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How can Rich Pictures help you solve problems?

What is a rich picture?

A Rich Picture is a simple way of communicating ideas, or expressing issues or problems visually. Peter Checkland included Rich Pictures as part of his analysis of the current situation within Soft Systems Methodology. The rich picture is a technique for documenting a chaotic situation for which no other modelling technique can suffice. Checkland originally meant for the rich picture to document the current situation, however some people have found other uses for it.

If you want to learn more about how to use Rich Picture successfully at work to solve the right problems then join our next free virtual Lunch & Learn session.

Why are Rich Pictures important?

Some people think Rich Pictures are hard work and not something they can use because they can’t draw. With the richness of tools available online, drawing skills are not mandatory anymore. And we show you how you can do it.

If you want to find out more about Rich Pictures and how to use them to solve problems for your organisation then join our next free session on Rich Pictures.

Our very skilled trainer, Rod Simpson, will help you learn how to create one so you can go back to work and solve the right problems for your organisation.

It will be engaging, fun, and interactive. It will also give you an opportunity to test our virtual course environment and get a taste for our virtual training.

Want to register and be notified when a new session is scheduled?

Register your interest in the form below. You can unsubscribe anytime. You can have a look at our Privacy Policy here – click to view

 

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What will you learn on the Business Analyst Apprenticeship?

Overview of Programme

The IS Business Analyst Apprenticeship is a level 4 apprenticeship spanning over 13 -18 months with 20% off-the-job training. The programme aims to help apprentices develop business analysis soft skills. It Includes the BCS BA Diploma and Agile qualifications.

Typical job roles include:

  • IS Business Analyst
  • IT Business Analyst
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Requirements Analyst/Engineer
  • Business Process Analyst

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include:

  • ‘A’ levels
  • a level 3 apprenticeship or other relevant qualifications and experience.
  • Level 2 English and Maths will need to be achieved, if not already held, prior
    to taking end-point assessment.

Technical Competencies

The IS Business Analyst will be able to undertake the following responsibilities in line with organisational procedures and where appropriate under supervision:

  • Investigation techniques
  • Business Process Modelling
  • Requirements Engineering and Management
  • Data Modelling
  • Gap Analysis
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Stakeholder Analysis and Management
  • Business Impact Assessment

Key skills and behaviours that you will learn:

  • Logical and creative thinking skills to help solve business change challenges
  • Analytical and problem solving skills within IS and business change environments
  • Ability to work independently and to take responsibility appropriate to the role
  • Can use own initiative in a range of IS business change situations
  • A thorough and organised approach: planning analysis activities in line with business priorities
  • Ability to work with a range of internal and external people impacted by IS business change
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations such as IS business change workshops and interviews
  • Maintain productive, professional and secure working environment within relevant
    organisational and legislative requirements
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Learn to create Swimlane Diagrams

Are you a Business Analyst, Business Consultant or Business Manager? Do you want to learn how to efficiently model business processes?

A Swimlane Diagram is a technique to model the workflow that occurs between various teams in an organisation. The Swimlane Diagram is important to a BA as you need to understand two key points.

  • How a process occurs currently and can it be improved
  • How an existing process may change due to an IT project

Using Swimlane diagrams is a great tool for clarifying complex processes and leads to improved communication and understanding between departments. As Swim Lane diagrams provide a detailed view of a business process they can help you in your efforts for continuous process improvement.

To find out more about how use Swimlane Diagrams can help business analysts with their goals, this article offers some great insights: https://www.batimes.com/articles/reinventing-the-swim-lane-diagram.-part-1.html

Want to learn how to create a Swimlane Diagram?

Then join our next Lunch & Learn Session on 24 November from 1:00pm – 2:00 pm for an interactive, hands-on experience of Swimlane diagrams.

Want to register and be notified when a new session is scheduled?

Register your interest in the form below. You can unsubscribe anytime. You can have a look at our Privacy Policy here – click to view

 

 

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3 approaches to train your team in business analysis

If you are a manager who needs to train their team in business analysis then this article discussed possible routes for training for your team.

If you would prefer to speak with a course adviser then you can call us on 020 7272 3726 or request a call back by clicking here (https://metadatatraining.co.uk/contact-us/).

In-house Training

All our business analyst courses can be delivered in-house to your team. We can deliver at your premises, at our premises near Old Street in London or virtually.

Benefits:

  •         Want the team to discuss and concentrate on the company’s projects, situations and challenges during the training
  •         Concentrate on team’s skills development goals that need to be achieved
  •         Have more than 7 people to train

Cons:

  •         Not suitable for busy teams who work on demanding projects – all team members need to take time off at the same time
  •         Time-consuming – arranging the in-house session can take more time than booking someone on a public course or enrolling them in an apprenticeship programme
  •         Can be expensive if you need to train a small team

Apprenticeship programme

Benefits:

  •         It is more than just training – it is about developing highly skilled team members who adopt the knowledge and skills they learn during the courses
  •         Customisable business analysis skills development plan in accordance with your team and company’s skills development needs
  •         Your team members get supported by a personal expert BA mentor to apply the skills and knowledge they learn on courses
  •         Develop highly-skilled employees who can take ownership and perform in their role
  •         Benefit from levy money to pay for the training which saves the company money

Cons:

  •         Requires time commitment and is not recommended for employees with busy work schedules

Find out more 

Download Apprenticeship Brochure for Managers

Public courses

Benefits:

  •         Your team doesn’t have to take time off work at the same time
  •         Team members have flexibility when they can attend the courses and they can fit it around their work schedules
  •         Allows them to train in a neutral environment and learn from other delegates
  •         Cost-effective

Cons:

  •         Can be expensive for big teams and an in-house option might be more appropriate

Find out more

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How much time do I need to spend learning if I enrol in the business analyst apprenticeship?

Are you thinking to enroll in the Business Analyst Programme and want to know how much time you will have to spend learning and if it is something you can achieve considering your work commitments?

We are providing you in this article an estimate of the type of learning activities you are expected to do as part of your apprenticeship.

What is the 20% off the job training?

