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

CBIP Exam
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!
Regards,
Pedro

11 comments:

Emil Glownia said...

I haven't heard about this one before but sounds like a good way to learn something new or at least fill in certain gaps.

I agree with Microsoft "low" quality not because of quality of tests (which improved in 2012 at least in beta tests I took) only because of the brain dumps and high volume of cheaters. 2012 should be better as you need to re-take the exam every 2-3 years and there are more practical certification which are very broad in scope....good for but also some more basic ones like querying certification so hopefully those starting with SQL will go with basic certifiations instead of trying to cheat on higher level just because there weren't any microsoft certification on lower level.

I must admit I did it for my MCTS 2005 BI and I tried to find sample questions on the internet and unfortunatelly it wasn't difficult to find actual questions.... this was the worst thing I made... I felt terrible after passing the exam not because I got actual question that most appeared on the exam but because I knew answers for most question with my own knowledge so I felt I wasted so many hours of studying.... I'm taking MCTS 2008 BI next week just by preparing from Microsoft book nothing else!! (This is 2nd attempt in first one I missed 1 question to pass....but I didn't prepeare at all and hoped I could fail so I can "erase" my 2005 sins!)

p.s. I replied to you shrunken dimension comment...

Pedro said...

Dear Emil,
Thank you for your visit! It's a honour!! I hope to see you here more times!
Good luck for the Microsoft Exam... but I think CBIP will be even more interesting... it's not oriented by tools but more by concepts!
Regards,
Pedro

Irving said...

Pedro,

I've found this entry very interesting. Will follow your posts here.

Question: How do you compare, in terms of reading material, the Kimball Group classes vs. TDWI classes / certification? I've been taking few courses with Kimball University (DWH life cycle and Dimensional modeling) and have many books of their authors, so my knowledge on DW/BI is based on the Kimball approach.

Pedro said...

Hi Irving,
The difference is that CBIP include more subjects than Ralph Kimball University. Ralph Kimball is one of the most important references in CBIP exams but not the only one.
I hope to see you more often here.
Regards!
Pedro

Anonymous said...

Hi Pedro, it is great to find your thoughts/comments around BI and CBIP. I was thinking about this certification for longer and now it is time to be serious about it. Tell me, how did you deal with tdwi membership, further qualification, recertification.. etc during last.. 3 years (?) of the initial exams?
ThanX and Wave towards lovely Portugal and Sintra.
Jolanta

P.Y.W. said...

Hi Pedro,

Thanks for sharing your comments.
I'm currently preparing the BI & Analytics specialty exam of CBIP. Did you by any chance take this one? If so, which books would you recommend for this exam?

If not then I am yet to sit the IS Core exam. Any recommendation for the books (from the list in the TDWI guide) for this one?

Thanks!
Pete

P.Y.W. said...

Hi Pedro,

Thanks for sharing your comments.
I'm currently preparing the BI & Analytics specialty exam of CBIP. Did you by any chance take this one? If so, which books would you recommend for this exam?

If not then I am yet to sit the IS Core exam. Any recommendation for the books (from the list in the TDWI guide) for this one?

Thanks!
Pete

JWittek said...

Thank you Pedro for sharing, well researched and "Performance Dashboards" by Wayne Eckerson which you suggested to read for the CBIP exam study contains exceptional insight and the case studies are very coherently delivered. Excellent book and a must read for any BI Pro.

Thanks again - from Canada Jenn.

Anonymous said...

Would you like to partner and create a CBIP study guide? mobilemeans@gmail.com

Frank Quintana said...

The CBIP guide is ridicously expensive and TDWI doesn't give you an snapshot of the TOC to evaluate the material.
I am a member of TDWI but I found some practice not customer oriented.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pedro,

Can you please elaborate on the preparation time required for this certification. Also, would you be able to outline a study plan?

Thanks in advance.

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