ECBA certification: An entry-level credential for business analysts

Kimiko G. Judith

The Entry Certificate in Small business Investigation (ECBA) is a credential for small business analysts made available by the Intercontinental Institute of Company Analysis (IIBA). IIBA is a nonprofit qualified association established in 2003 to market the field of organization evaluation. In accordance to the corporation, the ECBA “covers the foundational expertise on enterprise assessment … and showcases that you have the main expertise and competencies for the in-need industry of business enterprise analysis.”

ECBA is, as its identify implies, an entry-degree certification, but that does not necessarily mean you can just jump into it chilly. You will require to finish a specific number of approved instruction hours in advance of you can use to take the examination. You are going to possibly also want to health supplement your teaching with extra sources in planning for the exam. Right here, we dive into the details of the ECBA, and talk about whether an ECBA certification is worthwhile for your career but first, let us look at where by ECBA fits into the landscape of IIBA’s qualifications, and master about the body of expertise ECBA-qualified business analysts are expected to master.


ECBA is the initially action in IIBA’s core sequence of credentials for business enterprise analysts. It’s succeeded by the Certification for Competency in Organization Evaluation (CCBA) and the Qualified Organization Assessment Skilled (CBAP). Prerequisites get much more considerable as you climb the ladder: CCBA and CBAP have to have additional training, get the job done practical experience, and experience than ECBA. Watermark Studying, a company that delivers trainings for all of IIBA’s certs, breaks down the several needs, but the significant factor to know is that, in contrast to the other certs, ECBA candidates really do not have to have to doc experienced knowledge in the industry just before they start their certification approach. And even though you don’t want an ECBA certification to pursue one of the larger-amount certs, it absolutely lays a foundation of know-how that will be useful if you pick to go that route. 


Like the other IIBA certs, the ECBA attracts from A Guide to the Business enterprise Analysis Physique of Know-how, also regarded as the BABOK Manual. The BABOK Guideline is a publication from IIBA that aims to serve as a bible for the business enterprise examination field, collecting best tactics from serious-earth practitioners. It was very first published in 2005 and is constantly up to date.

The BABOK Manual lays out the responsibilities and information that a business analyst should recognize. Its information is divided into six sections, referred to as expertise spots:

  • Enterprise Assessment Planning and Monitoring
  • Elicitation and Collaboration
  • Demands Lifetime Cycle Administration
  • System Analysis
  • Necessities Assessment and Design and style Definition
  • Answer Analysis

The BABOK Manual serves as the foundational established of information for the ECBA exam. Even if you have some working experience as a business enterprise analyst less than your belt, you’ll need to review the BABOK Guide right before getting your examination to entirely realize its views and terminology.

ECBA certification training

The only prerequisite for having the ECBA test (other than making an IIBA login and agreeing to the organization’s Code of Carry out and Conditions of Company) is the completion of 25 several hours of IIBA schooling — referred to as Qualified Advancement (PD) several hours — in the four years foremost up to your software. IIBA outlines what form of instruction programs qualify towards your PD Hour on its web site

  • They should be moderated or facilitated by an instructor who potential customers learners by means of the substance.
  • There will have to be measurable understanding goals right relevant to improving upon the capabilities of a business enterprise analyst.
  • Pupils will have to be in a position to interact with the substance by inquiring queries or otherwise making the studying significant.
  • Students ought to be permitted to observe the endeavor or goal remaining introduced and be assessed by the facilitator.
  • The issue subject must immediately align with the BABOK Tutorial.

IIBA does not provide schooling classes by itself, and in idea, you could make a situation for a vast range of courses that may suit this description. In practice, you will likely want to opt for from IIBA’s listing of endorsed instruction and teaching vendors you can see a list of nearby education programs and forthcoming examination prep possibilities. These programs all frequently hew closely to the test syllabus and attract immediately from the BABOK Guide.

ECBA exam

Once you’ve accomplished your instruction, you can acquire the ECBA test, which is made up of 50 numerous-option queries that you ought to reply in an hour.

