Author: Ananya Pani

I am an entrepreneur, building my brand to be a global name in the Business Analysis domain. My mission is to help business analysts to build a successful professional career. I have helped 2000+ BAs in choosing a better career and help them achieve professional success. I co-founded Adaptive US, a Business analysis skill development organization. I manage sales and operations at Adaptive US. Under my leadership, Adaptive is now established as a world-leader.
BATimes_Feb22_2023

Top Business Analysis Skills To Learn in 2023 To Thrive in a Volatile Economy

With the economic landscape ever-evolving and uncertainty in the air, it pays to know which business analysis skills are essential for success. In such a business environment, having the right skills can be the difference between success and failure. As 2023 approaches, it’s more important than ever to develop the right business analysis skills that will help you stand out from competitors and thrive in these uncertain times. With new technologies and approaches emerging all the time, developing the right business analysis skills has become more important than ever before. In this article, we’ll explore the top business analysis skills you’ll need to master in order to stay ahead of the pack. Find out how you can get ahead of the curve by acquiring these valuable skills now!

 

 

What is Business Analysis?

The term ‘business analysis’ is used in many different ways, but at its core, business analysis is all about bringing positive change, improving business performance with technology adoption, Process improvement and removal of inefficiencies in the cycle. It also encompasses improvement of revenue, market reputation, user experience, understanding how businesses work and how they can be improved. It’s about finding ways to do things better, faster, or cheaper.

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Business analysts typically have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and are able to see the ‘big picture’ while paying attention to detail. They need to be good communicators, great facilitators as well as collaborators, able to explain complex concepts in simple terms, asking the right questions and also be good listeners.

As businesses become more complex and the pace of change increases, the need for business analysts will continue to grow. If you’re thinking of a career in business analysis, or are already working as a business analyst, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the right skills, latest methods and tools.

Essential Skills for Business Analysts in 2023

As the world economy becomes increasingly volatile, businesses must be agile and adaptable to survive. Business analysts play a vital role in helping organizations in changing gears, understand and respond to change and adapt to the new business needs. In 2023, the most successful business analysts will be those who have developed the following essential skills:

 

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Data Analytics: With the increasing amount of tech penetration and the huge amount of data available, business analysts are expected to be skilled to interpret, analyze data, see patterns in them and come up with actionable insights from them. To be able to do all this they need to be proficient in data analytics tools and techniques such as data interpretation and visualization. They will need to be able to not only interpret and communicate the results of these analyses to key stakeholders but also present actionable insights for strategic decision making.

 

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Agile methodologies: Agile methodologies have proven to be effective in adapting to change, taking

frequent customer feedback and prioritizing delivery accordingly. And as a result, today more than 70% projects adopt agile methodology and their adoption will continue to grow. Business analysts need to be conversant with the principles of agile analysis and be able to work effectively within agile teams.

 

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Financial Analysis: In a volatile economy, it is important for business analysts to understand financial analysis and be able to assess the financial impact of different business decisions. They will need to be able to evaluate investment opportunities, assess risks involved, and make recommendations based on financial data. They need to have the ability to know which are the initiatives that can help in quicker turn around for revenue and which changes can bring cost control thus making a better cash flow situation for the organization.

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Strategic Thinking: Business analyst as a role requires higher level of thinking as well as attention to details to see the opportunities of improvement. Hence, they will need to be able to think strategically about the long-term goals of the organization and be able to develop plans to achieve those goals. They will need to be able to evaluate the potential impact of various business options and make recommendations based on data and best practices.

 

Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changes in their environment is a critical skill for success in a volatile economy. Business analysts will need to be able to quickly respond to changing conditions, be flexible to acquire skills to perform well in their approach to solving problems.

 

Cross-functional Collaboration: Business analysts are the change makers bringing positive changes to the organization thereby making the organization’s process faster and better. To achieve these objectives, they will need to be able to work effectively with teams from different departments, hierarchy, backgrounds, and be able to translate technical concepts and requirements into language that is accessible to a wide range of stakeholders.

