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Best Data Analytics Certifications: 8 Options To Consider

Every day, an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated across the world. It’s believed that there will likely be 175 zettabytes of data by 2025.

That’s a lot of data. 

It’s no doubt there will continue to be a significant need for professionals who can source, collect, manage, mine and make actionable recommendations from data. From Netflix to Google to tech-driven startups, companies all around the world rely on data-driven decisions to support innovation, acquire customers and optimize performance. 

The data analytics professional must adapt to the latest tools, technologies and best practices in the field. This is where analytics certifications come into play. To continually excel in their role, the data professional relies on in-demand analytics certifications. 

In the field of data analytics, there are a wide variety of credentials offered from professional organizations to individual software providers. Let’s take a look at what options are available and the ones that might be most applicable to you.

5 Platform-Specific Data Analytics Certificates Desired By Top Employers

Today’s companies operate on software and systems developed by the most trusted names in tech. It is often preferred that analytics professionals have certificates or certifications in the major tech stack. These typically include the following: 

1.IBM Data Science Professional Certificate 

Why: Professionals seek this certificate to close the skills gap in the areas of machine learning and data science. Analytics professionals may seek this badge to level up their skills to apply for more specialized roles in an organization. 

What You’ll Learn: You’ll learn data science methodologies like data visualization, data analysis using Python, data collection in SQL databases and machine learning modeling.  

You will also work through a series of applied learning labs in the IBM cloud where you can gain practical experience with data libraries like Pandas, Seaborn, SciPy and Scikit-learn.  

What It Takes: This certificate course is available online via Franklin University's partnership with Coursera. Learners will pay a $35/month subscription fee and will complete a series of 10 self-guided learning modules. The recommended 10 hour/week pace means you can complete the certificate in about 6 months. 

2. Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate 

Who It’s For: Data professionals and business analyst professionals who want to use Microsoft Power BI to interpret and visualize large data sets. 

What You’ll Learn: An ideal certification program to help people hone their skills preparing, modeling, visualizing, and deploying data using Power BI. This certification will help you visualize data points in a way that can drive organizational success.

What It Takes: There are two ways to earn this certification. Students can choose a self-paced online course with a final certification exam which costs $165. Or, students can choose a 3-day instructor-led course given by a Microsoft partner. The costs vary based on the instructor.

3. Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate 

Who It’s For:  More experienced or advanced data professionals who operate specifically in Microsoft Azure. 

What You’ll Learn: Before starting this certification program you should have experience with Azure Databricks and Azure Machine Learning. That’s because to earn this certification you’ll learn about predictive models and data experiments as well as deploying machine learning models using Azure systems.

What It Takes: There are two ways to earn this certification. Students can choose a self-paced online course with a final certification exam which costs $165. Or, students can choose a 3-day instructor-led course given by a Microsoft partner. The costs vary based on the instructor.

4. Google Data Analytics Certificate 

Who It’s For: Anyone with limited experience and training who wants to develop foundational training in data analytics. 

What You’ll Learn: This certificate course will provide you with baseline information around using data to solve business problems, analyzing data and visualizing your findings, and telling stories with that data. From a technology standpoint, particular attention is paid to R.

This eight-course series was developed by analysts at Google. It includes a number of application projects to provide you with an opportunity to gain practical experience with key analysis tools and platforms.

What It Takes: This certificate course is available online via Franklin University's partnership with Coursera. Learners will pay a $35/month subscription fee and will complete a series of 5 self-guided learning modules. You can complete the certificate in about 5 months. The advantage offered through the FranklinWORKS Marketplace is that if you decide you want to build on your certificate, you'll get learning credits from the Google Analytics Certificate that can save you time and money toward a degree.

5. Cloudera Data Platform Generalist  

Who It’s For: Professionals who work with or aspire to work with big data, especially those whose employers run reports on the Cloudera CDH environment. 

