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Top 11 Business Data Analyst Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for business data analysts, providing an overview of requirements, benefits, and potential career paths.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for business data analysts in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competency, knowledge and experience that employers look for when hiring. Having a certification can help an analyst stand out from other applicants and can also be used to prove their technical abilities. Additionally, certifications provide validation from a third party that the analyst has the necessary skills to do the job. They also indicate that the analyst is up-to-date with industry trends and techniques. Certifications also show employers that the analyst is committed to their career and has invested in their professional development.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Business Data Analysts and explain how they can be beneficial to a business data analyst's career.

What are Business Data Analyst Certifications?

Business data analyst certification is a type of professional credential that demonstrates a person's proficiency in the field of business data analysis. This certification is typically awarded after completing a course or program that focuses on teaching the fundamentals of data analysis and how to use it to make informed decisions. Business data analysts are responsible for analyzing large amounts of complex information and making sense of it in order to help their organizations improve operations and reach their goals.

The primary benefit of obtaining business data analyst certification is that it can significantly increase an individual's chances of securing employment in the field. Companies seek out certified professionals because they have demonstrated knowledge and experience with the latest tools, techniques, and technologies used in business data analysis. By having a certification, job seekers can show potential employers that they are qualified to work as a business data analyst, which can give them an edge over other applicants without this credential.

In addition to improved job prospects, earning a business data analyst certification also helps individuals gain valuable skills and insights into the world of analytics. Coursework typically covers topics such as database management systems, statistical analysis methods, predictive analytics, programming languages, visualization techniques, and more. These skills can be applied directly to real-world situations and help professionals solve problems more effectively while making better decisions based on reliable evidence. Certifications also provide an opportunity for continuous learning since most courses require students to stay up-to-date with industry trends and new technologies.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the certifying body and ensure that their certification is recognized in the industry. This will help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as a business data analyst.

Related: What does a Business Data Analyst do?

Top 11 Business Data Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Business Data Analysts today.

1. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is a certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). It is the highest level of professional certification available in the field of business analysis. The CBAP certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge, skills and experience to practice as a professional business analyst.

To qualify for the CBAP exam, applicants must have at least 7500 hours of documented business analysis work experience over the past 10 years. This experience should include activities such as requirements elicitation, analysis and documentation, solution assessment and validation, and stakeholder management. Applicants must also provide two references from senior-level business analysts who can attest to their work experience.

The CBAP exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as business analysis planning and monitoring, enterprise analysis, requirements life cycle management, strategy analysis, solutions evaluation and more. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost for taking the CBAP exam is $325 for IIBA members or $450 for non-members. The cost includes one free retake if needed. After passing the exam, individuals are required to pay an annual maintenance fee of $100 to maintain their certification status.

Overall it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to obtain your CBAP certification depending on your prior work experience and how quickly you study for the exam.

2. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge, skills, and experience in analytics. CAP holders have demonstrated proficiency in analytics principles, practices, and processes.

The CAP program consists of three components: an online exam, a project review, and an interview. The online exam covers topics such as data analysis techniques, predictive modeling methods, and ethical considerations in analytics. The project review requires applicants to submit a portfolio of completed projects that demonstrate their analytic capabilities. Finally, the interview is conducted by two experienced analytics professionals who assess the applicant’s understanding of analytics concepts and ability to apply them to real-world scenarios.

It typically takes between 6 to 9 months to complete the CAP program. To get started on the path towards earning your CAP certification you must first register with INFORMS. Registration fees vary depending on your country of residence but typically range from $150 - $200 USD. After registration you will be provided access to study materials which include practice exams and other resources to help you prepare for the online exam. Once you pass the online exam you can then begin working on your project portfolio which must be submitted for review before being accepted into the interview stage of the process.

Once all components are successfully completed you will receive your Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certification which is valid for three years from date of issue.

3. Certified Data Analyst (CDA)

Certified Data Analyst (CDA) is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in data analysis. It is designed to demonstrate a mastery of the skills and knowledge required to effectively analyze, interpret, and present data. CDA certification is awarded by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA), a global leader in analytics education and research.

The CDA certification process typically takes about three months to complete. The first step is to register with the IIA and pay the associated fee. Once registered, applicants must complete an online application form, which includes providing evidence of their educational background and work experience related to data analysis. After submitting the application, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to access the Certification Exam Prep Course. This course covers topics such as data manipulation, descriptive statistics, predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and more.

Once applicants have completed the exam prep course they are eligible to take the Certified Data Analyst Exam. This exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of data analysis knowledge and skills. Applicants must score at least 70% on this exam in order to pass it and become certified as a CDA.