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the day-to-day work duties of the apprentice. This training takes place within the apprentice’s normal (contracted) working hours. The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship and support the apprentice to learn to do the work and take on more responsibilities.

The learning activities explained below represent the 20% off the job training that apprentices are required to do if they do the business analyst apprenticeship with us.

What type of learning activities would the apprentice do as part of our business analyst apprenticeship programme?

The learning activities that the apprentice will do are:

  • Formal certificated training lead by a trainer that can be attended in person or remotely
  • Workshops and mentoring sessions – 2 sessions per month – remotely, some face to face will be arranged once the COVID situation is sorted
  • Work-based learning – done remotely from work or home
  • Self-managed learning – done remotely from work or home

We will explain each learning activity in detail below and show the number of days you need to dedicate to each activity so you can calculate the amount of time you need to dedicate to each.

Please be aware that excluding the formal training that needs to be attended in blocks of 1, 2, or 3 days (as shown below) the rest of the learning activities can be fitted within your working day. All the learning activities need to be completed during your working hours, but you do have the flexibility to schedule them and fit them around your work.

We know fitting learning activities can be challenging in some situations that is why we created this flexibility for our apprentices to make it easier for them to complete the programme and progress in their career.

 

1. Formal certificated training that can be attended in person or remotely

As part of the programme you have the following training days:

Introductions – Key Skills – 1 day

BCS Business Analysis Practice – 3 days

BCS Foundation Module – 3 days

BCS Modelling Business Processes – 3 days

BCS Requirements Engineering – 3 days

BCS Oral Exam Prep – 1 day

Data Modelling – 2 days

Agile Certification of Choice  – 3 days

You can attend these dates when it is convenient for you and we don’t impose specific dates. We have courses every week so there are plenty of dates to choose from and you can take more courses when your work is less demanding.

Total Off-The-Job Days: 19 Days of training

 

2. Skills development workshops and mentoring sessions

There are 8 x 1-day skills development workshops on specific BA skills that you need to attend as part of the programme. These workshops run thought the year and you can choose the dates that fit best with your work schedule. The workshops are delivered face to face or virtually.

You will also be assigned an expert mentor with BA practical experience that will support you throughout your programme.

You will need to attend 2 mentoring sessions every month.

These sessions are a great opportunity for you to discuss with an expert your individual work challenges and the skills that you want to improve and as it relates to the business analysis competency standard.

A mentor is a valuable resource for you to progress to the next level in your career and be more confident and efficient and is something that you don’t get with a BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle.

The review and mentoring sessions should represent approx. 2.5 days of your total training programme for the 18-month Programme.

Total Off-The-Job Days: 17 Days of training (8 days of workshops and 7 days of individual & group mentoring sessions)

 

3. Work-based learning 

The work-based learning means applying the tools and techniques you learn on the courses to your work on practical projects that are useful to the individual and to the organization.

You apply what you learn to your work, reflect on the result you got, and during the mentoring session, you discuss how you could have done it better.

The mentor is there to support you learn how to apply theory and answer any questions that arise during the process.

You will have the opportunity to challenge yourself and create an impact at work.

The work-based learning should represent approx. 15 days of your total training programme for a 18-month Programme (less for shorter programmes). These days don’t represent full days of training but they can be fitted within your work schedule.

Total Off-The-Job Days: 15 Days of training

 

4. Self-managed learning

A significant part of your apprenticeship is the learning that you do in your own time while you review your learning journey and your progress. Each apprentice has access to an electronic portal that contains copies of materials used in training sessions; curated links to blogs, videos, and other information helpful to Business Analysts; pre-reading for the classroom courses, and quizzes and question banks. You will also get two BCS business analysis books: “Business Analysis” and “99 Techniques”.

We recommend that the self-managed learning activity should count approx. 13 days towards your off-the-job training requirement. These days don’t represent full days of work but they can be fitted within your work schedule.

Total Off-The-Job Days: 13 Days of training

By enrolling in our apprenticeship programme the apprentices will get structure and guidance to learn and know what their responsibilities as a business analyst are and how to do the job without having to second-guess themselves or be unclear about the activities they need to perform.

They will gain confidence in their skills and knowledge and they will be able to take on more responsibilities.

 

Get in touch to discuss your needs

Metadata Training has been delivering professional business analysis and agile training for over 30 years. Since 2017, we’ve been working with companies who pay the levy to provide the business analyst apprenticeship training.

We’ve developed a flexible programme that is delivered by expert trainers and that draws from our fast experience of delivering business analysis training.

If you are:

  • a manager looking for a business analyst apprenticeship training provider for your staff
  • an apprentice who already has sponsoring from a company to do the business analyst apprenticeship

Then let’s have a chat.

We can help you:

  • decide if the business analyst apprenticeship is the right option to train for yourself or your staff
  • if our business analyst apprenticeship is the right programme for you and your company’s training needs

Please click here to fill in this form to arrange a call or call us on 020 7272 3726.

Want to find more details? View our apprenticeship page or Click to download our brochure 

 

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Where to start your business analyst training if you have no business analysis experience?

Are you or one of your staff looking to move into a business analyst role and have no or very little experience?

You might be wondering where to start your training and we are providing more information in this article.

If you are looking to train your staff in business analysis and your company is paying the apprenticeship levy, we recommend you have a look at our Business Analyst Apprenticeship Programme.

Where to start your business analysis training if you are new to business analysis?

Step 1 – Understand the basics

If you are new to business analysis a good introduction to the topic is the foundation course BCS Business Analysis. It is a course rich in theory that will give you an overview of the business analyst role, the process, and the techniques you need to perform business analysis activities as part of your role.

At the end of this course, you will take a multiple-choice exam that will test your knowledge of the theory and will provide you with a recognised certification.

This course is also included in the BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle.

Step 2 – Develop Core Knowledge

Now that you understand the basics it is time to develop core business analyst knowledge. You will need to take the 2 core courses that are required to achieve the higher-level certification, the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

The core courses are:

Both of these courses are included in the BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle.

