Tableau is one of the top data visualization platforms used by companies, with more and more people learning the platform as the demand for Tableau Subject Matter Experts continues to expand. Since job positions are booming for Tableau experts, many are becoming platform certified in order to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Since the middle of last year, Tableau has retired a few of their professional certifications, reworked the exams of their existing certifications, and released a new certification for individuals: Certified Data Analyst.
You may be wondering if getting Tableau certified will be worth it for you, and if it is, which certification should you get? This guide covers the 3 different certifications that Tableau offers to individuals and will hopefully give you some insight into which one is best for you!
Tableau Desktop Specialist
Who is this for?
Someone who is just getting started in data and needs to learn the basics of data visualization
Someone who wants to learn data visualization skills to enhance their current skillset and/or become more data driven in their job. Ex: A marketing analyst wanting to use Tableau to visualize the results of their latest marketing campaign to stakeholders
Someone who already knows the Tableau basics and would like to get a certification for salary negotiation and specialization leverage
None. This is probably due to the fact that the main terminology and use cases for Tableau have remained the same overtime.
This exam only covers the basic features of Tableau, such as:
Connecting to live data connections and data extracts
Creating data models
Creating basic charts, filters, and analytics(reference lines, calculated fields, etc)
Creating, formatting, and sharing a dashboard
Knowing definitions of basic Tableau concepts(dimensions, measures, etc)
This means that there are no hands-on labs or dashboards that need to be built.
Certified Data Analyst
Who is this for?
Someone who is already familiar with Tableau basics and wants to obtain advanced data analysis/Tableau knowledge
Someone who is new to data analytics and has more time to learn the basics of Tableau and additional data analysis skills before pivoting into a new data analyst role
Someone who already has advanced data analysis skills and would like to get a certification for salary negotiation and in-depth specialization leverage
Expiry Date: 2 years
This is probably because the exam requires a hands on lab and the software is updated yearly with new features, therefore the exam needs to be updated as well.
The price is steep but it can gain you a higher salary and solidifies you as a Tableau SME with advanced Tableau knowledge.
This exam covers Tableau Prep, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server/Online, and more advanced Tableau features such as:
Connecting to multiple data source types
Calculated fields, calculations, and intermediate/advanced filter techniques
Creating interactive dashboards and stories
Publishing and scheduling data updates on Tableau Server and Tableau Online
Multi-choice and multi-select questions
Hands on lab where you will need to build a dashboard and/or story
Certified Server Associate
Who is this for?
Someone who wants to become a Tableau systems administrator
Someone who already has Tableau Sysadmin knowledge and would like to get a certification for salary negotiation and in-depth specialization leverage
Expiry Date: 2 years
This is probably because the software is updated yearly with new features, therefore the exam needs to be updated as well.
The price is steep but it can gain you a higher salary and solidifies you as a Tableau SysAdmin SME.
This exam covers more advanced Tableau features such as:
Understanding all of the Tableau Server components and how they work with one another
Software and Hardware requirements for installing Tableau Server
Installing & Configuring Tableau Server
Adding Users to Tableau Server
Configuring Security at different levels(project, site, user, data source levels, etc)
Maintaining Tableau Server
Using the TSM command line and APIs
Troubleshooting server issues
Upgrading Tableau Server
55 Multiple Choice & multiple response questions
I highly recommend that newbies start with the specialist certification. If you do not take the exam, you can at least use the exam guide as a checklist of things you need to learn in order to grasp the fundamentals of Tableau and to prepare for interviews
If you already have some experience as a data analyst, then I would go for the data analyst certification since it probably covers information that is already In your wheelhouse
Tableau Server is a bit harder than it seems, so I do recommend doing some labs and trainings before taking the exam. The networking part alone can take some time to wrap your head around if you do not have a technical background
You do not need to get certified to land a position that uses Tableau. Understanding the fundamentals of the software and having fleshed out projects that are summarized on your resume goes a long way. With that being said, certification exams are typically do not require the same type of knowledge that is used on the job, so take that into account when preparing for interviews.
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