Introduction to Business Analysis
When customers have a variety of options to pick from, the key to staying relevant for any business in the market can be done only by offering hyper-personalized services or products to the customers. Thus, businesses are expected to alter services or products as per the dynamic market demands to stay ahead of their competitors. Most companies are moving from conventional to intuitive business processes to fit the new demands. As business processes are remodeled and redesigned, the amount and type of data generated from such processes also change. Business analytics plays a crucial role in leveraging the benefits of data for companies and recognizing the benefits of leveraging their data. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the global spending on big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions are expected to reach $215.7 Billion in 2021 with banking, discrete manufacturing, and professional services industries investing the most in big data and analytics solutions.
Implementation of advanced technology brings along more heterogeneous data to handle. Thus, business analytics is required to analyze data and make data-driven decisions. Business analysts take Data-driven decisions to bring agility to businesses.
As more companies investigate the possibilities of using data for meaningful insights, the need for business analytics professionals is growing.
Business analysts are now appreciated in every aspect of a corporation, including IT processes, organizational structures, and employee development. They study and examine business rules, practices, and choices in order to better align them with the company's core values and aims.
The field of business analytics appears promising, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), anticipating the job opportunities for management analysts, which includes business analysts, to grow by 14% over the next decade, adding nearly 100,000 jobs each year.
Skilled Business Analysts assist organizations in making informed decisions that boost profitability, and market share, and deliver a higher return to potential stakeholders. With that being said, business analysts should have the right set of skills to thoroughly understand and examine an organization’s data and performance. With business analytics promising to uncover patterns within datasets and bringing innovative and efficient ways of doing business, more companies are relying on it each day. Thus, it is crucial for business analysts to acquire relevant certification or training to gauge the principles and practical applications of business analytics.
The Rising Adoption of Business Analytics
As per the Mordor Intelligence report, the Business Analytics market was valued at USD 67.92 Bn in 2020 which could touch USD 103.65 Bn by 2026. For the forecast 2021-2026, this is a record CAGR of 7.3%.
However, key decision-makers in most organizations were supported by BA practices from on-premise and mostly centralized data sources. Therefore, to better understand the growth of this sector, it is essential to consider the combined role of BA and Big Data.
In findings from Allied Market Research, the global Big Data & Business Analytics market size valued at USD 198.08 Bn by 2020 could grow at a CAGR of 13.5% by 2030. The below chart shows the growth of BA across multiple sectors.
Source: Allied Market Research
Impact of COVID-19 on Big Data and Business Analytics Market
Business analytics has been driving global corporations towards making key decisions across verticals. The industry, in association with big data and AI, broke all records and encountered a sudden downfall as soon as the pandemic hit. However, that only hinted at a bigger and better BA practice to ensure distant communication in an error-free and consistent manner. As a result, in the post-pandemic era, business analytics will be crucial in driving companies to predict failures, enable customer personalization and deliver in-the-moment services.
Since the market across industrial sectors looks forward to covering the losses of the pandemic, they have no choice but to embrace automation and fasten their processes. Therefore, It is inevitable that the Big Data & the BA industry will propel in the upcoming years. This change will be visible at all levels of an enterprise be it the organization-employee remote engagements, customer handling or migrating everything too highly responsive and easily accessible apps in the cloud.
Top Trends in Business Analysis
Rapid Cloud Adoption
The horrors of COVID-19 pushed the global workforce indoors while also educating them about the potential digital infrastructure. Since on-premise processes couldn’t successfully implement remote working, cloud readiness actually emerged as a key differentiator for survival. This means those who migrated to digital in time could seamlessly move to SaaS-based BI, on public, private or hybrid clouds. This has led businesses including SMEs to embrace cloud full throttle and realign their business analytics with advanced tools. Needless to say, this will continue to happen.
