• Certification: Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate
  • Certification Provider: Microsoft

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The Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate certification is designed for business intelligence and data analyst professionals who employ Power BI to make reports that visualize data in the local server or cloud. This certificate allows candidates to gain adequate knowledge and skills and verify them to become a certified Data Analyst Associate. To get accredited, the applicants will be required to take and pass an exam coded DA-100 that is conducted by Pearson VUE. Through this test, one’s knowledge about preparing, analyzing, visualizing, deploying data, and maintaining deliverables is measured.

DA-100 Target Audience

The Microsoft DA-100 exam has been created for professionals who are willing to become more competent in the area of data analysis. The target candidates are specialists looking to improve their skills in designing and building data models, transforming and cleaning data, and enabling data analytics features that help businesses to create value through an easily understandable visualization. Although no prerequisites are set for this exam, one should understand data processing as well as data repositories.

Microsoft DA-100 Exam Overview

The Microsoft DA-100 test is called “Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI”. It can be taken in English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese languages. DA-100 reflects candidates’ ability to understand and carry out tasks related to data such as: preparation, modeling, visualization, analysis, deployment, and maintaining deliverables.

In order to be eligible for the test, applicants are required to pay a fee that varies depending on the country. This certification exam can be scheduled through the Pearson VUE platform by non-students that are interested in technology, and the required sum will be from $55 to $165. Also, there is an opportunity to schedule it for $15 for job seekers that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Exam DA-100: Important Details

The Microsoft DA-100 certification test contains 40 to 60 questions. The exact number of inquiries is known right at the exam only. The time allocated to manage all the tasks is 180 minutes. Within a few minutes after finishing the exam, candidates get notified with the result, whether “pass” or “fail”. A printable report is also sent to the applicants. One’s performance will be scored on a scale of 1 to 1000 and there is a need to gain about 700 to ace DA-100.

Topics Covered in DA-100 Exam

The Microsoft DA-100 exam comprises of 5 sections, and the candidate’s level of proficiency in these areas is tested. These are the following:

  • Data preparation

    This domain involves the concepts related to gathering data from various sources; profiling data; cleaning and transforming data as well as loading it. These require one to have skills in defining data source and connecting to it, choosing the most suitable query type, utilizing CDS, assessing data structures as well as seeking for anomalies, creating keys for joints, combining queries, resolving errors arising within data import, and others.

  • Data modeling

    This topic involves designing and developing data models, providing the optimization of model performance, and utilizing DAX to create measures. To manage the tasks related to these subtopics, one should be knowledgeable in defining tables, role-playing dimensions, cross-filter direction, and quick measures. Also, the candidates should know how to design hierarchies, work with row-level security roles, manipulate filters, use statistical functions, boost cardinality levels, etc.

  • Data visualization

    This domain covers the creation of reports and dashboards as well as enriching reports for usability. To succeed in these subtopics, applicants should have enough knowledge about visualization types and choosing the most appropriate one, configuring visualizations and report pages, working with additional formatting, and applying filtering and slicing. Also, one needs to know more about setting the mobile view, data classification, data alerts, custom tooltips, interactions between visuals, the use of filters, exporting data, the use of selection pane, and many more.

  • Data analysis

    This section involves the following subsections: an advanced analysis and enhancing reports to expose insights. The first one focuses on conducting Time Series analysis, defining outliers, the use of Key Influencers, binnings, groupings, etc., and applying AI Insights. The second part emphasizes the implementation of filters and slicers, conditional formatting, N analysis, and Q&A visual. Also, one should be skilled in exploring statistical summary, creating reference lines, and using the Play Axis.

  • Deployment and maintenance of deliverables

    This topic focuses on managing datasets and creating and managing workspaces. The subtopics included cover the following concepts and skills: the configuration of a dataset scheduled refresh and security group membership of a row-level, working with incremental refresh settings, and giving access to datasets along with certifying or promoting a dataset. In addition, the candidates should be skilled in the next areas: workspace creation and configuration, assigning roles, understanding of the lifecycle strategy, updating assets as well as importing and publishing them, and applying sensitivity labels.

Career Opportunities

The Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate certification brings one great job prospects, it enables people to kickstart their careers and become real professionals in the roles listed below:

  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Academic Researcher
  • Quantitative Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Engineer

Getting this certificate leads to an upgrade in terms of career development and salary. According to PayScale, for every passing year, data science professionals make an average salary earning of $67k to $134k. Business analysts get average annual compensation of $69k while the sum one can earn per year in the role of a data engineer is $92k on average.

Further Certification Path

After earning the Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate certification, candidates can move on to become great professionals by pursuing the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics accreditation. This certificate is also intended for people who are looking forward to acquiring MCSA: BI Reporting and MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development to expand their skillset.

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