Business Analysis Trends

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To be precise about 90% of the business analysts in India are in 12 cities.
The cities include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkatta, Mumbai, Noida and Pune. So what it says? To become a business analyst or to grow as a business analyst one should be in one of these 12 cities or approach those companies that are present in these cities. I mean they have a greater chances of landing opportunities.
Though information technology is credited for the creation and moulding of business analysis as a profession, off late other industries followed suit to take advantage of the contribution of the business analysts in delivering successful projects. Industries such as Automotive, Banking, Construction, Education, Engineering, Entertainment, Health Care, Hospitality, Public Sector, Retail, Telecom and Travel have handful of business analysts and there is a great demand in these industries.

For business analysis, I would call these industries as sunrise industries as the need is just felt and they require lot more business analysts in the coming years.
There are two types of business analysts. One is called as the technical business analyst and the other is called as the domain business analyst. Among the two, the latter, that is the domain business analyst makes the most preferred career. Typically the technical business analyst started as developer or tester in a technical or an application domain. Over the years, company has appreciated her analytical, interpersonal and communication skills and promoted her as a technical business analyst. On the other hand the domain business analyst may have only a decent technical knowledge, but will have tremendous business knowledge. The growing preference towards the domain business analyst is that the technical knowledge is in abundance. IT companies have no dearth of technical knowledge, but there is a severe shortage of business knowledge, hence there is a growing demand for the domain business analysts.

In summary, domain business analysts will have a rewarding career with high level of job satisfaction.
Until 2011, there was no demand for business analysis certifications either from the clients or from the companies. But during the past 4 years, there is a growing trend among companies to ask for certified business analysts. Many companies started setting up their Business Analysis Centre of Excellence (BACoE). To head these centres of excellence these companies need a business analysis framework, hence the demand for the certifications.

One of the major trend, I have noticed in the recent times is that many business analysts are seriously pursuing certifications such as CPRE, CBAP® and PMI-PBA®.
The rush towards business analysis certifications started in the middle of 2014 and continues to-date. There are many reasons for a business analyst to get certified. A detailed analysis by our team of consultants reveals some astonishing facts that is not so far available in the public domain.

Opportunities Abroad
Fhyzics conducts business analysis training programs in various cities. In most of the programs, I find one or two participants (say out of 10) either they hold Permanent Residentship (specifically to Canada or Australia) or in the process of getting Permanent Residentship. Good, qualified business analysts are in great demand not only in India, but also in the middle-east, US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and in many European countries.

In fact, both in Canada and Australia there is a fast visa processing scheme going on where Business Analysis is on the top of the list of professions.
So these candidates take up business analysis certification examinations, which demonstrates to the visa official about their qualifications or expertise in business analysis and make the process little easy. Also when they land in a new country, the certification helps them to prove their expertise as it is of international. In those cases, international certifications vouch for the capabilities of a job seeker more than the job experience or credentials he had back in his home country.

Credibility By pursuing engineering course, someone becomes an engineer. But for business analysis it is not the case. Any one who have science, mathematics and engineering qualifications and have some good analytical and communication skills are becoming business analysts. Primarily, the BA doesn’t have a qualification for the job what he is performing or the profession he is part of. This basically means I am doing something for which I don’t have a qualification, which questions my credibility at the individual level and at organisational level. There is a fear of unknown, I don’t know what I don’t know. Certifications bring the needed credibility and gives immense confidence to the business analyst both in their organisation and among clients.

Knowledge Framework Certifications give us a framework for business analysis and guides in performing the role of a business analyst. It introduces he business analyst to the various tasks, techniques and competencies that need to be mastered to effectively perform the business analysis activities. Frameworks provide a structure for analysis, so one can perform the business analysis with confidence, ease and increased productivity.

International Qualification Being certified in business analysis means, the BA took up an examination at international level and earned his / her credential. Today, we have three leading business analysis certifications in the world.

1. CPRE certification from International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB®), Germany CCBA®/CBAP® certifications from International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), Canada 2. PMI-PBA® certification from Project Management Institute, USA 3. CPRE doesn’t require any entry level experience meaning even a fresher can appear for this examination and attain the CPRE credential. The CPRE certification also costs less. CPRE certification is focused on requirements and it is practical, which can be readily applied on the job.

Contractual Requirement Recently, our office started receiving calls from HR Managers about sudden requirement for a certified business analyst. Initially, we just provide the details of our past students who were looking for change, but never ventured to find out the reason behind. But when it continued week after week, I got curious to know what’s happening! My finding really surprised me. These companies are Indian outsourcing companies. Their client sitting half-way across the world either in Europe or in North America makes a clause in the contract that the business analysis part should be headed by a certified business analyst. That made the HR Managers to urgently look for a certified business analyst.

A Key Differentiator India has the second largest number of business analysts in the world, next to North America (US and Canada).
What is the reason for such a low percentage [0.0006]? It boils down to lack of awareness about the certification, poor understanding about the value of certification, toughness of the examination and the total cost of acquiring the certification. But if you see how these 700+ certified are doing in the industry. They form the cream within the business analysis community. They are most sought after for any companies. Some of our students who have done their certifications few years back, either they are heading business analysis wing in their respective organisations or took up management level positions such as VP, COO and CEO. Let us be realistic! What is the total cost of certification? I take CBAP at today’s pricing and exchange values. It costs about INR 55,000 [Training Fee INR 24,000; Membership Fee $55; Application Fee $125; and Examination Fee $325]. What is the return-on-investment (ROI)? On average a normal business analyst’s salary is 9 lakh per annum. With certification they get a salary hike of 40% easily. That is a hike of INR 3.6 lakh.

The ROI for doing a certification is just 2 months. Does it sounds like a great investment?

Industry Recognition Though Information Technology is credited with the creation of business analysis as a profession, today many industries are using business analysts to ensure the creation of superior product, software and service. The IIBA® salary survey indicates that business analysts are in the following industries. If you take 5 years back, not many companies know about business analysis certifications hence it was not asked for.

But today there is a great awareness among the HR Managers and Executives about the BA certifications such as CCBA®, CBAP®, CPRE and PMI-PBA®.
Today the companies started looking for these qualifications. Many companies indicates these certifications as a must or preferred in their job postings.

Professional Development Today almost all the professions demand continuous education. This is to update oneself and to stay relevant in the profession. It very well applies to business analysis too.

In fact business analysis being an evolving profession, the rate at which the knowledge base grows is phenomenal.
Certification gives a framework to the business analyst. Continuing with the association or the certifying body helps the business analyst to update what is really happening in the field at the international level in terms of methods and techniques. This updation happens through periodic webinars, news letters, efforts from the local chapters etc. In summary, being certified and keeping my membership current ensures me to stay on top of what is going on in business analysis. Business analysis is evolving as a separate discipline in companies. Those who are certified naturally have a better chance to accelerate in their career and even to head business analysis departments in various organisations.

Serving BA Community Being certified brings opportunities to serve the BA community and to get visibility among BAs. Certified BAs are invited by various forums, associations and conferences. Through this the BA also gets CDUs required to maintain their certification.