In fact, companies have already begun to position cloud BA in their primary budgets so that on-demand connecting & working becomes a permanent solution. As per Gartner, by the end of 2023, 40% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in the cloud. What does this suggest? Business analytics is a mission-critical practice and professionals must hone their expertise accordingly.
Data analytics was always there. In 2022, organizations, regardless of their capital & competency, are aligning decisions making & analytics together with a focus on putting insights first. This means every leadership decision, from setting vertical goals, creating strategies and ultimately taking action. That being said, it requires a strong culture of data literacy throughout an organization. To put it simply, reading, writing and communicating with data in context is data literacy. Not only does it maximize the outcome of BA systems but also enhances user adoption.
This ability to interpret data, produce insights and thus identify key areas of improvement, forms an essential component of BA. Not only can it drive changes at any role and level of the organization but also removes the gap between analysts, end-users, engineers and all stakeholders. This is called data democratization.
What needs to be done? Organizations must invest in up-skilling their BA workforce. They must hone them in data literacy no matter how time-consuming it is. As per a study from the Data Literacy Index, initiatives to improve data skills result in USD 320 M – USD 534 M higher ROI than others with lower data literacy rates.
For those seeking training in BA, make sure you pick a course that emphasizes data literacy. Most likely, organizations will make it a priority in 2022-23.
Self-governed business analytics empowers all stakeholders including end-users to consume data as and when they need it. Through ad hoc reporting, the teams can sort their data without any dependency on technical expertise. Advanced features in BA systems such as data connectors, intuitive interfaces, & pre-designed workflows enable regular users to make better use of their data.
This allows them to strengthen the data science practice through multiple case simulations, key driver analysis, predictive analytics and others. Data scientists can leverage ML-backed, low-code programming and interoperability to develop applications and integrate them with business platforms. Analytics and data science roles are overlapping now, thanks to greater autonomy being one of the most significant BI trends.
Moving Towards Mobile
In the pursuit of building an alternative infrastructure in the pandemic, organizations need advanced solutions to tackle abrupt shifts in work patterns and business demands alike. With SaaS solutions, they can enable any-time access to reports and dashboard insights on mobile devices such as smartphones, tabs etc. As per Mordor Intelligence, the mobile BI market shall grow by a CAGR of 22.4% by 2024.
Source - MordoIntelligence
While most internet users access the internet via mobile, market share isn’t the only reason to implement mobile BI. Users can opt to receive KPI-based alerts and react promptly to events as they happen. Mobile BA features a responsive, lite version of the main analytics platform, placing the power of insights directly in the user’s hands wherever they go.
Advantages of Business Analyst Certification:
A business analytics certification brings credibility and improves the business intelligence knowledge of a business analyst. In a competitive job market, having a business analytics certification certainly helps in finding better career opportunities and helps to dig deep into values and successfully convert them for business applications. This enables business analysts to become a valuable asset in assisting an enterprise in utilizing data to advance its values.
Though the ask for business analytics seems simple i.e. analyzing and presenting data, there is more to the journey of getting meaningful insights for any business. With the basic and advanced components of business analytics, it is also important to learn the streamlined approach required when it comes to learning data analytics. To build a deep understanding of data and its representation, factors such as business objectives, processes, infrastructure, etc., are to be considered. Thus, certification helps business analysts to methodologically factorize every business aspect and adapt the required structured approach.
Provides Career Flexibility and Networking
From predictive maintenance analytics in manufacturing facilities to providing customer service in the retail business, the field of Business Analytics offers flexibility and diversity to be absorbed in any industry. In addition to the business analyst profession, business analyst certification makes one eligible for other related positions such as a solution designer, product analyst, business architect, and so on. Enrolling in a certification or training program also provides an opportunity to communicate with and learn from peers and experts in the field of business analytics. Such exchanges aid in the development of a strong market network.
Learn Business Analytics tools
Business analytics entails a variety of duties that are frequently accomplished more efficiently with the use of tools. Some certificates include instruction on common business analytics technologies, such as SQL/SAS for storing and analyzing large data sets, and Tableau/Qlikview for outstanding data visualization across enterprise data. Knowledge of such technologies aids business analysts in efficiently completing specific jobs.
