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Business analytics certification: What's in demand?

Earning a business analytics certification shows your skills in assessing data to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities for business decisions and strategies.
Written by Melissa Sartore, Contributor on

Earning a business analytics certification shows your skills in assessing data to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities for business decisions and strategies.

Work in business and want to know more about effectively using data to make smart choices? Studying for a business analytics certification can equip you with the needed skills.

Successfully earning a certification demonstrates to colleagues and employers that you have experience with the techniques and tools needed to manage data, visualize patterns and trends, and predict areas for potential growth. 

Which business analytics certifications are in high demand?

Data analytics helps businesses and organizations optimize their performances. Business analytics certifications are credentials offered by organizations that meet industry standards. 

Earning a certification requires paying a fee and passing an exam. You may need to renew your certification every two to three years.

Qualifications you may need to sit for a certification exam include: 

  • Holding a degree
  • Having a certain number of years' professional experience
  • Completing a course
  • Completing a certain number of experience hours

While studying, you'll refresh your knowledge about extracting information from data to create solutions, increasing efficiency, and making informed choices about strategic business decisions. 

Business analytics certifications can meet the needs of business professionals at every stage of their careers. Some focus on in-demand tools and technologies. Prestigious business analytics certifications may increase your earning potential and appeal to employers.

We've listed the top business analytics certifications by career level and type. Choose according to your goals and current level of experience.

Early career certifications

Cost: $45 application fee; exam fee $150 for IIBA members and $305 for nonmembers

Time to complete: One-hour exam, 50 questions 

Value-add: Designed for business analytics professionals with a minimum of 21 professional development hours, the ECBA focuses on the foundations of the field. Offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the exam covers core competencies. These include business analysis planning and monitoring, elicitation and collaboration, and requirements lifecycle management. 

Cost: $199

Time to complete: One-hour exam, 40 questions

Value-add: Earning the CFLBA demonstrates proficiency in the fundamentals of data analysis. You'll be tested in business process modeling and improving, collecting and analyzing requirements, designing business solutions, and innovation. Business and systems analysts, requirements engineers, and product owners and managers may be interested in this certification.

Mid- and advanced-career certifications

Cost: $495 for members of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences; $695 for nonmembers

Time to complete: 100 questions on the exam; optional four-week course

Value-add: Designed for professionals with at least three years of experience and a master's degree (such as a data analytics master's), the CAP focuses on job task analysis. 

The exam's content explores seven areas of responsibility, including business problem framing, analytics problem framing, methodology selection, and model building. Additional topics include data, deployment, and lifecycle management. You may purchase an optional four-week preparatory course.

Cost: $145

Time to complete: 3.5 hour exam (online), 120 questions

Value-add: The CBAP prepares individuals with extensive business analysis experience to lead in the field. The exam blends scenario and case study-based questions based on the competencies found in the IIBA's proprietary guide. Areas of emphasis include strategy analysis and solution evaluation. 

Cloud certifications

Cost: $300

Time to complete: Three hours to complete exam, 65 questions

Value-add: Earning an AWS Certified Data Analytics specialty certification builds critical skills to implement cloud initiatives. You'll master AWS data lakes and analytics services. The certification meets the needs of solutions architects, data scientists, data analysts, and systems operations administrators who want to hone their skills in deploying, managing, and operating workloads on the AWS cloud.

The exam targets individuals with five years of experience working with common data analytics technologies and two years of experience in the field. Resources include free exam guides, sample questions, practice sets, and digital training programs. A paid classroom training for big data covers exam content in three days. 

SEE: The best tech certifications for every IT professional

Cost: $95-$165

Time to complete: Varies

Value-add: Microsoft Azure offers certifications for data analysts at beginner and intermediate levels. The beginner certification in data fundamentals meets the needs of database administrators, while intermediate certifications in enterprise data analysis, power platform applications, and customer data platforms accommodate current and aspiring data analysts, data engineers, and business analysts. 

