Tableau certification: some frequently asked questions

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Top managers and executives often rely on the expertise of data analysts to express an array of company data in an easy-to-understand format. This is why data analysts with Tableau expertise are usually in high demand by most business organisations. If a career in data analysis interests you, then you could benefit from learning about the different certifications available for this software. In this article, we discuss what Tableau certification is, the different levels of certification for this platform and other frequently asked questions.

What is a Tableau certification?

Tableau is a visual data analytics platform that uses data to solve problems and a Tableau certification demonstrates that you've completed a training course that can help you to better understand this platform. This software includes two major products, which are Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server. The former is the primary tool that business analytics experts use for data analysis and visualisation. While IT professionals use the latter for system administration and managing how employees use data.

Related: How to list certifications on a CV: template and examples

Are Tableau skills still in demand?

Data analytics has been a vital part of business enterprises and corporations for decades. According to the Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, data analysts are some of the most highly sought after professionals, with increasing demand in several industries. Consequently, this increasing demand for data analysts means that Tableau skills are crucial in most industries as these skills are vital for business intelligence managers, data analysts and visualisation experts.

What are the different levels of certification?

There are three levels of certification for this software. These are Tableau Desktop Specialist, Tableau Certified Data Analyst and Tableau Server Certified Associate.

There used to be five certifications available, but in a series of announcements in the latter part of 2021, Tableau officially retired three of the courses and added a new course. The previous courses were Tableau Desktop Certified Associate, Tableau Desktop Certified Professional and Tableau Server Certified Professional. It's important to note that these certifications are still valid, but Tableau isn't issuing new ones. The new certification added is Tableau Certified Data Analyst. Two other certifications are available for Tableau partners only and these are Tableau Certified Associate Consultant and Tableau Certified Associate Architect.

Is it worth getting Tableau certified?

Becoming Tableau certified can help you improve your data management and analytical skills. It also helps you develop your career and earning potential as employers typically seek data analysts with a Tableau certificate. This certification can significantly boost your CV as it shows a hiring manager your level of proficiency with the software and how you can use it to complete data analysis and visualisations.

It also establishes that the holder of the certificate understands the Tableau best practices, concepts and working principles and that they can prepare, analyse and draw inferences from data. In addition, a Tableau certificate also demonstrates your commitment to a career in data analysis.

Related: How to become a data analyst

How do I prepare for these certifications?

The best way to begin your preparation for these certifications is from the ‘Start your journey' page, which is available on the Tableau website. This page contains preparatory materials and instructional videos on introductory data analysis and how to use the software. Each level of the certification also comes with a guide, which includes an outline of each topic covered by the test. The candidate can then better understand the concepts in this guide by taking practice tests to become familiar with the exam structure.

Additionally, understanding the functionalities of the software is a key part of your preparation for these certifications. You can better achieve this through hands-on experience, or by using available data, to practise using the software until you improve your proficiency with it.

Related: How much does a data analyst make? (With qualifications)

When does a Tableau certificate expire?

This depends on the level of the certification. The Tableau Desktop Specialist certificate, which examines your basic knowledge of Tableau Desktop, lasts for a lifetime. For both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server, the associate certificates last for two years, while the professional certificates last for three years. The Tableau Certified Data Analyst certification is also valid for two years.

What Tableau certificate do I require as a beginner?

If you're new to data analytics and are trying to understand the fundamentals of data analytics and visualisation, you can benefit from completing the Tableau Desktop Specialist certification. This certification examines a candidate's basic knowledge of data analysis and how to use the Tableau platform to prepare and draw insights from data. It's the easiest certification to obtain and is a prerequisite for some of the advanced levels of certification that Tableau offers.

What is the format of the Tableau Desktop Specialist exam and how do I pass it?

The test for this certificate is a proctored exam that lasts for 60 minutes and requires a 70% pass mark. It consists of 30 multiple choice questions and covers only the basics of using Tableau Desktop. Tableau recommends gaining at least three months of hands-on experience with Tableau Desktop before taking this certification exam. This gives you the time to learn the software's fundamentals. You're also more likely to feel confident about taking the exam after you've practised using the platform.

One way of improving your chances of success in the exam is to complete one of the several learning courses that Tableau offers. Tableau also has a series of learning resources, such as guides and videos, that you can use to help you pass the exam.

Are the online Tableau exams proctored and what does this involve?

An AI invigilator monitors exam candidates through a webcam and microphone to prevent access to books or other materials. Before starting the exam, the system asks for photo identification, so it's necessary to have an identification card, such as a driving licence, near you. The invigilator also uses your webcam to check your exam surroundings to ensure that it's free from third parties that can influence the exam.

Can I prepare for the exams by myself?

While many preparatory courses are available for the certification exams, they're not required to pass the exam. With a solid grasp of the foundational concepts and technicalities of the software, you can use the available guides and instructional videos to prepare for the exams yourself. The only requirement here is a degree of dedication and determination and the ability to motivate yourself to study and practise without the need for additional support.

How to register for the Tableau exams

Tableau uses Pearson VUE as their exam provider. Applicants can schedule their own exams and either take them online or at a designated centre. Candidates can also schedule their exam six months ahead and can reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours before the start of the exam. You can easily register for your certification exams by completing the steps below:

  1. First, find the certification that you want to register for on the Tableau website and then create a certification account.

  2. After creating your account, click on the ‘Schedule my exam' icon.

  3. Next, select 'Schedule my exam with Pearson'.

  4. You can then select and register your exam from the Pearson dashboard.

Can I retake the exam?

It's possible to retake the exams if necessary. Candidates can register almost immediately for a second exam if they don't reach the pass mark at the first sitting. If there's a requirement to retake the exam after a second attempt, the applicant can register again after waiting for two months.

Related: Highest paying IT jobs in the UK (with job duties)

Working as a Tableau developer

After gaining various certifications and developing a thorough understanding of the Tableau platform, one potential career path for you may be to work as a Tableau developer. A Tableau developer uses the Tableau platform for data analysis and data visualisation purposes and helps an organisation to develop, maintain and manage its data. The national average salary of a Tableau developer is £532 per day. Tableau developers may earn more in certain cities. For example, in London, the average salary of a Tableau developer is £559 per day.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with indeed.

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