Search

Which Professional Business Analysis Certification Should I Do?

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), the leading professional body in the domain of business analysis around the world is responsible for defining the standards, guidelines and best practices related to the profession. These standards and guidelines are applicable for any individual playing some sort of analyst role in an organization. IIBA® offers four key professional certifications for practitioners to further enhance their knowledge and their careers.  A common problem faced by many professionals and among those aspiring to develop a career in business analysis is the problem of not knowing which professional certifications are available, identifying which certification is most suitable for them and then understanding how to go about obtaining the certification. This article intends to critically discuss about the four Business Analysis certifications offered by IIBA, so as to provide a comprehensive one-stop guide for anyone to use. Certifications are important, as it is a proof that the individual has mastered the art and science of business analysis and thus provides personal and professional recognition. An IIBA® certification definitely looks good on your resume and is recognized worldwide. With the rapid increase of demand for analyst jobs, an IIBA certified professional is sure to stand head-above-shoulders than any other professional and have the potential to earn 15% to 20% more than a professional who is not certified. IIBA® Certifications are based on competency of each individual and is in line with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®). The current version of BABOK® is version 3.0. The certifications from IIBA® and the requirements are as listed below: Entry Certificate in Business Analysis® (ECBA®) ECBA®, which is a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA® is primarily for undergraduates, new graduates, students enrolled in business analysis courses or for anyone moving into a career in business analysis. ECBA certification is an entry level certification that anyone who wants to venture into business analysis career can pursue. Eligibility criteria for ECBA® are as listed below: 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  One hour of activity is equal to one PD. PD hours can be obtained by, Following classroom or online courses from Endorsed Education Providers (EEP) of IIBA®. Following live or recorded webinars related to business analysis. Attending or facilitating conferences, workshops, speeches or training sessions Attending study group sessions, workshops, conferences organized by the local IIBA® chapter Reading and reviewing the BABOK® guide through self-directed learning Read, understand and agree with the ECBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form. The ECBA® exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT) of 1 hour duration consisting of 50 MCQ questions. Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis® (CCBA®) CCBA® is targeted mainly for professionals who have some sort of industry experience as a business analyst. CCBA course  is a Professional Certification for individuals with extensive Business Analysis experience. Eligibility criteria for CCBA® are as listed below. Minimum of 3750 hours (roughly about 4 years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 7-year time period. It is important to note that the individual must be able to demonstrate 900 hours in each of 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or a minimum of 500 hours in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 7-year time period. It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form. 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.   PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously. Read, understand and agree with the CCBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient. The CCBA® exam is also a CBT of 3 hours duration consisting of 130 scenario based MCQ questions. Certified Business Analysis Professional® (CBAP®) CBAP® certification is the most prestigious certification in my mind targeted for experienced professionals in the field of business analysis. Eligibility criteria for CBAP® are as listed below: Minimum of 7500 hours (roughly about 7 ½ years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 10-year time period. The individual must have a minimum of 900 demonstrable hours of experience in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 10-year time period. It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form. 35 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.   PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously. Read, understand and agree with the CBAP® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient. The CBAP® exam is also a CBT of 3 ½ hours duration consisting of 120 case study (1 to 1 ½ pages) based MCQ questions. Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader® (CBATL®) CBATL® is again a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA®. It does require the individual to write an exam but can be obtained by proving 10 or more years of business analysis experience. This credential is still being detailed out but is offered to professionals who have contributed to the growth and popularity of the profession and to the knowledge base of business analysis. Choose wisely!! The right credential with the knowledge of how to apply the learning at your workplace will make you a valuable cog in your company’s wheels.

Which Professional Business Analysis Certification Should I Do?

5K
Which Professional Business Analysis Certification Should I Do?

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), the leading professional body in the domain of business analysis around the world is responsible for defining the standards, guidelines and best practices related to the profession. These standards and guidelines are applicable for any individual playing some sort of analyst role in an organization.

IIBA® offers four key professional certifications for practitioners to further enhance their knowledge and their careers.  A common problem faced by many professionals and among those aspiring to develop a career in business analysis is the problem of not knowing which professional certifications are available, identifying which certification is most suitable for them and then understanding how to go about obtaining the certification.

This article intends to critically discuss about the four Business Analysis certifications offered by IIBA, so as to provide a comprehensive one-stop guide for anyone to use. Certifications are important, as it is a proof that the individual has mastered the art and science of business analysis and thus provides personal and professional recognition. An IIBA® certification definitely looks good on your resume and is recognized worldwide. With the rapid increase of demand for analyst jobs, an IIBA certified professional is sure to stand head-above-shoulders than any other professional and have the potential to earn 15% to 20% more than a professional who is not certified.

