Behind the scenes: Statistical Business Analysis certification exam

Ever wonder how the SAS Global Certification team comes up with a new exam?  Well I’m about to take you behind the scenes of our latest certification – SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling Credential.

With the prevalent use of SAS statistical software for data analysis, our customers have expressed a desire for  a credential geared toward analytics professionals with strong backgrounds in SAS statistical procedures such as REG, GLM, and LOGISTIC.

It was a major collaborative approach from development to final creation. We started by talking to business leaders and hiring managers to find out what they were looking for in the Statistical Business Analyst job role. We also scoured job boards to see what skills were needed and in demand. Statistical Analysts fill a large variety of positions:  forecasting, quality control, and market basket analysis among others. Recognizing that no single certification could cover these diverse topics, we have focused this credential on regression and predictive modeling techniques using SAS.

After this research, we brought together industry professionals, college statistics professors and SAS instructors  to write the exam items. We followed it up with a major technical review and beta exam before creating the final exam.

The SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst helps with logistical regression and the creation of models to solve business challenges such as assessing credit risk and targeting marketing campaigns. Essentially helping you make better business decisions. This new certification complements our existing Predictive Modeling Using Enterprise Miner certification by providing a statistical credential that focuses on Base SAS and SAS/STAT procedures and programming techniques.

The recommended classes for this credential are the Statistics 1 and Predictive Modeling Using Logistic Regression class. While there are no prerequisite SAS certifications required, strong SAS programming skills are critical for success.

It took a lot of hours, energy and coffee to create the certification, but the process was rewarding and we’re excited about rolling it out.

If you’re interested in taking the exam, it will be available on Sept 28. In the meantime, you can find more information on the exam registration page or email us at certification@sas.com.

tags: certification

27 Comments

  1. Posted September 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mark for providing some background to the certification.

    I participated in the beta exam and found it a good test of your knowledgei the areas of regression and predictive modelling. It covers your understanding of statistical theory, SAS syntax and interpretation of results - all attributes of a statistical business analysis. I learnt last week that I passed the exam, the first in Australia and I am excited to now have gained the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling Credential http://support.sas.com/certify/creds/sba.html

    I am now looking forward to helping other SAS users to achieve this certification. SAS users in Australa can join me, in November/December as I teach the SAS Australia Business Analytics Bootcamp - http://www.sas.com/reg/gen/sp/Business_Analytics_Boot_Camp

    • murali
      Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi what is the percentage of questions come in exam as statistical theory, sas syntax and interpreting results

      • Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Murali,

        We don't currently provide a % breakdown by objective. However, all of our exam objectives are listed on the Exam Content page and all objectives are tested.

    • Nishant
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      hi Michelle
      will you guide about free links books etc for preparing for sba cert exam
      regards
      Nishant

      • Posted October 28, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        Hi Nishant,

        I believe the best preparation for the Statistical Business Analyst certification exam are the 2 courses that SAS Institute offer and recommend - http://support.sas.com/certify/creds/sba.html#t3 as well as hands on experience and statistical theory.

        All the best for your preparation.

        Kind Regards,
        Michelle

  2. George Onul
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I looked at the 'SAS Global Certification Program' link that was provided in this blog and under the 'Exam Preparation' tab there were some 'sample questions'. I am confused with the answer to
    'Item 5'. So, can someone please explain.
    Thanks,
    George

  3. George Onul
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Sorry, actually Item 4 is the one I was unsure of, the question about the most important predictor of the response variable.
    Sorry for the confusion.
    Thanks again,
    George

    • bala
      Posted July 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      All you do is;
      1. Find the absolute value of the standardized estimate.
      2.Choose the biggest value.
      3.Read the corresponding variable;That would be the most important predictor of the response variable.

  4. Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    George, can you check question 4 again and let me know if you still have a question? It was being updated at the same time you posted your comment.
    Thanks,
    Mark

    • George Onul
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Thanks Mark,
      The SAS Certification people e-mailed me about the change...

