Innovations in information technology have had a dramatically positive impact on American business, yet research shows that a large number of software projects fail to deliver the intended business results. Why?
The “business/IT” divide is a key factor in these failures. Over 50 percent of organizations polled in a recent IT Governance Institute survey lacked any formal structure to align IT investments with business strategy. Enter the business analyst.
A business analyst bridges the “understanding gap” between an organization and its technology, functioning as a type of translator. One of the most important roles of a business analyst is to facilitate communications among an organization’s stakeholders in order to find out what their needs are and to turn those needs into measurable IT requirements and solutions. To succeed in this role, the business analyst must have a broad range of business, technical, and interpersonal skills.
Demand for business analysts
Business analysis is a growing field, and the demand for good business analysts is increasing every day. According to March 2014 statistics from Glassdoor.com, the average salary for business analysts in the greater Philadelphia area is $64,000. The national median is $61,000.
The job of the business analyst, at its core, is to elicit, analyze, communicate, and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies, and information systems. This certificate is designed to provide you with the skills you need to effectively design business solutions and communicate those solutions to your organization. This includes effectively writing and reviewing detailed functional specifications, as well as developing and testing systems based on those requirements.
The Business Analyst Certificate delivers the skills, techniques, and tools for you to:
- Understand and define an organization’s needs
- Gather the information needed to clearly define business requirements
- Document requirements for use by all stakeholders
- Analyze, verify, and validate requirements
- Create a framework for successful requirements management and communication
To earn the Business Analyst Certificate, all of the following modules must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or above.
- Framework and Discovery
- Planning and Analysis
- Management and Evaluation
- Capstone Project
Framework and Discovery
In this module, students will be introduced to the field of business analysis by learning key terms, concepts and knowledge areas. In the first and the second business analysis knowledge areas, students explore how to elicit requirements information and conduct an enterprise analysis to discover business needs. At the end of this module, students will be able to:
- Identify the six knowledge areas in business analysis
- Differentiate inputs, elements, techniques, stakeholders, and outputs
- Prepare for elicitation
- Conduct elicitation activities
- Assess capability gaps
- Write a business case
Planning and Analysis
In this module, students will learn the third and fourth business analysis knowledge areas to be able to plan business analysis activities, monitor the progress of those activities, and analyze requirements. At the end of this module, students will be able to:
- Conduct a stakeholder analysis
- Plan business analysis activities
- Plan the requirements management process
- Prioritize and organize requirements
- Specify and model requirements
- Verify and validate requirements
Management and Evaluation
In this module, students will learn the fifth and sixth business analysis knowledge areas. These include learning how to manage both requirements and communications and how to assess and validate a solution to a business need. At the end of this module, students will be able to:
- Manage the solution scope and requirements
- Manage requirements traceability
- Prepare a requirements package
- Allocate requirements
- Define transition requirements
- Validate a solution
As a final requirement of the certificate, students will apply the concepts and techniques learned throughout the course to a case study project. The project will incorporate the use of problem solving techniques and collaborative team work. The project will focus on key factors of system and process analysis, identification and documentation of business requirements, and developing and validating business solutions. Guidance in completing project milestones is done throughout the program.
Who should consider this program?
- Business analysis managers
- IT or development managers
- Business or technical analysts
- Systems analysts or managers
- Operations managers
- Project managers
- Requirements engineers
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)
The University of Delaware is approved by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) as an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP). [Click here to read more about the University of Delaware’s EEP designation.]
The Business Analyst Certificate was developed to align with the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABoK). Knowledge areas include:
- Enterprise Analysis
- Requirements Planning and Management
- Requirements Elicitation, Analysis and Documentation, and Assessment and Validation
- Requirements Communication
Credentials in this field
The IIBA is an internationally recognized credentialing organization providing a formal certification process for business analysis professionals. IIBA designations include the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA™) and the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®).
To be eligible for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) exam, you need 21 hours of professional development from an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP). The University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies has been designated by the International Institute of Business Analysis as an Endorsed Education Provider. You also need a specific number of hours of business analysis work experience. Visit the International Institute of Business Analysis for details.
While there are no formal requirements for admission to this program, please note the following recommendations:
- Some prior college coursework is recommended, as the modules are taught at the baccalaureate level and are fairly rigorous.
- Prior experience with IT systems and/or process management is helpful.
There are no special technology requirements to participate in this program.
"On a daily basis, I am applying the lessons I have learned from this course on projects for my firm as well as for my clients." - Brian Sklodowski
"Upon completing the program, I was able to apply my skills to effectively design business solutions." - Toral Rawal
"This certificate program has been a great resume builder, and I feel more confident in my position than I ever have before." - Nicole Hetrick