10 Best Data Analyst Certifications | Reviews and Pricing

Updated on December 1st, 2020
10 Best Data Analyst Certifications | Reviews and Pricing

The field of data analysis – its best practices, standards, and technologies – is consistently involving. To survive in this competitive landscape, data analysts have to be on top of their games. To that end, investing in a recognized data analyst certification is a smart move.

When you search for data analytics certification programs on Google, you’re presented with hundreds of search results. How can you tell which one is worth it/suitable for your personal goals?

If you’re a data analyst looking to take the next step in your career, keep reading. In this article, we’ll list and review top data analyst certification programs/courses worth every cent.

Let’s get started.

Top Data Analyst Certification Programs Right Now

Now that you’re convinced that you need to invest in a data analyst certification program, it’s time to evaluate your options.

Below, we’ve listed, reviewed, and shared the pricing of the 9 top-rated certifications that you should definitely consider:

  • DataCamp
  • Introduction to Data Analytics for Business
  • Data Analyst Associate Certification by Microsoft
  • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences (by Columbia University)
  • CCA Data Analyst
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
  • Amazon AWS Certified Big Data
  • SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics
  • Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate Certification

1. DataCamp

Level: Beginner to Advanced Level 

Duration: Self-Paced 

We rated DataCamp as the number one data analytics certification program. It has one of the most diverse and comprehensive programs that are tailored according to your career in data. You can find hundreds of courses and certifications on the site; it's essentially a one-in-all platform for learning all-things data. Regardless of whether you are a Python programmer, R programmer, a data scientist, or are looking to get into data analytics, DataCamp has a course for you.

DataCamp has several data analyst certifications, and each of them is tailored to specific specialties. Each tailored program is designed to help you accelerate your career in your specialization. The following are some of the data analyst certifications you can find on DataCamp:

  • Data Analysis in Excel
  • Data Analysis in Spreadsheets
  • Exploratory Data Analysis in Python
  • Exploratory Data Analysis in SQL
  • Exploratory Data Analysis in R
  • Bayesian Data Analysis in Python

You can also find other data analyst certifications on the website that may be related to specific case studies. However, that's for people who have been in the industry for quite some time.

Pricing

You can get a basic membership for free on DataCamp. However, if you're looking for an unlimited yearly plan with all data analyst certifications, that would cost $25 per month.

Check out DataCamp here.

2. Introduction to Data Analytics for Business

Level: Beginner level

Duration: 12 hours (self-paced)

The next on our list is a basic course that’s perfect for beginners/entry-level professionals.

Offered and designed by The University of Colorado Boulder through Coursera, the “Introduction to Data Analytics for Business” e-learning training course dives into the foundational principles of data analytics and how to use them for business decision-making.

The course is designed to keep the latest business analytics best practices. By the end of this course, you’d have learned:

  • Data modeling
  • Data quality
  • Analysis
  • SQL
  • Business intelligence principles

The course is broken into 4 modules:

  • Week #1 (Data and Analysis in the Real World) – learn the basics of analytics and how to assess analytical problems to help you assess real-world business problems.
  • #2 (Analytical Tools) – this 3-hour module will dive into the various technologies that data analysts use, including database management systems, virtualization, federation, and in-memory computing.
  • #3 (Data Extraction Using SQL) – this module will teach you how to extract data using Structured Query Language (SQL). By the end of this module, you’d have learned data combination, stacking, and much more.
  • #4 (Real World Analytical Organizations) – this module will break down typical organizational structures and the different data-based roles.

According to the stats on Coursera, about 43% of learners kick-started their careers after completing this certification.

Pricing

Enrollment in this course is 100% free (lasting for 7 days).

After completing all of the modules, you can earn your shareable certification of completion. But to use said certification, you’ll need to register on Coursera, which costs $39 per month.

3. Data Analyst Associate Certification by Microsoft

Level: Intermediate level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exam right away without spending any time on learning)

When it comes to data science certifications, Microsoft is at the forefront.

The “Data Analyst Associate Certification” is meant for intermediate-level data analysts who have been in the industry for a while.

Unlike typical certification programs, there are no mandatory learning objectives. In addition, there are no prerequisite programs. If you feel that you’re ready, you can simply schedule to appear for the “Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI” exam (Exam DA-100), pass, and earn the certification.

