Business analyst: an overview
A business analyst helps organizations improve performance and achieve goals by analyzing their operations, processes, strategies, and data. Business analysts work with clients to understand their needs, identify problems, and design solutions.
Business analysts use data analysis, process modeling, and stakeholder interviews to support their decision-making. They also plan, monitor, and communicate the progress of the projects they are involved in.
Business analysts work to create positive change in organizations by finding opportunities for improvement and driving change.
Business analyst: how do you work?
Being a business analyst means working with different stakeholders from various departments and levels of the organization, promoting effective communication and teamwork.
This dynamic environment helps them develop strong interpersonal skills, connecting technical and non-technical teams to ensure a smooth flow of information.
Aside from that, the analytical nature of their work allows business analysts to improve their problem-solving and decision-making skills constantly.
As they adjust to changing project requirements and priorities, they become adept at using data-driven insights to drive organizational growth and implement successful changes.
As a successful business analyst, you can enjoy the following perks:
- Good salary and benefits
- High demand for business analysts in the job market
- Potential for career growth and advancement
- Flexibility in work arrangements
- Working with cutting-edge technologies and tools
Business analysts: what do they do?
Business analysts help businesses solve problems and achieve goals by analyzing their data and providing solutions. They have a strong business sense and a deep understanding of the business domain. They collect data related to the business and then interpret and analyze the data.
Business analysts should be able to perform different types of analyses and must also be able to create a sound study. After the analysis, they provide recommendations or strategic direction to decision-makers that will help the business become sustainable and grow.
Here are the responsibilities of a business analyst:
- Lead the implementation of a web-based application in a UNIX environment for an organization that handles pharmacy claims data.
- Conduct CRP sessions during the implementation, design and testing phases.
- Resolve more than forty software issues with PeopleSoft’s design and development teams.
- Use ALM as the tool to capture, prioritize, and manage requirements.
- Complete the updated website version and provide the CMS system to the internal staff to manage the website content.
- Manage PeopleSoft security audits, end-user support for security issues, and security changes to role and permission lists.
- Mentored junior business analysts on writing, specifying, and modeling requirements using VISIO diagrams.
- Perform data validation using SQL query, access, Excel, and UI functional and non-functional requirements during QA and UAT phases.
- Work closely with sales representatives and managers as the SME for profit improvement data analysis projects, including inventory age reduction.
- Define the payroll periods and pay dates for each payroll area.
- Assist in developing system data and processes that comply with payroll requirements.
- Train new associates on a global team using WebEx and PowerPoint, increasing productivity and functionality.
- Deliver presentations to business owners using wireframes, PowerPoint slides and requirement documents.
- Document and analyze defects using ALM and track them to completion by communicating with the team.
- Build consensus among other departments and senior HR leaders for successful execution of system enhancements and upgrades.
Business analysts: critical skills
Project Management: Provided services to clients in both enterprise and government organizations by leveraging financial and project management skills, adding 7% value to the company.
Data Analysis: Analyze data to understand business issues and financial implications and recommend improvements to enable business units to improve processes.
Business Analysis: Conduct critical business analysis in operations and revenue cycle management areas and propose recommendations to management for project approval.
User Stories: Implement MyPortal relaunch project using agile methodology, which involved creating 300 user stories for reinvigorating websites and digital assets and content.
User Acceptance: Developed user acceptance test scripts in a validated quality management testing system and facilitated testing sessions for various system deployments.
Test Cases: Document requirements management plans, functional requirements, supplemental requirements, test plans and cases clearly and concisely.
Business analysts: how to become
A business analyst helps companies achieve their goals and improve performance by analyzing and implementing business plans and strategies.
They work in various fields and use user data to understand and enhance the company's products, services, systems and processes. They also advise on the changes and assist the staff members in making and applying them.
To become a business analyst, the candidates need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business or computer science. Candidates must also have 2-4 years of experience in related fields, such as project management, consulting, or internship.
Candidates should have soft skills like creativity, analytical, and communication skills. Also, they should undergo 6-12 months of job training to learn the skills and tools required.
Apart from that, candidates can also earn a certification like the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) to boost their career prospects.
Business analyst: how much do they make
The average salary of a business analyst in the United States is around $74,431. However, business analyst salaries typically range between $53,000 and $103,000 yearly.
Apart from that, if you like to work hourly, you can expect an average hourly rate of $35.78.
Business analyst: best certifications
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
The Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certification validates your skills and ability to extract valuable insights from complex data sets and use them to guide strategic business decisions.
The CAP certification is vendor-neutral and is not specific to any specific software or platform. To be eligible for the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certification exam, you will need either a master’s degree in a related field and at least five years of experience in data or analytics or a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least seven years of experience in data or analytics.
If you have a master’s degree with just three years of related experience in data or analytics, you can also apply for the associate level aCAP exam.
IIBA Certification in Business Data Analytics (CBDA)
The IIBA Certification in Business Data Analytics (CBDA) certification proves your skills and ability to perform analysis-related work for business analytics projects.
The IIBA created this certification to help you demonstrate how to use data to solve real-world business problems, obtain data from various sources, analyze data using different methods, interpret and report data results, and influence business decision-making and strategy with data insights.
IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
The Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) is the first step to becoming a certified business analyst with the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
The IIBA-ECBA certification is for beginners and less experienced business analysts who want to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. To take the IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) certification exam, you must have at least 21 hours of professional training credits in the last four years.
Once you get your ECBA certification, you don’t have to renew it, but you can progress to the next levels of certification.
IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
The Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) is the second level of certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
The IIBA-CCBA certification is for experienced business analysts with a solid understanding and practice of the principles and techniques covered in the IIBA’s Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK) guide.
The IIBA-CCBA exam consists of 130 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge and application of the BABOK guide. The questions are based on scenarios and require some analysis.
The IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) certification exam covers the fundamentals, underlying competencies, key concepts, techniques and all six knowledge areas of the BABOK guide.
To qualify for the IIBA-CCBA certification certification exam, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- 3,750 hours of business analysis work experience in the last 7 years, aligned with the BABOK guide
- 900 hours of experience in two of the six BABOK knowledge areas, or 500 hours of experience in four of the six BABOK knowledge areas
- 21 hours of professional development training in the last 4 years
- Two professional references who can vouch for your competence and skills.
IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC)
The Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) certification recognizes your skills and ability to work as a business analyst in agile environments, where you must adapt and change quickly.
The IIBA created this certification based on the Agile Extension to the BABOK guide, a resource for business analysts using agile approaches. The IIBA-AAC exam differs from the other IIBA certifications, which build on each other. The IIBA-AAC certification exam is a standalone certification that you can take separately.
The IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) certification exam is delivered online, and you can take it from anywhere. The exam has 85 multiple-choice questions that are based on scenarios.
You have 2 hours to complete the exam. The IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) exam covers four main topics: agile mindset (30%), strategy horizon (10%), initiative horizon (25%) and delivery horizon (35%).
You need to renew your certification every three years. You don’t need specific qualifications to take the exam, but the IIBA recommends having at least two to five years of experience in agile environments.
IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
The IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA) certification shows your skills and knowledge as a business analyst. The IQBBA offers this certification as a global standard, with exam and training centers worldwide.
The IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA) certification is for IT professionals who analyze business processes, model businesses, and improve processes.
The foundation level covers the following topics: enterprise analysis, business analysis process planning, requirements elicitation, requirements analysis, solution validation, tools and techniques, innovation and design.
IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is the highest level of certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
The CBAP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge and application of the BABOK guide. The questions are based on case studies and require some analysis. The Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification exam duration is 3.5 hours.
After you pass, you must report at least 60 hours of continuing development units every three years to maintain your certification.
This certification is for seasoned business analysts who have extensive experience and expertise in the field. To be eligible for the IIBA-CBAP certification exam, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- 7,500 hours of business analysis work experience in the last 10 years, aligned with the IIBA’s Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK) guide.
- 900 hours of experience in four of the six BABOK knowledge areas.
- 35 hours of professional development training in the last 4 years.
- Have professional references who can attest to your competence and skills.
The final say
Business analytics skills have become more valuable and recognized globally in recent years. There are several organizations that offer business analyst certifications, such as IIBA, and PMI.
Obtaining these certifications will validate your knowledge and skills in the industry and help you secure better job opportunities and increase your salary.
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