4 Things You Should Know About the IIBA

For anyone that works, or plans to work in business analysis, learning about the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is imperative. They are a major player in defining the standards, scope, and responsibilities that surround the Business Analyst role. They help organizations and Business Analysts understand best practices that successfully facilitate business change.

Here are four things that you should know about the IIBA.

They’re A Non-Profit

The IIBA is a non-profit professional association with the purpose of helping grow the field of business analysis. They want to push business analysis forward, helping mature the role and ensuring that prospective and current Business Analysts are fully aware of their responsibilities, as well as the tools and techniques that bring the most value to organizations.

They boast more than 29,000 members and operate in over 40  countries. Their widespread reach helps showcase that they are among the premier authorities that define the standards of business analysis.

They Provide Membership Perks

Membership in the IIBA comes with an annual fee that differs based on your location but is around $125 per year for US members. But making it worth the fee, the IIBA provides access to several valuable resources and industry events.

Members get access to a digital library containing many business analysis-related books, member-only webinars, and other recorded resources like podcasts. As well, members also receive special discounts on the costs of IIBA’s certification exams.

But arguably, the most useful resource that members get access to is the BABOK. The BABOK stands for the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, and it’s the IIBA’s standards manual on the best practices in business analysis.

Personally, I feel that just getting a digital copy of the BABOK makes an IIBA membership a worthwhile investment. The BABOK is a must-have resource. It can change the way you perform business analysis by helping you better understand how to use certain techniques and tools.

If you’re interested in getting an IIBA certification – you need to know the BABOK. Most IIBA tests quiz you on your knowledge of the BABOK. So, it is a great resource for current and aspiring Business Analysts alike.

They Offer Certifications to Boost Your BA Career

The International Institute of Business Analysis offers several different certifications, and they’re available at varying levels of difficulty. The three most popular business analysis certifications are:

ECBA – Entry-Level Certificate in Business Analysis

Aspiring Business Analysts should start with the ECBA. It stands for the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis, and it validates that you have a basic understanding of the standards, techniques, and best practices that Business Analysts use to drive value for organizations.

Getting the ECBA certification showcases to employers that you have what it takes to be successful as a Business Analyst for their organization. And the best news is that, unlike its counterparts, it does not require any prerequisite experience as a Business Analyst to qualify. This makes it a great option for any aspiring BA.

CCBA – Certification of Capability in Business Analysis

The next step up from the ECBA is the CCBA, which stands for the Certification of Capability in Business Analysis. It’s significantly more difficult than the ECBA and is designed for candidates that have been in the business analysis profession for approximately 2-3 years. The CCBA certification goes beyond the basic understanding of the standards, validates that the candidates are also capable of applying those standards to real-world problems, and can utilize business analysis to generate additional value for the organizations – even in complex scenarios.

CBAP – Certified Business Analysis Professional

When it comes to premier business analysis certifications, the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is near the top of the list. The CBAP is designed for those veteran Business Analysts with five years or more of working experience in business analysis.

To achieve this certification, candidates must showcase an expert-level understanding of the BABOK standards and how to best apply them to extremely complex and evolving business situations. CBAP holders show they can lead successful solutions and outcomes by leveraging their experience, combined with expert knowledge of business analysis standards, techniques, tools, and best practices.

They Help Nurture the BA Community

The IIBA does an amazing job at helping to connect Business Analysts and bring everyone together into a networked community. They create connections and networking opportunities by hosting seminars, webinars, events, recruitment drives, and training programs.

But arguably the most efficient way to network as a Business Analyst is through their local IIBA chapters. These are locally organized and volunteer-run IIBA subsets that help Business Analysts learn from each other, as well as from the various speakers and other hands-on trainers and activities. For a minimal cost (generally around $25 USD/year), you gain access to the chapter and all they have to offer. Talk about a return on investment!

You can look to see what local chapters are near you on the IIBA website.

In Conclusion

The IIBA is one of the leading bodies in the world when it comes to defining the standards and responsibilities of a Business Analyst. Their contributions have led to significant improvements in the profession, and their reach and value continue to grow. Whether you’re an aspiring Business Analyst looking to add some clout to your name, or a seasoned BA who wants to continue to learn and invest in your own professional development, I highly recommend you check them out. To learn more about the IIBA, click here!

– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide

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