Data analytics is essential for any business’ success. In this article, we discuss the best certifications to help you make the most of the data available to you.
The 21st century seems loaded with all manner of terminology and acronyms that can seem to sprout up seemingly from nowhere on an almost weekly basis. Terms such as BI Reporting, OLAP, and Data Analytics can be confusing terms for a small or growing business – in fact, sometimes even larger companies can be left guessing!
In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at data analytics, finding out what it is, why it’s important, and some of the best certifications you can use to train your staff to ensure your business’ data analysis is on point and set to make your company thrive.
What is Data Analytics?
Also referred to as DA, data analytics is an umbrella term for a variety of processes which involve the examination of data with the end goal of drawing conclusions from the information contained within the data, which allows a company to make more informed business decisions such as target demographics, market successes, and also identify brand or infrastructure weaknesses.
As mentioned, DA can refer to a variety of applications such as business intelligence (also known as BI reporting), online analytical processing (OLAP for short), as well as more niche and advanced analytics that a business may require.
Why is Data Analytics Important?
Data analytics is important because it helps a business make the most informed decisions possible. Analytics can help a company increase their revenue, operate more efficiently, produce successful and targeted campaigns, and capitalize upon emerging market trends.
This will help you increase in profit and popularity, and most importantly, earn an edge over your closest rivals.
The Top Data Analytics Certifications
MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Reporting
This certification is created by Microsoft and is designed to teach participants BI reporting skills when using the Microsoft SQL 2016 server.
This certification is broken down into two exams which will need to be passed successfully before qualification is achieved;
70-778: Analyzing Data with Power BI*
70-779: Analyzing Data with Excel*
These exams will test participants on a variety of BI reporting tasks and skills such as data transformation, desktop modeling, data visualization, BI implementation, description of data, and data handling over a variety of different interfaces.
These Microsoft exams can be taken without participating in a training course. However, for the best results a training course is greatly recommended, and will usually take a little as 5 days to administer, with most training services offering both on and off-campus training options.
MCSA: SQL 2016 Data Engineering with Azure
This certification is again examined by Microsoft, so really represents the gold standard in computing certifications. This certification also requires the successful completion of two exams which are as follows:
70-775: Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft HD Insight
70-776: Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services
These exams will test participants knowledge on a variety of data engineering topics, and will require both a theoretical and a practical knowledge to successfully pass. Topics covered include loading data into HD Insight, troubleshooting, batch solutions, data analysis covering multiple software and systems, developing processing solutions, optimization skills, and data transformation.
Training for exams such as these is highly advised, with courses available for study from home or office, or on campus, and taking as little as 6 days.
The MCSE Data Management & Analytics is a far more comprehensive and in-depth certification which is suited to more advanced data analysts and combines two Microsoft BI courses, making it great for those looking to gain as much knowledge as possible without shelling out for multiple courses. Because it is a combined course, there are four exams which need to be passed:
70-767: Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse
70-768: Developing SQL Data Models
70-778: Analyzing Data with Power BI
70-779: Analyzing Data with Excel
This course is comprehensive, and the exams taken cover a plethora of subjects including; implementing data flow, data warehouse solutions, in depth understanding of BI, creating a multidimensional database, data transformation, data visualization, and data importing.
As mentioned, this course isn’t for beginners, and tutor-led training is strongly advised, which should take around 10 days to deliver.
Of course, while Microsoft courses typically reflect a gold standard, they can also be costly, or may not offer the skills relevant to your business’s specific niche. There are a variety of other great certification options from some big names in computing, which you may find more suitable to you, such as;
- IBM Data Science Professional Certificate for Business
- Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst
- EMC Proven Professional Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA)
- MapR Certified Data Analyst
- EMC Data Science and Big Data Analytics Certification
- SAS Certified Data Scientist
- DSCA Associate Big Data Engineer (ABDE) Certification