Step 3 – Gain Specialism Experience and Gain Recognition

Next, you need to choose your specialism course. You can choose between:

  • BCS Modelling Business Processes – a popular option, recommended to professionals who need to support organisations to model and improve their business processes and activities.
  • BCS Systems Development Essentials – this course supports you to deliver IT solutions for the business, if you need to work with developers to implement business requirements, this is the course for you.

We had delegates who have taken both courses. One of these courses is included in the BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle.

If you reach this step you are not ready to take the oral exam to achieve your certificate for the  BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle

The most rewarding experience in the career of all professionals who want to develop business analysis expertise is achieving the high-level qualification the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. You don’t need any business analyst experience to take this qualification, 40% of our delegates had no experience.

Want to find out what to expect when studying for the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis with Metadata Training? Why not read about our delegate Angela who started studying for the diploma as soon as she started a new role as a business analyst – read more

Step 5 – Gain mastery

If you are new to business analysis and your company is paying the levy, we can support to progress in your business analyst career and become a great asset to your organisation by providing our Business Analyst Apprenticeship Programme.

The Business Analyst Apprenticeship Programme is a better alternative to professional training however it will not suit all professionals and all organisations – to find out more click here to download our brochure.

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Which qualification to choose BCS Diploma in Business Analysis or APMG Agile Business Analysis?

Agile is a trendy topic at the moment. To keep up with a fast-changing world you need to be agile. But first, you need to understand agile. So getting a recognised qualification seems like the best place to start in your journey to prove to employers that you can work in an agile environment. The APMG Agile Business Analysis is a good qualification to get if you are a business analyst who needs to understand how to work in an agile environment.

The BCS Diploma in Business Analysis is a widely recognised qualification, so recognised that most recruiters even add it as a pre-requirements to call you for a business analyst job interview.

Which one is better?

In an ideal world, you would aim to get both qualifications because they teach you complementary skills. None is better than the other, it all depends on your career goals.

The APMG Agile Business Analysis teaches a business analyst how to work in an agile environment, and will introduce you to agile concepts and way of working.

The BCS Diploma in Business Analysis helps you understand the role of the business analysts and teaches you tools and techniques to do your job.

A delegate once told me that she regrated having done the APMG Agile Business Analysis course before doing the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis because she didn’t have the understanding of the BA role and the BA techniques and she thought it would have been helpful to benefit from the course.

Need to speak with a course adviser? Please contact us on 020 7272 3726 or email us at info@metadatatraining.co.uk. We are happy to help you decide on a qualification that will help you achieve your career goals.

 

A Customer Dilemma… to get a job as a business analyst should he get the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis or the APMG Agile Business Analysis?

A customer contacted us because he did the 2 core modules of the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis and now he was looking for a role as a business analyst. He talked with a career adviser and was recommended to do the APMG Agile Business Analysis qualification. But he was unsure as he didn’t know which qualification will help him get a job as a business analyst without any business analysis experience.

Both qualifications are valuable and teach complementary skills.

In the long term, either one or the other would have been a good choice.

But because he was looking for short term goal of getting a role and he had no business analyst experience, I recommended him to finish the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis because that will help him prepare for his job interview.

The oral exam is great preparation for your next job interview

To achieve the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis you need to pass a 50-min oral exam with BCS examiners. At the moment, due to COVID, you can take this online from anywhere.

BCS Diploma in Business Analysis represents a great practice for your next interview whether you are looking to change careers or get your next business analyst role.

The oral exam is a great way to learn to speak the business analysis language at interviews, draw on your transferable skills, and convince them that you can add value as a business analyst.

BCS Diploma in Business Analysis – Gain confidence you can do the job

From the feedback we collect from our delegates most of them report back an increase in confidence. They now understand their responsibilities as a business analyst and have the tools to perform the role.

This new gained confidence can make a difference to whether you get your first role as a business analyst or not. And this is why professionals new to business analysis come to us to help them get a new role.

We don’t just help you gain your qualification (our trainers offer personal advice and support until you pass your exam) but you also gain the skills and confidence to go to an interview and convince the employer that you are the one for the role.

 

Want to find out what qualifications are available to develop your business analysis skills? Click to check this post

Want to find out our past delegates experience training with us to achieve the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis? Click to find out more

 

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Want to experience our virtual courses? Join our Free Course Taster

Looking to achieve a business analysis or agile qualification and want to find out how we run the virtual courses?

Then join our course taster every other Tuesday from 6:30 pm and find out what to expect from a virtual course and if it is right for you, meet one of our experienced trainers, take part in a fun exercise, and get your questions answered.

 

What to expect?

During the session, we introduce you to our trainers, our courses and we run a short 20 mins interactive and insightful exercise to give you an idea of how we run our courses virtually and decide if this mode of delivery is for you. You will work in small groups and get to interact with other delegates and the trainer, just like you will do on one of our courses.

The session will be run by Mike Goodland, experienced trainer and founder of Metadata Training.

Do I need to use a camera or a microphone? You don’t need to use the video functionality or speak during the session if you don’t want to (you can of course just listen in if you wish). However, to make the most of the course taster we encourage you to do so.

Why attend the course taster?

This taster is right for you if you are looking to book a course with us and want to find out what to expect before you book.

The type of professionals that book a taster with us are looking to take a course and achieve a qualification to up-skill, be better at their jobs, and get recognised by being promoted and getting an increase in salary. If this is you then join one of our course tasters by filling the form below because we can help. 

How to book the taster?

We run the taster every 2 weeks on a weekday from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm. You can book by filling in the form below and choosing the date you want from the drop-down.

How can Metadata Training support me?

We are running these tasters because we want you to feel confident investing your money when training with us. If you want to find out how we support our delegates during Covid please click here.

We’ve seen the lives of our delegates transformed after attending our courses. One of our delegates has seen an increase in confidence and their manager noticed it, another one got a new job and a higher salary and another delegate was happy that he now understands his role as a business analyst and was looking forward to getting back to work and approach things differently.

To achieve our promise to you, we work with the best trainers who are highly skilled, approachable and share our values of great customer service.