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Communication Skills: Business analysts are the ones who are required to influence stakeholders and users to come to agreement for the business decisions, and this requires being a great communicator. Effective communication is and will remain a critical skill for business analysts in 2023 and years to come. They will need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate complex ideas and data to stakeholders, and be able to negotiate and manage conflicting interests.

 

In conclusion, the skills that business analysts need to focus on in 2023 will continue to evolve, but the skills outlined above will likely be critical for success in a volatile economy. It’s important for business analysts to stay up-to-date about emerging trends and to continuously grow their skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve.

BATimes_Feb9_2023

Top Business Analysis Trends To Watch Out For In 2023

It’s tough to predict the future and same goes towards predicting business trends with certainty. But we can always predict areas which are likely to be of prominence with a fair amount of certainty.

As we all know business analysis is a profession growing at a fast pace and will continue to see this trend of growth for at least next 10 years. If you are a proactive business analyst you must keep watch on the trending topics to stay ahead of the curve and be a futuristic leader.

 

Here are our top 6 picks for business analysts to watch out in 2023 –

 

 

  1. Data Analytics:
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Business analysts will continue to use data to have better business insights and drive business decisions. The amount and variety of data have increased tremendously in the last decade. Therefore, it is essential for business analysts to learn about data analysis tools. As data becomes increasingly important, business analysts will need to be proficient in advanced data analytics tools, techniques and be able to interpret and communicate the results to decision makers and stakeholders.

 

  1.  Agile methodologies:
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Over last few decades, more than 70% of companies have adopted Agile methodology for their project implementation, as a BA you just can’t afford to miss out on having a sound understanding of Agile concepts, principles, and culture!

This trend is here to continue and grow in 2023. Business analysts will need to be proficient with agile principles since many projects require them to double up as a scrum master or as a product owner.

 

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  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:
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In simple words artificial intelligence and machine learning is the ability of machines to learn and carry out tasks based on the way it is programmed or instructed to do. It can analyze data and come up with decisions based on data and patterns. Many of the tasks carried out by AI and ML today are those where the inputs and the outputs can be well programmed or put out such as chat bots. Traditionally these tasks were handled by humans.

Some of the key benefits of using AI and ML are

  • Improvement in efficiency
  • Predictable performance
  • Improvement in processing speed
  • Reduction in human intervention for business processes
  • Automation in process –
    • finding patterns in process and reporting deviations
    • reporting financial frauds
    • supply chain improvements
    • customer experience analysis and further recommendation
    • Understanding customer behavior and suggesting products and services based on behavior and preferences

 

Business analysts are known to be the change makers and to be an efficient one they need to use technology efficiently to deliver better results and improve efficiency hence AI and ML is going to be their primary tech agents to achieve better business outcomes. Business analysts will need to be hands on with these technologies and their applications to make the most of it. They will need to understand how AI and ML can be used to automate processes, and achieve better business outcomes.

 

  1. Business Transformation:
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Business analysts are the ones who primarily bring in business transformation by using technology effectively and as mentioned above AI and ML play a major part in this.

More and more organizations are embracing digital transformation than the past years, be it banks, financial institutions, service organizations or retail. Business analysts are the drivers playing a critical role in helping companies to identify and implement the changes needed to succeed. This might include business process changes, rethinking and redesigning business models, processes, and systems, and implementing new technologies to drive growth and competitiveness.

 

  1. Cross-functional Collaboration:
Image Source – Freepik.com

Business analysts often look at the organization’s internal as well as external facing processes with a critic’s eyes of improvement and redesign the processes to implement all those improvement ideas.

This often involves working with many functions, teams within the organization. They often need to use their power to influence to drive these change initiatives or process improvement initiatives.

This also requires coordinating as well working with various process owners and stakeholders to drive the initiatives to success.

 

  1. Cybersecurity:
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With the increasing digital transformations across all sectors including those involving financial as well as highly confidential data, the threat of cyberattacks have gone up drastically.

Business analysts need to take into consideration the confidentiality as well as the risk and vulnerabilities involved in the applications while designing/solutioning the applications.

