Business Intelligence Certification

Business intelligence certification is offered by nearly all of the big vendors as part of their training and education packages. They can be difficult to get, but in most cases is a good investment. Like most IT certifications, it isn’t a replacement for experience, but it does show that you are knowledgeable on the software.

Companies often like to have their employees certified, to make sure that they are qualified to work with these expensive BI suites and get the most value from them. Certification is a good first way to show that employees have mastered the training.

Having a business intelligence certification is good to have for a resume. It’s one thing to say that you have experience in a product, and another to list your specific certifications. It gives potential employers a way to qualify your abilities.

Here is an overview of some of the common certifications:


Their certifications are among the most widely earned. It consists of two exams:

Exam: 70-448 Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

Exam: 70-452 PRO Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Exam 70-448 will qualify you for your Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and 452 will get you a (MCITP) certification after receiving your MCTS. You can enroll for the exams fairly cheaply, usually for under $100, at many testing centers. There are also a ton of training materials out in books and on the web. While the logistics of obtaining the certs are easy, the tests are difficult and highly technical. Give yourself at least a couple months of prep time before tackling these classes.


They offer many certification for their Cognos BI, planning, and warehouse products. Like with Microsoft, you can sign up for their certs online, and there are online resources and training materials available, although not really as extensive. Their certifications are challenging but not as difficult as the Microsoft certs.


The Microstrategy certification is offered but it is more of a niche process, and it is very thorough. The full training would take several weeks of classroom or self study to complete, although self study can be faster especially for seasoned professionals in BI. The are also unique in that they require hands-on work in a project as part of the test.The certification can be taken through testing centers, although the locations are limited.

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