Which certification for Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence is worth and most widely accepted?

Data warehousing is an emerging field with great potential of further growth. Scope and penetration of its usage is tremendous. Almost every business domain is using and implementing business intelligence in one way or other. With increasing rate of BI deployments, Business intelligence (BI) certification has attracted the attention of associated professionals, be it a DWH developer, Business analyst, BI architect or program manager.
(Disclaimer- We are NOT debating the importance and benefits of doing certification or whether certifications are required or not for career growth.)

We are skipping WHY (certifications) part and focusing on HOW. Article talks about different available certifications in the field of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence.
Available Data Warehousing certifications fall into two broad categories:
Vendor Neutral Vendor Specific
Vendor-agnostic certification courses tend to offer more of a focus on general procedure and best practices, rather than concentrating on the details of a certain suite of hardware and software. Objective is to equip with general knowledge of process, methodology, concepts of business metrics, data visualization, deployment skills, and techniques of data warehousing.
Few prominent certifications are:
  • Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
  • Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
Vendor-dependent certification courses focus on respective vendor product details.
Major ones are:
  • Oracle Database 11g Data Warehousing Essentials 1Z0-515
  • IBM Certified Developer - Cognos 10 BI Data Warehouses (C2020-625)
  • MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (Business Intelligence)
  • SAP Certified Application Professional - Enterprise Data Warehousing with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW 7.0)

To choose the right certification for oneself depends on many factor such as:
Job profile and role- This will be a key element in deciding the test. If I am working as an architect or program manager, in that case, will it be a good idea to go for product based certification. Professionals playing at mid-level management or higher prefer to go for general BI exams such as CBIP.
Developers or experts who want to stick with particular product line select for respective product certification that they keep current with re-certifications with latest releases. It also gives a competitive advantage during job change.
Location- Perception of certification type is different in different countries. In Europe, the vendor certification seems to be the key whereas in US BI market, it is a mixed experience.
Employer type- Stack vendor's certifications hold more weight for consultancy companies to show employees with vendor certificates. Internal employees tend to go with personal growth consideration.
My recommendation would be to analyze my current job profile and nature of responsibilities. If I am more on designing and planning, I would go for vendor neutral certification. If my job and career goal revolves more around particular product, I would apt for exams for that product. Certifications does not prove expertise but it gives a fair understanding of subject knowledge. Besides, there is no harm in doing certification.
I would like to hear your views on certification. Please share your thoughts.
The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.
Brian Tracy


  1. On considering this article i have joined informatica that is relevant to data warehousing.

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  2. Thanks Steve. Glad to know your decision. Informatica is one of leading ETL tools in DWH domain.

  3. You can do business analytics certification from one of the reputed organization known as Imarticus.org


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  5. Thanks for sharing the blog.Informatica is a data integration/ETL tool that provides functionality for data transformation and loading of data. Informatica gets data from various sources and it loads the data into different targets. Informatica does not store, it just moves data from one place to another.

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  9. Certification is undoubtedly the most beneficial for both the employees as well as companies. Thanks for this lovely post regarding the benefits of doing certification in any technology.

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