They need to be well versed with cybersecurity practices to design robust systems and processes.

They will need to be able to work with security experts to ensure that systems and data are protected from potential threats.

 

Overall, the trends in 2023 will continue to emphasize the importance of analytics, data, technology, automation, cyber security and collaboration in driving business success. Business analysts who are able to master the skills needed for these trends and implement them to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment will be well positioned for success.

10 Sure Shot Ways to Prevent Failure in the ECBA Exam

With the adoption of digital transformation projects being one of the top goals for the companies, the demand for the business analysis career is booming. As a result, the demand for this profession is growing at a double-digit rate year on year.

Business analysts play a crucial role in facilitating digital transformation projects by designing systems aligned with business goals. They are also pivotal in implementing new business processes, removing inefficiencies from the existing processes, and reducing operational costs.

Due to the strategic nature of this role and the earnings involved, more and more professionals are considering transitioning to this role as their next career move.

A quick way of learning the techniques and skills for becoming a business analyst is to get an internationally recognized certification like ECBA.

ECBA provides a firm understanding and a solid foundation for a business analysis career. It is the entry-level certification from IIBA aimed at professionals stepping into the BA domain.

This certification allows professionals many opportunities for career growth and skill development.

The ECBA course was designed to keep the needs of entry-level BAs in mind. The focus areas are- requirements analysis, modeling, and requirements life cycle management, with a lot of emphasis on modeling concepts tools and is well structured. The certification is based on BABoK version 3.0 of the IIBA.

While getting certified is a rewarding experience, there are many who do not succeed despite investing time, effort, and commitment to prepare.

This blog talks about the top reasons people fail in their ECBA exam and recommends strategies that can help avoid the failure traps.

  1. Memorizing BABoK

Answering questions on the ECBA requires a proper understanding of the concepts in BABoK. In addition, the application of the tasks and techniques needs to be understood clearly. Though retaining concepts from BABoK is helpful, it is not advisable to memorize and write them during the exam.

  1. Not understanding BABoK terminologies

ECBA exam is knowledge-based. For answering correctly, you’ll need to be familiar with the terminologies. IIBA exams use terms from BABoK that your organization may not commonly use. Familiarize yourself with the terms and how they relate to the terms used by your organization. Your performance in the exam can be hampered if you cannot correlate the knowledge from BABoK. The exam is based on content from BABoK and not specific organizational practices.

A  BABoK glossary can help explain the different terms.

  1. Not understanding the purpose of each task and the roles of various stakeholders
    Not understanding the tasks’ purpose and stakeholder roles could make it hard to clear the ECBA exam questions. Therefore, focus on understanding BABoK terminologies and concepts and understanding stakeholder roles and responsibilities rather than memorizing them.
  2. Unsure of the strength, limitations, and application of techniques

Since ECBA is aimed at freshers and newbies, their knowledge of the BA terms and techniques is at times limited. Being unsure about the strengths and application of the techniques can be a limiting factor while writing the exam.

So, while preparing for the exam, it is imperative to understand the purpose and application of the techniques.

Also, remember advanced techniques like diagrams or those with extensive financial calculations are unlikely to come for the ECBA exam.

  1. Giving equal priority to each Knowledge Area

To prepare effectively, one needs to be aware of the ECBA exam pattern and the weightage given to each knowledge area as per the exam blueprint.

Therefore, it is best to prepare by giving weightage to areas by looking at the exam blueprint.

Most questions are expected to be single-sentence questions. The best areas to focus on would be understanding the purpose of tasks and techniques, definitions of role and requirements characteristics, etc. Any other questions like diagrams and calculations, advanced modeling concepts, advanced techniques are unlikely to appear.

  1. Not knowing clever ways of answering the questions

The ECBA exam has many questions that can confuse the exam taker due to the words used in the questions. Care should be taken while answering questions that typically include words like not, never, certainly, always, only, etc. There can also be trick questions asking for ‘missing items’ or ‘the least likely option.’

There might be answers containing words that sound like BABoK terms but are not from BABoK.