98% of our delegates who reviewed us would recommend our training – read more reviews here

We’ve been around for over 30 years which means you can trust our expertise to deliver engaging courses that will benefit your career. The taster will help you decide if we are the right company to train with.

 

After the session?

After the course one of our advisers will get in touch with you to get some feedback on the session, however, if you don’t want to be contacted do let us know.

 

 

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How we support you develop business analysis expertise during the pandemic

We are aware the pandemic has brought challenges for all professionals including our customers and delegates.

We want to support the business analysts community and all professionals looking to develop business analysis skills and expertise to prepare for the future.

In order to do this we implemented the following initiatives to make your training experience with us stress-free, insightful and enjoyable:

  1. You can book with confidence – you have total flexibility to transfer your booking to alternative dates or to cancel your booking. In these uncertain times, we are here to help in any way we can. If we have to postpone or cancel any of your bookings we will offer a transfer to other dates or a full refund.
  2. You can attend engaging courses run by experienced trainers from anywhere
  3. You can try a virtual course taster for free – attend a course taster to find out what to expect from our virtual courses and check if it is right for you; it is also a great way to meet us – find out more
  4. You can develop business analysis skills for free – attend our Virtual Lunch & Learn hands-on sessions on specific business analysis techniques delivered by an experienced trainer – find out more
  5. You can pay discounted prices on our courses and bundles – contact us to discuss
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Develop Your Business Analysis Skills for Free with our Lunch & Learn Hands-On Sessions

Want to develop business analysis skills and continue your personal development?

  • Attend our virtual Lunch and Learn hands-on, practical sessions, and develop business analysis skills for free.
  • Each session focuses on teaching you a specific business analysis technique that we think is essential for BAs.
  • They are delivered by expert trainers.
  • Attend the session virtually over zoom from anywhere, on a weekday between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Grab your lunch and learn something new!
  • Each session is divided into 3 sections: introduction of the technique by the trainer, practical group exercise – have a go at applying the technique on a scenario given by the trainer, and Q&A
  • We encourage you to go back to your work and see how you can apply the technique to your workplace.

Want to register and be notified when a new session is scheduled?

Register your interest in the form below. You can unsubscribe anytime. You can have a look at our Privacy Policy here – click to view


 

What topics will we look at?

Our sessions will focus on a variety of techniques, some examples below:

  • Use case diagram – a technique used for showing the functional requirements and the users of the requirements
  • Swimlane Diagram – will help you show the business processes and the people using these processes.
  • Data Models (more info soon) – for showing the information a business and therefore the systems need.
  • Benefits Dependency Map (more info soon) – for showing the business changes that are required to achieve the benefits that the business is aiming for.
  • Project Scope Diagram (more info soon) – for showing what the project is going to deliver to the business.
  • Customer Journey (more info soon) – for showing how the customer experiences the interaction with the business.
  • Rich Picture – a technique used to get a shared understanding of a complex situation and discover underlying issues
  • Why Requirements Engineering is important for BAs? – understand the importance of  the requirements engineering process

Benefits of attending

  • Skills development in a fun and interactive way
  • Knowledge sharing with the trainer and the other BAs
  • Networking opportunities with other BAs
  • Learn something new and add it to your toolkit of skills – Go back and apply to your work projects to help deliver better results!
  • Get advice on business analysis related questions from an experienced trainer – This interactive session allows you to share ideas with the trainer and other attendees in real-time.
  • An opportunity for personal skills development without having to spend a penny!

How often are the sessions?

As the name suggests, the sessions take place on weekdays from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. We run one Lunch & Learn session every two weeks.

What do people say about our Lunch&Learn webinars?

“I have really enjoyed the two lunch and learn sessions that I have attended. I think they are a really great way to refresh yourself on some of the tools and techniques, plus they give a great opportunity to catch up with tutors / discuss with other BA’s.”

Want to register and be notified when a new session is scheduled?

Register your interest in the form below. You can unsubscribe anytime. You can have a look at our Privacy Policy here – click to view

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Learn about Business Analyst Certifications – Which one is right for you?

A professional qualification is a significant investment in your career and it is important to have a clear understanding of what is available so you can make the right decision.

We are reviewing in this post all the qualifications available, who are they for, and what you will learn.

 

BCS Business Analysis Diploma Certification

The most popular qualification for business analysts is the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. The qualification is accredited by the BCS, the Charted Institute for IT.

Who is it for?

The BCS Business analysis diploma is aimed at all professionals who want to develop business analysis skills. It will suit all professionals who want to work in roles that help organisations deliver change initiatives to achieve business goals. If your work involves talking to stakeholders or clients to gather requirements, needs, and issues to deliver solutions for them then you need business analysis skills.

From the delegates that attend our courses, 40% are completely new to business analysis and the rest have some experience.

There are no pre-requirements to achieving the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

What will you learn?

At the end of the programme you would be able to:

  • Use investigation techniques to uncover and analyse business needs
  • Manage & engage stakeholders to uncover issues early in a project and deliver solutions that meet business goals and objective
  • Develop & analyse process models to identify business improvements 
  • Learn to use gap analysis to compare current and future situations
  • Deliver and manage acceptance testing to ensure needs are met 
  • Develop business cases for change – identifying options, benefits, costs, risks, and impacts
  • Develop a toolkit of BA tools and techniques and learn how and when to use them in your role

The qualification will help you :

  • prove to employers and stakeholders that you understand the best practices as recommended by the industry
  • learn the business analyst language
  • add structure to your role
  • develop confidence in your knowledge and skills
  • gain a toolkit of tools and techniques to successfully perform business analysis

How do you achieve the BCS Business Analysis Diploma?

The BCS diploma in business analysis consists of one foundation and three practitioner qualifications followed by an oral exam. Each qualification stands alone and, in various combinations, leads to the International BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

We are listing here the courses that you need to take if you want to achieve the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

1. Mandatory Modules

BCS Business Analysis Practice

BCS Requirements Engineering

2. Optional Modules

Practitioner Optional: BCS Modelling Business Processes  or BCS Agile Systems Development Essentials

Foundation Optional: BCS Foundation in Business Change  or  BCS Foundation in Commercial Awareness  or BCS Foundation in Business Analysis

3. Oral Exam

BCS Oral Exam Preparation

Click here to find out more about the diploma

You can book all the courses you need for the BCS Diploma as a bundle and save £880+VAT – click to find out more

Which optional courses to choose as part of the diploma?

