Business Intelligence (BI) is not a new concept, but technologies working in or around the BI space continue to crop up every year. As this niche of computer science continues to grow and mature, so does the credibility of the technology – enter certifications.

With more certifications also come those who pile on as many certifications as possible. The idea is basically that “more is better,” and in many cases, those certifications do in fact represent many hours of study and industry experience. Alternatively, we’ve all seen the email signature that has enough acronyms to spell abracadabra, but that also leads to underwhelming results.

In this post, we’ll walk through some BI certifications that we think are noteworthy and carry some positive credibility in the industry. Call me a skeptic, but I tend to treat any organization’s claim of a measurable salary increase with their certifications as a correlation and not a causation of the certificate being earned. I wouldn’t bank on any of these certificates guaranteeing employment, promotion, or a salary increase, but they are definitely stamps of effort on your resume.

 

Certified Business Intelligence Professional 

Organization: The Data Warehousing Institute

Recertification: Every 3 years, after the first 4 years

Exams: 1

Total Price: $299

The Data Warehousing Institute, also known as TDWI, “…provides individuals and teams with a comprehensive portfolio of business and technical education and research to acquire the knowledge and skills they need…” and by all accounts, they seem to be doing so. I’ve personally attended some events in their speaker series and can attest to their intentions as an organization. This certificate comes in four different specialties: Leadership and Management, Business Analytics, Data Analysis, and Data Integration. If you’re a self-taught BI developer and are looking to add some credibility to your resume, this would be a good fit for you. Your first pass is good for four years, but you’re required to recertify every three years after that.

 

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

Organization: Amazon Web Services

Recertification: Every 2 years

Exams: 1

Total Price: $150

Amazon is a few years ahead of the rest of the competition in the maturity of their products – Amazon Web Services (AWS) in particular. With their first services now over 10 years old, it’s no surprise that a slew of certifications are starting to emerge. This AWS certificate will prove your proficiency in building and deploying applications on top of AWS services. This exam is also a prerequisite toward the DevOps Engineer Professional certificate, should you choose to take that later. Companies of all sizes are beginning to see the benefits of moving to AWS, and I don’t think anyone sees that slowing down anytime soon. Cloud environments will remain a part of the BI landscape for many years to come. Conveniently, this exam came in near the bottom of our price comparison for the certificates listed here, but you will be forced to recertify every two years.

 

MCSE: Business Intelligence Certification 

Organization: Microsoft

Recertification: Every 3 years

Exams: 5

Total Price: $825

SQL Server continues to be one of the more widely used BI stacks, and a matching pool of qualified developers is naturally a result. Microsoft has recently winnowed down their list of certifications, but they mean business on this one – this course will set you back for approximately five exams that total over $800. If you’re looking to establish yourself as a leader in a crowded talent pool, this one will do the trick. Plan on recertifying every three years.

 

Hadoop Certified Developer 

Organization: HortonWorks

Recertification: None

Exams: 1

Total Price: $250

While this certification was the best Big Data certificate we could find using the Hadoop platform, HortonWorks is only one of a number of companies distributing Hadoop as part of their software. You may recognize some technologies that have become synonymous with Hadoop, such as Spark, Pig, and Hive – you can thank HortonWorks for those. This exam is split into three categories: Data Ingestion using Sqoop and Flume, Data Transformation using Pig and Hive, and Data Analysis using Hive. This is a one-time exam and requires no recurring recertification.

 

Certified Data Professional 

Organization: The Data Warehousing Institute

Recertification: Every 3 years, after the first 4 years

Exams: 1

Total Price: $299

This is another TDWI certification that has stood the test of time, and it comes in seven different specialties. Unlike the Microsoft or HortonWorks exams, this focuses on academic concepts relating to data rather than hands-on development work and mastery of a technology. If you’re new to BI and come from another sector of computer science, this may be a good way to get your feet wet. In particular, the data modeling exam represents a gap in knowledge between those who have been in the BI space for a number of years and those who are new. Data modeling is a skill that is extremely hard to master, but studying for this exam would put you on the right trajectory. Like all other TDWI exams, this certificate is good for the first four years, after which you must recertify every three years.

 

MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect

Organization: Microsoft

Recertification: Every 2 years

Exams: 3

Total Price: $495

While Microsoft still has a way to go in the marketplace to become a cloud platform leader, they haven’t wasted any time establishing a certification process. This certification will prove you can create and deploy any web application, virtual machine, or database on the Azure platform. Most enterprises continue to use the Windows operating system, and SQL Server continues to be a popular relational database technology, so learning Azure is simply a smart move for your career if you are already engrained in the Microsoft BI stack. This exam requires a recertification every two years.

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