Read the questions and options clearly. Then, choose the option that has BABOK terminology. These are made-up terms to confuse the exam taker; beware of those.

Deal with questions smartly and carefully. Don’t rush through them distracted by time constraints.

  1. Not having proper infrastructure for the exam

Just like any other exam, it can be stressful to write the ECBA certification exam, especially for those professionals who might not have appeared for an exam for years.

The easiest part is to have the infrastructure ready to avoid stress building up due to its lack.

It is important to go through the infrastructure checklist and ensure that the mandated documents and resources like ID card, camera, clean room and table, computer (having admin access), uninterrupted power supply, an empty room without unnecessary items like headphones, etc., to name a few, are all available at the time of the exam

In an already tense situation, unwanted stress due to infrastructural issues should be avoided. For example, last-minute delays in starting the exam can cause unnecessary stress and lead to the exam going beyond one’s control.

Here is a must-follow e-book for tips on Dos and Don’ts of the IIBA online exam.

Do’s & Don’ts of IIBA Online Exam

  1. Poor time management

Another mistake first-timers make is spending too much time per question. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cases where people are unable to complete the exam due to a lack of time. The exam requires 50 multiple-choice questions need to be answered in one hour. So, one doesn’t have the luxury of time in completing the exam.

Time management is an absolute key parameter in acing the ECBA exam. Avoid taking breaks during the 1-hour exam as the clock does not stop for you.

  1. Spending more time on one question

Some questions are more time-consuming than others. Be conscious of the time spent on each question. Divide your allotted time in such a way that you have about 10 minutes towards the end to review the answers. If a question takes more time, it’s wise to mark it for review, move on and get back to it later. Devise a time management strategy that best suits you and helps maximize your time during the exam.

  1. Not having the right resources for preparation
    ECBA exams, like other competitive exams, have a blueprint or pattern. Not doing enough actual exams like simulators and model questions will make it challenging to face the exam confidently. Proper preparation resources, practice tests, and ECBA exam simulators are needed to pass the exam.

The ECBA Certification Training Course will give you the resources necessary to prepare for certification. In addition, this will help you to determine the best study method for you. Grab a copy of our best-selling eBook- 200 IIBA Exam Mock Questions with IIBA Exam Info utilized by 1000s of BA professionals to ace their IIBA exam.

6 Tips to improve your professional worth and advance your BA career

The job of a business analyst is possibly one of the most diversified and can barely fit into a fixed set of tasks and responsibilities. While most business analysts have been turning around initiatives and solutions in their organization, many work with the sales and marketing team to make the products and solutions a winner in the market by bringing out features based on market needs.

Most business analysts play a key role in facilitating digital transformation projects in their organization by designing systems that align with business goals. They also play a pivotal role in implementing new business processes, removing inefficiencies from the existing processes, and reducing operational costs.

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Due to the strategic nature of this role and the earnings involved, more and more professionals are considering joining this profession as well as transitioning to this role as their next career move.

As professionals, most of us aspire to grow in our careers and achieve higher success. As a BA, one is always at an added advantage to move up the career ladder to a leadership role since a BA is already working on strategic initiatives aligned to the business goals.

You can take your business analyst career path as far as you would like, progressing through management levels to a leadership position, inhibited only by your ambition to go up and belief in yourself.

Here are some tips to help you progress in your BA career and nurture some leadership skills that transform the way you work.

  • Stay ahead in your domain/industry
  • Develop your own goal and plan to make it a reality
  • Enhance your credentials and skills
  • Welcome new ideas and initiatives
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Make the goal a collective team mission

Leadership comes from the ability to lead and guide and the vision to stay ahead in the industry. One needs to be well aware of the trends in their industry and things that may be the trend of the future. This helps a leader spot opportunity and thereby get in there early to have an early mover advantage.

Stay ahead in your domain/industry

Apart from opportunities being well aware of the industry trends and norms lets one foresee the risks and challenges coming their way, and they can plan for the mitigation accordingly.

Develop your own goal and plan to make it a reality

As the saying goes, passion and dream can move mountains, the same way your dream and goal drive you to greater heights.

