If you’ve been doing your research, you’ll know that being a Business Analyst is a pretty enticing career. As the demand and realization of value of the role continues to grow, an increasing number of professionals are flocking to it, leading to increased competition.
One of the best ways an aspiring Business Analyst can improve their candidacy for potential positions is by getting a professional business analysis certification. Since there is no formal education or career pathway to the job, achieving a respectied and credible certification can really help in bolstering your skills and highlighting your knowledge of business analysis. The ECBA is one of the most popular certifications for new and aspiring Business Analysts who are eager to set themselves apart from their competition and prove they have a hold on the skills they’ll need for the job.
Here’s everything that you need to know about the ECBA exam!
What is the ECBA?
The ECBA stands for Entry Certificate in Business Analysis. It’s the first-level certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). While designing the curriculum, the IIBA ensured that it was created for individuals looking to enter into the Business Analyst career. Getting the certification showcases to employers that you’re a viable candidate and are ready to deliver value using business analysis.
How Should You Prepare for the ECBA Exam?
While the ECBA isn’t a fully comprehensive exam, don’t be fooled by the entry-level designation. It requires candidates to have a clear understanding of the standards and best practices described in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide – we’ll get into the BABOK more in a little bit. However, you can clear the exam with the right amount of hard work and correct preparation methods.
There are three main steps that’ll help you prepare appropriately for the exam.
Step 1: Learn the Fundamentals
The first step in preparing for the ECBA exam is to learn the fundamentals of business analysis. This foundational understanding is critical to you grasping what business analysis is and how it is utilized to deliver value to organizations. Without this base understanding, it would be extremely hard to grasp the business analysis standards you are expected to know to pass the ECBA exam.
Step 2: Study the BABOK
While the BABOK won’t offer you emotional support, it’s going to be your constant companion while preparing for the ECBA exam. The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) is a 500+ page manual that will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the standards of business analysis.
Take your time and work through the guide section by section. It is not meant to be read from cover to cover like a book. Working through each section will help you gain a base understanding of the concepts taught. Once you’re done, read back through the section, highlighting, and taking notes at places that seem important. Not only will you really learn the materials, but you’ll end up with a condensed guide (your notes or the highlighted areas of your book) that you can use to brush up on your knowledge at any time.
Step 3: Take Practice Tests
The third step doesn’t just apply to the ECBA – it applies to all certification exams in general. Taking simulated practice exams is one of the best ways to prepare. Not only will it familiarize you with the style of questioning, but it’ll get you back into the habit of answering test questions (my method is to read the question, eliminate the wrong responses, determine the best response from the remaining). This deductive reasoning enables you to drown out the noise the other answers may provide.
Luckily, several online resources are available to help you provide a variety of practice exams that you can take. The IIBA also offers many helpful resources on its website, such as sample exam questions, an example of an exam blueprint, and resources to help you prep for the exam.
Some Final Thoughts
The ECBA is an excellent certification and is one that The BA Guide wholeheartedly recommends for new and aspiring Business Analysts. Not only will it help you solidify your knowledge of valuable BA concepts and techniques, it will also help you showcase to employers that you fully understand the standards required to be a successful Business Analyst, giving you an advantage over those candidates not carrying a certification.
With some focused preparation and study, you can become ECBA certified.
To learn more about the ECBA, click here!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide