How to become a Certified Business Analyst?
A business analyst performs several key roles in a company from creating strategic plans to analyzing business models and from solving business problems to testing solutions. Therefore, if you too have the qualities of critical thinking and have the skills required to resolve a problem then you can think of becoming a business analyst.
A business analyst is a rewarding career and anyone who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, human resources, finance or any other concerned field can apply for a post of a business analyst. Some organizations also provide internship opportunities for individuals who have the potential to be business analysts. Apart from these skills a person should also possess strong communication skills to be a successful business analyst.
Also, many professionals who are successful in their job roles make a transition in their career since they already have the required skills to become a business analyst. For example, if a person is working as a data miner and software analyst in an IT company then he already has the skills required to be a business analyst for his company.
Anyone who has an idea of project management and understands business operations can think of becoming a business analyst in the future. Though the above-mentioned expertise and skills are necessary for this post, they are not enough. To develop deep analytical thinking and to become an expert in solving problems, one has to learn and master these additional skills:
A business analyst often has to prepare documents related to operation requirements, business case studies, and many other documents. Therefore he must be capable of writing precise and clear documents.
For interpreting business requirements and needs, analyzing business issues for finding solutions, and analyzing other operations of a business, one has to develop strong analytical skills. They often have to prepare and give presentations and therefore they must know how to operate Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
A business analyst often has to organize special meetings called elicitation meetings to convey project requirements to various stakeholders of an organization. Therefore, he has to possess the skills required to conduct these meetings successfully.
Business analysts are expected to utilize BPMN (Business Process Model & Notation) to monitor, automate, and enhance different processes of a business.
To acquire these skills, one has to pursue a professional certification related to business analysis. These certifications include practical training and classroom sessions that impart the required skills to the candidates.
These are the courses that you can take up to become a professional business analyst:
PBA (Professional Business Analyst)
PBA is a professional certification course that is recognized all across the globe. This credential is given by PMIs (Project Management Institute) to individuals who pass the PBA exam. A person learns the following skills in this certification course:
- Understanding the basic roles, responsibilities, and duties of a business analyst and acquiring the skills to perform them effectively
- Enhancing the ability to coordinate and work with stakeholders of the company
- Knowing about analytical tools and other business analysis techniques
- Gaining sufficient skills and practical knowledge to clear the PBA exam
This course is suitable for individuals who are already working as a business analyst and individuals who are willing to work as a business analyst can also apply to this course.
CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) course
This course is ideal for all those individuals who want to become a successful business analyst. However, to be eligible for this course, a person must have experience of at least 5 or more years of working as a business analyst in a reputed company.
It enables an individual to understand and learn real-time techniques and strategies that are required to handle and implement projects successfully. Following are the credentials and skills that a business analyst acquires during this course
- Principles and business practices essential to become a competitive business analyst
- Recognition as a professional business analyst by PMIs and professional peers
- Improves the overall skills and performance of a BA (Business Analyst)
- Hike in income due to recognition
- Involvement and engaging with professional groups
Apart from these, there are various entry-level and advanced level courses offered by PMIs to business analysts. These courses are essential if you want to pursue a long and satisfying career in business analytics.
Many business analysts are working but they are not aware of a few things that they need to do to apply for advanced level courses like CBAP. Therefore, we will let you know a step-by-step process that will help you to become a certified and successful business analyst:
Step 1: Acquire business analysis experience
Most of the certifications required considerable experience of working as a business analyst. To be eligible for a CBAP course a BA should have 5 years or 7500 hours of experience. Moreover, a person must have completed 900 hours while working in each of the knowledge areas.
Also, many business analysts have this experience but they do not know that they can apply for CBAP. Therefore, awareness of the related courses is a must if you want to become a certified business analyst.
Step 2: Documentation of PDs (Professional Development) hours
While submitting your CBAP application, you must also have documented 35 hours of professional development or training. BA training courses and business conferences qualify for these hours.
Step 3: Apply for the certification
Once you are eligible for the CBAP course you can apply online with the necessary documents and fees.
Step 4: Understand BABOK thoroughly
BABOK i.e. Business Analysis Body of Knowledge is a complete guide that has information and knowledge about every concept of business analysis. It is important to grasp these concepts and other contents of BABOK thoroughly to clear the certification exam.
Step 5: Schedule your exam
Once the PMI approves your CBAP application, you will have to schedule the exam within a calendar year. However, we would recommend you to take the exam within 2 to 3 months so that you can try to clear the exam once again if you fail in your first attempt. However, if you fail once again then you will have to submit another application with the necessary fees.