Having a dream alone is never enough until you make plans to make it a reality and start taking steps towards it.

You may be just starting your career or in the mid-career stage, but that shouldn’t stop you from having the dreams of reaching a top echelon in your career.

James Clear quotes in his famous book Atomic Habits:

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

And he clearly describes how all of us are made of our systems, which are made of our habits.

The purpose of setting goals is to win the game, and the purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game.

A leader in making is the one who keeps playing the game instead of winning the game once.

So, it’s essential to keep making small progress towards your goal every day.

Enhance your credentials and skills

As the quote goes, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

The more you are skilled and aware of your domain, the more sought after you are and the quicker you ascend to the top.

An international certification not only gives you the credibility to establish yourself in the global market,

The paper doesn’t make you wiser, but studying the industry practices and techniques makes one more skilled and capable. That enhances confidence dramatically, helping professionals handle complex projects and initiatives. In addition, adding new skills to yourself allows you to transform yourself into a more capable and efficient leader who can assist the team in getting past any roadblocks they face.

If getting ahead in your career and staying ahead of the curve is your goal, you must keep upskilling and making learning a habit.

For a business analyst, gaining expertise in BA skills and techniques with an IIBA certification is undoubtedly a great value add. However, one must also consider skills and certifications applicable to their domain to stay updated in their domain.

IIBA has three levels of certifications depending on the years of BA experience the professional has.

  • ECBA Certification – For freshers/new grads or people starting their career in the business analysis field
  • CCBA Certification – Business Analysts or professionals with 2-3 years of BA experience.
  • CBAP Certification – Senior business analysts or professionals with 5+ years of BA experience.

Grab a copy of our best-selling eBook- 200 IIBA Exam Mock Questions with IIBA Exam Info utilized by 1000s of BA professionals to ace their IIBA exam.

Welcome new ideas and initiatives

To be a sought-after business leader, one needs to develop a growth mindset that welcomes and fosters new ideas. They actively encourage and seek out new ideas, opinions, feedback and analyze them with an open mind and without any bias. Seeking and exploring new ideas make one a creative problem solver and adept out-of-box thinker. That also makes one a popular leader because of the open-mindedness and ability to embrace different thinking and opinions.

Challenge assumptions

Assumptions are usually formed from our past experiences and due to the lack of an open mind.

Effective leadership embraces agility and openness to new thoughts and ideas. Whatever assumption one holds may not always be accurate for various reasons, and assumptions might also be due to the person’s prejudices and biases. Hence, questioning assumptions and hidden biases makes one open to new ways of thinking and, hence, innovative solutions.

Due to assumptions made in the discovery/ideation phase, projects/initiatives run into various roadblocks and undesired outcomes. Hence to avoid such situations, it is better to question each assumption and verify facts before diving into the build phase.

Make the goal a collective team mission

A dream/goal is better accomplished with collective efforts, and it takes a leader to bring together a team with varied skills and expertise to come and work towards one mission. A goal seems a much harder one with the thought of being taken up alone but a fun thing to do and achieve with a motivated team. A team comes with varied skills and ideas, which makes the goal achievable and a significant milestone towards pulling in a great team.

If you desire to ascend to the top-tier of your organization, prepare a road map and follow it meticulously. If you can master the required BA skills by following and honing them and having the business expertise to reach the top, the steps mentioned above will help you climb the corporate ladder and become an invaluable asset to your organization.

10 deadly failure traps to watch out for during your IIBA exam preparation

Business analysis has been identified as a key discipline in organizations across the globe. Business analysts enable the enterprise to articulate its needs, the rationale for change, and design and describe solutions that deliver value. Business analysis can be performed in a project or across the enterprise. It is used to understand the current state, define the future state and determine activities required for the transition.

This skill has been in great demand and seeing a significant growth pattern for the last few years and has been identified as the hot skill to acquire by LinkedIn Learning and the US Bureau of Labor statistics.

The BA profession is one of the fastest-growing occupations. Between 2014-2014* a 14% industry growth has been projected. BA career prospects growing are very promising.