However, Microsoft has shared a clear learning path spanning 6 free courses consisting of a total of 16 modules, including (in order):

You can finish the aforementioned courses at your own pace.

There is also an instructor-led learning option that is paid.

By becoming a certified associate, you can demonstrate your knowledge of data sets, data visualization, modeling, and analysis. Furthermore, by becoming a certified analytics professional through this program, you’ll also demonstrate proficiency in business intelligence best practices.

Pricing

The price for the certification exam varies from country to country.

As of now, the examination fee in the US is $165. If you choose to prepare for this examination through the instructor-led option, it will cost you more.

4. Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences (by Columbia University)

Level: Beginner level

Duration: 12 credit hours (roughly 1 semester)

Offered by Columbia University’s Data Science Institute (in collaboration with The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), this certification program is ideal for students who want to develop key data analytics skills.

The Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences focuses on building strong foundations, preparing the students for a career in data science.

This is a non-degree and part-time program. Learners have to complete a minimum of 12 credit hours and four core courses, including:

  • Algorithms for Data Science – requires a basic knowledge of programming, calculus, and algebra. This course will dive into data organization, modeling, sorting, linear programming, and much more.
  • Probability and Statistics for Data Science – requires basic knowledge of calculus. This course will take you through the application of probability and statistical analysis in data science.
  • Machine Learning for Data Science – requires a strong background in calculus, probability theory, and stats. This is an introductory course for machine learning.
  • Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization – requiring a background in programming, this course will develop foundations in data visualization, perception of discrete and continuous variables, and much more.

You can apply for this data analyst certification program from anywhere in the world.

Pricing

This is the most expensive option on the list.

The standard tuition fee of Columbia Engineering applies to all of the core courses discussed above, which is $2,196 per credit.

In addition, a technology fee of $395 is charged per course, which is non-refundable. In total, the program will set you back by $31,092.

5. CCA Data Analyst

Level: Intermediate level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exam right away without spending any time on learning)

Next on the list is the “CCA Data Analyst” certification exam by Cloudera.

This certification has been designed for existing SQL developers, business intelligence analysts, data analysts, database administrators, and system architects, who want to demonstrate their competency in Cloudera’s CDH using Hive and Impala.

There are no prerequisites for this exam. If you want, you can opt for an OnDemand course by Cloudera.

The exam lasts for a total of 120 minutes and is based on 8-12 performance-based tasks (with a large dataset) that have to be completed on the Cloudera Enterprise cluster. Candidates have to score at least 70% in order to pass the exam.

Pricing

Right now, the CCA Data Analyst examination costs $295. You’ll end up paying more if you purchase on Cloudera’s OnDemand courses.

6. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

Level: Beginner level

Duration: Self-paced (typically takes about 10 months)

If you want a comprehensive education in data science, the “IBM Data Science Professional Certificate” program is perfect.

Offered by IBM through Coursera, this extensive certification program (typically lasting 10 months) focuses on building foundational skills that will help you kick-start your career in data science and analytics.

The program is based on a total of 9 courses that will dive into machine learning, predictive modeling/predictive analytics, data visualization, machine learning, and programming languages including Python and SQL.

Courses include:

  • What is Data Science?
  • Tools for Data Science
  • Data Science Methodology
  • Python for Data Science
  • Databases and SQL for Data Science
  • Data Analysis with Python
  • Data Visualization with Python
  • Machine Learning with Python
  • Applied Data Science Capstone

All of the aforementioned courses (with the exception of the first one) include hands-on practical labs in the IBM Cloud environment.

What makes this data analyst certification program special is that it doesn’t require you to have any prior knowledge of programming. What’s more, nearly 39% of learners start their careers after completing this program.

In the end, you’ll receive a certification of completion that you can share anywhere to showcase your competency.

Pricing

Enrollment is free. You can start a 7-day free trial where you’ll get access to the complete Coursera features, graded assignments, and more.

After that, you’ll need to pay $39 per month to continue learning and get your certification.

7. Amazon AWS Certified Big Data

Level: Intermediate level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exam right away without spending any time on learning)

If you have at least 2 years of experience with AWS technology and want to showcase your expertise in big data analytics, the “Amazon AWS Certified Big Data” program is an ideal option for you.