Microsoft provides modules to help you prepare for each exam alongside practice tests and certification skills outlines. Online resources are free; instructor-led preparatory courses are available. 

Cost: $245

Time to complete: 90 minute exam

Value-add: Six certification levels in Oracle Cloud infrastructure and applications accommodate analytics professionals at all stages of their careers. Pass exams on database systems, extradata cloud services, SQL database management, and infrastructure database management services for certifications in database cloud services and administration.

Oracle offers exam preparation resources. Creating an account and subscribing to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Learning provides full access to learning paths, assessments, and coursework. 

SAS certifications

Cost: $180-$2,260

Time to complete: 110 minutes to complete exam

Value-add: SAS analytics offers three certifications for advanced analytics professionals using SAS 9. You can become a certified specialist in advanced predictive modeling or SAS text analytics, time series, experimentation, and optimization. Completing all three credentials earns you the Advanced Analytics Professional certification.

An additional certification in predictive modeling targets professionals who use SAS Enterprise Miner.

Each includes an exam with 50-55 multiple-choice, short-answer, and interactive questions. SAS provides resources, training guides, and practice exams alongside webinars.

Cost: $360 per exam

Time to complete: Three exams; 110 minutes each

Value-add: Certification as a data scientist through SAS may help you launch or advance your career in the field. Complete separate credentials in data curation, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence and machine learning to earn a data scientist certification. SAS provides an exam content guide, training resources, sample questions, and practice exams

Business intelligence certifications

Cost: $450 for IIBA members; $575 for nonmembers

Time to complete: Two-hour exam; 75 questions

Value-add: By earning a CBDA from IIBA, you demonstrate your ability to execute analysis to support business analytics initiatives in the workplace. The exam covers identifying research questions, sourcing and analyzing data, interpreting and reporting on results, and using and strategizing based on results. 

To prepare for the exam, IIBA offers practice assessments, sample questions, and an exam outline. You can become a member of IIBA to access their resource guide or purchase it as a preparatory tool. 

Cost: $165

Time to complete: Three-hour exam, 60 questions

Value-add: Data analyst credentials from Microsoft show you can harness insights contained in data to make informed business decisions. The exam assesses your ability to design and build scalable data models, clean and transform data, and enable advanced analytic capabilities using Microsoft Power BI technology. 

Microsoft offers learning paths, a learning catalog, and an instructor-led training course to help you prepare. 

Project management certifications

See also

    Cost: $400

    Time to complete: Two-hour exam, 85 questions

    Value-add: IIBA's certification in agile analysis may fit both agile experts and newbies. The exam assesses your ability to embrace agile practices to prioritize delivery, minimize waste, and create better outcomes in business settings. Preparatory materials include a self-assessment, sample questions, and exam blueprint.

    Cost: $405 for PMI members, $555 for nonmembers

    Time to complete: Four-hour exam, 200 questions

    Value-add: Designed for professionals at the early stages of their careers, the PMI-PBA demonstrates your ability to define, shape, and drive business outcomes related to project and program management. 

    The PMI-PBA exam tests your needs assessment, planning, analysis, traceability and monitoring, and evaluation in project management skills. PMI provides exam guidance through review tips and resources, a handbook, and an exam content outline. 

    This article was reviewed by Alexandra Tapia, MBA

    Alexandria Tapia, a blonde woman, smiles at the camera

    Alexandra is a driven, high-spirited, unapologetically energetic, and optimistic person. She prides herself on her devotion to becoming a better business leader and overall human. She has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, asks a million questions, and thrives on making change.

    She has reached many populations throughout her career. She's studied recidivism, helped prior criminal offenders reintegrate into society, and built trusting relationships while working at a homeless shelter. 

    Her passion for education also shines through in her work. She taught younger children for many years, but has since turned her focus to higher education. She loves collaborating with others to be a disruptor in the education industry, creating and delivering programs that are unlike others — all while building a better future for her clients and students. 

    Tapia is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network. 

    Last reviewed April 26, 2022.

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