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Are business intelligence certifications worth it?

What's your take on business intelligence certifications? I'm looking into becoming a certified business intelligence professional (CBIP) but I want to make sure it's the right move.

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I am beginning to see more business intelligence certifications show up on resumes -- especially the CBIP. What the certification tells me is that the person has been through an excellent set of classes at The Data Warehousing Institute and has a desire to learn and/or convey their learning. These are great things. So yes, I believe the certification is somewhat correlated to business intelligence knowledge. However, business intelligence certification is one data point and an employer (or client) would be selling themselves short if they use it as a sole inclusion or exclusion criteria. I have a business intelligence competency test that I use before an interview, but the interview is key.

Many excellent business intelligence professionals will come into their certifications only opportunistically. In order to recommend getting certified or not to an individual, I would need to understand the opportunity cost of not doing it. Who is paying for it? What current opportunities will you or might you be forgoing?

The upside of having a business intelligence certification is probably getting a closer look at the resume during the engagement process. But, even as a CBIP, you will still need the requisite experience and a good interview.

More on certification

Read SAP BW certification: Tips, advice and skepticism


This was first published in June 2007

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