Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BI Certifications - CBIP Material for the exam

Finally I got some time to write something more about CBIP certification.

First off all, don’t think this certification is the ticket for your next job. It’s just a motivation to let you learn more and improve your skills. Naturally that if you improve your skills, you have more conditions and recognition to get your BI job, but don’t think a certification by itself do it for you.  Relating to this certification, it's a way to TDWI makes money like all other certifications that exists around the world. But at least in this case, it seems more credible and more recognized than for example Microsoft certifications. Why? Just because there are a lot of “brain dumps” spread in the internet with exactly some questions of the real Microsoft exams. TDWI do a very good job on this field… although having a big number of question not aligned with the certification subject (like for example in ETL module) they are good and unique! The TDWI staff in Germany is also amazing and very kindly with you! See my experience there in 2009!

Now let’s go to the main reason to write this post! I’ve promised to the dozens of people that contacted me (almost since the post I wrote about CBIP experience in 2009) for help them on getting material guidance. For that reason here am I with the promised post! (Sorry for the late reply).

To make these exams, you should have minimal real-world, or at least huge academic experience, on the exam specialty that you’re thinking to get. If you have this pre-requisite then I think you should consider the suggestions I’m writing below.

Suggestion 01 - Examinations Guide

You MUST buy and read the CBIP Examinations Guide. This guide contains detailed exam outlines, reference reading lists, sample exam questions, and answer explanations for each exam included in the CBIP program. Testing software and practice timed exams are included with the guide. Taking the sample exams will identify areas where additional study and/or work experience may be necessary prior to testing. If you don’t have this examinations guide you will probably feel lost during the exam… And don’t forget that you don’t have too much time to think! The testing software is for sure crucial!

Suggestion 02 - Mandatory Books

You MUST buy and read the “Performance Dashboard” and “Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App” books! Why? The first, in addition to being a very interesting book, was written by the TDWI director at that time: Wayne Eckerson! And the second is a book that resumes the concept of BI in a simple and objective way. These two books are an investment that you should have! (And buy it… do not try to find illegal copies of this book on the internet… because doing so, you’ll not encourage authors to write more amazing contents like these ones). I should add that on these books, you will find several answers to some exam questions.

Now let’s go to remaining materials that although not mandatory, should be read at least some of the topics where exist some doubts. You probably don’t have time to read more books, but I also suggest several others in a previous postTry also to get some information in the internet about the following topics: Dimensional Modeling (Techniques like Slowly Changing Dimension, Junk Dimension, Mini-Dimension, Outrigger, Role-Play Dimension… Fact table types: Transactional, Cumulative Snapshot, Periodic Snapshot, Factless and Factless Coverage), Data Warehousing architectures (Bus model, Hub and Spoke, Federated and Independent Data Marts), OLAP Architectures (MOLAP, ROLAP, HOLAP), Data Warehousing Methodologies (Both Kimball and Larissa Moss methodologies), Data Mining and make some research on terms like BPM, CRM, OLAP, ETL, BAM…
I hope this post helps you!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BI Award – SQL BI MVP Award 2012

Last Sunday, I received for the third year, the award from Microsoft for all participation on several communities and also for all contribution spreading to the world the Microsoft BI tools during 2011. These tools are in my opinion very robust, intuitive and with huge future! For that reason is a pleasure to work with.

Last year was the most hard for me… not only the book, but the full time job on BI with amazing projects on several interesting institutions. I hope to receive the award again next year and for that reason I’ll participate even more on communities and maybe write another book! I want to dedicated this award to:

- All blog visitors
- All the post-graduation students on BI from Universidade Portucalense (Porto) and ISCTE (MSIAD + MEI) (Lisboa) for all important feedback on the Microsoft tools and also the direct and indirect support they gave me during the last year
- To Dra. Maria José Trigueiros for all the magic words (You’re still alive in my life. I’ll never forget you!)
- To my family and my girlfriend for all the support they gave me!
- All those persons that believed in me, even more than myself

Thank you all! Regards.


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