Thursday, July 05, 2012

Data warehouse certification , Business Intelligence and Analytics certification

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In Data warehousing and Analytics, lack of standard certifications have made it very hard for recruiters to identify "A" league professionals from impostors. When the topic of certification comes, there are basically two questions, why to get certified and how and what to get certified. I would first answer what and then answer why. 

Irrespective of technology, The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) has been a provider of Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification where professionals can choose their core skills and appear for the exam that suits the same. The flip side that professionals see to it is that it's not associated with any product in specific and just theory can be good at Architect profile but at career levels where professionals need to implement solutions this might not be able to impress recruiters with this certifications.

Being a Microsoft patron, I would discuss about certifications related to MS BI. Microsoft has recently introduced two certifications for Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence.

1) Exam 70-463 : Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Skills Measured:

  • Design and implement dimensions
  • Design and implement fact tables
  • Define connection managers
  • Design data flow
  • Implement data flow
  • Manage SSIS package execution
  • Implement script tasks in SSIS
  • Design control flow
  • Implement package logic by using SSIS variables and parameters
  • Implement control flow
  • Implement data load options
  • Implement script components in SSIS
  • Troubleshoot data integration issues
  • Install and maintain SSIS components
  • Implement auditing, logging, and event handling
  • Deploy SSIS solutions
  • Configure SSIS security settings
  • Install and maintain Data Quality Services
  • Implement master data management solutions
  • Create a data quality project to clean data

2) Exam 70-467 : Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Skills Measured:

Keep in view this exam has approx 30% weightage on designing and planning of BI Infrastructure.
  • Plan for performance
  • Plan for scalability
  • Plan and manage upgrades
  • Maintain server health
  • Design a security strategy
  • Design a SQL partitioning strategy
  • Design a backup strategy
  • Design a logging and auditing strategy
  • Design a Reporting Services dataset
  • Manage Microsoft Excel Services/Reporting for SharePoint
  • Design a data acquisition strategy
  • Plan and manage reporting services configuration
  • Design BI reporting solution architecture
  • Design the data warehouse
  • Design a schema
  • Design cube architecture
  • Design fact tables
  • Design BI semantic models
  • Design and create MDX calculations
  • Design SSIS package execution
  • Plan to deploy SSIS solutions
  • Design package configurations for SSIS packages
Why to get certified on Business Intelligence platform ? There are two groups of people divided by faith in certification, one who believes in certifying and benchmarking their skills, others who do not feel there is any value in investing and getting certified.

1) For those who are not in the favor of certifications, the prominent reasons are:

  • Product version changes after few years and the certification is seen as outdated by recruiters
  • Software required for the same for practicing is not available easily
  • Many professionals indulge into malpractices, use exam dumps and pass exams with full score even without any knowledge of the subject
  • Its hard for them to self-study and prepare for certifications, and they don't have enough resources to invest into a professional training programme.
2) For those who are in the favor of certifications, the prominent reasons are:

  • Certifying your skills with changing product versions reflects your attitude to your employer, about how seriously you take your skills that earns your bread and butter.
  • With cheap developer editions coupled with free virtualization software like VirtualBox and readily installed images in VHD format, resource management is possible for them.
  • Professionals who pass exam using corrupt methods are digging a backfire gunshot for themselves as they are raising expectations from them, and inviting their interviewer to screen them more thoroughly as they are certified professionals.
  • Those who can't self-study in IT and can't manage in investing for resources and training programmes for themselves, have already surrendered to the thought that one or other day they would go obsolete in technology. And delivery management or other avenues are right for them than remaining technical. Even in that area, certifications like ITIL or PMP or PGMP would be required.
  • Certifications adds bargain power to your resume to negotiate better for your skills as you go up the ladder. With a couple of years of experience and few certifications you can't ask for 1.5 times the salary that your peers get paid, but the benefit is when your experience meter hits double digit in number of years, you won't be appearing your first ever certification at that age and experience !!
Summary: Invest in your career. Many would ask what certifications have I appeared till date. I am certified MCSD in Microsoft .Net, MCTS in SQL Server Implementation and Maintenance, MCTS in Business Intelligence and MCTS in Performancepoint Office Applications and now working as a senior architect with Accenture Services Private Ltd at Mumbai office. Still I am interested and positive to take up above mentioned certifications.


Jay said...

I really liked the post on
Data warehouse certification.. great job

benslin kard said...

The data stored in the data warehouse database is arranged in hierarchical groups, which are accessible by the user through the access layer.
Data Warehousing Solutions.

Varun Kumar Singh said...

What certifications can someone take from a data warehouse (DWH) testing perspective? I am from testing background and want to grow towards the DWH testing area. What are my options?

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