IIBA® Certifications are based on competency of each individual and is in line with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®). The current version of BABOK® is version 3.0.

The certifications from IIBA® and the requirements are as listed below:

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis® (ECBA®)

ECBA®, which is a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA® is primarily for undergraduates, new graduates, students enrolled in business analysis courses or for anyone moving into a career in business analysis.
ECBA certification is an entry level certification that anyone who wants to venture into business analysis career can pursue.

Eligibility criteria for ECBA® are as listed below:

  • 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  One hour of activity is equal to one PD.

PD hours can be obtained by,

  • Following classroom or online courses from Endorsed Education Providers (EEP) of IIBA®.
  • Following live or recorded webinars related to business analysis.
  • Attending or facilitating conferences, workshops, speeches or training sessions
  • Attending study group sessions, workshops, conferences organized by the local IIBA® chapter
  • Reading and reviewing the BABOK® guide through self-directed learning
  1. Read, understand and agree with the ECBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.

The ECBA® exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT) of 1 hour duration consisting of 50 MCQ questions.

Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis® (CCBA®)

CCBA® is targeted mainly for professionals who have some sort of industry experience as a business analyst. CCBA course  is a Professional Certification for individuals with extensive Business Analysis experience.

Eligibility criteria for CCBA® are as listed below.

  • Minimum of 3750 hours (roughly about 4 years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 7-year time period.

It is important to note that the individual must be able to demonstrate 900 hours in each of 2 of the 6 knowledge areas or a minimum of 500 hours in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 7-year time period.

It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form.

  1. 21 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  

PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously.

  1. Read, understand and agree with the CCBA® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.
  1. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient.

The CCBA® exam is also a CBT of 3 hours duration consisting of 130 scenario based MCQ questions.

Certified Business Analysis Professional® (CBAP®)

CBAP® certification is the most prestigious certification in my mind targeted for experienced professionals in the field of business analysis.

Eligibility criteria for CBAP® are as listed below:

  1. Minimum of 7500 hours (roughly about 7 ½ years at 6 hours of effective business analysis work per day) within the last 10-year time period.

The individual must have a minimum of 900 demonstrable hours of experience in each of 4 of the 6 knowledge areas in the BABOK® over the above mentioned 10-year time period.

It is important to fulfill this criterion when documenting your experience and hence take extra care when filling your application form.

  1. 35 contact hours of Professional Development (PD) obtained within the last 4 years time period from the time of application.  

PD hours can be obtained by following any of the methods mentioned previously.

  1. Read, understand and agree with the CBAP® code of conduct which you will be presented with when filling the application form.
  1. Endorsement from two referees who are current contacts of the candidate knowing them for at least 6 months which can either be a career manager, client or a CBAP® recipient.

The CBAP® exam is also a CBT of 3 ½ hours duration consisting of 120 case study (1 to 1 ½ pages) based MCQ questions.

Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader® (CBATL®)

CBATL® is again a new addition to the list of certifications offered by IIBA®. It does require the individual to write an exam but can be obtained by proving 10 or more years of business analysis experience. This credential is still being detailed out but is offered to professionals who have contributed to the growth and popularity of the profession and to the knowledge base of business analysis.

Choose wisely!! The right credential with the knowledge of how to apply the learning at your workplace will make you a valuable cog in your company’s wheels.

Rumesh

Rumesh Wijetunge

Chief Innovation Officer - Zaizi Limited, Chief Operating Officer - LearntIn (Pvt) Ltd., Director /

Rumesh is an IT business leader with over 12 years of industry experience as a business analyst and project manager. He is currently the CIO of Zaizi Limited, a UK based data management company heading the operations in Sri Lanka, the COO of LearntIn, a global training institute based in Sri Lanka and is also a lecturer / trainer at multiple private universities on management, IT, business analysis and project management subjects. He is the current president of the IIBA Sri Lanka chapter and is one of the most qualified and sought after trainers in Sri Lanka. Refer his LinkedIn profile for more details and to see more articles he has written on linkedin

