ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP-Comparative Overview

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ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP-Comparative Overview

Business analysis, in a nutshell, is the practice of bringing the needed change or modifications in an organization or an enterprise by defining the business needs, narrating the opportunities and the threats, recommending solutions, understanding the business objectives of the clients plus delivering to their needs and finally bringing value to the organization itself and the stakeholders. 

The professionals in the field of business analysis can expect a windfall in their careers as the global business analytics market is expected to grow from $67.92 billion in 2019 to more than $103 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.3% with LinkedIn ranking business analysis as one of the top 10 skills that companies need the most. 

Source: https://nexusuniversity.thinkific.com/courses/business-analysis-essentials-program 

What Are Business Analyst Certification?  

With the gaining popularity of business analyst (BA) as a profession, the youth are preferring to pursue it starting off with the basic ECBA certification or some Business Management Certification course. Even experienced or seasoned business analysts are also reinforcing their experiences with some advanced level studies in business analysis to remain at par with the latest concepts, ideas and developments in the field. 

The present article will delve in-depth into the three popular business analyst certifications and why getting a business analyst certification is important. It will also cover the different levels of certifications, with ECBA as the basic and CBAP, CCBA as the advanced levels and will cover the similarities and differences between the two levels of CCBA vs. CBAP. 

A business Analyst Certificate: Why Important?  

As far as statistics are concerned as per the IIBA Global State of BA Report, those with one or multiple IIBA certifications earn a 12% more salary package.

With the technology and data industries experiencing unparalleled growth, more companies are modernizing their system infrastructure and adapting to the latest business environments. For this, they need qualified and skilled business analysts. 

 Certified business analysts have become almost a testament to their knowledge, skill and dedication to modern business practices. The certificate not only validates the knowledge and skill of the owner but also increases the credibility as an expert in the field, apart from securing an edge in the job market. Large businesses and brands especially appreciate a certificate from a credible institute because acquiring one is not easy; rather it is the opposite. Therefore, such businesses consider a BA certificate as proof of being a skilled, dedicated, committed and hard-working person who can work under pressure. 

From the other point of view, attending the course and passing the exam keeps the certificate holder updated with the tools and techniques essential for this ever changing and formidably growing field. 

International Institute of Business Analysis or IIBA is the first and the most famous organization to administer Business Analytics certificates. It is a non-professional organization dedicated to the field of business analysis and is the major voice of the community of business analysts. Not only does it try to best maintain the global standard of certification and practices but also it supports the recognition of business analysis as a profession. 

Owning an IIBA certification not only is a matter of prestige but also is a testimony of possessing the professional skills and knowledge in the field because an IIBA certification examination means acquiring certain needed skills and qualifications along with enough practical work experience at each specific level of business analysis. 

There are 3 levels of IIBA business analytics certificates. 

Differences Between ECBA, CCBA and CBAP  

We will now explore each of the three certificates ECBA vs. CCBA vs. CBAP in detail. 

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) 

As the name suggests, this is the most basic level of certification specifically designed for freshers or inexperienced analysts, those who wish to take business analyst as a career. The course helps to build foundational knowledge and skills. 

Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)

CCBA certification is the next level of business analysis study and is meant for those experienced in business analysis and who have already become professionals in the field by gaining on-job experiences of two to three years. This certification needs renewal every three years. 

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

This course is meant for seasoned business analysts or those who have at least 7500 hours of work experience as a business analyst in the past ten years which is almost equal to 3.6 years of full-time experience as a business analyst. It is the highest level of certification called CBAP certification and the certificate needs to be maintained and renewed every three years. 

ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP Table (the comparison table should have 6-7 parameters) 

Here is an overview of the different certificate schemes: 

Parameters Entry certificate in business analysis (ECBA) Certification of capability in business analysis (CCBA) Certified business analysis professionals (CBAP) 
Targeted Audience Individuals entering the field of business analysis Business analyst professionals having 2-3 years of working experience Business analyst professionals having 5 years of working experience 
Eligibility No prior working experience, no expertise in particular knowledge area 21 hours of professional development training in 4 years, minimum 3750 hours of BA work experience in 7 years 35 hours of professional development training in 4 years, minimum 7500 hours of BA work experience in 10 years 
PDU 21 in last 4 years 21 in last 4 years 35 in last 4 years 
  Strategy analysis Solution evaluation Requirement analysis and creation of design definition Elicitation and collaboration 
  Requirements analysis and design definition Strategy and Business analysis Business analysis planning and monitoring 
  Requirements life cycle management Life cycle management for the gathered requirements of projects Requirements life cycle management 
Focus Area     
 Business analysis planning and monitoring Elicitation and collaboration Strategy analysis 
 Business analysis key concept Solution evaluation  Solution evaluation  
  Underlying competencies Making business plans and monitoring Requirements analysis and design definition 
Exam Pattern 50 multiple choice questions in 1.5 hours 130 multiple choice questions in 3 hours 120 multiple choice questions in 3.5 hours along with multiple questions about the case 
Re-Appearance Twice within one year Twice within one year Twice within one year 
  85 USD for members 250 USD for members 250 USD for members 
Fees for Retake of Exam 195 USD for non- members 375 USD for non- members 375 USD for non- members 
  110 USD for members 325 USD for members 325 USD for members 
Certification Fee 235 USD for non- members 450 USD for non- members 450 USD for non- members 
Application Fee 60 USD 125 USD 125 USD 

