December 9, 2023

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With data becoming increasingly important to business success, business intelligence (BI) continues to grow in importance. With a strong BI strategy and team, organizations can perform the type of analysis needed to help users make data-driven business decisions.

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There are many roles involved in BI. BI analysts, with an average salary of $71,493, according to PayScale, provide application analysis and data modeling design for centralized data warehouses and extract data from databases and data warehouses for reporting, among other tasks. BI developers work with databases and software to develop and fine-tune IT solutions, with an average salary of $83,091. BI architects, with an average salary of $113,263, analyze and implement BI for their organizations, with responsibilities ranging from setting up platforms to building and maintaining data warehouses. BI directors lead design and development activities related to enterprise data warehouses, with an average salary of $127,169 per year.

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In its quarterly IT Skills and Certification Pay Index report released in May, research firm Foot Partners noted that the average salary premium for technical certification was down 1.2% in the first quarter of 2022 after two consecutive periods of growth. Data and database certifications were among the only ones bucking the general trend: they were up 4.6% annually.

Certifications aren’t required to work in BI, but they can help give you an edge by proving to employers that you have the right skills. Below is our guide to some of the most sought-after BI certifications.

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Top 9 Business Intelligence Certifications Certified Business Intelligence ProfessionalIBM Data Analyst Professional CertificateMicrosoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst AssociateQlikview Business AnalystSAP Certified Application Associate: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform 4.3SAS Certified Expert: Visual Business AnalyticsTableau Certified Data Analyst Tableau Desktop ExpertTableau Server Certified AssociateCertified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)

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The CBIP certification program is for senior level personnel in the information systems and technology industry with a focus on data management and business analysis. The certificate demonstrates that you are up-to-date with BI technologies and knowledgeable about best practices, solutions and emerging trends. There are four specialized areas to choose from in the certification: Leadership and Management, Business Analysis, Data Analysis and Design, and Data Integration. Certification requires passing two mandatory exams – your choice of IS Core or Business Core exam and the Data Foundation exam – as well as at least one specialized exam. The exam is multiple choice. Each applicant is given 90 minutes to complete each 110-question test. The initial certification is valid for four years and must be renewed every three years thereafter. Recertification requires 120 credit hours of continuing education earned since the last renewal and proof of an annual fee of $125 each year after the first.

Organization: Transforming Data with Intelligence (TDWI)

Exam Fee: $325 per test for TDWI members and $350 per test for non-TDWI members

IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate

The IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate is a beginner-level credential that demonstrates proficiency in creating charts and plots in Excel and working with IBM Cognos Analytics to create dashboards for visualizing data. The certificate does not require prior programming or statistical skills. Candidates work with a variety of data sources, project scenarios and data analysis tools including Excel, SQL, Python, Jupyter Notebook and Cognos Analytics. The certificate requires nine online courses that are completed on your own time, culminating with a capstone project designed to showcase data analyst skills.

Organization: IBM

Fee: $39 per month subscription

Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate

The Microsoft Certified Power BI Data Analyst Associate certification confirms that candidates have a fundamental understanding of data repositories and data processes, both on-premises and in the cloud. They are subject matter experts who can design and build scalable data models, clean and transform data, and provide business value through data visualization. The certification is intended for data professionals and business intelligence (BI) professionals who use Power BI to develop reports and dashboards that visualize data, whether in the cloud or on-premises. Certification requires passing the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst exam. The exam measures a candidate’s ability to prepare data, visualize data, analyze data, and deploy and maintain assets.

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Organization: Microsoft

Exam Fee: $165

QlikView Business Analyst

The QlikView Business Analyst certification demonstrates your knowledge of the interface design of QlikView applications and is recommended for roles involved in the analysis, design and layout of QlikView application user interfaces. Candidates should have basic knowledge of BI, reporting and data analysis, as well as experience working with QlikView for designing applications. Certification requires passing a multiple-choice test given by Pearson VUE through a Pearson VUE Testing Center or at your home/office using online proctoring. Certification doesn’t expire, however Qlik releases new test for every major release, so old certifications “age out”.

Organization: Qlik

Exam Fee: $250

SAP Certified Application Partner: SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform 4.3

SAP Certified Application Associate: The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform certification demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge to design, deploy and run SAP’s BI platform. This certification shows that you can configure and manage servers in SAP Business Intelligence Platform deployments, and design and deploy SAP Business Intelligence Platform systems. SAP advises candidates to combine practical experience and education courses to prepare for the required multiple choice exam offered by Pearson VUE.

Organization: SAP

Exam Fee: $536 for six attempts or $214 for one attempt

SAS Certified Specialist: Visual Business Analytics Specialist

SAS Certified Specialist: The Visual Business Analytics certification is for analysts who use visual analytics to analyze data and design reports. It validates your skills in using SAS visual analytics to add and manipulate data items, analyze data, and design and share reports. It requires a passing score on SAS Visual Analytics using the SAS Via exam administered by SAS and Pearson VUE. The exam consists of 50-55 multiple choice and short answer questions. Certification expires after five years.

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Organization: SAS

Exam Fee: $180

Tableau Certified Data Analyst

The Tableau Certified Data Analyst certification is for individuals with six or more months of experience who demonstrate their ability to understand a business problem, identify data for analysis, and enable stakeholders to make business decisions by providing actionable insights want. There are no prerequisites for the exam. The exam has a lab with 30 multiple choice questions and 10-11 tasks. The certification is valid for two years.

Organization: Tableau

Exam Fee: $250; $25 Reschedule Fee

Tableau Desktop Expert

The Tableau Desktop Expert certification is for individuals with three or more months of Tableau experience who wish to demonstrate their understanding of Tableau’s advanced functionality and application of visual best practices. There are no prerequisites for the exam. The exam consists of 45 multiple choice questions. Authentication does not expire.

Organization: Tableau

Exam Fee: $100; $25 Reschedule Fee

tableau server certified collaborator

The Tableau Server Certified Partner certification is for individuals with six or more months of experience with Tableau Server who wish to demonstrate their architectural knowledge and platform integration expertise. There are no prerequisites for the exam. The exam consists of 55 multiple choice questions. The certification is valid for two years.

Organization: Tableau

Exam Fee: $250; $25 Reschedule Fee

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