the BABOK guide) within the organization.
• Higher quality and efficiency of results by BA professionals, certified by an industry-accepted standard.
• Commitment to the field of business analysis, and recognizing its importance in any business field.
• Organizations, interested in Capability maturity model (CMM) integration, can benefit from the process improvement guidelines, as specified in the BABOK guide. These guidelines can upgrade the quality of projects from ad-hoc to managed levels.
In addition to the CCBA certification, IIBA also offers the Certified Business Analysis Professional -CBAP certification to recognize and certify business analysts with 10 or more years of experience in this field. Eligibility for this certification includes 7,500 hours of work experience and high proficiency level in 4 of the 6 knowledge areas, as prescribed in the BABOK guide.