According to a study done by McKinsey, the data science industry will eventually have more than 490,000 vacant jobs, but fewer than 200,000 qualified individuals to fill these roles. Thus, certifications with a hands-on approach can assist business analysts to advance their careers.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Business Analyst Professional
A business analyst professional's tasks include gathering data, interpreting it, documenting it, and so on. It's not easy to obtain a reputable data analytics certification, thus, having appropriate qualifications will be lucrative in the field.
Here are a few examples of job roles one might be qualified for after earning a professional certification in business analytics:
- Data Analyst or Visualizer: As the role name suggests, data analysts and visualizers are intimately involved in day-to-day business activities, and they are expected to extract and perform several ad hoc tasks on the data to extract and represent relevant information.
- Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst: BI analyst helps to analyze markets and business trends.
- User Experience Analyst: User Experience Analysts examine the existing systems and data available, and learn about the new business/audience demands. The interface designs are made based on the research of customer experience.
- IT Business Analyst: One of the most important roles in the IT field is that of an IT Business Analyst as they analyze existing/new systems from many viewpoints, recommend solutions, and align the IT element of the overall business with the organization's strategic goals.
Similarly, there are other strong roles such as Data and Analytics Manager, System Analyst, Functional Analyst, etc. that can be explored in the field of Business Analytics as per requirement and skill set.
Wages for qualified experts are rising as demand for data analytics expertise grows. People consider a variety of aspects when making job decisions, money is frequently one of them. Some of the popular websites reveal According to PayScale.com, jobs in the data analytics industry frequently pay well over the national average with the average compensation for data analysts being $58,522. However, when data analytics specialists get more expertise and advance in their careers, their pay tends to mirror these developments.
Good Sources to Study Business Analysis:
In the world of business analytics, staying updated with the latest trends in the industry helps one to expand his knowledge base. Looking up informative sources of business analytics helps you execute your job more effectively. Here are a few useful Business Analytics resources:
- Adaptive US: Adaptive US focuses on IIBA certifications (CBAP, CCBA, ECBA, AAC, CBDA, CCA, CPOA), question banks, study guides, simulators, flashcards, audiobooks, and digital learning packs. It also offers a plethora of knowledge in the form of blogs on a variety of business analysis topics, as well as IIBA certifications.
- Simplilearn: This platform offers hands-on projects, assignments and interactions with experts and peers across industries, which will keep you updated with practical knowledge about different fields within business analytics.
- Business Analyst Learnings: Business Analyst Learnings (BAL) is a one-stop platform for useful and practical business analysis knowledge, viewpoints, and ideas in the form of educational blogs. From novice to seasoned Business Analytics practitioners benefit from the blogs. Also, there are numerous high-quality materials and templates that can be used to carry out business analysis duties efficiently.
Top Certifications for Business Analysts
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
The Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certification evaluates (& certifies) your competency to read complex data sets and draw valuable insights with an aim to guide critical decision-making. This is a vendor-neutral certification and an essential program for those with 5 years of industrial experience. You need a master’s degree to qualify for the exam. If you have a bachelor's then a minimum of 7 years of experience is required.
IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
Those who have a degree but little to no experience should consider the Entry Certificate in Business Analytics (ECBA). Like its name, it provides the much-needed leap to entry-level candidates seeking professional careers in business analytics. This is also the first level of certification at the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The scope of this course includes a minimum of 21 hours of training credits in the past 4 years. This is imperative to be able to get eligible for the exam.
IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
The Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) is level 2 of the IIBA course as introduced above. Alongside the IIBA’s Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK) guide, this course requires a minimum of 3,750 hours of BA work in the previous 7 years. This should also cover 900 hours in two of six BABOK knowledge areas or a minimum of 500 hours in four out of six BABOK knowledge areas.
IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
The third level of certification with the IIBA is the Certified Business Analysis Professional CBAP certification. This is a comprehensive training program for candidates with rich experience in business analysis. The qualifying criteria require a minimum of 7,500 hours of full-time BA work in the previous 10 years. This includes 900 hours of work experience with four out of six BABOK knowledge areas. This should cover 35 hours of professional development in the previous 4 years.
IBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC)
The significance of Agile-Scrum project management methodologies in bA is inevitable. Exactly why, the IIBA emphasizes upon all BA courses include the Agile Analytics Certification course. This is a special course for those BAs who work in agile environments and collaborate with multiple teams in an iterative manner. It trains the candidates in different scenarios of project development that depend upon faster adoption & rapid change.
CBDA from IIBA
Certification for Business Data Analytics (CBDA) is a level 2 program from IIBA. Junior professionals with 2-3 years of experience in core BA skills can apply for this certification program. The exam consists of 75 questions that evaluate your solution-developing ability in different industrial scenarios. The certification program costs USD 400 and USD 250 for IIBA members.
Professionals with CBDA certification
CBDA-certified professionals are more likely to justify their competency and passion for performing deep-rooted business analytics in different cases. For employers, this is a testimony of your aptitude in the subject.
Offered by the Project Management Institute, the PMI-PBA certification testifies a professional’s competency to implement analytics in project management. To clear the certification program, candidates should earn 60+ professional development units (PDUs) every 3 years in BA topics.
Furthermore, they should earn a secondary education degree such as a High School Diploma or an Associate Degree. The candidate should either have a Bachelor’s degree or 35 contact hours of education in BA. Even better if they have 4,500 hours of BA experience. For regular candidates, the fee is USD 555 while PMI members have to pay USD 405 only.
CPOA from IIBA, Canada
The Certification program recognized by IIBA named 'The Product Ownership Analysis’ assimilates the course curriculum of Business analysis and ownership. Those professionals who are thinking about acquiring tactics to create new products and want to become business owners can go for it. These aspirants can choose this career path that certainly can make them successful Business Analysis Professionals and maximize their potential. The exam fee for members is $250 and for non-members $400.
Future & Validity of Business Analysis Certification
Certifications luring the employers
These days’ organizations are expanding, thus the risk factors have also enlarged, and to tackle the risk elements, employers seek competitive employees, who maintain high standards and can assist them to mitigate the risks in the organizations.
BA programs not only provide you with a professional certification but also make you a better entrepreneur. You will be able to explore and study the topics related to planning and methods in the organizations, solutions for the business growth, planning, and development, knowing the entrepreneurial needs, evaluation of business measures, bridging the gaps, and assessing them that are similar to the following:
- Business Analysis strategy and observation
- Eradication and amalgamation
- Analyzing the planning
- Assessing the needs and creating a definition
- Evaluating the solution
Enhanced wages and perks and great ROI
Greatest earning is the perk one can gain after becoming a certification holder of BA.
As per a global business analysis survey, 13% of those who possessed BA certification led in the salary status, and 24 per cent of such scholars got salary hikes. As per the trends, CBAP certificate holders were more accomplished than the others who were not certified.
Accomplishing Executive positions
A survey by KPMG also revealed stunning facts that almost 68 % of the business leaders who have attained positions of CTO, CIO, or COO were certificate holders. BAs are mostly tailored to work under stress, can face the pressure of the industry, and thus can be employed on high-risk projects.
In this research, we highlighted the scope of certifications in boosting one’s career in business analysis. In our research, we found that the changing technology landscape will demand BAs across roles & experience to elevate their skills and adorn more responsibilities than earlier. Not only should they upskill in web 3.0 technologies but should also certify in the latest courses around the business analysis. Next, we covered the most prestigious BA certifications majorly from the IIBA society. These include a number of programs as per experience, domain and interests.
Finally, we discussed the dire need of pursuing these certifications for steady growth in career.
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