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, many times we business analysts get caught up in our daily job. They perform only one part of this dynamic role over the years, keeping ourselves away from the practices/techniques beyond our organizational boundary. It is critical to get a holistic view of the profession and be skilled in the tools and techniques practiced across the industry to climb the career ladder and reach greater heights.

Industry certifications such as IIBA are proven ways to get oneself established in the industry and achieve much-aspired growth in the profession in terms of skill, visibility, personal branding, career growth, to name a few. In fact, it opens a myriad of opportunities for a business analysis professional.

This article is meant for those wishing to achieve IIBA certification on the first attempt without falling for the deadly failure traps.

The article will discuss:

  1. Strategy to ace the IIBA certification exam
    1. Choosing the certification to pursue
    2. How to come up with a perfect study plan for yourself
    3. Preparing with the best resources
    4. Choosing the right Mentor
    5. Putting up your application without breaking your head
    6. Preparing yourself with the right tools of exam simulators
    7. Learning the best tips to handle exam anxiety
    8. Getting the infrastructure set up to ensure a seamless exam experience
  1. The most common failure traps that many exam takers have stumbled on
    1. Memorizing BABoK instead of understanding the flow and the terminologies
    2. Relying too much on one’s experience as a BA
  • Lack of proper understanding of BABoK terminologies and expectation
  1. Not preparing with the right resources, right model questions, and simulators for practice
  2. Expecting direct questions from BABoK
  3. Poor time management
  • Exam anxiety / Getting stressed
  • Underestimating the exam complexity
  1. Inadequate preparation
  2. Getting stressed based on the initial difficulty level of questions

 


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Strategy to ace the IIBA certification exam

  • Choosing the certification to pursue

If you are looking at making your foundation strong in the Business Analysis role and want to be a distinguished BA, you should get formally trained, skilled, and certified in IIBA certifications.

IIBA Certifications are the most desirable BA certifications for business analysts to excel in their careers.

IIBA has three core business analysis certifications: ECBA, CCBA, and CBAP, and 4 specialized certifications, AAC, CBDA, CCA, and CPOA.

The core certifications have been around for a while. They have gained popularity as they focus on business analysis skills and techniques. They also have some eligibility criteria set by IIBA for professionals to qualify to take up the exam.

Here is a basic guide to help evaluate which certification should you be pursuing:

  • Beginners/newbies, college grads, and anyone looking to start a BA career or transition to a BA career should pursue ECBA.
  • Professionals with 2.5+ years of BA work experience in the last 7 years of work history should pursue CCBA.
  • Professionals with 5+ years of BA work experience in the last 10 years should pursue CBAP.

Many times, one may not be a designated BA but may be performing the responsibilities of a BA; some of those roles are (but are not limited to)

  • ERP Implementation
  • Product implementation
  • Process mapping and improvement
  • Change management consultant
  • Functional consultant

The biggest myth around IIBA certifications is one must complete the lower-level certifications before moving to the higher one.

You can go to any level without going through the previous ones as well.

 

How to come up with a perfect study plan for yourself

  • Plan 1 hour of study per day or 6 -8 hours of study per week
  • Plan your study based on the kind of a learner you are, e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or reading writing
  • An expert/instructor-led class may be the best to start with, followed by studying the concepts from the BABoK/KAs. The expert provides a simpler way of interpreting BABoK and underlying concepts, making it easy to understand and follow.
  • Do self-study of the knowledge areas, one by one, followed by quizzes or questions based on each knowledge area, to test your understanding.
  • Take practice exam question
  • Timeline
    • Training Sessions: 1 week (Fast track) /4 – 8 weeks (staggered class)
    • BABoK study guide: 2 – 3 weeks
    • BABoK reading: 2- 3 weeks
    • Flashcard, Video & Audio learning (optional): 2-3 weeks
    • Quizzes
  • Chapter-wise tests: 4 weeks
  • Revising the areas where you faltered: 1- 2 weeks
  • Revise study guide and key concepts: 1-2 weeks
  • Simulation exam: 2- 3 weeks

 

  • Preparing with the best resources

Though BABoK is the ultimate guide that one needs to prepare for the IIBA core certifications, the book’s sheer size makes it very intimidating. A foolproof plan for preparation should include additional study material to help absorb the main concepts of the BABoK.