Mainly because ECBA is an introductory certification, it does not address the BABOK Information understanding locations as in-depth as increased-stage IIBA certs do. The present breakdown of questions throughout the BABOK Guide expertise places are as follows:

  • Business Examination Scheduling and Monitoring: 5%
  • Elicitation and Collaboration: 20%
  • Needs Lifestyle Cycle Administration: 20%
  • Requirements Examination and Design and style Definition: 25%

The remaining 30% of the test is on content drawn from across the BABOK lumped with each other in a category IIBA labels “Business Assessment Expertise.” This breaks down as follows:

  • Business enterprise investigation and the BA experienced: 2.5%
  • Small business evaluation crucial principles: 5%
  • Fundamental competencies: 5%
  • Tactics: 17.5%

Even though IIBA does not publicize the passing score for the CBAP examination, consensus from observers is that you’ll need to reply about 70% of inquiries the right way. If you fail the test, you can retake it up to two extra times in the yr right after your initial software.

ECBA examination cost, ECBA certification charge, and IIBA membership

As with lots of certifications, there are a number of charges affiliated with ECBA certification. Implementing for certification costs $60, which is nonrefundable. Having the examination is $235 the first time and $195 if you are unsuccessful and want to retake it. You’ll need to pay for the needed PD hrs as properly, while that can range broadly from program to study course.

You may also desire to come to be an IIBA member, which costs $139 in substantially of North The united states and Europe, and less in quite a few building nations. IIBA customers get a $125 price reduction on exam service fees, as properly as a selection of other advantages.

ECBA exam locations

Due to the fact the commencing of the coronavirus pandemic, the ECBA exam has shifted to a distant proctored model administered by PSI. This enables you to consider the test from your personal property, while you’ll even now be less than a proctor’s watchful eye by means of your webcam. IIBA’s site has aspects on some of the rigorous principles for taking the test in this way: For instance, you are only allowed to be off-camera for a one 15-moment crack, and can only have a obvious drinking water bottle and blank paper on your desk to commence the exam — and, when you are completed, need to tear up any notes you have taken, to avoid you from passing on way too significantly details about the questions to other folks.

ECBA analyze guides, sample test inquiries, and practice tests

As noted, the principal document you will want to use to review for the CBAP test is the BABOK Guideline, which is accessible from Amazon as very well as from IIBA by itself. ECBA research guides are a minor thinner on the ground than those people for other much more outstanding certifications, but the ECBA Certification Review Manual arrives very rated.

You’ll almost certainly be exposed to some sample examination inquiries all through the training you will just take for your PD hours. But if you want to get a sneak peek as to what the questions will search like, you can examine out the sample inquiries that IIBA makes obtainable on its site. If you want to dive a little deeper, you can test out some apply exams from instruction providers these as AdaptiveUS, TechCanvass, or ProProfs.

ECBA certification income

Potentially the most important issue any individual would like to know about a certification is: Will I make much more funds if I get this cert? Unfortunately, this is devilishly complicated to respond to, and anybody who tries to inform you normally is seeking to sell you one thing (a certification, almost certainly).

Yet, IIBA offers some salary data that implies a CBAP can strengthen your pay out. In accordance to the IIBA 2020 Company Income Survey, certified business enterprise analysts total designed a lot more than 11% much more than their noncertified peers. A notably appealing stat arrives from their 2019 salary survey: ECBA holders in what IIBA labels “Region 3,” including China, India, and considerably of the building earth, created 52% extra than noncertified respondents.

Is ECBA worthy of it?

For these who are just setting up out in the market as an analyst and may not have the benefits of a significant-powered higher education diploma or Huge 4 consultancy gig, an ECBA can be a great way to show their ambitions and seriousness.

“The small business analyst market can be aggressive,” says Diane Davidson, proprietor of Intelligent Fox Advisory. “When using the services of a business analyst, my desire is another person from a consulting history versus an industry position. But my 2nd criterion is to appear at their certifications and venture ordeals. Due to the fact most certificates are not required in the BA task industry, this would show me that anyone was focused to their job to pursue the certification.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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