My ECBA Journey

My ECBA Journey

My ECBA JourneyAs a marketing coordinator, I had no idea what a business analyst was before coming to Watermark…and I’m still learning. Now, with IIBA’s new level 1 certificate (ECBA), I decided to take the plunge and learn more about this role, in order to educate myself and be able to speak BA with our customers.

The journey has just started but I will be documenting the process and providing a real-life perspective, in hopes to help others interested in ECBA certification, too. Let my journey, including the good, the bad, and the ugly, help you in pursuing an ECBA as well.

NervousJanuary 20, 2017: It’s official! I’m registered for the ECBA Certification Prep course (gulp). All I can think is, “I hope I can follow along. I hope it makes sense. What have I done?”

February 2, 2017: Course materials have arrived, including a binder of course slides (it’s huge – this is level 1, right?!) and a packet of additional course materials, credential reporting information, and information on our instructor and Watermark Learning. At least I already have the information on Watermark down, being that I work here! I’m already ahead of the game…right?

February 21, 2017: First day of class and I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous. My only background is in marketing and retail, so I hope this information clicks. There is a lot of information but so far, so good. And the great thing about this virtual class is the recordings are available for review for 90 days after the class is over, so if I miss part of a class or want to review, I can go back. Things I should/need to do: read sections of the BABOK before or after what was covered that day and create flashcards for terms/mnemonics covered.

February 22, 2017: Second day of class. The review before class helps to go over the main points. Today, there were lots of terms and Underlying Competencies to learn and know. I really need to start making flashcards.

Mind Out of OrderFebruary 23, 2017: Third day of class. “How can there be another week of class left?!” Now, in all fairness, the class is very engaging and each day is only 3.5 hours long for the virtual format, but there is so much to know! And the exam is only 50 questions. Previous days’ topics and terms continually show up so it helps drill points home, but I’m still waiting for that “a-ha” moment.

February 28, 2017: Fourth day, second week. Four days have gone by and I still haven’t made flashcards or read any of the BABOK. However, no one else in class has yet, either, so I feel ok. Life happens. I feel like once class is over, I can devote some of that time to going over section by section.

March 1, 2017: Fifth day of class and we spent the whole day on the Requirements Analysis & Design Definition Knowledge Area (KA), as this KA has the largest percentage of questions on the exam. [For more on the ECBA exam blueprint, click here.] Since this is such an important KA, it was nice to have the full day to cover everything. All of the KAs make sense…it’s just pulling everything together that will take more time.

YayMarch 2, 2017: Last day of class – I made it! We covered the last two (smaller, easier) KAs and spent a good portion on review and sample questions. The class has been a great jump start into learning the information. Now it’s up to me to keep studying and reviewing. (No pressure!) Best part of the day was applying to the ECBA exam and seeing “Requirements met.” [You can’t add your class to the “Professional development” section of the application until it is officially over.] Now, when I’m ready, I just have to pay the application fee and actually send the application in for approval!

GuiltyApril 25, 2017: Wow, how is it almost May already?! Time flies when you’re…uh…busy. I’m sure most of you can relate to how easy it is to get sidetracked from preparing for a certification. Life gets hectic and all of a sudden two months have gone by! LIke a diet, I keep telling myself, “This will be the week I start reading the BABOK and making flashcards. I’ll do one chapter a week, or every other week.”  Alas, here I type, feeling guilty about my (lack of) progress. Anyone have any tips?

To be continued…

Business Analysis Training

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  1. Any updates on your progress?
    This will be very interesting to follow since I have been through classes with other providers and I’m just finishing a 3 month certification study group with the Seattle chapter of IIBA.
    I am looking at Watermark for potential exam prep simulations. I don’t need more classes but I would like to start my exam simulations.

    1. Hi Keith, thank you for following along, and for reminding me that I haven’t updated in a while. Unfortunately, there is not much update. I know most people preparing for their certifications get sidetracked with work and life in general. I am no exception to this, and the spring has been very busy. I can tell you that Watermark’s ECBA Online Study Exam tool is a great study aid to prepare for the exam. I haven’t started my own subscription, but we used it in class periodically to review Knowledge Areas, and I iintend to start mine once I have read more of the BABOK and created my flashcards. I will be sure to update more regularly, but please feel free to contact if you have any other questions.

  2. Hi ,
    This is pretty interesting! I hope if u can keep updating. By the way, I just started my career as a trainee Business Analyst and I feel I need to know a lot more.So I thought of starting ECBA as an additional qualification. Can you please provide me details and tell me fro where should I start ? 🙂 It would be a great help.

    1. Hi Dileesha, I’m glad you are enjoying the article. Unfortunately, as with everyone else studying for a certification, our work and personal lives can delay us from preparing for and taking our exams. 🙂

      There are two great places to start in learning about ECBA. First, check out our ECBA certification page, which provides information on what an ECBA is, why you should get your ECBA certification, and steps on how to prepare for and pass your exam. Secondly, be sure to check out IIBA’s ECBA page, as well as their entire site, for more information on the profession of a BA. You can also purchase a copy of the BABOK through IIBA, or, if you become an IIBA member, you can download a copy of the BABOK for free. We also provide a free copy, along with other study materials, in our ECBA Certificate Prep course.

      If you have any other questions, please contact us at Thanks again and good luck!

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