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

6 Tips To Write Compelling Business Cases

It’s not that easy to earn the trust of your prospective customers. However, coming up with a compelling business case is how you can earn this kind of trust and faith from your clients. To achieve this, the business case should be captivating to the reader to make them interested and thus, it should involve a lot of creativity and professionalism. Do you want to make your business case compelling to your prospective and existing customers? Can a business case writing really helps you?. Here’re some tips to writing compelling business case 1. Use a Concise and Clear Format First and foremost, it’s important to write a brief and self-explanatory business case. This is because you want your target audience to easily understand the kind of business you want to start. Therefore, you should summarize information about the product or services you want to offer so that it’s clear to your audience. The clients will get interested and may want to seek more information about the business. Secondly, being organized is also very crucial when writing a business case. This is because the clients usually look out for structured businesses. In any case, who would want to peruse an unstructured business case? I wouldn’t either. Furthermore, as long as it’s not well organized, it makes the customers lose interest as they find it very complex to understand. 2. The Writer Should Be Realistic and on Point This means that you should be factual and real. Your content should be genuine and not exaggerated. It’s advisable to use accurate information when writing a business case. This is because a business case can either build your work or destroy it. The business case is meant to make the customers want to invest in the business or to buy a product, so genuineness is a key attribute in any business. The fact that the business case should be compelling does not mean that the writer should use information that’s not reliable. This calls for transparency and accountability. The customers need to believe in the services or products that you’re offering. Being precise in your business case is very important. The customers do not need to go through the whole business case. Making it clear and straightforward makes them want more information. The business case should be captivating in that it should not bore the reader. Hence, it is imperative to make sure the clients can understand what it is that you have to offer in a few words.                                                                                                              3. The Writer Should Write with a Sense of Urgency Creating a sense of urgency is vital when writing a business case. This is because you need to make your prospective clients want to get involved in your business. Urgency is created by making clients realize that they have no option but to use your idea or product. In most cases, urgency makes the customers take action. At some point, it triggers them to invest in the business. For instance, in financial institutions, when urgency is created, it mainly focuses on greater returns. I could give an example of insurance companies. The business cases of such companies are self-explanatory and they work within a certain time frame. A custom writing service can be of good help here. This business case writing course really helps you to attract your customers to get in the business. 4. In Case You Use Figures and Graphs, Ensure that They Are Easy to Understand Most financial business cases use graphs and diagrams to illustrate their idea. It’s very clear that when one sees the graphs and diagrams, they get a clear and good explanation of the business. In my opinion, using graphs and charts also shows how serious the business is. For instance, in online trading, to show the market trend, whether bear or bull, graphs are often used. Other similar figures known as candlesticks are also used to depict the stronger of the two at a particular time. It’s very important to ensure that your charts and figures are self-explanatory and easily understood by your target audience. This could be done by labelling your charts and graphs appropriately in such a way that they do not confuse the reader. Coming up with well-defined graphs for the business case shows an element of organization. The customers are more compelled to deal with an organization that is well coordinated. 5. As a Good Writer, Use Statistics and Verified Data to Convince the Clients Using verified data and statistics is important as it makes the business case appear more credible to the clients. The use of statistics makes the case look more accurate as the figures distinctly show how much is needed or how much is used for an investment. A good business case consists of reliable statistics and data. Everyone wants to invest in a thriving business that’s sustainable. It is, therefore, very important that the business has accurate data and information about the feasibility study. How viable is the business? Are there any chances of survival within the current market? These are some of the questions that the business case should answer. Statistics in the business case should also show the history of the business and how profitable it became with time. This generally creates trust between the investors and the sponsors who are the brains behind its existence.  6. Include Different Types of Information and Other People if They Support Your Case The different types of information could be competitors who are offering a similar kind of service or product. This could make the business case more compelling as there is a comparison of prices, quality, and durability of the products being sold. As a matter of fact, other case studies could also be included in the business case as well as scenarios that could relate to the business. Activities like benchmarking with other companies are also allowed as they bring an element of comparison thus giving a client an opportunity to weigh all the options before they make a decision. It should be noted that the business case is the key driver of the decisions made in your business. Therefore, engaging with other stakeholders is very crucial when writing a compelling business case. Talking to other or potential stakeholders opens up your mind. You are able to understand the interests of the customers and come up with a plan to satisfy their needs. You are also able to understand chances of survival in the market as well as how profitable the business may become. Conclusion The aim of a business case is to answer some of the questions that the customers could have concerning the business. The business case at some point also acts as a perfect marketing strategy. Therefore, coming up with a compelling business case is very important as it brings the customers on board. It also gives you an edge over other businesses who choose not to have one or don’t know about its importance. What is your experience with writing a business case? And how having one has helped you connect more with your customers?
6 Tips To Write Compelling Business Cases