Two courses that are part of the BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundle are optional: one practitioner and one foundation.

Practitioner Optional

BCS Modelling Business Processes (the most popular option)

    • Learn to apply practical process modeling techniques that can help to improve your business processes.

BCS Agile Systems Development Essentials

    • Learn a solid grounding in systems investigation and quality assurance – the underpinning of successful systems development.

Foundation Optional

BCS Foundation in Business Change

    • Learn the principles, process, and roles involved in business change.
    • Learn techniques used to identify business improvements.
    • Learn to manage the classification, review, and realisation of benefits.

BCS Foundation in Commercial Awareness

    • Develop your understanding of business finance and organisational behaviour to deliver effective business change.
    • Understand external and internal impacts for successful organisational evaluation.

BCS Foundation in Business Analysis

    • Learn a broad overview of the tools and techniques available to deliver business change initiatives.
    • Understand how to identify and evaluate options for improving your business.

What past delegates new to business analysis say after achieving the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis?

“I studied four modules with Metadata as part of the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis. I’m new to the field of BA so I was apprehensive about diving in at the deep end, especially as I planned on doing the more intensive weekend courses. There’s a lot of content to get through including plenty of new terminologies, techniques, and concepts. However, the entire experience was an absolute pleasure. The content delivery by the Metadata trainers was fantastic and, together with an extremely professional and responsive support team. I got through it all and passed the BCS interview on the first attempt. Highly recommended!”, Matthew, past delegate, submitted on reviews.co.uk

IIBA Certifications

The other popular certification for business analysts is the CBAP qualification developed and accredited by IITBA, the International Institute for Business Analysis.

This qualification is based on the BABOK standard and it represents a very structured approach to business analysis that fits well with teams and organisations who want to have a clearly defined business analysis process and standard to follow.

In contrast, the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis offers more flexibility and you can choose optional modules to fit with your career direction or role.

You need to prove you have 5 years of business analyst experience to take the CBAP exam.

Click to find out more

 

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Learn to create Use Case Diagram – A great Tool for Business Analysts

Benefits of using Use case Diagrams to Business Analysts:

  • Establish and communicate the scope of a system
  • Easily communicate with stakeholders what an IT or business system should do and who are the users who will interact with the system
  • A great tool to aid communication between business users, stakeholders, business analysts, and IT specialists
  • Show the high-level specification of what the system should do and its users making it a great tool for getting a shared understanding of what a system should do

The use case diagrams describe what a system should do and not how it should be done that is why it is extensively used by business analysts to communicate with IT specialists and business users.

Using use case diagrams with functional requirements provide a great tool for IT specialist to track requirements and make sure they deliver systems that achieve the business goals and deliver on the expectations of the business users.

To find out how use cases can help business analysts deliver systems that support business goals this article offers some great insights: https://www.batimes.com/articles/the-use-case-and-i-my-10-year-journey.html

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Why is Requirements Engineering important?

Are you a Business Analyst? Do you work on Business Change Projects?

IT is both a driver and an enabler of business change, which means that often as a business analyst, it will be part of your Business Change project. Without the right requirements the project won’t deliver and this is where requirements engineering comes in. This course is key for business analysts who may have to address IT as part of the overall solution.

Our trainer, Dawn Kidd, recently ran an informative lunch & learn session on how business analysts can successfully manage requirements on a project. The session covered the common problems that occur with IT projects and how the requirements engineering framework can help address these issues.

You can watch the recording of the session here (Tip: start from 14mins):

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Register your interest in the form below. You can unsubscribe anytime. You can have a look at our Privacy Policy here – click to view

 

Want to try a mini-exam sample?

Why not try some sample questions and see how you would do in the exam?

 

Interested in attending a Requirements Engineering course? Click here: BCS Requirements Engineering

 

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Considering the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis?

If you’re new to Business Analysis, or looking to grow your experience and confidence in your Business Analysis role, then the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis can help you. Having a qualification helps to underpin your knowledge with an internationally recognised framework, to build the solid foundations for a successful career in Business Analysis.

We understand that committing to a training programme is a big decision to make, so we’ve put together this handy blog to take you through the steps to get started, as well as introducing you to Angela a delegate who’s recently completed the course.

It’s always useful to hear from other people’s experiences when considering whether a course is right for you, so we chatted with Angela after she recently completed the course. She shares her experiences, thoughts and tips on getting the most from the programme.

Taking on a new course or qualification is a big deal – learning in this way, takes an investment in valuable time, and money, and so you need to be sure which the right qualification (and training provider) is for you. This month, we’re focusing in on the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis, to help you understand what’s involved, what the course looks like, and how to consider whether it’s the right course for you.

How do you get the BCS Diploma? 

The BCS Diploma in Business Analysis consists of one foundation and three practitioner qualifications followed by an oral exam. Each qualification stands alone and, in various combinations, leads to the International BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

The courses can be taken in any order and at any pace that suits you by choosing any courses from our course schedule. Due to the COVID pandemic, we are now only offering virtual courses run by expert trainers.

We run the courses every week so there is a wide range of courses to choose from. It is easy to fit the training around your busy schedule.

Want to find out more about the courses included and the type of bundles we offer? Click here

Pre-requirements

There are no pre-requirements to attend this training. We had delegates with no business analysis experience who attended the courses and successfully achieved the qualification.  Our extensive and personalised training prepares delegates to successfully pass the exams.

Case Study: Meet Angela

Before completing the diploma, Angela was working in a training position as a junior business analyst. That’s where she became aware of business analysis generally and got involved in projects through that role.

Angela shared her top tip for choosing your course.

“I think it’s helpful to take advantage of the option that Metadata offers – to attend courses remotely from home. Being able to dedicate that time in the evening to studying instead of travelling back and forth, I think is quite important. Also, don’t leave massive gaps between the courses and exams!”

