Two years ago Microsoft started a certification program called SSAS Maestro, which was intended to be as a step towards a broader certification such as a Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) or Microsoft Certified Solution Master (MCSM) for Business Intelligence (so the names MCA:BI and MCSM:BI). Analysis Services is not the only part of the skillsets in such a solution, but it’s one of the more complex in this stack. I think that an MCA:BI certification should include also SSIS, SSRS, Data Warehouse data modeling, PerformancePoint and in the near future also Power BI. But SSAS is a key part, and the SSAS Maestro certification has a level of difficulty that is comparable with the requirements for MCA. An MCSM:BI should have a strong commitment on Analysis Services too, and it could get benefit of much of the existing SSAS Maestro training, even if it would not include the case study preparation.
Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t push on MCA/MCSM:BI until now, and the only certification available is SSAS Maestro, which is also not valid as part of the credentials for a Microsoft Partner. It’s not a good situation for all those people who invested time passing the exam (requiring the writing of a case study that oftentimes was days of work). It’s not an incentive for companies in investing on such a training and certification for their employees, since nothing is returned to the company as a direct benefit.
I and others already pinged Microsoft several times at several levels in order to ask putting some attention on that. But, until today, nothing happened. Microsoft is a big company, and it only cares about big numbers. I see the numbers of visitors of this blog, of the SQLBI web site, of the books sold, of the questions I receive by e-mail. I can say I am not alone, the community around is large, and for some reasons I think its importance is underestimated in Redmond. Maybe we need to send a signal.
So here is the call to action: please, write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you would be interested in Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) for Business Intelligence certifications. Make your voice heard!