Chapter-1: How to Become a Certified Business Analyst

Are you considering a career in business analytics but are unsure about the steps that will help you carve out a career in this domain? Are you a business analyst and wondering what type of certifications you need to acquire? This guide answers all of your questions about a career in business analytics and is the most comprehensive guide available today.

In this expertly written guide, you will learn everything you need to know from being a business analyst to how to land a  job as a business analyst jobs.

Business analysis is growing at an astronomical rate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business analyst roles are predicted to grow 14% between 2014-2024.  That is not all, business and financial occupations are projected to grow nine percent from now to 2026 adding an expected 750,400 new jobs. However, the projected need for professionals in the business analysis by American employers is expected to reach 876,000 by 2020 outpacing the number of available trained professionals.

Who is a Business Analyst?

A business analyst is a professional problem solver for organizations. They understand the nature of the business and find the most optimal solution for their organization utilizing data and best practices. Rather than being strictly focused on data, business analysts are great communicators often presenting their plans to company executives and stakeholders in order to improve a business from the inside out by providing technical solutions. 

Driven by the goal of helping a business run more optimally, business analysts aid organizations by fulfilling business needs within the parameters of established time, budget and regulation constraints.

The Role of a Business Analyst 

A business analyst plays an important role in any company or IT project.  However, the role varies based on what sector they are working on. Below are two examples of how business analysts function in different markets: 

Healthcare:

In the healthcare sector, business analysts are tasked to locate problems or improvement areas (such as operation and costs) in the healthcare facility to improve its performance and profitability. Furthermore, it is their responsibility to aid in keeping them out of debt while creating plans to maintain current standards of care while optimizing spend. 

They achieve these goals above by analyzing and balancing finances.  By collaborating with various departments in the hospital, healthcare business analysts ensure that hospital revenue is spent judiciously. A business analyst in healthcare may audit programs to determine profitability or search for cost-effective ways to procure top quality equipment.  

Software:

When it pertains to software development and implementation,  business analysts often utilize an agile methodology. They begin by focusing on the project and/or need within the business and develop an effective strategy to fit the organization’s goals. The solution is reached via the creation of a roadmap and actionable plan based on data collected during the planning stage. In a Scrum application of Agile, the business analyst is usually the product owner and aids the delivery team to reach the desired goal by breaking the project up into actionable sprints, which are later analyzed to make the process more efficient. In addition, a business analyst often is a facilitator, translating and mediating between the delivery team and the executive team or stakeholders. 

Why Become A Business Analyst?

Do you want to become a Certified business analyst? Is business analysis a good fit for you? Below are 15 qualities that will help you determine if becoming a business analyst is a good career path for you. 

 1.    You have a passion for problem-solving - one of the foremost applications for business analysts is the ability to solve pressing problems for an organization. This is one of the essential traits of this profession.

2.    You love to make the world a better place - central to the profession, business analysts solve problems because of the driving force to improve the way their organization operates. Those who love to make things better than the way they found them will thrive in this space. 

3.    You can easily identify a great idea when you see one - not all great ideas come from you and the ability to recognize a better idea is essential. This helps business analysts find the best solution for their organization’s problem and find the optimal way to improvement. 

4.    You can help people to communicate -  most professions require the ability to communicate clearly but it’s important on part of a business analyst because information and data often can come as a result of a conversation. The ability to clarify and understand the information coming across then convey this information to a variety of audiences is a core responsibility of a business analyst. 

5.    You find details important - in many ways, business analysts have to know every aspect of a problem or solution and every possible risk that could occur as part of the process. Often times, business analysts need to pay attention to the details because they aid in the determination of an optimal outcome.  

6.    You are naturally curious - part of what makes business analysis interesting is that it’s quite a bit like detective work. Asking questions and taking initiative to find out about the world around you is an important part of this role.

