Hello, my fellow Trailblazers!
In this little article of mine, I would like to talk about my experience taking the Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant certification exam, and possibly helping you with some insight.
What does it mean to be a certified Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant anyway, you ask?
This certification implies that you understand and know how to use the Einstein Analytics platform on Salesforce. You will probably work importing data from Salesforce and other databases into Einstein Analytics; creating dataflows (for things like Salesforce data extraction), and recipes (like for the compilation of two different datasets). It’s likely that you would also be responsible for creating dashboards to deliver a better visualization and subsequent understanding of the information presented; improve the generation of insight and the business’ decision making processes; while building each into separate apps for deployment to designated user groups to maintain access restrictions and control over who can see what. To top it off, there’s a good chance that you’ll also be tasked with acting as a bonafide data-scientist, creating stories and predictions using Einstein Discovery; testing predictive models, and analyzing coefficients using scorecards to grade the different models from the least useful to those that most enable the company’s Decision Makers.
How cool is that?? You know – pwning the (data) charts in the Age of Analytics!
Data Management is a fundamental aspect of a company’s business model. Properly implemented, it is what ensures a solid, factual and actionable understanding of the results that stem from a business’ decisions is generated. There are a lot of questions that can be asked when looking at data, and these eventually result in decisions that will change the company, for better or worse. That is why a good data professional is a critical team member in any company. Someone who is responsible for managing these resources; and who can extract the needed information from them.
Enough teasing. Let’s get to work!
Accelerate the Curve
I would recommend beginning by creating a study calendar, including the day of the exam and the days you will set aside for study. The official recommendation is about forty (40) hours of study before taking the certification exam. So, grab your calendar and divide those forty (40) hours into daily periods that you KNOW you can dedicate to studying. I personally would not recommend you study more than four (4) hours a day, as I feel it’s counterproductive.
Let’s look at my calendar for example – I scheduled the exam on March 20th for April 1st, giving me about a week and a half to study for this exam. I then chose two hours of each day leading up to the exam to study. This brought the sum to a total of twenty (20) hours. In my case, I felt this would cover it since I had already attained a reasonable understanding of Einstein. I am a morning person, so I chose to study from eight (8) to ten (10) A.M., and then went about my daily routines, as I would normally. This is only an example, and you should choose the timeframe which best suits you, so that you can be as comfortable as possible when studying.
Also, remember to reference the Salesforce Certified Einstein Analytics Exam Guide found here. You should ALWAYS remember to check the exam guide, since it covers the topics that will be on the exam; as well as the overall percentage of the exam’s questions that pertain to each topic. Focus more on the topics that weigh most. You will need to know them inside out to be able to pass. The less covered topics will still need your attention, too! Try to match the percentage of time dedicated to each topic to its overall weight on the exam.
Know the Logistics
The exam costs two-hundred dollars (U$200) and the retake, in case you don’t pass The exam costs two-hundred dollars (U$200) and the retake, in case you don’t pass the first time around, is another one-hundred dollars (U$100). You need to create a Webassessor account so that you can schedule the exam. Some Non-English speakers (like myself), will remember a time where you could take certification exams in your native language. That is not the case anymore. The exams are in English. So, if you are not familiar with the language, I suggest you take some English classes, too.
There are two ways of taking the exam – at a Certified Testing Site, or through the online proctored platform. If you choose the in-person option; you’ll be presented with a list of Certified Testing Sites you can go to take the exam; then, you’ll be asked to select from the available dates & times and that’s it. You are good to go!
With this Coronavirus pandemic, most testing locations are closed; and I was only able to schedule an online proctored exam. Fortunately, with the closure of testing centers, Salesforce is now allowing for test takers to take the exams using the built-in webcam, which wasn’t the case before, and does make it somewhat easier for test takers to schedule their exams without having to purchase additional hardware.
Pack some Persistence
Now, comes the hardest part. The actual studying! Hehe. No pain; no gain, my friends. But I will give you some great tips on how to study and learn the concepts effectively. First of all, I highly recommend doing the Trailhead modules for Einstein Analytics and Discovery. The modules will ask you to create an org and guide you through executing the basics which allows for learning and knowledge consolidation. There is a big difference between passing the exam and actually understanding the concepts in question; so, I really encourage you to Sign Up for your own Einstein Analytics Developer Account and explore the Trailhead Modules.
Now hear me out, because I am going to share the golden ticket with you all: a FREE Einstein Analytics course by Salesforce on YouTube. Yeah, you got it right! I decided to only mention the course now because I STRONGLY advise you to (at least) know the basic concepts and have your org set up before doing the course exercises real-time.
Additionally, you can even search for example questions and mock exams to test your knowledge before doing the exam.
P.S. You might want to go for the Einstein Analytics Super Set on Trailhead, too. (see the Salesforce Consultant Superbadges) ?
On the exam day, try to not study and stay relaxed. You did you part, you studied hard and you know the concepts. Also:
- Try to eat light foods and stay hydrated (it is not small talk, this actually works). Your mind needs to be relaxed and fully able to face the endurance test of a certification exam, do not underestimate this tip.
- During the test, try to read all the questions slowly so there are no misinterpretations or issues of the kind.
- You have plenty of time. Relax. If you happen to come up short the first time around, do not despair. You will be emailed a transcript with a breakdown of your performance in relation to each of the topics, so you can focus your studies on the topics where you had the most difficulty.
- I recommend rescheduling the exam for no more than one week after the first try, to take advantage of the momentum & the fact everything is still fresh in your mind.
After you pass the exam (HOORAY!!!), do not forget to reflect on all your efforts and be grateful for everyone who supported you in achieving this goal. Then – celebrate, a lot, with your loved ones. You really deserve this! Post your brand-new certification on your social media to show and inspire others that are following the same path you are.
If you happen not to pass, celebrate all the same!
You have learned so much from this experience. You have seen the kind of questions that are asked, and you have an email with your test scores and the topics you need to work harder on.
Keep up with your study efforts and you will be ready to ace this exam on the next try. Believe in yourself. In the words of the famous Rocky Balboa – “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.”
If you follow all these tips, I am sure you have the highest chances of success with the exam.
I really hope you do benefit from these tips… and, if they help you in any way, please tell me. It would make me very happy to know I assisted you in earning your brand-new certification.
– Phillip Schrijnemaekers