What You’ll Learn: You can manage and build your data analysis proficiency using the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) while earning this certification. You’ll review basics like system administration tasks to more complex uses of CDP including solution development and data analysis.

What It Takes: To earn the certification , students must pass a single 90-minute exam. Students can subscribe to training materials through Cloudera. The cost for this subscription is $300 per month.

If you’re not sure where to start, consult with your employer or desired employer. Many organizations may have preferential tools or technology stacks and will look for specific certifications in the recruitment process. 


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Popular Platform-Agnostic Data Analytics Certifications

There are also certifications that can be earned that are not focused on a singular technical platform but on the field of data analysis in a more holistic manner. Individuals typically earn these credentials to broaden their skillsets, enhance their résumés or qualify for internal promotions or performance incentives. 

The top platform-agnostic data analytics certifications include: 

1. Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) 

Who It’s For: Certified Analytics Professionals provides one of the leading industry certification programs by providing a high-level focus on the “7 Domains of the Analytics Process.” An aCAP certification provides recent college graduates who have minimal practical experience with an opportunity to explore business problem framing, methodology selections, model building and deployment factors.

What It Takes: The base cost for non-members of INFORMS (an association for analytics professionals) is $300.

2. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) 

Who It’s For: World-class analytics professionals pursue a CAP certification to “...enhance their ability to transform data into valuable insights and actions.” This includes an in-depth breakdown and exploration of the capture-to-use analytics process.

What It Takes: The base cost for non-members of INFORMS (an association for analytics professionals) is $695.

3. SAS Certified 

Who It’s For: SAS certifications are recognized around the globe because of their ability to help certificate owners improve their job performance. An SAS Credential for Data Analytics Professionals focuses on Predictive Modeling, Text Analytics and Data Optimization.

What It Takes: The cost for a Predictive Modeling certification exam is $250. All other certification exams cost $180/ea.

Best Online Graduate Level Data Analytics Certificate From A University

Certificates can also be earned through university programs. Many prefer going this route knowing that they are getting the knowledge and experience of the university staff in an encapsulated format.

An example of this is the Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics program from Franklin University. This fully online certificate enables you to improve your understanding and skill-base without conflicting with other work/life commitments. This program will boost your knowledge of statistics, databases, data visualization, data mining and big data technologies.

This certificate from Franklin is a great entry point into the analytics field as you don’t need a STEM background to pursue it. As an added bonus, because Franklin’s certificate offering is an extension of the broader educational program, it is eligible for financial aid which makes it even more accessible. Plus a certificate can also set you on a path toward earning your master’s degree as many of the credits you will have earned for your certificate will count toward several of Franklin’s data-focused degrees.

Why Earn an Online Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics?

There are a lot of options for earning a certificate in the field of data analytics. So how do you decide which is the one that is the best for you? Consider these three advantages that a graduate-level certificate provides: 

  • Develop in-demand skills that are not tied to a single technology platform. Wanting to improve your knowledge and skills in a particular area right now is great but don’t forget to forecast your future. Where do you want to go? What do you want to be doing? The answers to these questions can help guide you to a certificate program that will help you reach those goals.
  • Tackle real-world projects that advance your skills. Graduate-level courses from reputable and accredited institutions typically require students to work on hypothetical scenarios or challenges that come straight from the real-world. Rather than learning how to pass an exam, students learn how to apply the methodologies and skills to solve specific challenges. 
  • Develop a professional network that can perpetually pay off. Unlike technology platform certifications and industry-body certifications, going through a rigorous program with dedicated professors and peers results in developing a network that the student can continue to tap for new opportunities long after graduation. 

Choose a Data Analyst Certificate or Certification Program Today

Professional certificates and certifications can provide you with an opportunity to grow your knowledge and potentially your career at the same time. That’s because with more knowledge comes increased opportunity.

Explore how you can take advantage of the opportunity in the data analytics field by building in-demand skills quickly with a data analytics certificate program from Franklin University.

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