A Step by Step Guide on How to Get a Power BI Certification

power BI cert

Overview of the Certification

Power BI provides cloud-based business intelligence services known as Power BI Services. Power BI is an analytical tool provided by Microsoft. It is geared towards interactive visualizations and business intelligence solutions so that users can generate their dashboards and reports. It also offers a desktop version called Power BI Desktop. It offers data warehouse capabilities, including data preparation, data discovery, and interactive dashboards. Microsoft also offers another service on its Azure platform called Power BI Embedded.

The key components in Power BI certification are

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile Apps
  • Power BI Gateway
  • Power BI Embedded
  • Power BI Report Server
  • Power BI Visuals Marketplace

There are two certifications that Microsoft offers for Power BI. One is classified under the Data Analyst set of certifications and the other under Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certifications (MCSA). The MCSA credential supplants the now-defunct Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification.

Also Read: 7 Must Have Skills for Freelance Business Intelligence Analysts

Exam DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI (beta)

Under the Data Analyst set of certifications, the Power BI certification is numbered DA-100. It is titled Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI (beta). Unfortunately, since this certification is still in its beta phase, the exams are not scored immediately because Microsoft is still collecting information on the quality of the questions and the exam itself. There are no related exams for this certification. 

The classification of DA and MCSA are entry-level IT certifications for professionals veering into the roles of various IT sectors. Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI (beta) certification is part of the exam requirements for Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. With this certification, professionals can still work as Power BI developers. The exam fee for this certification is $165. 

The skills measured in this certification are

  • Prepare the data (20-25%) 
  • Model the data (25-30%) 
  • Visualize the data (20-25%) 
  • Analyze the data (10-15%) 
  • Deploy and maintain deliverables (10-15%) 

There are two ways to prepare for this certification – Online and instructor-led. Several training providers offer training for power BI like Udemy, Simpli Learn, Plural Sight, etc. Microsoft’s learning platform also provided the required study materials and practice exams for this certification. You can choose to attempt this exam from Microsoft’s portal. There are no special considerations for retaking this exam if you fail. Each retake should still adhere to Microsoft’s exam policies(1)

MCSA: BI Reporting

This certification has two parts that candidates have to specialize in – Power BI and Excel. This is part of the Solutions Associate list of certifications that Microsoft offers. This certification validates a professional’s ability to analyze data using both Power BI and Excel. Earning this certification is testimony that the candidate knows relevant to data analytics, data visualization, modeling, dashboards, and direct connectivity to data sources in Excel and Power BI. It is the first step on your path to becoming a Data Management and Analytics Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

There are two major steps to earn Power BI Certification 

Step 1

This step requires preparation and gaining experience in consuming and transforming data, modeling and visualizing data, and configuring dashboards using Excel and Power BI. You may want to consider pursuing an MTA certification to achieve these skills. Microsoft doesn’t demand any prior experience requirements or pre-requisites. However, it recommends that users gain hands-on experience working with Power BI before attempting this certification.

Step 2

Candidates have to clear two exams for getting the certification 

  • Exam 70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI
  • Exam 70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel

Once you complete these two steps, you’ll earn MCSA: BI Reporting certification. This certification does not expire. However, Microsoft recommends that users continue their education with other relevant exams. 

Even for this certification, several providers, such as Udemy, Simpli Learn, Plural Sight, Global Knowledge, and Microsoft’s learning platform, offer the required study material, training course, and other relevant resources for the exam. The cost of this certification is the same as the cost for Exam DA-100 — $165. Microsoft has an extensive library of training materials for this exam. Just as Exam DA-100, you can take this training online or instructor-led.

Benefits of Power BI Certification

  • Transforming Data by using Power BI Desktop
  • Equips you with the skills to create your own data models or optimize existing data models, creating calculated tables and columns, measuring every employee’s performance by utilizing KPI’s, gauges and cards, helps create hierarchies in the organization and also aids in managing custom reporting solutions.
  • Trains you to configure a dashboard, publish and embed reports. It also imparts the skills required to configure security for dashboards, reports and apps. After achieving the Power BI certification , you will have the skills required to even configure apps and app workspaces.
  • Shifting a prevailing BI system to a sturdy cloud environment with Power BI embedded eliminates memory and speed constraints warranting data is quickly retrievable and analyzed.
  • Microsoft Power BI tools can be integrated seamlessly with advanced cloud services like Cortana or Bot framework. Thus, providing results for the verbal data query given using natural language.
  • Power BI provides agile inquiry and analysis without the need for dedicated technical support. It supports a powerful natural language interface and the use of insightful graphical designer tools.
  • It helps in transforming your enterprise data into rich visuals, thus extracting business intelligence for superior decision makin

Salary for Power BI Certification

The median salary for Power BI certified individuals is $120000. The job role typically involves acting as a Power BI developer – working on analytics and data extraction. The lowest salary, according to Neuvoo, is $78000, while the highest is $146000.