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Starting my journey to MCSE: Business Intelligence

MCSA Training KitsOne of my goals for 2014/2015 is to learn enough to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Intelligence.

I can upgrade my MCITP certification, but I decided to start from scratch with the SQL Server 2012 exams because it’s a great way for me to learn new features while my company is still using SQL Server 2008. I’m also sure it will be very useful for me to step out of my comfort zone of data warehouse development / architecture and dive into the scary world of database administration.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012 will remain in market without any alterations and passing the three required exams will be my goal this year. The MCSE exams will be updated with SQL Server 2014 topics and I aim to pass them later this year or early next year.

The three Training Kit books finally arrived yesterday: Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases and Training Kit (Exam 70-463): Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Reviews range from “useless” to “excellent”. Based on my experience I can’t rely on these books alone, but hopefully they’ll be a great starting point and will help me identify what I need to work on. My own reviews will be posted as I finish the books and take the exams.

My plan is simply to work my way through each chapter and write down useful suggestions and improvements for my company. It’s easier for me to learn when I can relate the content to my work. I’m most excited about learning more about database administration since that’s not something I do every day, and most curious about the data warehouse part since I’m kind of already supposed to know my way around dimensional modeling and SSIS :)

I passed exam 70-461 (Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012) in January 2015.
I passed exam 70-463 (Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012) in April 2015.
I passed exam 70-462 (Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases) in May 2015.

Have you recently taken any of these exams? What is your job and what did you find most challenging?

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer. She loves data and coding, as well as teaching and sharing knowledge - oh, and sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, and cats :)


Hi! This is Cathrine. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

Nice to hear. I have also recently begun studying Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012. It will be enough for me this year. Good luck with your exams!

Good luck to you as well, Remigijus! :)

Catherine, thank you for documenting your journey. Your blog is useful as I too am studying for this exam. Best of luck to all in their studies!

hi everyone im highly interested in BI/EDW. will start the classes in January and eventually take the three exams required to be certified afterwards. but before that time,can someone please recommend me books to start reading now? or tips on how to study. i have enough time to dig deep into it before my classes start. Thank u for this very useful Blog! there is alot to learn!

Quincy, the training guide dedicated to exams 461 is sufficient. The book itself recommends others as well.

One website that mimics the look-and-feel of the exam is kate and Emil (all one word). Best of luck on yoke endeavors

David, did you use Kate and Emil? Are you recommending them. I don’t know if I should use the to prepare for my MCSA and MCSE

Yes, I am using them. I am also using Measure Up for practice tests. Both are great resources.

Hi Catherine,

I have recently given 70-461 and passed the exam. During my study I came across your blog and I would like to thank you for documenting your journey.

All The Best !!

Ameya Natu

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for documenting your journey. It helps to know how other have navigated. Can you tell us more about the other 2 exams that one needs to finish to get MCSE:BI?


Hi Andy, I have been focusing on other certifications the past year, so I have not yet taken the MCSE exams. I will blog about my experience after I take the exams :)


I have passed out MCSE, this article very helpful to pass my exam. I have taken Class from Koenig Solutions.

i am planning to give 2 exams 70-467 and 70-468 , any insign in how can i prepare for them ?

i mean 70-767 and 70-768

You have really shared superb posts on this site. Thanks & keep sharing wonderful post.


You have shared really good information & all stuff is very useful & Helpful.Keep sharing & updating.

Yes, I have recently passed 70-468. I have read many of blog for preparing exam..

Hi! This is Cathrine (again). Just a reminder. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

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