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Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

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We're thrilled to announce that the Alteryx Designer Expert Certification exam is now available online! The Expert exam is a performance-based assessment that allows you to get certified by doing what you do best: building awesome solutions in Designer!

 

Exam Overview 

  • Exam Delivery: The exam is delivered in a proctored virtual environment. 

  • Exam Format: The exam is a performance-based assessment that allows you to prove your skill level and critical-thinking abilities in real-world scenarios. In order to complete each scenario, you will perform a series of tasks in Designer. You demonstrate your solution to the scenario through the workflow and output files you create. 
  • Skills Measured: The exam measures your ability to use Designer to solve complex analytics problems. It builds on the knowledge and skills assessed on the Advanced exam and focuses on 5 areas: in-database analysis, predictive analysis, spatial analysis, apps and macros, and dynamic reporting. 
  • Questions: 7 practical application scenarios
  • Price: USD $150
  • Exam Time: 3 hours

 

Learn More 

Check out these resources to get started on your Expert Certification learning journey: 

 

Expert Prep Guide: Learn about the exam content and format. This exam might be different than others you've taken before, so preparation will be key to your success. 

 

User & Registration Guide: This guide provides the system and testing environment requirements you must meet to take the exam, instructions on how to purchase and schedule your exam, what to expect on exam day, and tips for navigating the exam environment. If you lead a team you can even purchase multiple exams for your team members! 

 

If you're interested in learning more about the making of the exam (or if you love Schitt's Creek), read on! 

 

 

The Story of Making the Expert Exam Available Online, as Told Through Schitt's Creek GIFs

 

The Alteryx Designer Expert Certification was launched in June of 2018 at Inspire Anaheim. I started as the Certification Program Manager in April and learned on my first day that we'd be launching the first Expert Exam in 2 months. 

 

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The exam was successfully created and delivered, but it became clear that we'd need to find a way to offer the exam to a global audience. In September of 2018 (yes, over TWO years ago), I began the quest to make the Expert Exam widely available, but had no idea how difficult it would be to make that happen. 

 

 

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The main criteria for the exam delivery solution included: 

 

1) Online access: available to everyone, everywhere, all the time. We discussed hosting the exam at testing centers, as many tech certification programs do, but why would we do that when the internet exists? 

 

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2) A performance-based assessment format, hosted in a virtual environment. We wanted the exam to consist of practical application questions, and performance-based assessments allow people to prove their skill level and critical-thinking abilities in real-world scenarios. Hosting the exam in a virtual environment would allow us to provide a more consistent experience and control for factors like the version of Alteryx Designer, the format of starting datasets, and the way solution workflows and output files were saved and graded.

 

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3) Proctored exam delivery. It was important to have the exam proctored to help protect test integrity and to have a resource available for technical troubleshooting during the exam. 

 

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4) The solution also needed to be scalable and cost-effective because we wanted to keep the price of the exam reasonable. 

 

I started searching for an exam platform that would fit the criteria but was disappointed when I didn't find one that checked all of the boxes. I did find several options for proctoring, and some different options for exam hosting and delivery, and that's when I resorted to some creative thinking. 

 

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The platforms I was looking at all had integration capabilities that I thought I could leverage to build my own system that would tie together an exam hosting platform with a proctoring platform. It's important to mention that I only thought I could do this because at this point I was pretty far along in my Alteryx Designer learning journey and realized that Designer could do almost anything. If Designer could do almost anything, and I had Designer, it meant that I could do almost anything!!! Drunk with Alteryx Designer power, I chose 2 vendors and set out to build a proof of concept. 

 

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It's also important to mention that this entire plan hinged on APIs, and I had no idea what an API was. 

 

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After hours, days, weeks of reading and learning about APIs, I "knew" what APIs were, but I found that all of the standard explanations and definitions were pretty lacking. For example, Wikipedia (one of Google search's favorite trusted internet sources) states, "An application programming interface (API) is a computing interface which defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc"

 

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For the three people reading this that aren't familiar with APIs, I'll explain it by saying they're like invisible strings that connect different online applications and allow them to talk to one another. Basically like a tin can telephone but the cans are online applications, the string is invisible, the message has to be perfectly formatted to get across, and it's some combination of magic and ghosts that makes it all happen. 

 

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After weeks of reading API documentation and building out automated workflows, I had a working proof of concept! 

 

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By this time it was May of 2019 and I was feeling pretty excited about the possibility of getting the exam online later that year. But the vendors still had to go through a rigorous contract and information security review. 

 

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Alteryx holds vendors to very high security, privacy, and legal standards, and one of the vendors didn't meet those standards. Although we went back and forth many times, we weren't able to reach an agreement and I spent a week in the throes of an existential crisis. 

 

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After a round of conversations with stakeholders and awesome executive sponsorship, I set out to look for a different platform. 

 

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This time I was delighted to find a platform that checked all of the boxes and had additional functionality we wouldn't be able to get with a home-grown solution. We went through demos, a proof of concept, legal and security reviews, and months of due diligence. Finally, by the end of 2019, we were officially on board with TrueAbility, and we partied like it was 1999. 

