Technical Article

Data Mining Part 34: Preparing for a certification exam



Now that we have read 33 lessons about Microsoft Data Mining. Are we ready for the exam?

Unfortunately, there is no Microsoft exam exclusively about Data Mining. In this chapter we will talk about the Microsoft certifications that are related to Microsoft Data Mining.


For this article, you do not need to have SQL Server installed. You can comfortably read this article from your smartphone in a swimming pool (if it is water resistant).

We tried to create a simple article that can be understood by someone without any knowledge about Data Mining, but who wants to be certified in the long run. If you do not understand this article, please complain by sending your comments and SQLServerCentral will fire the author of this article (I'm kidding. I hope ).

Getting Started

As we said before, there is no exclusive exam for Data Mining. Currently, the certification related to Data Mining is the Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE).  For that certification, you need to take 5 exams:

  1. The exam 70-461.
  2. The exam 70-462.
  3. The exam 70-463 (Optional *).
  4. The exam 70-466.
  5. The exam 70-467.

You can replace the 70-463 exam with the exam 70-411 or 70-412 or 70-483.

If you pass the first 3 exams, you will get a MCSA (Microsoft certified Solution Associate). If you pass 1 exam, you will be a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional).

Which exams are related to Data Mining?

The exam that in some few topics is related to Data Mining is the 70-463 exam. However, the Data Mining is just a small part of the exam and the exam is mainly focused on SSAS, SSIS, DQS and MDS.

What topics are related to Data Mining in the 70-463 exam?

The exams covers a section related to text mining and defining and defining needs for Data Mining samples. The section related is the Extract and Transformation data.

Is a Microsoft course available for the exam 70-463?

Yes, the course is the course 20463. Taking this course does not guarantee to pass the exam, but it helps a lot.

What course can be taken for Microsoft Data Mining?

The course for Data Mining is the Course 55040. It is exclusively about Data Mining. However, there is no certification related to this course.

What book can be used for the exam 70-463?

The official book is the Training Kit (Exam 70-463): Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Other books are the following:

How many question are on the exam?

40-60 questions.

Can I buy a practice exam?

Yes, you can buy the official Microsoft Exam for US$89. There is also a company named Transcender that sells practice exams at US$99.

How much does the exam cost?

It depends on the country. In USA it costs US$150, in most of Latin American countries the exam is US$80. In France and many countries from Europe, the cost is 150 EUR.

What is the passing score?

You must get 700/1000.

What languages are available for the exam?

English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese.

How much time does the exam take?

2-3 hours. What is interesting is that if you are non-native English speaker and if you take the exam in English, you will have 30 extra minutes.

After the exam, you will have 30 extra minutes approximately, to give your opinion about the exam.

What are the benefits of these certifications?

You will earn the recognition of Microsoft, more knowledge about the SQL Server Business Intelligence tools, special discounts, offers, cards, logos, access to a Microsoft website, software, logos and more.

Can I upgrade earlier certifications?

Yes, if you have SQL Server 2008 certifications you can upgrade your certifications with the exams 70-457, 70-458 and 70-460.

What about if I fail the exam?

Usually, the second chance is free. For more information, review this link.

What is the MVP?

The MVP is the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. It is a Microsoft recognition for exceptional professional leadership.

Is it possible to be MVP in Data Mining?

There is no MVP for Data Mining, but it is possible to be a SQL Server MVP specialized in Data Mining. It is not a certification and it does not require an exam. For more information, review this link.


For Microsoft, Data Mining is a small part of the Business Intelligence world. If you want a Microsoft certification related to Data Mining, you need to learn more about other Microsoft Business Intelligence technologies that will be useful to you in your daily activities. The exam is hard, specially if you are a student with no real experience. If you have experience, the exam may be difficult, because you do not use all the Microsoft tools and you may be missing some best practices or tools.



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