  5. Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    thanks for sharing this! it is important to understand the wide variety of circumstances under which you could be working. Basically, a business analyst (BA) is someone that analyzes the design and organization features of businesses, companies, organizations – any conglomerate really – and makes recommendations based on his findings. This can include anything from analyzing business needs and company policies to developing a business process model and interpreting regulations necessary for technical systems.

    • Posted October 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      JhenC,

      We had many discussions about the role of the Business Analyst during the development of this exam. It is true that it can mean different things to different organizations. This is why we included both the word "Statistical" and the phrase "Regression and Modeling" in the credential title. We hope that this helps to narrow down the intent of this credential. For further definition, we refer people to the list of exam objectives: http://support.sas.com/certify/creds/sba.html#t2

  6. Shashank
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark,
    Can you please advise if we can pursue ' SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling Credential' after SAS Base programming certification?
    I mean without the knowledge of SAS Certified Advanced Programmer is it viable to directly jump on to the SAS statistical business analyst certification....Please share your thoughts on this.

    • Mark Stevens Mark
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you could take the new exam without having taken the Advanced Programming exam. The exams are independent of each other.

  7. Ketan Gulati
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the info --- since this test is pretty new and of course the sample test is too small, while the training are expensive ( if I talk of the one's being offered by SAS), I want to know if I have prepared statistics at my own end, and understand the regression concepts strongly, can some hands on knowledge of SAS/STAT would be enough for me to appear for this exam....

    Also, any relative miminum professional work experience on these skills is required to be eligible??

    • Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Ketan,

      While I recommend the training, it is not required. You can follow the exam objectives and prepare to answer questions in these areas. You should definately have hands-on experience working with SAS/STAT software. Experience isn't required for eligibility, but we recommend a minimum of 3 months experience, but 6 months - 1 year would be better.

  8. Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for good and valuable information, I just completed my MBA first year, Can you please guide me about courses that are after MBA or with MBA, those will helpful to my carrier.

    Thankyou..!

  9. ratheen
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Is there a prep guide available in India?

    Thanks,
    Ratheen

  10. Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great information, and thanks for the class recommendations

  11. Haneef A
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    Will there be a practice test published for this certification? Any books that you would recommend apart from the SAS e-courses?

    Thank you!

    Haneef

  12. Syed Ali
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Hi, I am MBA with computer Science in graduation. I am working as a buyer in Carrefour (leading) retailer in the world. We do planning and forecasting as part of our job. Now I am looking to further my career in Analytics. However I am not sure which of the two certification to go for:
    1) SAS Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS Enterprise Miner 7 OR
    2) SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling

    Considering the fact that I have a background in Computer Science but currently working in a business related job, which track would be more suitable for me.

    Regards,
    Ali

    • Mark Stevens Mark Stevens
      Posted July 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      It would mostly depend on which SAS software package you are using. If you work more with Enterprise Miner, then option 1 is better. If you do more programming using Base SAS and SAS/STAT, option 2 would be a btter fit.

  13. Posted January 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    This is great, would you happen to know any books you could recommend not including these SAS e-courses?

    Thanks!
    Anita

  14. Vinay
    Posted January 13, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing insights regarding this certification, and also answering posted by others - it has been very helpful. I am a professional market research working with top notch market research agency, looking to venture in advance analytic career.Thus, I am planning to get this certification.

    I have no experience in SAS Programming; do I need basic training of SAS Base programming before I start to study for this certification. FYI - I have good knowledge about statistical analysis such as ANOVA, regression, logistics regression etc.

    Cheers

    • Mark Stevens Mark Stevens
      Posted January 14, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Vinay,
      Yes, you should be proficient using SAS to manipulate data and also using SAS to perform the statistical procedures. I suggest looking at the sample questions on our web page (linked in the original post) to see examples of the use of SAS programming in test questions. You may want to consider our eLearning versions of our STAT1 and PMLR courses.

      Sincerely - Mark

One Trackback

  1. By Top 10 blogs of 2012 - The SAS Training Post on January 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

    [...] Behind the scenes: Statistical Business Analysis certification exam By Mark Stevens [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <p> <pre lang="" line="" escaped=""> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>