In this episode, you’ll find out how you can bring value in the area of business data analytics. You’ll also learn about the IIBA’s Certification in Business Data Analytics.

Show Notes

The field of analytics is growing by leaps and bounds.  It’s become a critical component in better decision making.

As Business Analysts, we need to bring together the business knowledge and the technical math and science of analytics.  The International Institute of Business Analysis™ uses the term Business Data Analytics to describe this.

Why Business Data Analytics is Important

In today’s digital world, we have access to an incredible amount of data.  We can now mine that data to gain insights that are critical to business success.  We are now able to elicit requirements from data.

Business Data Analytics allows us to use facts and data to make better decisions.

Instead of making decisions based of expert judgment or business domain knowledge, we can provide results of analysis that we glean from the data.  From this, we can help guide decision making and help our organizations choose the right path.

The data and the answers we derive from it is a valuable asset to the organization and it helps reduce the risk of bad decision making.

How Business Analysts Can Work with Analytics

We often see the same problems with analytics projects as we do with traditional technology projects; we miss the connection to business outcomes.  Do we really understand what we’re trying to solve?

Your core BA skills of facilitation, current state analysis, communication, and root cause analysis can be applied in the new context of Business Data Analytics.

As Business Analysts, we need to make sure that the analytics research being done is focused on a problem or opportunity that’s important to the business.  This allows us to tie the analytics work to a meaningful value proposition.

To do this, we work with stakeholders to understand their needs and understand the current state to discover the research question we need to analyze with the analytics initiative.

After this upfront work, we can support the team by analyzing the data at some level.  This may mean identifying if the data is reliable and meaningful or analyzing models.

Once you have some valuable insights based on the data, we need to communicate the results to business stakeholders in their language.  To make the data meaningful, we need to use approaches such as data storytelling to ensure the information resonates with stakeholders.

The Certification in Business Data Analytics (IIBA®-CBDA)

The International Institute of Business Analysis™ recently launched a Certification in Business Data Analytics.  As a precursor to the certification, the IIBA developed two introductory documents describing Business Data Analytics from the practitioner’s view as well as from the organization’s view.

The certification exam is comprised of 75 scenario based questions.  As an experienced based exam, you’ll apply your work experience to answer scenarios common to analytics initiatives.

This is a level 2 certification intended for those with 2-3 years of experience and are experienced with core BA skills.  You may need knowledge about data visualization techniques and other activities described in the introductory documents.

Listen to the full episode to understand how you can bring value to an analytics project as well as how to prepare for the IIBA’s Certification in Business Data Analytics exam.

Business Data Analytics with Laura Paton


Check out the IIBA’s Business Data Analysis page and seek out the referenced sources. Start getting a sense of where you fit on an analytics project and use the information to tie the skills you already have to this new space.

From there, try to get on an analytics project and demonstrate the value proposition you have.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Laura Paton

Laura Paton – BA Academy
Laura is a Business analysis thought leader with over 30 years of in depth project management and business analysis experience across numerous industries. She has been heavily involved with industry professional organizations and had chaired and helped author several industry standards.

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