7.    You like preserving ideas - when ideas come to a business analyst, often times they may not be viable for the current project but they are good ideas. A good business analyst not only recognized good ideas but also know how to collect them and apply them to projects where they will work. 

8.    You have a wide array of knowledge - in business analysis, the unknown is a risk that could disrupt even the most careful of plans. Often times, a variety of knowledge in multiple areas is required to understand and solve problems. Good business analysts, if they don’t know the answer to something, learn until they a basic command of the subject area.  

9.   You want to constantly improve - whether through building your career experience or gaining additional knowledge, business analysis requires professionals to constantly better themselves through education and career advancement. 

10.    You like to organize - being organized and efficient is part of providing the solutions that business analysts offer. The ability to organize and present information in an organized manner should be second nature. In addition, solutions need to be organized and catalogued for future use. 

11.    You like to work independently - business analysis often requires you to be able to set your own priorities rather than constantly receiving tasks from a direct manager since this field requires a lot of ad hoc work due to discovery and information needs. 

12.    You enjoy working people - business analysts work with facts and processes but they are also required to work with people in a variety of positions from all levels of management. Business analysts need to be able to work with entry-level employees to 

13.    You want job security - the growth of business analysis in the United States is expected to grow faster than the number of available professionals. Business analysts work with complex, sometimes confidential information which makes them essential to have on-site, with the position rarely being outsourced. 

14.    You don’t like wasting resources - one of the major areas that business analysis helps organizations improve is where there is money and/or resources wasted. The ability to identify resources that are being misused is a great asset to those wishing to become business analysts. 

15.    You have a vision - a key to being a great business analyst is the ability to dream and see the big picture from fractured parts. Having vision allows you to see how processes can be improved and provide a goal to achieve. 

Core Skillset of a Business Analyst

Aspiring business analysts must possess core critical skills to be successful in this field. Our Business Analysis Certification (CBAP) certified by the IIBA will aid you in polishing these skills and pave the road to success as a business analyst. 

The five core skills of business analysts:

1.    Communication Skills

While communication is essential in almost every field, it is a key competency required as a business analyst. Professionals must possess the ability to easily share information with a variety of groups from C-suite executives to entry-level employees.  Communication skills are not limited to conveying information but also, receiving information. A successful business analyst must not only be able to actively listen to a conversation but be able to clearly ascertain what is being said as well as where that information should be used. The ability to clearly and concisely speak to a variety of different people and address questions and concerns of shareholders and executives are an important part of this role. 

2.    Problem Solving Skills

Every project comes with its challenges, as a business analyst, it is your duty to pinpoint the problem, provide possible solutions and determine the project scope. The role of business analysis in business is to find solutions to problems within an organization. Problem-solving involves a clear understanding of the problem and the ability to find a solution after all the necessary information is gathered.

3.    Analytical skills

Going hand-in-hand with problem-solving, analytical skills are what help business analysts determine the scope of their current project. As a Business analyst, you need analytical skills to be able to examine problems and provide solutions. Different methods are required for various aspects of analysis from deciphering data, gleaning documents, translating surveys and creating a workflow in order to understand the scope of the problem and the steps needed to proffer solution. 

4.    Decision-making Skills

Being decisive is an important quality of all business analysts. The ability to gather information and then decide on a course of action is essential to the role of business analyst. This role is seen as a consultant to management and advisor to developers and is called upon to make important decisions in diverse business matters which could determine the profitability of the business. As a business analyst, you will receive feedback from various positions and make decisions on the best course of action.

5.    Technical Skills

Technical skills are essential to the role of a business analyst because they aid you in a variety of ways. Many areas of business analysis require you to engage with technical teams, having an understanding of terminology and its basic applications allow you to better understand the problem at hand. In addition, various programs are utilized in this role to acquire data requires technical skills from financial software, inventory systems and other various applications. With a strong technical foundation, you have the ability to be more productive and successful as a business analyst and will also be able to provide technological solutions that will benefit your organization. These skills also help you communicate to a more technical audience.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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