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Increased professionalism within the business analyst role has brought a focus on developing a broad skill set and gaining relevant qualifications. The need for a broad skill set has intensified as the role of the business analyst has gained more prominence within organisations, this prominence emerging as organisations become more aware of the value that business analysts can deliver.
However, with this prominence and recognition has come increased expectations. Business analysts are expected to demonstrate a professional approach, using standard methods, techniques and models to ensure that their organisations operate effectively and select the most relevant business options. The business analysts are also expected to be able to understand the needs of stakeholders and build good working relationships with them.
Effective training is key to analysts developing these skills and, increasingly, organisations are looking for courses that lead to qualifications to provide this evidence of credibility and skills. The ISEB Diploma in Business Analysis was launched in 1999 and is the standard qualification for Business Analysts. It has been awarded to approximately 4000 candidates.
Holders of the Diploma have had to prove their knowledge and skills in a range of core areas such as business problem analysis, stakeholder analysis, business case development, and requirements analysis and management. They have also had to pass an examination for an elective specialism choosing from subjects such as business process modelling, benefits management and systems modelling using the Unified Modelling Language. In most cases analysts attend short 2 or 3 day courses, from specialist training providers, which include the ISEB Certificate exams at the end of the course.
The final element of the ISEB Diploma is an oral examination where the knowledge and application of techniques, plus the interpersonal skills required for business analysts, are tested.
Numerous organisations from all sectors of the economy have set up skills development frameworks and have adopted the Diploma in Business Analysis qualification to support the development of their business analysts. The success of this qualification has led some business analysts to request extended qualifications. These requests led directly to the launch of the ISEB Professional Award in Business Analysis. Again, courses are available to help candidates gain this qualification
So, professionalism in the business analyst role is very much on the increase and the expectations of employers are high. The professional business analyst will have an extensive skill set, will know when to apply these skills and will be able to provide evidence of their knowledge and abilities through relevant qualifications. Effective training, leading to industry recognised qualifications, is fundamental in helping analysts develop and maintain these skills.
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