A good step is to get hold of a good BABoK Study Guide from an IIBA endorsed training provider, along with other curated content like question banks, exam simulators, exam tips & prep plans, video & audio learning, etc.

Crisp and curated study content will reduce your study time and help you prepare in a more structured manner.

Additive’s best-selling free eBook, 200 IIBA® Exam Prep Questions, is an amazing resource to accelerate your journey towards becoming a highly paid and sought-after IIBA certified business analyst. Utilized by 1000s of BA professionals globally, this book has everything you MUST know to ace your IIBA Exams along with 200 IIBA sample questions!

  • Choosing the right Mentor

A crucial part of the IIBA certification exam preparation is that you should choose the right Mentor. A mentor is usually an IIBA certified trainer/coach who is an expert in the business analysis domain. Make sure that your trainer has not only gone through the rigorous IIBA exams and aced it but also knows what it takes to crack them.

Having someone qualified to guide you through the certification exam preparation can make the entire process less daunting. The help that your Mentor can provide in decoding BABoK is priceless not only for your IIBA exams but also to become a high performing BA and stand out in your BA job.

  • Putting up your application without breaking your head

The application for the IIBA certification exams can be filed through the IIBA website. The Handbook- core-ba-certification-handbook.pdf (IIBA®.org), gives the detailed steps on filling the application form.

Adaptive US offers an Application Simulator as a part of its Certification Prep Training, that takes care of all the requirements from IIBA for the certification exams.

  • Preparing yourself with the right tools – Exam Simulators

A good set of simulation questions prepares you for the various kind of questions that you will face in the actual exam.

Go through the explanations given for the answers during the test. They will help you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Study the areas that you have faltered in once more.

Remember, these simulation practice tests give you the most accurate feedback on your exam readiness. They let you know how well you have understood the BABoK and able to apply it in a given case or a scenario. This gives you extremely valuable knowledge to apply in your BA job as well, where you need to put your concepts/techniques to use.

You can consider yourself ready for the exam once you consistently score over 80% in each knowledge area of your simulation exams.

  • Learning the best tips to handle exam anxiety

For BA professionals who have most probably not written any exam for quite some time, maybe decades, the thought of writing an exam can be pretty stressful. While it is quite normal to be a little nervous about giving an exam, you should not allow exam anxiety to be debilitating.

Some tips for handling your exam anxieties:

  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Learn relaxation techniques
  • Have a positive mental attitude
  • Keep to a regular and structured study routine
  • Do not feel anxious about the ‘Inadequate Preparation’ feeling
  • Take an adequate number of practice exams. Once you score well on these exams, the anxiety level should reduce.

 

  • Getting the infrastructure set up to ensure a seamless exam experience

The IIBA exams are now available online. This is an excellent step from IIBA as it allows BAs around the globe to appear for the exams and allow them the ease of giving the exam from the comfort of their homes.

The exams are now live and remotely proctored, requiring a desktop or laptop, a good internet connection, a working webcam, and a microphone.

The infrastructure requirements that you need to ensure-

  • Your identity proof copy
  • Make sure that you have the hardware required for the exam.
  • The online proctored exam is dependent on the Internet connectivity, firewalls, VPN, and camera quality. Make sure that these are of good quality and functional.
  • Perform the compatibility test on the scheduling website- https://home.psiexams.com/#/home. This will ensure that there are no kinks during your exam time.

The blog Ground Rules for IIBA Online Examinations gives you a detailed view of all the infrastructure requirements and the rules for the IIBA certification exam.

 

The most common failure traps that many exam takers have stumbled on

  • Memorizing BABoK instead of understanding the flow and the terminologies

IIBA exams like CBAP and CCBA are competency-based. To answer the IIBA exam questions, you need to understand the concepts in BABoK and their application, rather than memorizing the book. You need to understand the tasks, techniques well, and their relationship with each other. Though it is useful to commit some of the concepts in BABoK to memory, you cannot answer the questions by rote.

