History of Business Analysis


From time immemorial, Business Analysis has been in existence. On a daily basis, it is practiced knowingly or unknowingly. As a practice within an organization, it started in the 1940s when the first programmable computer was birthed. Then, the use of computer systems was primarily by the government, universities and the organizations that invented them. In addition, they were not very efficient, for example storing data was difficult due to a large amount of space it consumed.

As we all know, change is inevitable. Things changed in the early ’90s leading to a rapid increase in the need to incorporate the use of IT in businesses. Data storage was enhanced user-friendly programs and interfaces were invented. As a result, the demand for software programmers grew significantly. One will imagine that after this, a problem has been solved. But, NO! Something was still wrong.

In as much as the advancement of IT was to improved to fulfill its purpose, It was still expensive!. Why?

The value of technology was apparent, but large sum of money was being spent on software rewrites, updates to meet business needs, maintenance costs and resolving software defects.

No matter how expert the Business users and the Programmers were in their area of discipline, communication between them was hard. Business users could not speak the technical language to specify their needs effectively. The Programmers, on the other hand, could not always interpret what the business users were trying to convey. Thus, Business Analysis was born!

At first, Business Analysts were usually called Systems Analysts and the role was typically focused on software engineering. This was not practical due to the lack of understanding when gathering requirement. Therefore, in order to support the business model, the role of the Business Analyst had to be developed and has done so over the last twenty years. For IT systems to deliver success for the business, business needs must drive the development of technology solutions, business changes must be reflected in IT, and an accurate definition of the IT requirements must be given. These three components are what Business Analysis comprises of in today’s global economy.

Over the last decade, the importance of Business Analysts has really been recognized as businesses more readily seek technology solutions to solve business problems. Due to the added business focus a Business Analyst provides, businesses have been able to solve problems that do not even require technology changes. In areas like business process improvement and organizational changes. As a result, Business Analysts are now important at the initiation stage of projects where they don’t only define the business requirements but outline the current state and future state of the business as it relates to the business problem and solution.

Generally, Business Analysis incorporates the knowledge of business elements and understanding of IT systems that are useful in determining how both can be of benefit to each other. In turn, the incorporation of this gives businesses a competitive edge and enables progression to take place quicker in organizations.

As a result of this, different institute like IIBA, PMI, and BCS felt the need to standardize the business analysis practice. Here, we are going to focus on explaining the History of IIBA.

IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis™) is an association for business analysts that is dedicated to the advancement of the Business Analysis profession by setting and maintaining global standards for the practice and certification.

In 2003, the International Institute of Business Analysis was founded as an independent non-profit professional association. Some of its objectives were to :

  • act as the voice of the business analysis community,
  • support the recognition of the profession
  • maintain standards for the practice and certification and,
  • provide the resources to help individuals enhance and advance their career path.

Bearing these objectives in mind, the Body of knowledge committee was formed in 2004. In 2005, the BABOK Guide was released and the CBAP certification program was implemented. Members of the institute grew to over 5,000 members by 2008, and to 16,000 in 2011. As of 2014, the International Institute of Business Analysis had over 27,000 members, with 109 chapters on 6 continents.

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