You can download a full copy of Angela’s case study here – click to download

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watch one of our trainers in action: Rod Simpson explains how everything fits together in business analysis!

Considering the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis? New to business analysis or not, a lot of people struggle to piece together the learning from different modules.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has created a diagram to help explain how everything fits together in business analysis, so you can leave each course with confidence.

Here is a short clip of Rod in his element – doing what he does best – Teaching!

Join a FREE BA virtual taster session on 28 July from 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Find out more about:

  • Is a virtual course the right option for you?
  • Which qualifications should you choose or start with?
  • If Metadata Training is the right training provider for you?

Click to book session

To watch the full video of Rod teaching – fill in the request form below.

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Meet our Apprenticeship Mentor: Jason Thompson

We know there are often so many questions when it comes to considering an apprenticeship, and so we’re on a mission to help you understand what’s involved, how an apprenticeship is structured, and what your personal journey might look like. Meet our Apprenticeship Mentor, Jason.

This week, we’re focusing on our mentors – a team of experienced Business Analysts who guide our apprentices through their learning journey, and work with them closely to help grow their technical abilities, confidence and skills along the way. We talked with Apprenticeship Mentor, Jason about his approach.

How do you work with apprentices?

As an apprenticeship mentor, I’m here to help our apprentices take what’s learned on the course, and apply it in their day to day practice as a Business Analyst.  Through one-to-one mentoring and coaching I help them to build confidence in their work, which leads to becoming a more effective Business Analyst.

Business Analyst Pyramid

We use a skills assessment pyramid (among other tools) to help evaluate where they are at the beginning of the programme, and to identify where they want to be. We then work together to take the steps necessary throughout the programme to help them achieve these objectives.

As an apprenticeship mentor, I also encourage them to think and reflect on their individual strengths and preferences in the context of their work. This helps them to understand what aspects of the role they find most enjoyable and rewarding, and to seek or create opportunities to spend more time on those activities. By doing more of what you love,  you will love more of what you do!

How does this work in practice?

We hold regular 1:1s every two weeks where we get together and map out what’s happened since the last meeting, whether there are elements of the learning the apprentice needs help with, and we also work through any potential blocks or barriers or issues.

I think of myself as a coach as well as a mentor.  I support the apprentice to understand and apply what they have learned to the work environment, and act as a sounding board to help understand and explore what they observe at work through the lens of Business Analysis.

From my own experience it’s useful to speak to someone who can relate to your day to day experience, but can offer a different perspective to help you to see things in another way.

Want to find out more about the BA apprenticeships programme? You can read our related article here

View our apprenticeship page

Click to download brochure

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Now is the time for change managers to develop business analysis expertise

Is now the time to develop business analysis expertise by up-skilling current staff?

If your team’s role is to deliver business change for your organisation, the short answer is Yes. 

Because of Covid-19 and Brexit, change is happening at a faster rate. And change managers need to deliver that change fast. 

Do you have the right skills in place to deliver change?

As agents of change, business analysts can be your allies in delivering the change your organisation needs to stay in business.

You can hire skilled business analysts, you can get expensive consultants in or you can train and up-skill your current team members who know and understand your business.

The first 2 options are costly and time-consuming. The third option is available to you right now.

But how do your upskill current member of staff in business analysis when all training budgets have been cut?

Imagine this, your company has money available for you to train yourself or your team members and if that money is not spent it will be wasted – for you, for your team and for the company?

Why let money go to waste? 

Why miss this excellent opportunity to develop your team?

We’ve helped other companies develop their business analysts. We would love to show you how we can help. 

Find out more

Download our Apprenticeship brochure

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Modern Apprenticeships: surprisingly suitable for all ages

The term apprenticeship often conjures up the idea of a 16 school-leaver, fresh out of their education and looking to kick-start their career. In fact, the modern apprenticeship is a completely different way to train.

Overhauled in 2017 by the Department for Education, the apprenticeship programme is intended to address two significant problems in the uk; poor productivity in the UK, and a significant fall in employers’ investment in training over recent decades.

Apprenticeships provide a flexible and affordable way to learn new skills as part of your existing role.

Here are a few things you may not know about apprenticeships:

  • an apprenticeship combines work with training – at any level, from school-leavers through to degree-equivalent levels
  • apprentices can be new or existing employees (e.g you can recruit for an apprenticeship role)
  • an apprenticeship must last for at least 12 months
  • apprentices must spend at least 20% of their paid hours doing off-the-job training. Other than that, there is complete flexibility around the training
  • this training may be delivered by an authorised provider, the employer or a combination of the two
  • Government contributes to the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment, so if you’re a company it’s an effective way to deliver training without using an additional training budget
  • at the beginning of an apprenticeship your training provider (e.g somebody like us) will sit down with the apprentice and manager to agree workload and schedule for the entire period of the apprenticeship

When might this training be right for you?

An apprenticeship might be right for you, if you can identify with any of the following statements:

“I’ve been working in a Business Analysis role, but fell I need to upskill and formalise my qualifications to help me deliver my role better.”

“I’m looking for a change on career, and considering business analysis.”

“I need to take the next step in my career, and would like a qualification to help me.”

“I  want to be more efficient in my business analyst role, but I’m not sure which qualification will help me.”

We’re working to bring you some case studies from existing business analyst apprentices, to help give you a flavour of what you can expect from a modern apprenticeship in business analysis. For more information about apprenticeships, you can find out more about becoming a business analysis apprentice, or search for an apprenticeship here 

Our mentors use this handy little tool at the beginning of the programme to help apprentices identify their current level of expertise and where they can aspire to growth during the 18 months. Where would you place yourself right now?

Find out more

Download our apprenticeship brochure

 

 

 

 

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Business Analysts can change the world!

