Feel like you’re ready to take the Tableau Certified Data Analyst Exam? Here are some of my top tips that will hopefully help you get Tableau certified!

 

Practice (tests), practice (tests), practice (tests)!

 

Although this one seems quite obvious, I highly recommend trying to find as many practice exams/short quizzes as possible. So let’s say you are comfortable with all of the main areas of Tableau that will be tested (click here to make sure you have covered all the domains). I personally found that although I am comfortable using Tableau and competent across all of the domains, the exam style questions are quite different to the more business focused questions and challenges that I come across as a data analyst. In some instances, the way in which I would solve a problem isn’t necessarily the “correct” way according to the Tableau exam. Therefore, getting a sense of the style of exam questions is essential, as you start to understand how they structure the questions and what specifically they are testing you on.

 

For example, one question might want me to use a WINDOW_SUM function to calculate totals, whereas I would normally use an LOD to achieve the same end result. So my mind would already be biased towards using an LOD, blocking me from even really thinking about using a WINDOW_SUM.

 

Also, one thing that really surprised me was the fact that the Tableau exam actually had numerous questions that I found in some of the practice exams. So for certain areas that you may not really need to know in-depth to do your job as a functional Tableau user, it will prove very handy knowing the answers to some of these repeated questions! Not to mention that it will save you some extra time!

 

The practice test I found to be most like the real exam was this test here:

Free Quiz

 

Revise all your functions and calculations

 

The exam could ask you questions on any of the functions or calculations, so it is important to make sure you know the correct syntax, what they do, and when to use them. Since there are so many it can be hard to remember exactly what each one does, especially when functions are very similar (e.g. it is easy to confuse the various DATE functions or the types of RANK functions). To refresh my memory, I found it useful to read through all the functions and calculations available in Tableau the day before my exam to ensure they are all in my recent memory. In particular, I do recommend spending time revising DATE functions, RANK functions and fixed LOD calculations. Here is a study guide I found handy, as I can click on the domain point, and it will take me to the Tableau website page that gives examples and explains specific functions or calculations (as well as for checking off all the other exam points). Take the time to read through the Tableau website links – trust me, little questions about specific functions and their use case are common in the exam!

Tableau Certified Data Analyst Study Guide

 

Publishing and Tableau Server

 

Probably one of the areas that most people think about least is about publishing settings and Tableau Server. The exam will ask you very specific questions about these topics that you generally don’t need to remember as a functional data analyst or competent Tableau user, so much like the functions and calculations, I recommend taking the time to read through Tableau’s website (you can use the above study guide) and learn about all possible Tableau Server settings and the different options for publishing.

 

Don’t overthink it

 

I know that it is easy to feel a lot of pressure to pass the exam first go, which can lead to a lot of stress. But make sure to remember that failing this exam doesn’t mean you aren’t a competent data analyst. Like most tests, the Tableau exam is largely a memory test rather than a true test of one’s ability to creatively solve problems and analyse the data for real word scenarios in Tableau. So the best way to “beat the exam at it’s own game” is by doing loads of practice tests, and memorising those little details for things that are easy to mix up or forget.

With that being said, good luck and I hope you smash those exams!

Ben Devries
Author: Ben Devries

Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2023. For the last few years, Ben spent his time working as a professional jazz saxophonist which led him all around the world performing in cities such as London, San Fransisco, and of course, Sydney. But despite his musical background, Ben’s interest in data analytics came from his passion for problem solving and understanding the little details of how and why things work. From there, Ben went on to discover the Data School Down Under, and throughout the interview process became further inspired not only by the logic and flexibility of data, but also the ability for data to provide valuable insights to help solve complex business problems and present meaningful stories. Ben is excited to join Data School Down Under, and hopes to utilise his creativity, improvisational skills, and ability to draw connections upon diverse areas of information learnt as a musician within his new career in data analytics. In his spare time, Ben still enjoys playing his saxophone, as well as downhill longboarding, and spending time with his family.