Obtaining Microsoft BI Certification

I have been a little busy recently with getting certified with Microsoft. I am quite happy to announce I have passed both 70-448 and 70-452 exams in the last couple of weeks without reading a single page of preparation material. Now I am MCP, MCTS and MCITP in SQL Server 2008 BI.

I have always wondered how important and relevant these certificates are. The common opinion around the industry professionals seems to be that experience is what really counts and certifications are for people without experience who are trying to get into the profession. I did it the other way and I am not sorry the least bit for it. An overview of my experience in regards to the two certifications:

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

I passed this one with 857 (out of 1000). Since it was my first attempt at certification I did go through a few sample questions from a prep book based on MeasureUp, and a friend also flicked my way some really poor quality Braindumps, which contained some quite poor terminology and a fair bit of nonsense. On the MeasureUp tests I scored between 65-85%, so I decided to get a Free Second Shot voucher from Prometric and just go with no further preparation. As expected, my Data Mining skills did not quite cover the expectations and I had a few glitches around SSIS maintenance, but as expected I got more than 90% on all the development components and around 80% on all the administration/maintenance ones. After all I am a developer and I am not that experienced with administering BI solutions. So in general, my impression was that the test can be passed without much preparation from fairly inexperienced developers, who read some preparation materials.

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

This one was harder, but I passed it with 92% with doing one sample test of 30ish questions before the attempt. I had another Prometric Free Second Shot voucher, so I was not stressing if I would pass or fail. The test had double the amount of questions than the MCTS one and it took me a fir while to go through all of them. Again – Data Mining was my weakest part (less than 50% right), while I managed to score 100% on SSRS, SSAS and “Designing the BI Architecture” part. SSIS was almost perfect too. Now, if a fairly inexpreienced developer passes MCTS, this test will definitely cause a lot more headaches. The questions are much more practical and much higher degree of relevant experience would be required to pass (or much more reading).

In general, both of the tests are not easy and I do believe that if one can pass them without preparation (from experience), he is quite prepared to tackle the design, implementation and administration of Microsoft BI solutions. The Free Second Shot vouchers are also great for eliminating stress to some degree. However, on the not-so-good side, the tests can be passed with no experience and because the questions do follow a certain pattern and do not allow for much freedom in choosing the correct answer (short answer ones could be better), I think that there is a moderate chance of inexperienced and not that knowledgeable people to study, pass and then immediately forget the subject matter.

Still, I have no idea how much my career will benefit from these certifications, however I did get a few PDF certificates signed by Steven A. Ballmer to wave at sutiable occasions 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Obtaining Microsoft BI Certification”

  1. Hi Boyan,

    I am tryig to get MSBI certification, but I don’t know the steps to be followed, is it mandatory to obtain 70-448 prior to 70-452, else can I attempt for 70-452 directly? Please assist me. One more thing I have 1 year of experience only.

    Thanks
    Avinash

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    1. Hi Avinash,

      There is no prerequisite for the 452 exam. However, you will not be able to obtain any certification by doing just that one. First you should take the 448 one, so you can get a MCTS certificate, and then the 452 exam, which combined with the 448 exam give you MCITP in BI.

      Also, experience does not matter, as long as you can pass the exams. Of course, the more experience you have, the easier it is to pass since you would know most of the answers without preparing.

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  2. Hi Boyan

    You come across as a very inforamtive person, and this is much appreciated from my side.

    I m currently looking into getteing into BI, now i know the route i need to take, i just have few questions.

    Where can i write this Certs, and how much will it costs me?

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  3. Hi Boyan,

    I am interested in taking MSBI certification. I currently know only SSIS concepts as I am working on it. Can you suggest me some materials or pass me the same if you have, which can be helpful for me. Also provide me some tips to prepare for this certification.

    Thanks

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  4. Hi Boyan,
    I am also looking for MSBI certification. Can you please let me know some good preparation material for the same.
    Also, where can I have MeasureUp tests?

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  5. Hi Boyan,

    Do you know if there is any technical or online school that teach you and prepare you for Microsoft BI? I’m not the type of guy who can prepare from books.

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