 

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By this time I'd been telling people, "we're working on making the Expert exam available online" for over a year, and I was starting to get very reasonable questions about a delivery date. 

 

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Now you know why it's taken longer than expected to get the exam online.

 

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Here's a little peek into what we've been working on this year to develop and implement the exam: building out the base image for the virtual environment, building and testing exam scenarios and automated grading functionality, building integrations with Community via magical APIs and webhooks, conducting user experience testing, creating exam prep and user guides, alpha testing, building proctoring integrations, beta testing, creating and documenting processes and procedures, pilot testing, and writing a blog that allowed me to look at Schitt's Creek gifs for a couple of hours. I'd like to thank everyone who has helped make this online exam possible and apologize to the many people in my life who have listened to me talk about this project relentlessly during the past year.  

 

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FINALLY, after 2 years, I am thrilled that the exam is now available online. 

 

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Good luck to everyone embarking on the journey to become Alteryx Designer Expert Certified! 

 

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Elizabeth Bonnell

Elizabeth believes in the power of questions to drive learning, so she spends her days dreaming up exam questions and creating ways to help Alteryx users prove and improve their skills through certification.

Elizabeth believes in the power of questions to drive learning, so she spends her days dreaming up exam questions and creating ways to help Alteryx users prove and improve their skills through certification.

Comments
16 - Nebula

This is amazing 😎

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

I’m not sure if I’m more impressed with this huge launch or with the amount of FANTASTICALLY placed Schitt’s Creek gifs you found. Either way, it was all you, @ElizabethB! Congrats and let’s toast ASAP, neighbor!

Alteryx Partner

Congratulations with launching the Expert certification online! And kudos for spending time to get it right. After going through a painful proctored exam for Tableau, I feel that this time will be worth it for a good exam experience 🙂

Alteryx Partner

Yeah this is a big deal! Great work @ElizabethB 

 

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14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

I LITERALLY just started watching this show last night. How fortuitous. Great intro to the weekend!

Alteryx
Alteryx

Elizabeth- 

 

I am not sure which is more impressive, the delivery of the Expert Exam online or the telling of the story via **bleep**t's Creek Gifs.  

 

 

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Congrats!!!

 

 

Alteryx
Alteryx

Awesome news, @ElizabethB! It's great how you can just throw something like this together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 - Bolide
11 - Bolide

Congratulations and really enjoyed reading about all the effort that's been put in behind the scenes.

Alteryx
Alteryx

This is awesome. Thanks @ElizabethB !

6 - Meteoroid

This is awesome ! 

Alteryx Certified Partner

Why? 

Why are you making it easier for me to fail the expert exam?? 

7 - Meteor

Great stuff!

7 - Meteor

THIS POST IS VERY MUCH EVERYTHING

Alteryx Certified Partner

This is so exciting Elizabeth! Congrats on getting it online!

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

You know it's a lot of GIFs when my laptop fan spins up to load them all - well done 😁. Wish me luck getting my $150 expense report approved

5 - Atom

This is awesome news and a great job which I see took lots of patience.....  I am really excited to be able to take this online.  Thanks for all your hard work!!

13 - Pulsar

Congratulations and thanks @ElizabethB on getting the Expert Exam on-line.  Passing the Expert Exam on my list of Alteryx goals!  When I first asked about API's, I was told it was like two Enigma machines talking wirelessly to each other.

12 - Quasar

Brilliant @ElizabethB ,

 

I will be amongst the online exam takers.

 

Well done.

11 - Bolide

That is great.  Looking forward to giving it a go.  Is there a practice exam?  Any suggestions for getting practical experience using In-DB tools when I don't have a way to use them at my current assignment?  Is there a virtual DB that I can connect into to practice?

7 - Meteor

Hi Elizabeth, 

 
Thank you for your effort to bring the expert exam online. 
 
I have one question regarding the exam:
 
I have read both the Expert Prep Guide and User & Registration Guide. The exam focuses on 5 areas: in-database analysis, predictive analysis, spatial analysis, apps and macros, and dynamic reporting. However, there are 7 practical application scenarios given in the exam. The guide suggests attempting 4 or 5 scenarios. My understanding is the exam allows candidates to focus on the areas they are interested in when preparing the exam, although the exam itself is comprehensive and will test the ability to work with any part of Alteryx Designer. 
 
My prediction is there is one scenario for in-database analysis, spatial analysis, and dynamic reporting, respectively. However, I don't know how the remaining 4 scenarios are allocated between predictive analysis and apps/macros. 
 
I have also read a blog called "Unlocking the Alteryx Expert Exam" from last year's expert exam taker. It looks like apps/macros corresponds to three scenarios: batch macros, iterative/standard macros, and apps. However, the test areas for predictive analysis ranges from Data Investigation all the way to Prescriptive tool pallet. I feel it makes more sense for me that there will be three scenarios for predictive analysis in the exam. 
 
Thus, my question is how the 5 areas are allocated among the 7 scenarios. Any clarification would be appreciated, 
 
Thanks, 
 
Gualigee
8 - Asteroid
8 - Asteroid

Wonderful - thank you @ElizabethB for not giving up until this comes true. I have been telling myself that I so wanted to attempt but it was not available. So looking forward to giving this a try!