Definition

BABOK Guide (Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge)

Contributor(s): Kate Brush

The guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide) is a book from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) that provides business analysts (BAs) with strategies for using data to improve an organization's workflow processes, technology, products and services. The purpose of the guide is to give analysts an overview of the tools they can use to identify a desired future state and strategies for using data to drive decisions. 

Key concepts addressed in the BABOK Guide include strategies for:

  • Determining a business need.
  • Determining what will be required to meet the business need. 
  • Collecting and confirming relevant input from users, customers and stakeholders
  • Defining and modeling requirements and solution designs.
  • Using data to model proposed solutions.
  • Evaluating the value each proposed solution model provides.
  • Making improvements that will increase the value of a proposed solution model.
  • Managing and organizing the necessary business analytics to document the success or failure of a proposed solution. 
  • Controlling and preserving requirements and design information from start to finish.

For clarity's sake, the information the guide contents is organized by business, stakeholder, transition and solution requirements.  

Business requirements consider the business's objectives as specified by the customer. These are usually high level business goals since every product, software application or service developed by a company has some sort of goal that it must achieve.

Stakeholder requirements represent the wishes and demands of people who hold some sort of interest in the business -- either invested or other. These requirements tend to be more individualistic and unique to the stakeholder since they may be made specifically for a project, based on a stakeholder's perception. Sometimes, stakeholder requirements connect business and solution requirements.

Transition requirements are the elements necessary to successfully implement a software application. These requirements may state that the user has to be trained to use the system effectively or that a previous year's data should be moved to the new system in order to draw comparisons.

Solution requirements consider the characteristics and features that are expected of the new software. There are two types of solution requirements: functional requirements and nonfunctional requirements. Functional requirements include specific features that are normally anticipated in the system, such as the ability to perform an online purchase, register a user or connect to Wi-Fi. Nonfunctional requirements include behaviors related to the system, such as the expectation of how fast a page loads or how quickly the system turns on. All solution requirements are detailed and can be used by development teams to construct a new system.

The first version of the BABOK Guide was published in 2005. The latest version of the guide (BABOK Guide v3) was published in 2015. 

BABOK certifications

The BABOK Guide is used as the reference book for four certification levels in business analytics:

ECBAEntry Certificate in Business Analysis

CCBACertification of Capability in Business Analysis

CBAPCertified Business Analysis Professional

CBATL - Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader

This was last updated in August 2019

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