 

ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP: an in-depth understanding (Give a detailed description of each parameter) 

 Here is an elaboration of each of the parameters mentioned in the above table: 

Full-Form (of the acronyms) 

ECBA- Entry Certificate in Business Analysis. 

CCBA- Certification of Capability in Business Analysis. 

CBAP- Certified Business Analysis Professional. 

Target audience  

  • ECBA – Fresh graduates, individuals trying to enter into the business analysis profession or have just started as such or even those already working who wish to switch over to a business analyst career. 
  • CCBA- Those who are already having some sort of business analysis experience of 2-3 years or hybrid business analysts like project managers, quality analysts, change managers, tech leads or team lead testers. 
  • CBAP- Targets seasoned business analysts with 4 to 5 years of full-time role as business analysts or 10 years of hybrid experience like business analyst consultants, system analysts, trainers, requirement analysts, management and process management. 

ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP: 1) Who can Apply/Eligibility?

  • ECBA- Aimed at individuals entering the field of business analysis or freshers willing to pursue the career of a business analyst. 
  • CCBA- for business analyst professionals with 2-3 years of work experience as a business analyst. 
  • CBAP- suitable for business analyst professionals with 10 years of business analyst experience in some form in the work or 4+ years of full-time experience as a business analyst. 

Professional Development Units(PDUs)

PDUs or Professional Development Units define the type of coursework required as one of the many requirements to sit for the ECBA, CCBA or CBAP. These could include even less formal learning opportunities such as webinars and/or professional meetings and can be treated as qualified for PDUs. 

The PDUs for the different levels are: 

ECBA 

  • Must be at least 21units in the last 4 years. 

 CCBA 

  • 21 units in the last 4 years. 

CBAP 

  • 35 in the last 4 years 

4. Focus Area

The focus areas of the courses for the different levels are: 

ECBA 

  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition -24% 
  • Elicitation and Collaboration – 20% 
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management – 20% 
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring – 5% 
  • Strategy Analysis – 5% 
  • Solution Evaluation – 1% 
  • Techniques -12.5% 
  • Underlying Competencies – 5% 
  • Business Analysis Key Concepts – 5% 
  • Business Analysis & the BA Professional- 2.5% 

CCBA

  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition – 32% 
  • Elicitation and Collaboration – 20% 
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management – 18% 
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring – 12% 
  • Strategy Analysis – 12% 
  • Solution Evaluation – 6% 

CBAP 

  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition -30% 
  • Strategy Analysis -15% 
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management – 15% 
  • Solution Evaluation -14% 
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring – 14% 
  • Elicitation and Collaboration – 12% 

ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP: 2) Exam Information (Exam Application and Fee)

The exam pattern for the three levels will be as follows: 

ECBA 

There will be 50 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 1.5 hours. These are 

  • basic multiple choice aimed at testing a candidate’s knowledge and understanding. 

CCBA 

Here the number of questions and the time are more with 130 multiple choice questions to be completed in 3 hours. These are scenario-based and need analysis on a candidate’s part to draw the answer. 

CBAP 

This exam includes 120 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 3.5 hours. The questions are longer cases ranging from 1 to 1.5 pages of information and there will be multiple questions about the case. 

6. Re-Appearance

For all three levels of examination, one can (if unsuccessful) attempt twice within one year with no wait time. 

 Application, Re-Take Certification and Recertification Fees  

  • Application Fees 

ECBA-60 USD, CCBA-125 USD and CBAP-125 USD. 

  • Rewrite /Retake fees 

ECBA 

85 USD for **Members and 195 USD for Non-Members. 

CCBA 

 250 USD for Members and 375 USD for Non-Members 

CBAP 

250 USD for Members and 375 USD for Non-Members 

 ** The membership charges vary as per the regions as follows: 

Region 1 – 125 USD – The USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK. 

Region 2 – 85 USD – Singapore, Malaysia, Middle East Asian countries. 

Region 3 – 55 USD – India, Pakistan, Thailand, Tanzania and others. 

  • Certification Fees 

ECBA 

110 USD for Members 

235 USD for Non-Members 

CCBA 

325 USD for Members 

450 USD for Non-Members 

CBAP 

325 USD for Members 

450 USD for Non-Members 

  • Re-Certification Fees 

ECBA 

Nil as it does not require any renewal 

CCBA 

85 USD USD for Members 

120 USD for Non-Members 

CBAP 

85 USD USD for Members 

120 USD for Non-Members 

Work experience needed

ECBA

Work Experience required- nil. 

