If data is the new oil, then analysts are the new oil barons. Indeed, BI analysts boast average salaries of almost $70,000, while BI directors have an average salary of almost $130,000.
Certifications aren’t necessarily required to work in the field, but they can help you stand out in an ever-more competitive landscape. The leading certification for BI is the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) program.
Here’s our guide to passing the exam and landing the certification.
What You Need to Pass
To pass the CBIP exam, you need to take 3 tests:
- Information Systems
- Data Warehousing
- One of: Business Analytics, Data Integration, Leadership and Management, Data Analysis and Design
For the basic qualification, you need at least a 50% score on each of the three, while for the mastery qualification, you need at least a 70% on each. You get 90 minutes per test, each with 110 questions. Non-members pay $350.
Take the Official CBIP Preparation
TDWI offers a Half Day Intensive Exploration, officially meant to help you prepare for the CBIP exams.
You’ll learn BI concepts, analytics skills, what to expect in the exam, and even tips to improve your exam performance.
As the major official prep course for the exams, this one’s a no-brainer.
Read the Official Examinations Guide
TDWI also offers a $125 examination guide, covering some of the material you need to know as well as practice questions.
While this is a bit pricey, it’s a much better option to buy the guide, increasing your chances of passing, than saving money here and failing the $350 exam.
Read These 5 Books
Across the Internet, a few books are recommended time and time again as great preparatory material for the CBIP exams.
Here are five common reads:
- Management Information Systems for the Information Age
- Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business
- Modern Database Management
- Managing and Using Information Systems: A Strategic Approach
- DAMA-DMBOK: Data Management Body of Knowledge
Since the costs for these textbooks can add up, be sure to look at looseleaf, used, and rental options. Also, keep in mind that CBIP-holders command an average salary of around $15,000 more than noncertified professionals. With that in perspective, these books don’t seem as expensive.
Other Ways to Get Ahead
Certifications aren’t the only way to get a foothold in the BI industry. Another great option is internships, which give you the opportunity to prove yourself to an employer before they have to take on a lot of risk.
For instance, many students take Business Analyst internships before acquiring industry certifications, and are then offered full-time positions. Instead of having to pay for guides, prep courses, and exams, an internship gives you the opportunity to get paid while learning.
That being said, if you’re already an experienced professional in the BI industry, then the CBIP certification is a great way to get ahead.