The cost of becoming a Certified Data Analyst varies depending on where you live and which payment method you choose (credit card or PayPal). Generally speaking, it costs around $300 USD for international applicants or $150 USD for US residents.

4. SAS Certified Business Analyst

SAS Certified Business Analyst is a professional certification offered by SAS Institute, Inc. The certification is designed to recognize individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to use the SAS system and its tools to analyze data and develop business solutions. It is a comprehensive program that covers topics such as data analysis, predictive analytics, data visualization, reporting, and programming with SAS.

The program typically takes about 6 months to complete depending on the individual's experience level. To get certified, individuals must pass two exams: SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 and SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9. Both exams are administered by Pearson VUE and cost $180 each. Additionally, candidates must complete an approved course or have relevant work experience in order to qualify for the exam.

The total cost of getting certified as a SAS Certified Business Analyst can range from $360-$1000+ depending on the number of courses taken or other resources used in preparation for the exams.

5. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Management and Analytics (MCSE: DM&A)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Management and Analytics (MCSE: DM&A) is a certification for IT professionals who demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to build, manage, and maintain data solutions that use Microsoft SQL Server technologies. It covers topics such as designing database architecture, implementing data warehouses, creating business intelligence solutions, and managing enterprise data.

It typically takes between three to six months to complete the MCSE: DM&A certification program. The exact amount of time depends on your experience level with the technology and how much study time you can commit.

To get the MCSE: DM&A certification, you must first pass two exams: Exam 70-767 (Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse) and Exam 70-768 (Developing SQL Data Models). After passing these exams, you will be eligible for the MCSE: DM&A certification. You can take these exams in person or online through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

The cost of taking the two exams required for the MCSE: DM&A certification varies depending on your location. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $165 USD.

6. IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data

IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data is a professional certification that validates the skills of an individual in designing, developing, and deploying data solutions on IBM Big Data platforms. It demonstrates an individual’s ability to design and implement big data solutions using IBM tools and technologies.

The certification has two levels: Associate and Professional. To become an IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data Associate, you must pass one exam (C2090-320). To become an IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data Professional, you must pass two exams (C2090-320 and C2090-321).

It typically takes 2-3 months to prepare for the exams. The best way to get ready for the exams is by taking online courses or attending classroom trainings offered by IBM or its authorized training partners.

The cost of the exams depends on your location but generally ranges from $100-$200 USD per exam.

7. Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist

Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist is a certification program that is designed to provide IT professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to implement Oracle BI solutions. The certification is intended for individuals who have experience in designing, developing, and deploying Oracle BI solutions.

The duration of the certification program is approximately three months. The program consists of two parts: an online course and a hands-on exam. The online course covers topics such as installation, configuration, administration, security, data modeling, reporting and analytics, performance tuning, and troubleshooting. The hands-on exam requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to design and implement an Oracle BI solution using the tools provided by the suite.

To get certified as an Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist, you must first complete the online course. After completing the course, you can register for the hands-on exam at a Pearson VUE testing center. You will need to pay a fee of $250 USD when registering for the exam. Once you have passed the exam successfully, you will receive your official certification from Oracle.

The cost of becoming an Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist includes both the online course fee (which may vary depending on where you take it) and the $250 USD registration fee for taking the hands-on exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.

8. Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate

Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate is a certification program offered by Tableau Software that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the ability to use Tableau Desktop to create visualizations and dashboards. This certification program is designed to help you gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become an effective Tableau user.

The certification exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, each with four possible answers. The exam covers topics such as creating basic visualizations and dashboards, connecting to data sources, formatting visuals, creating calculations, and using parameters. To pass the exam, you must answer at least 32 questions correctly.

The exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. You can take the exam online or at one of Tableau’s authorized testing centers.

To get the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate certification, you must first purchase a voucher from Tableau Software for $250 USD. Once you have purchased the voucher, you can register for the exam on the Tableau website and schedule your appointment at an authorized testing center or take it online.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certificate in PDF format via email within two weeks of completing the test.

9. Cloudera Certified Data Analyst (CCDA)

Cloudera Certified Data Analyst (CCDA) is a professional certification offered by Cloudera, a leading provider of enterprise data management, analytics and machine learning solutions. The CCDA certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s ability to analyze data using the Hadoop platform and related technologies. It validates the skills necessary to develop and maintain large-scale data analysis applications, as well as use various tools for data exploration, manipulation and visualization.

The CCDA exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. To get certified, candidates must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher.

