Today's organizations are looking for more and better ways to wrangle the voluminous amounts of data available to them and pull out only the information they need.
Big data is mainly about storing, managing and transferring very large sets of data and making it accessible for analysis. Although "very large" is an emphatic word that most editors cut from written content, it applies in this case. Data sets are so large, in fact, that ordinarystorage systems and platforms often can't handle the load, forcing data scientists to dump data they think they don't need to focus on data that's relevant to a particular project, or move the data to much bigger digs.
Data analytics is the practice of examining the raw data to draw conclusions and identify patterns.Business intelligence involves the collection and organization of information to report on business activities, often pulling data from those very large data sets.
Along with the surge inbig data interest has come a growing number of certifications, which seek to recognize the skills needed to work with enormous data sets. The target audience is IT professionals with a background in analytics, data mining, business intelligence or data management, along with a knack for and interest in mathematics and statistics. Individuals with big data or related certifications are in reasonably high demand, and usually command salaries of $90,000 or more. Senior data scientists can expect a salary in the $130,000 to $160,000 range.
And tomsitpro.com website chose to take a detailed look at certifications from Microsoft, Cloudera, EMC, Oracle and SAS.
1. MCSE: Business Intelligence
Microsoft is part of the big data mix with its MCSE: Business Intelligence certification, which qualifies individuals as BI and reporting engineers. The credential identifies people with the skills to design, build and deploy data solutions across an organization.
Candidates must pass five exams to achieve this certification, all relating to Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Topics include querying, administering, implementing a data warehouse, implementing data models and reports and designing business intelligence solutions with Microsoft SQL Server. Passing the first three exams earns the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) SQL Server 2012 certification; the last two exams the MCSE: Business Intelligence.
The MCSE: Business Intelligence is good for three years. To recertify, certification holders must take the latest recertification exam before the credential expires or review a list of skills modules in Microsoft Virtual Academy and pass all related assessments.
2. CCP:DS - Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist
Cloudera is a leader in software and services based on Apache Hadoop, catering to a wide range of markets, such as government, university research, financial services, telecommunications, energy and many more.
Cloudera offers four big data-related certifications:
- Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP: Data Scientist)
- Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)
- Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH)
- Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB)
The CCP:DS is geared toward data scientists who can design and develop scalable and robust solutions for production environments. Candidates need to pass three exams: Descriptive and Inferential Statistics on Big Data, Advanced Analytical Techniques on Big Data and Machine Learning at Scale. Each exam is a challenge scenario and you are given eight hours to complete it.
Candidates should be able to extract relevant features from a large dataset as well as from data stored in a variety of formats.
Cloudera certifications do not expire, but credential holders are encouraged to keep their certifications current with the latest CDH (Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop) releases.
3. EMCDS: EMC Data Science Associate
EMC Corporation leads the pack in data storage systems, but the global organization is also well known for cloud computing, information technology as a service (ITaaS), virtualization and analytics.
The EMC Proven Professional Certification program is highly developed, with 12 different certification tracks that offer multiple credentials. One of the company's most popular big datacertifications is the EMC: Data Science Associate (EMCDSA).
Don't let the "associate" nomenclature fool you, the credential takes a deep dive into data analytics. This certification requires passing a single exam that covers the role of the data scientist, the data analytics lifecycle, initial and advanced analysis topics on theory, methods, technology and tools, along with operationalizing an analytics project and data visualization techniques.
EMC offers other associate-level certifications in information storage and management, backup recovery, cloud infrastructure and services and content management. Higher level certs include theData Center Architect (EMCDCA), Cloud Architect (EMCCA), Storage Administrator (EMC SA) and several more geared toward engineers, developers and administrators. Although EMC certifications are good for life, the company recommends updating your certifications every three years to stay current on new technology.
4. Oracle Business Intelligence Certification
Oracle has one of the largest certification programs in the world, and has granted over one million Oracle and Sun certifications worldwide.
Oracle'sBusiness Intelligence (BI) certifications fall under the company's Java and Middleware certification track. The BI certs are offered across several applications and platforms, such as Business Intelligence Applications 7 for CRM, Business Intelligence Applications 7 for ERP Certified Implementation Specialist, Business Intelligence Foundation 10 and 11g, Endeca and Essebase. To narrow down the field, this article focuses on the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist credential.
Candidates for this certification are intermediate-level professionals (architects, analysts, developers and administrators) who work with OracleBusiness Intelligence Suite solutions, performing tasks from installation to building BI dashboards, to querying, configuration and management.
Although anyone can attempt the exam, the certification is designed for members of the Oracle Partner Network who sell and deploy thetechnology.
The Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation 10 Certified Implementation Specialist is also offered; it is based on a slightly older version of Business Intelligence Foundation, but is still relevant in today's market.
5. SAS Business Intelligence Certifications
SAS is a multibillion dollar global corporation that specializes in business analytics software and services. The company's well-honed certification progness intelligence.
Three SAS certifications worthy of note are the SAS Certified Predictive Modeler using SAS Enterprise Miner 13 Credential, the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling and the Business Intelligence Content Developer for SAS 9. For purposes of this article, we concentrate on the SAS Certified Predictive Modeler using SAS Enterprise Miner 13 and SAS Certified StatisticalBusiness Analyst Using SAS 9 credentials.
Candidates for the Predictive Modeler certification should have deep knowledge of and skills in predictive modeling using SASEnterprise Miner 13. The certification identifies individuals who can prepare data, build, assess and implement predictive models, as well as score new data sets.
The StatisticalBusiness Analyst certification is aimed at the true statistician. The exam consists of multiple-choice and short answer questions on topics such as ANOVA, regression, predictive modeling and logistic regression.
SAS doesn't require candidates to take certification courses as a prerequisite for exams, but the company offers an official curriculum for those who have the budget and need the extra preparation.