  • Knowledge or Area expertise – nil. 

CCBA 

  • Some sort of 21 hours of professional development training completed in 4 years. 
  • 2-3 years of work experience as a business analyst or minimum 3750 hours of business analysis work experience in 7 years. 

CBAP 

Minimum 7500 hours of some business analysis work experience in 10 years. 

  • Some sort of professional development training of 35 hours in 4 years. 

   ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP: 3) How to Apply? 

ECBA 

Online Proctored exam via PSI from any location

Proctored examination, differently known as online proctoring or remote proctoring is a way of supervising students appearing for online examinations with the help of software and services. 

CCBA 

Prometric test centers are available in all major global cities

Prometric is a U.S.-based company, a leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions in the test administration industry catering to many of the world's most recognized licensing and certification providers. 

 CBAP 

Prometric test centers are available in all major global cities

The steps to apply for the examination are as follows: 

Step-1 : Visit https://portal.iiba.org/user/login 

Step-2 : Complete the application process as mentioned there 

Step-3 : Submit the application and pay the fees applicable to you. 

Step-4 : You will get a confirmatory email in your registered email id indicating the status as ‘approved’. 

ECBA vs CCBA vs CBAP: 4) Why opt for the certification/Benefits of pursuing?  

  1. ECBA certification benefits: This gives the grounding in the field of business analysis and the certification declares the proficiency of business analysis skills at the beginner’s level. 
  2. CCBA certification benefits: This certification is quite popular among the growing professionals since the recipient of the certificate will be able to add more value to an enterprise or organization and will also see newer growth prospects and new job avenues. 
  3. CBAP certification benefits: This certification helps the recipient to progress in one’s career by creating a distinct career path within the business community in general and the information technology industry in particular. 

How are ECBA, CCBA, and CBAP Similar? 

We have understood in detail the three certificates and their differences. But these are also connected by a few resemblances. Here are those: 

1. Credibility 

These certifications serve as a monitor to ensure only those who satisfy certain standards have a legitimate claim to the designations in the field of business analysis. 

2. Common code of conduct 

The certificate aspirants must agree to IIBA’s code of conduct and they must attest to this with their signatures. 

3. Knowledge of “A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge” or the BABOK Guide 

The BABOK Guide is basically a handbook for any business analyst. The certifications signify that a possessor has adequate knowledge about the BABOK Guide and the capability as well to apply the same. 

Organizations and businesses may have their own standards of practicing business analysis but in general, any qualified business analyst adheres to the BABOK Guide unless specifically directed otherwise. They use the same terminologies when communicating among themselves. 

 What Should You Choose Among ECBA and CCBA and CBAP?  

Choosing the certificate will depend on your competency level. 

 As already discussed, ECBA is the entry-level or Level1 certification. If you have just started your career as a business analyst or just a fresh graduate and planning to pursue a profession in business analysis then this is the right one for you as it will cover all the fundamentals. 

If you have already put in some years in a business analytics role say 2 to 3 years or have already gained some business analysis experience while working in a hybrid role in a company like a project manager, team leader or others then you can go for the level-2 or CCBA. 

But if you are a seasoned business analyst having put in at least 4 to 5 years full-time as a business analyst or 10 years in a hybrid role where business analysis has been a part of your job profile then you can comfortably go for the level-3 or CBAP. 

For those who are experienced in business analysis and wish to know, between CCBA or CBAP which would be the best to pursue, the answer will depend on the level of hands-on business analysis experience one has and its intensity. The above-mentioned range and level of experience will serve as a guide for CCBA and CBAP.

As much as ECBA vs. CCBA is concerned, there is no comparison as ECBA is the foundation certification and therefore is meant for freshers with no experience. In contrast, CCBA is meant for those who already have some business analytics work experience. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, the IIBA certifications are recognized worldwide and it pays to get certified from entry to advanced level for anyone desiring to build a career in business analytics or climb higher in the corporate ladder in the field of business analysis. 

Frequently Asked Questions( FAQs)  

1. What is the best certificate for business analyst?

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) 

2. What is required to become a business analyst?  

Adequate work experience in the field of business analysis along with appropriate IIBA certifications. 

3. What's a business analyst do?  

A business analyst explores and implements improvement areas in a business, increases efficiency and strengthens the business processes working cross-functionally with various teams within an organization. 

4. Is a business analyst certification worth it?  

A most definite yes. It enhances the expertise and skills and improves career opportunities both in terms of finding new jobs or acquiring promotions. 

5. Is business analyst a dying career?  

On the contrary, the demand for business analysts is ever increasing. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects its growth to range from 7% to 25% between 2020 and 2030. 

Profile

Mounika Narang

Author

Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years 
working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.

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