In order to prepare for the exam, Cloudera provides an online training course that covers topics such as Hadoop architecture and components, working with HDFS, MapReduce programming fundamentals, Hive and Impala query language basics, Pig scripting fundamentals, Sqoop usage basics and more. The course also includes hands-on activities to help reinforce concepts learned in the lectures.

The cost of the CCDA certification exam is $295 USD.

10. QlikView Business Analyst Certification Program

QlikView Business Analyst Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to help business analysts and data professionals gain the skills necessary to create, analyze, and manage QlikView applications. The program consists of four courses: Introduction to QlikView, Advanced QlikView Development, QlikView Data Modeling, and Advanced QlikView Administration. The program takes approximately 4-6 months to complete depending on the individual's schedule and learning style.

To get certified in this program, students must first attend all four courses and pass the exams associated with each course. After completing all four courses and passing the exams, students will receive their official certification from QlikView.

The cost of the certification program varies depending on the provider offering it. Generally speaking, most providers offer a discounted rate for those who purchase all four courses at once or if they are purchasing multiple certifications at once.

11. Teradata Certified Master Data Analyst

Teradata Certified Master Data Analyst is a certification program that validates an individual's expertise in data analysis and data management. It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved the highest level of proficiency in Teradata's data analytics and data management tools.

The certification process includes a series of tests, which are administered by Teradata Corporation. The tests are designed to assess an individual's knowledge and skills related to the Teradata platform, including its database, query language, and analytics capabilities. The tests cover topics such as database design, SQL queries, optimization techniques, performance tuning, security, and more.

In order to become certified as a Teradata Certified Master Data Analyst, individuals must pass all of the required tests with a score of 80% or higher. The entire certification process usually takes about six months to complete.

In order to get started on the path towards becoming a Teradata Certified Master Data Analyst, individuals must first register for the program through the Teradata website. After registering for the program, individuals will receive access to study materials and practice exams that can help them prepare for the certification tests. Additionally, they may also be able to attend instructor-led training courses offered by Teradata or its partners in order to further their understanding of the platform and hone their skills.

The cost of becoming certified as a Teradata Certified Master Data Analyst varies depending on whether or not an individual chooses to attend instructor-led training courses or use additional study materials provided by Teradata or its partners. Generally speaking, however, it typically costs around $2,000 USD for individuals who choose not to attend any additional training courses or purchase additional study materials.

Do You Really Need a Business Data Analyst Certificate?

Whether or not you need a business data analyst certificate depends on your individual goals and objectives. For example, if you are looking to get a job as a data analyst in the corporate world, then having a certificate could help you stand out from other applicants. However, if you already have experience in the field or just want to expand your knowledge for personal development, then it may not be necessary.

The main advantage of having a business data analyst certificate is that it can serve as proof of your skills and knowledge in the field. It shows employers that you have taken the time to acquire specialized training and can apply it in professional settings. Additionally, depending on the program, many certificates come with hands-on projects and internships that provide valuable real-world experience.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to getting a business data analyst certificate. For one thing, they can be expensive and time-consuming to obtain. Depending on your situation, this might not be feasible or worth it for you right now. Additionally, employers don’t always place high value on certificates since they don’t necessarily represent practical experience in the field.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a business data analyst certificate really depends on what your goals are and what resources you have available to pursue them. If obtaining certification would help advance your career or provide new opportunities, then it might be worth pursuing. Otherwise, there may be other ways to gain similar skills without investing in a formal program.

Related: Business Data Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Business Data Analyst Certifications

Q1. What is a Business Data Analyst Certification?

A1. A Business Data Analyst Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual has the skills and knowledge to analyze data and make informed decisions for businesses. The certification typically involves completing coursework, passing exams, and/or having relevant work experience.

Q2. How long does it take to get certified as a Business Data Analyst?

A2. The amount of time required to become certified as a Business Data Analyst varies depending on the program and requirements, but generally it can take anywhere from several months to over a year of study and preparation.

Q3. What types of jobs can I get with a Business Data Analyst Certification?

A3. With a Business Data Analyst Certification, you may be qualified for positions such as data analyst, business intelligence analyst, or data scientist in industries such as finance, healthcare, technology, retail, or marketing.

Q4. Are there any prerequisites for getting certified as a Business Data Analyst?

A4. Depending on the program or institution offering the certification, there may be certain prerequisites such as prior work experience in data analysis or other related fields; completion of specific courses; or even an undergraduate degree in mathematics or computer science. It is important to research each program’s requirements before applying for certification.

Q5. How much does it cost to become certified as a Business Data Analyst?

A5. The cost of becoming certified as a Business Data Analyst varies depending on the program chosen; however most programs range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars in tuition fees and exam costs combined.