  • Relying too much on one’s experience as a BA

The answers to the IIBA certification exam questions are based on the concepts, tasks, techniques and definitions of BABoK rather than your individual experience as a BA. Instead of using your work experience to answer the questions, you need to apply the concepts from BABoK to the real world and then answer the questions. The inability to correlate the knowledge of BABoK can be detrimental to your exam performance.

  • Lack of proper understanding of BABoK terminologies and expectation

IIBA exams like ECBA are knowledge-based, and thus, you need to know the terminologies to answer the questions correctly. In the higher-level exams, there may be terms from BABoK that are not generally used in your organization. It is essential to know the terms used in BABoK and relate them to the terms used in your organization. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with the terms used in BABoK to pass the exam.

A good BABoK Glossary explaining the various terms is a very helpful and valuable resource.

  • Not preparing with the right resources, right model questions, and simulators for practice

If the learning material, practice questions, and simulators you are using are not adequate or based on BABoK, it will be challenging to clear the exam.

Attending an IIBA Certification training course will help not only with the resources required to prepare for the certification exam but will also help you identify the study methods that work best for you.

You can attend the live Interactive Exam Tips Webinar with Adaptive experts and ensure your chances of passing the exams on your first attempt

  • Expecting direct questions from BABoK

Another reason why many people fail to clear the exam is that they expect direct questions from BABoK. Exams like CCBA and CBAP have no direct questions. The questions are lengthy and complex.

  • Poor time management

Time management is the key skill to cracking the IIBA certification exams. There have been cases where people have struggled to complete the exam. Several of our past students have told us that they could finish the exam just in time.

Some questions, like case-based or mathematical questions, require more time than the others, so it is essential to keep track of the time you spend on each question.

You should formulate a clear time management strategy that will help you optimize your time during the exam.

  • Exam anxiety / Getting stressed

Exam anxiety has the power to wreck weeks and months of hard work and preparation. There are several strategies, as discussed earlier in this blog, that can help reduce exam anxiety. Practice those steps diligently to be stress-free on your exam day.Exam anxiety / Getting stressed

  • Underestimating the exam complexity

Sometimes professionals with ample BA experience feel that their experience will help them sail through the IIBA exam like a cakewalk.

Underestimating the exam, its difficulty, and becoming complacent are some of the main reasons for failure in the IIBA exams. You need to remember that though BA experience is important and it helps, that is not the only thing required to become successful in the exam. To achieve your certification goal, you need to dedicate time to read through and prepare from BABoK and apply the concepts learned to answer the questions.

  • Inadequate preparation

Some of the reasons why the exam preparation is not adequate are-

  • Going for the exam too soon- If you are unsure of your preparation level, wait until you are comfortable with BABoK and then submit your application.
  • Inadequate preparation time- IIBA exam needs a dedicated amount of study time. If you do not devote adequate time to study, it is more likely than not that you will be unsuccessful in passing the exam.
  • Not being guided by the right Mentor/ Coach
  • Not attending a proper IIBA certification training under an EEP (highly recommended by IIBA)- Statistics have proven that people who attend a prep course tend to have a higher chance of achieving their goal.
  • Inadequate question preparation- It is well known that practice makes a person perfect. Thus, it is imperative to practice as many sample exam questions as possible. Simulation tests help you understand the level of complexity of the questions you will face during the exam.

 

Getting stressed based on the initial difficulty level of questions

Many exams follow the approach where intentionally, the initial questions are tougher. This is done to test the candidate’s mental strength, confidence level, and ability to handle complex tasks.

Keep your cool, and don’t get flustered, as the stress will negatively affect your performance.

This will help you chalk out your certification path that will lead to success in completing your IIBA certification goal. The above strategies and common mistakes will definitely the points you want to make sure to follow and ace your IIBA exam on the first attempt.

DON’T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF EBOOK OF 200 IIBA EXAM QUESTIONS TODAY!