It’s not that easy to earn the trust of your pro... Read More

Business Analysts - Changing How Companies Deal with Change

Working as a business analyst has become one of the most interesting career options for young professionals in recent times. As a business analysis professional, individuals tend to work in organizations helping to work with and manage the changes that take place as well as wade through transitions. They also work to plan for the future in a way that is in line with the corporate goals of the company. This has become a very widely required skillset across industries at every level. The requirements could be for a specific project where you would work as a consultant or even as a permanent feature in the organization as they see the tides of change looming overhead constantly. A thorough understanding of the organization’s current situation is warranted, along with identification of possible future needs and the ability to create nifty solutions that would help meet those very needs. This usually involves the implementation of some kind of information technology or software systems, although this may not always be the case. The high level of specialization and knowledge that this field requires has warranted the need for several PMI-PBA training and PMI PBA certification training programmes which effectively equip professionals with the right tools to work effectively in their capacity as a business analyst. Business analysts are required to demonstrate a highly-detailed knowledge as well as understanding of the way in which the organization is currently working. This includes looking into the sector in which it is currently operating in, as the professional would be helping the organization through developing its functions, products and services in various ways to meet the market demands, internal and external goals in a way that appeases all the stakeholders, no matter which side of the table they may sit on.  This is perhaps why many organizations insist that professionals take up a PBA training programme for a certification so that they know that the business analyst that they have on their side is fully capable of taking on the tasks that they need to be done, and dealing with changes and transitions in processes that they may not be able to predict. The business analyst plays a crucial role in communicating between the external parties and the internal departments of the organization, which means they would act as a ‘translator’ wherever they may be needed and try and reduce the amount of misunderstandings and miscommunications. This ‘translator’ role is one of the most challenging parts of working as a business analyst but is also one of the most required. Now through any PMI-PBA online training, the aspiring business analyst may be exposed to a number of portfolios including product owner, requirements engineer, management consultant, business architect, enterprise analyst, process analyst, systems analyst, business systems analyst and product manager. Although these titles all mostly mean the same thing and involve the same responsibilities, they may differ slightly from role to role, as well as from firm to firm, depending on their individual requirements and the sector in which they operate in. Now while the barrier in terms of PMI-PBA certification cost is generally quite reasonable, many choose not to pursue it, and this leaves them quite behind in the grand scheme of things as they are unable to stay competitive in a world where business analysts appear to be coming out of the woodworks. The best way to differentiate in such an environment is definitely through the right certifications. This is reflected by the vast range of responsibilities that a business analyst must take on including communication, working with stakeholders, using data modelling, opportunity evaluation and the identification of the right processes to name very few. All of these add up and mean that the aspiring business analyst, while in demand, still has some catching up to do.
14324
Business Analysts - Changing How Companies Deal wi...

Working as a business analyst has become one of th... Read More

Defining How Decisions Are Made With Effective Business Cases

Before we even start out to consider writing a business case, there are three important questions that any business case writing course would tell you to ask yourself. What is a business case? Why do I need a business case? Why is business case vital?  And when should I use a business case? Once you are able to find the right answers for these questions, then you are definitely already on the right track and will be writing effecting business cases and getting decision makers to sway your way when you need them to.now one of the first things to know when starting with a new proposal is to first understand what the benefits of that business proposal are for the decision makers, and how to best communicate these benefits to them in a way that they will easily understand. The business case is developed in one of the early stages of a proposal and it outlines the main whys, whats, hows and whos, necessary to properly decide if taking on this proposal is worthwhile for the decision makers. The impact of this is that the person who is doing the business case writing, needs to present the facts and benefits in a way that isn’t disingenuous, but still shows that this is a proposal worth taking up. Now why you might need a business case is largely based on the fact that the process of preparing one requires a lot of assessment. In fact, most business case writing training programmes specify that the case looks into the business problem or opportunity, the benefits, the risks, the costs involved including the appraisal of investment, likely technical solutions, the time period, the impact it would have on operations as well as the capability of the organization to deliver on the outcomes proposed.  All of these are the main issues that are very important to the business case, and exploring them means that there has to be an in-depth analysis done into the proposal. This means that a sort of internal audit is done for the proposal, which would expose any likely weaknesses in it and allow for the project proposer to look into them and sort them out, before presenting the business case to the decision makers. This is just one of the ways in which bcw training can prove useful to the professional and it is always advised that they at least look up bcw online to get a good idea on the best practices for writing effective cases. The question of when to use a business case is one that would become clear over time and practice, especially if the professional in question has done a good business case writing certification as this is a learned skill. Many organizations would require that project management professionals be certified in business cases as they may take their proposals only in the form of cases, as it has come to be a widely-accepted format due to its simplicity and ability to deliver raw facts in a precise manner. The need for a business case is most seen when the resources or expenditure on a particular proposal needs to be justified appropriately to the decision makers. It does a great job of providing grounds for such actions and allows decision makers to look at them from a frontline view. Approval for these proposals in this format is usually sought out from the sponsor of the project or even other parties who may be interested. A good example would be the IT department being authorised funds by the finance function in a company for the undertaking of a new client side project which would require upfront costs, but would bring in heavy returns over time.
16476
Defining How Decisions Are Made With Effective Bus...

Before we even start out to consider writing a bus... Read More

Useful links