Microsoft Revamps BI Developer Cert

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Microsoft Learning has announced that it will change the requirements for its Microsoft Certified IT Professional: BI Developer credential. The move, prompted by feedback from the business intelligence (BI) sector, is designed to tone down the more sophisticated technical aspects of the certification while emphasizing its content-related application of SQL Server 2005.

“I would characterize it more as meeting the needs of the customer versus trying to ease the requirements, although that was also helpful in terms of what we were getting requests about,” said Keith Loeber, group program manager of certification, Microsoft Learning. “We were hearing from the BI community that the plan we outlined wasn’t going to meet their needs. The previous requirements stated that you had to go through the Technology Specialist exam (#70-431) for SQL Server 2005. The issue was that there was a lot of content that just wasn’t applicable to the BI developer role. What we tried to do was take that requirement out and rearrange things so everything was applicable to the role of BI developer. In that, it also reduced the requirement from three exams to two exams.”

Loeber said Microsoft Learning worked with the company’s SQL team to tweak the program and come up with the right exam mix. In the new iteration, the required exams for Microsoft Certified IT Professional: BI Developer are #70-446: PRO: Designing and Developing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and #70-445: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence-Implementation and Maintenance.

“We refocused #70-445 from a Pro exam to a TS exam that’s really relevant to how to use the tools versus the application of the tools,” he said. “We left #70-446 pretty much as is, but we took some of the application elements that were in #70-445 and put them in there.”

This move will better address the needs and skills of the job role the certification addresses, Loeber said.

“What we’re finding in the BI community is that there’s a large range of technical skills within that community,” he said. “Some people within that community came from a very technical background and can tell you everything you need to know about SQL Server. Others came from more of a business analysis background and don’t have that technology (knowledge) but have an application of that technology day-to-day in their jobs.”

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