Thursday, November 8, 2007

PerformancePoint exam

Today was the last day to write the beta release of the Performance Point exam 71-556 for free, so I decided to squeak it in. As with the other couple of beta exams I have written, there was a feeling that a few of the questions & answers didn't make a whole lot of sense, but overall the outline I picked up from other blogs matched the content.

The key difference between the rough outlines & the actual exam was the weightings of topics. It was about a 50/50 mix of Planning vs. Monitoring in my case, with 66 questions total. You are allocated 4 hours, though since it was all multiple choice and no case studies (and the woman talking to herself behind me was driving me crazy) I finished well under that timeframe.

The key items I found on my exam, not disclosing the actual questions or answers, were mainly security, association, model, and a few KPI & Excel add-in related. Of course all the components in the outlines were discussed, though for some reason it felt like there was an emphasis on security and roles

I guess I will find out in 4-8 weeks what my results were.

As for my study method, you can see my article on how I studied for my last exams on Sql Server Central.

I would upload my study notes, but really I just took the outline, searched the help files for each of the products identified, and created a notebook section in One Note. I saved the section as a Word doc, did some formatting to kill less trees, and printed it out for some easy cram notes.

It helped that I have deployed all the components of PerformancePoint, and did some extensive work with the product's previous incarnation, Business Scorecard Manager.

In general, I would recommend looking at the various features of PerformancePoint and see where each piece fits into your business intelligence strategy. The Planning Product has some very powerful features worth looking at, and the Monitoring product is the frontend piece Microsoft has needed for years to deal with OLAP data.

If you're interested in seeing when the exam is released, or just want to check out the other new products Microsoft is certifying for, check out the Recently Released Exams at:

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