By passing this certification exam, you’ll demonstrate competency in implementing core AWS Big Data services.

While there are no strict prerequisites, the folks at Amazon do recommend completing one of their associate-level certifications or the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.

Furthermore, having some experience with architecting AWS Big Data services and 5 years of experience in data analytics is highly recommended.

Pricing

As of now, the certification exam costs $300.

8. SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional

Level: Advanced level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exams right away without spending any time on learning)

The “SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional” credential is meant for highly experienced data analysts who want to showcase their expertise in predictive modeling and statistical analysis.

Unlike the previously-reviewed options, in order to get this certification, you’ll have to pass three exams, including:

Of course, each of those exams has its own preparation roadmap and learning outcomes. You can prepare and appear for them at your own pace.

Additionally, a candidate who wants to get the SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional credential must have ample experience in machine learning, modeling techniques, optimization techniques, time series forecasting, and other core areas.

Pricing

The fees for the three mandatory exams mentioned above are $250 for the first one and $180 each for the others, bringing the total to $610.

9. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics

Level: Advanced level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exams right away without spending any time on learning)

Next on the list is the data analyst certification by Microsoft in Data Management and Analytics.

This sought-after credential validates a professional’s expertise in managing a high-level data center, system administration, data engineering, virtualization, networking, and storage.

To get this MCSE credential, you first have to complete a prerequisite certification. Here are your options:

After finishing a certification course, you’ll have to take all of the following exams:

Each certification course and exam has its own unique learning paths and goals. You can evaluate your options on Microsoft’s website and learn more.

Pricing

The total price that you end up paying would depend on the certification course that you pick.

As for the exams, they will set you back by $495 in total (each exam costs $165).

10. Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate Certification

Level: Intermediate level

Duration: Self-paced (you can give the exams right away without spending any time on learning)

The last one on the list is the “Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate Certification.”

Although this credential is meant for data scientists, analysts can also consider this to validate their expertise in running machine learning workloads on Microsoft Azure.

To get this certification, you’ll have to take the “Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure” exam.

You can prepare for this exam for free by taking the following courses:

You may also have an instructor prepare you for the exam. However, that’s going to cost you some money.

Pricing

The exam required to get this certification costs $165 in the United States.

How a Data Analyst Certification Can Help

Just like product management certifications, any program designed for data analytics has one primary goal – to help you excel in your career.

Not only can it strengthen your professional profile on the surface, but it can also help you with your day-to-day on-job analytics problems.

By getting certified, you can:

  • Gain Additional Knowledge – first and foremost, completing a certification will educate you on the latest theories, best practices, and latest open source tools. Furthermore, it will teach you to implement that knowledge to solve real-world business problems.
  • Show Recruiters That You Mean Business – a certification or two on your resume will make your profile substantially more attractive to recruiters. This will help you stand out from your peers.
  • Expand Your Skillsets – finally, completing a certification will equip you with the latest techniques and tools that will make you better at statistical analysis and other areas of the data analytics process.

And that barely scratches the surface. There are a ton of other, program-specific benefits of getting certified.

What’s Next?

Choosing an appropriate data analyst certification to pursue can be difficult, especially considering the fact that some of them cost so much.

You don’t want to end up paying for pursuing a credential that doesn’t help you in any way with your career.

To choose the right program, think about:

  • Where you want to be in your career
  • What area(s) of data analytics interest you
  • Your experience level
  • Your budget

Keep shortlisting your option until you’re left with just one. Once you successfully complete that certification, don’t stop there. Go one step further and look for additional credentials that validate your skills in tools like SAS, Apache Spark, and Tableau, among others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commons questions about data analytics:

Which certification is best for data analysts?

The best data analytics certifications have a few things in common. They're all well-respected by employers, and they teach you real data analysis skills - including how to organize, analyze, and present data.

Is a data analyst certification worth it?

A data analyst certification is worth it if you are planning a career in data analytics. It is important to have the right educational background and training for what you plan on doing as a data analyst.

How do I become a Certified Data Analyst?

To become certified as a data analyst, take up courses on data analytic principles, such as descriptive statistics and probability theory. You should also develop your programming skills by taking courses on Intro to Python Programming or SQL Database Design for example.