Over the past two weeks I’ve spent time studying to prepare to take the Adobe Certified Expert exam for Reports & Analytics (formerly SiteCatalyst). Despite my 10 years of experience working with this tool, I wanted to make sure I was up-to-speed on all the aspects, including some more obscure parts that I generally don’t use very often.
To prepare I used a combination of the “Adobe Analytics with SiteCatalyst Classroom in a Book” by Vidya Subramanian, and “The Adobe SiteCatalyst Handbook: An Insider’s Guide” by Adam Greco. While both were useful, I strongly recommend Adam Greco’s book. I found it easier to read, and it provided a lot of great tips that none of the Adobe documentation or the classroom in a book covers. Surprisingly a couple of them showed up on my exam.
While I cannot go into detail about the exam itself or the questions on it I can share this much (as it’s publically available information that you can find on the Adobe Certification site. The exam itself has a total of 63 questions, and you are given 85 minutes to answer each question. I managed to complete the exam in about 1 hour, and I took an additional 15 minutes to review my responses before submitting my answers. You get your exam score results immediately and so you will know if you passed or failed as soon as you hit the button. I like this over having to wait an agonizing 2-3 weeks to get exam results back (as I recall having to do after completing the GRE exam back in 1996, as I was preparing to enter grad school).
I’ll admit I was very glad that I took the time to study. While I do use the tool often, both in regards to working on client projects, and through the filming of my YouTube tutorials, I’ll admit that there were a number of aspects of the tool that I just generally don’t use very often, and so I haven’t generally memorized all the details of that aspect of the tool. One good example would be the use of Targets. While I have advised clients to set up targets and have on occasion set up some targets for clients, I generally don’t use this feature often because once I complete a project for a client, I generally move on. Targets are definitely something that my clients’ internal analytics team need to stay on top of – as a consultant I don’t stick around long enough to really make meaningful use out of targets much beyond recommending their use and occasionally helping them get set up.
If you have been working with Adobe Analytics for awhile and are considering becoming certified, I highly recommend studying ahead of time for the exam. You may be well versed in the tool and think you could easily pass the exam, but they definitely like to throw some curve-balls at you with questions you may not be expecting to have to answer. Seeing as the exam costs $299 for every attempt, I think it’s far better to be over-prepared, than under-prepared!
For those of you who have passed this exam – Good job! If you are considering taking it – Good luck! Share your experiences with me in the comments below!