Business Analysis is about CHANGE

  • ensuring that all stakeholders are involved
  • understanding their needs, wants and issues
  • specifying the agreed changes that bring the most value to all
  • working with IT and other partners to build the processes and systems  that support the change
  • helping embed the changes with all stakeholders and ensuring that value is added

As an Apprentice Business Analyst (BA) you’ll:

– spend about 20% of your time over 18 months developing your BA skills
– be mentored and supported by experienced BAs
– work as a BA with colleagues and teams involved with change in the Council
– develop the soft skills that support BA and change work
– understand agile approaches to change and gain an agile qualification
– gain the BCS BA Diploma – the most sought after BA qualification set
Find out more about the skill you’ll need as a Business Analyst here

As part of the Business Analysis apprenticeships programme, we will help develop your soft skills as well as your technical ability:

  • good interpersonal skills
  • basic English and Maths
  • curiosity and willingness to learn
  • analytical skills to help get to the root of a problem
  • big picture thinking and attention to detail
  • desire to make improvements happen
If you want to help change the World, you might be interested in a Business Analysis apprenticeship.
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7 tips for passing the BCS Business Analysis exam

If you’re looking to pass the BCS Business Analysis exam questions,  you’ve come to the right place! With the right preparations, you can easily ace your exams.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has put together these tips to help you approach your BCS Business Analysis Exam questions with confidence.

What are multiple-choice exams?

A multiple-choice exam for the BCS business analysis certification means every question will have 4 possible answers and only one is correct.

The exams have 40 questions and you need to score 26 our of 40 to pass the exam and achieve your qualification.

The following business analysis certifications are assessed by multiple-choice exams:

We recommend the following tips that can help you pass the Business Analysis Certification:

1. Keep your eye on the time.
2. Don’t change your mind if you are unsure of the answer.
3. Skip questions you don’t know the answer for.
4. Read the questions first, then the answer, and then the scenario.
5. Rule out the wrong or incorrect answers (only for paper exams).
6. Use highlighter if necessary (only for paper exams).
7. Be careful when you transpose that you don’t miss questions (only for paper exams)

 

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BCS Business Analysis Sample Exam Questions & Tips

 

Are you considering taking the BCS Business Analysis exams, but have some concerns?

Maybe you’re all ready to book your BCS Business Analysis exam, but worried about what to expect? Maybe you’re just curious about the type of questions you’ll get asked in the exam. Worry over, we’ve put together a handy little sample exam, and some Top Tips from our Trainers to help you approach your exam with confidence. Good luck!

At Metadata Training we understand that you need the right conditions to pass your exams. That’s why we approach things a little differently to other training providers:

  • Get taught by skilled trainers will offer extra exam support if they think you need it.
  • Learn in a small class size means you get a personal service which means you benefit from having time to ask questions and be better prepared for the exam.
  • You can choose when you take the exam – if you are not ready and need more time to practice you can defer the date.
  • If you fail, we’ll help you with free exam preparation sessions – we are here to guide you until you pass and we won’t leave you on your own.
  • Our trainers don’t read from slides – they will show you how things work in practice, and how to add structure to your work.

If you’re looking to pass the BCS Business Analysis exam questions,  you’ve come to the right place! With the right preparations, you can easily ace your exams.

Rod Simpson, one of our highly-rated trainers has put together these tips to help you approach your BCS Business Analysis Exam questions with confidence.

What are multiple-choice exams?

A multiple-choice exam for the BCS business analysis certification means every question will have 4 possible answers and only one is correct.

The exams have 40 questions and you need to score 26 our of 40 to pass the exam and achieve your qualification.

The following business analysis certifications are assessed by multiple-choice exams:

We recommend the following tips that can help you pass the Business Analysis Certification:

1. Keep your eye on the time.
2. Don’t change your mind if you are unsure of the answer.
3. Skip questions you don’t know the answer for.
4. Read the questions first, then the answer, and then the scenario.
5. Rule out the wrong or incorrect answers (only for paper exams).
6. Use highlighter if necessary (only for paper exams).
7. Be careful when you transpose that you don’t miss questions (only for paper exams)

 

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Which course: BCS Foundation in Business Analysis or BCS Business Analysis Practice?

 

We get asked this question a lot so we decided to give you some advice in an article.

To get more tips on which qualifications to choose and where to start make sure you download our business analysis guide – click here to download.

BCS Foundation in Business Analysis

The course objectives are to give the learner a complete overview of business analysis and learn useful tools and techniques.

The learning is done by understanding the theory and then answer multiple-choice questions to get the right answer.

The foundation in the title convinces a lot of professionals to start their training with this course. This is not however mandatory. The BCS qualifications are modular which means you can take them in any order and work your way towards the higher level qualification, the BCS Business Analysis certificate.

The course is heavy in theoretical concepts so if you are new to business analysis you will learn a lot. We use mind maps to show how everything relates and make it easy for you to remember the theory for the exam. You will also practice for your exam using our online exam simulation environment.

The exam is a one-hour closed-book examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The pass mark is 26/40.

To find out more about this course – click here 

BCS Business Analysis Practice

This course objective is to learn to apply business analysis techniques to understand the business objectives, analyse project issues, investigate stakeholders perspectives and identify potential business solutions.

This is the type of work you are expected to do before you move on to eliciting requirements. It is a critical part and if not done your time will be wasted on implementing the wrong solution to the wrong business problem. And the wrong solution can have a negative impact on your organisation!

The learning is done by applying the theory to real-world case studies and discussing this in groups and with a very experienced trainer.

The BCS Business Analysis Practice (BAP) is one of the mandatory modules if you want to achieve the BCS Business Analysis Diploma certificate. This means the knowledge you gain on this course is essential to business analysts.

Compared to BCS Foundation in Business Analysis it is also a more hands-on, practical course. You will apply the theory to real-world case studies then discuss solutions in groups and with a very experienced trainer. You will clearly understand how the concepts apply to the real world.

Because this is a more practical course, we recommend you start your training with this course.

The good thing about doing the course with us is that when you leave the course you will know exactly the preparation and analysis you need to do before moving on to eliciting requirements. Also, you will know how to make sure that the project stakeholders are on board so they don’t jeopardise your project

There’s nothing more wasteful and frustrating than putting a lot of effort into eliciting requirements for change initiatives that the stakeholders don’t want and reject.

