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15 Insights from the Global State of Business Analysis Report

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How did this past year impact business analysis work? Which are the top paying industries? Find these answers and more in this year’s Global State of Business Analysis Report (formerly IIBA’s Annual Business Analysis Salary Survey Report) for IIBA Members.

2021 IIBA Global State of Business Analysis Report shares important business analysis trends around the world to help develop your career path.


Each year we ask the global business analysis community to answer some basic questions about their work. Over the years, it has grown into an industry report that tracks demographic and practice maturity. This year we collected responses from more than 4,000 professionals around the world. Then we analyzed the data, shared some input from IIBA’s Global Research Program team, and put together the report. 

Growing Opportunities for Business Analysis Professionals 

This year we added some pandemic related questions to learn just how professionals have been affected by COVID-19. Less than 10% of respondents reported losing their job, while another 10% reported the pandemic has opened new opportunities for them at work.  

  • 46% of organizations increased their focus on business data analytics 
  • 76% of Business Analysis professionals are practicing Agile approaches 
  • 80% of organizations have implemented digital transformation or are in the planning/implementation stage (this is up 3% from 2020) 
  • 65% of Business Analysis professionals are involved in digital initiatives 
  • 31% report working in a Product Owner role 

What do the demographics tell us? 

Let’s take a look at demographics. On average this year, men are earning 6% higher than women. This is a shift from what we’ve seen in previous years’ surveys. 

Global average age, hours worked, and job titles remained relatively consistent with 2020’s findings but we did see a drop in full-time employment status. 

  • 45% report their job title as Business Analyst or Senior Business Analyst, while 65% report “Business Analyst” is in their job title indicating business analysis work is done in different areas, or the role includes other responsibilities 
  • 26% report that business analysis is recognized by their organization for enabling strategic change 

The growing demand for data analytics is creating the opportunity for business analysis professionals in certain analysis practices to become more engaged in proposing strategies. IIBA’s Global Research Report, Achieving More with Data, found organizations that utilize business analysis experience better outcomes. The research found that not only are failure rates considerably lower when engaging business analysis professionals, but the ROI is also 3X higher for high performers who routinely deploy business analysis professionals into a more strategic role. Those are impressive findings! 

How important is Certification? 

Investing in yourself to enhance your skillset is always a wise investment. GSBA asked respondents why they got certified and the number one answer was to gain confidence at work. It seems the top motivation for earning your certification is to confirm your knowledge which in turn helps boost your confidence in your abilities which can also lead to feeling more fulfilled. From the hiring manager’s perspective certifications are important. According to The 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, over 70% of hiring managers report they are more likely to hire someone with a certification. 

  • GSBA respondents who hold at least one certification earn 12% more than non-certified professionals 
  • Respondents who have at least one IIBA certification earn 12% more than their peers 
  • Average earnings for top 1/3 of CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) holders is $120,395 USD  
  • 58% of respondents hold a CBAP certification 
  • Top 3 certifications include Agile, Business Analysis, and Product Owner 

Do Business Analysis Professionals Feel Valued at Work?

Most respondents either agreed or somewhat agreed that business analysis is understood and valued in their organization as being key to enabling change to drive project and business success.

  • 35% agree while 47% somewhat agree that senior leaders value the business analysis role 
  • 34% strongly agree and 47% somewhat agree that senior leadership understands the role of business analysis 
  • 74% say investment in business analysis would reduce project risk in their organization while 37% agree somewhat with this 
This is just a snapshot of the data we report on in the GSBA Report. Want to learn more? Click here to read the full report

Become an IIBA Member today to access the Global Research Reports and get access to insights on business analysis that affect your work.

How can you use business analysis to grow your career and what tools do you have at your disposal as an IIBA Member to help? Register for our upcoming webinar where we dig into some key insights from the GSBA and where business analysis fits in the modern workforce.