Business Analysis Blueprint
Sylvia NwokoDisclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the perspectives of IIBA.
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Despite her unorthodox approach to getting certified, business analyst Sylvia Nwoko can’t imagine her career without her CBAP. As the current communications lead for Social Development Direct, she uses her business analysis skills to find better ways of doing things, listen carefully, and create innovative solutions that meet the organization’s needs.
In the latest instalment of Business Analysis Blueprint, Sylvia discusses her new communications role, her unique entry into the profession, and her love of personal and professional development.
How did you first get involved or interested in business analysis?
Many years ago, during a conversation with a friend, I learned that business analysis is all about improvements. I am, and always have been, interested in finding better ways of doing things. So it was a perfect match!
What is your current role and what does a typical day look like?
I’m currently the communications lead for Social Development Direct (SDDirect), a social enterprise and leading global provider of innovative gender equality and social inclusion consultancy and research. I oversee the implementation of the communications strategy, including brand identity development, website management, social media, events, and external and internal communications.
I’ve only been in the role for four months, so I’m still finding my feet. For now, my typical day involves lots of meetings, consultations, requirement gathering, and document reviews. These provide me with a clearer understanding of the requirements for the different portfolios within the organization.
Why did you decide to pursue the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) certification and how has it changed your career?
This question always makes me smile because my response is quite unconventional. I took business analysis training to gain more understanding of what business analysis is all about, not to validate existing experience. I was then encouraged to take the CBAP certification exam, which I passed.
Afterward, I started looking for opportunities to gain practical experience, to apply the theoretical knowledge I had acquired at the time. This shaped my approach to tasks and responsibilities that came my way. I had my critical thinking and problem-solving hats on more times than not.
Talk about how certification impacts your responsibilities, interactions with stakeholders, or ability to drive successful projects.
First, I would say that it got me noticed. With certification, I took on new tasks and found innovative ways to achieve them. Now I always think there's a better way of getting things done.
In my current role, my CBAP certification has positively impacted my responsibilities and interaction with stakeholders. I listen twice as much as I used to, and I consider solutions that align with portfolio requirements and organizational objectives.
How have you benefited from IIBA membership?
Oh yes! Access to IIBA's KnowledgeHub has been a fantastic benefit. The number of resources available makes it an all-encompassing tool.
How do you continue to enhance your skills and knowledge after getting certified?
I love personal and professional development. I always attend webinars and training sessions and browse the IIBA website to further enhance my knowledge. Everything is evolving, so we constantly need to update our knowledge, skills, and mindset.
What advice would you give to business analysts who are just starting out in the field?
As you start out, become an IIBA member and get involved with your local chapter. Join the community of practice, too, and volunteer for projects to learn practical applications of business analysis.
As much as possible, ask questions, work in teams, and collaborate.
Which famous figure, living or historical, would you want to have dinner with?
I’d like to have dinner with GTBank Chairman Hezekiah Oyinlola and find out what drives the bank’s innovative model. They’re always on top of innovations to best suit their customers’ needs.
Know someone who is making an impact as a business analysis professional? Reach out to email@example.com to have them featured in our next Business Analysis Blueprint.
About the Author
Robert McClements is the Communications and Media Relations Specialist at IIBA. With over six years of communications experience at non-governmental organizations, he contributes to IIBA’s marketing and communications efforts in support of the business analysis profession and community. Residing in his hometown of Montreal, Robert enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, and reading.