The exam for this course is an open book exam based on a case study. It is very similar to the ones we will discuss in class so the chances you will pass are very high. We have a 95% pass rate on this course.

To find out more about this course – click here

Which one of the two to choose then?

If you like to first get an understanding of theory and then move to practical work then start with the BCS Foundation in Business Analysis. If you like to learn by doing then start with the BCS Business Analysis Practice. Most delegates do both as they want to achieve the higher qualification, the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis.

To get more tips on which qualifications to choose and where to start make sure you download our business analysis guide – click here to download.

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Stories from the workplace – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon completed his Diploma in Business Analysis with Metadata in 2016.

Here we ask him a few questions about why he took the course and his experience.

Paul, what made you decide to take the diploma?

I was already doing a business analyst type role in my department but I didn’t realise there was actually a separate team of business analysts because the company is so big. When I asked to be transferred to the business analyst team I was told it was a requirement to be a fully qualified BA. And so I got in touch with Metadata to complete my diploma with them and finish my business analyst qualification.

What were you doing before?

I’ve been everything in my career from an accountant, a computer programmer, a systems analyst, a project manager and working my way through the IT department. I got earmarked within the IT department as a creative type and someone with good communication skills. That was the start of my formal career as a business analyst and moving into my current role.

And what is your role now?

I work as a business analyst in the pensions administration team. We work with companies to deliver outsourced benefits administration services covering pension administration, treasury and accounting, pensioner payroll and trustee secretarial services.

What did you learn from taking the diploma?

I found the practical exercises the most helpful. It’s a bit like building a shed; you can sit around drawing diagrams until you’re blue in the face but until you pick up some wood and a hammer you don’t really know what it’s like. In the same way with the courses, knowing everything about the theory is generally not that useful, you need someone who’s been there, done it and can do it again. The practical exercises were where the rubber hit the road and you discovered this is how you do it and this is what the results look like.

How have you found working as a BA?

It’s a very varied role which I enjoy. It also requires a good level of interpersonal skill which is something that doesn’t always suit people in IT! In my experience, certain job roles call for a certain type of person and it’s not always possible to mould yourself into what is being asked. For me, being a business analyst I can bring my creativity and communication skills to the fore which really helps.

And finally, any tips you’d give for anyone thinking about taking the diploma?

I’ve said it already but be sure you’re comfortable working with people and have good communication skills. On top of this having a naturally analytical mind will also stand you in good stead!

Paul Dillon completed his BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. To find out more about this certification – click here.

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What qualifications do you need to be a business analyst?

Demand for business analysis skills has increased as the pace of change has grown. Often this is driven by technology, the traditional BA role ‘bridges the gap’ between business experts and technical software teams. Apart from business analysts, project managers, business change managers, product owners and software developers benefit from BA training and qualifications.

Currently, there are two main bodies who can support professionals in achieving a business analysis qualification: BCS (The British Computer Society) and the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), both of which offer a number of BA qualifications tailored to your experience, career goals and personal preference.

Business Analysis Diploma Qualification

Developed and managed by BCS this remains the most sort-after business analysis qualification in the UK. As it is divided into individual modules,  it is easy for professionals to achieve the relevant certifications within their personal time constraints and according to their specific interests. If you are looking to gain important practical knowledge with hands-on training experience then this is the qualification you should choose.

How do you achieve the diploma?

The BCS diploma in business analysis consists of a foundation and three practitioner qualifications which are followed by an oral exam.

Each qualification stands alone and, in various combinations (IREB and IIBA qualifications also give partial exemptions), leads to the International BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. The delegates can take the four courses over as short a time as 8 continuous days or as several sessions spread over a year.

The courses can be taken at dates and in any order to suit you.

Core Practitioner (both mandatory):

These courses can be taken together in a one-week fast track, see Fast Track Business Analysis Course.

Foundation (choose one of the below):

Practitioner (choose one of the below):

Oral exam preparation

The diploma is completed by a 50-minute oral exam with two examiners. A one-day training day gives excellent preparation for this exam

What do we offer?

Metadata Training offers a variety of cost-effective diploma bundles that can help you achieve the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis at a reduced cost. Click here to find out more.

CBAP/CCBA Qualifications

The CCBA & CBAP qualifications are developed and managed by IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) and are very popular outside the UK. The qualification process is more complex and rigorous and unlike the BCS the exams are based on multiple choice questions.

The CCBA & CBAP qualifications offer a more systematic and comprehensive structure of the role of the business analyst and the way they should perform their work. The process, as well as the tools, are fully explained in the BABOK, the standard guide for these qualifications. These qualifications are heavy in theory and there is a lengthy application you need to go through in order to sit the exam.

IIBA has chapters in most countries who organise events for business analysts. They also have online resources for business analysts to use and continue their personal development.

What do we offer?

Metadata Training offers a course to support you achieve the CBAP or the CCBA qualifications. The qualification you choose depends on your current level of experience. Click here to find out more.

Which qualification should you choose?

The BCS Diploma with its modular approach makes it easier for a professional to break the training into smaller chunks and work towards achieving the highly regarded BCS Diploma in Business Analysis. In addition, a significant attraction to the BCS Diploma is the fact that it has no expiration date

Achieving one of the IIBA qualifications requires more commitment and dedication because it’s based on the BABOK guide which contains a high amount of theory and it involves a lengthy application process where you need to detail your experience and provide references. In achieving this you will be part of a selected group of professionals who are highly committed to a continual professional development as the qualifications need to be renewed every 5 years.

If you still need more advice on which qualifications to choose or where to start, you can download our business analysis guide or speak with a course advisor today on 020 7272 3726.

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Become a Business Analyst

We are often asked the following questions:

  1. How do you become a business analyst?
  2. Can the business analysis qualifications help me get into business analysis?

We would like to share with you our experience and thoughts.

Many professionals engage in business analysis work in their current job even though they don’t have a business analyst title.

(more…)

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Business Analysis Weekend Courses

We run weekend courses to support busy professionals continue their professional development without taking time off.

Our weekend courses are very popular and allow our delegates the flexibility they need to achieve their qualifications.

(more…)

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