Amplify your voice in the data conversation with a certification

Carrie Browde, Looker Certification Program Coordinator, Google Cloud

Aug 28, 2020

In the first installment of this series, I wrote about the magnitude of the current data revolution and why now is the time to make yourself part of the narrative. At this point, you may be ready to take your first steps towards making your voice heard, but unsure what those steps are. Or maybe you’re excited to join the conversation, but need a confidence boost in your ability to speak thoughtfully, and with authority.

No matter how you’re feeling, setting “attain a certification” as a goal is a great place to start. Certifications are beneficial career currency; they can help you move forward in your current career, or give you new avenues to explore because of the skills your certification establishes. Plus, the path to acquiring a certification is valuable in and of itself.

As you work towards becoming Looker certified, you’ll get to refine your relationship with data based on what about it excites you. You’ll also gain a better understanding of all the ways data is — and can be — a part of what you do.

How to become Looker certified

Here are the steps you can take to get started on your Looker certification journey:

Step 1) Identify the exam that aligns with your ideal path

Because of data’s omnipresence, it might feel daunting to narrow down how you want to use it. The great news is that this prevalence works in your favor — you can tailor your relationship to data based on what most interests you.

The Looker Business Analyst track

When you think about what you want to do most with data, what do you envision? Are you executing strategies based on data-informed decisions? Are you using insights to communicate with executive stakeholders? Is your data enabling you to effect change in a visible way? Or perhaps you’re in a role where you ‘use data’ right now, but you want to improve your understanding of it so that you can self-serve with data even better.

If you are interested in a role that centers around understanding how data can be used, the Looker Business Analyst track is the best path for you.

Looker Business Analysts use robust dashboards to make focused and data-informed decisions. With a Business Analyst certification, you’ll be able to:

  • Build better dashboards with real-time, fresh data
  • Organize data in an accessible way to help inform decision making
  • Enable your team to improve and accelerate analyses
  • Leverage data to create strategies and back up your decisions

The Looker LookML Developer track

If the above doesn’t quite describe you and your career goals, let’s revisit the original question — what do you envision when you think about what you want to do with data? Do you see yourself working more with the technology than with the data itself? Do you picture doing something that aligns with your interest in computer programming? Are you envisioning a role where you get to solve problems and puzzles, experimenting with different approaches along the way?

If you are more interested in the technical aspects of the data, then the Looker LookML Developer track is the better fit for you.

Looker LookML Developers enable the Business Analyst’s needs to merge with the technical reality of the dataset. With this certification, you’ll be better equipped to:

  • Write code to build tools that enhance others’ workflows
  • Work with databases on a technical level
  • Enable your colleagues to perform better analysis in myriad ways
  • Provide technical solutions to data access problems
  • Connect the dots between the technical implementation of Looker and your organization’s business logic

Step 2) Take advantage of study resources

All Looker Certifications have guides that clearly break down the corresponding exam content and include links to helpful training and documentation relevant to the specific track. These exam guides are designed to give you the tools you need to create and follow a self-guided learning journey that makes sense to you, so you can progress at a pace that fits in with whatever else you’ve got going on.

Step 3) Register for an exam

To ensure that your information is secure from registration to results, Looker delivers certification exams through Kryterion. Kryterion offers online test delivery as well as global testing locations* so that you’re able to take your exam on your schedule, no matter where you are in the world. They also offer 24/7 technical support if you have any issues with your equipment.

Bonus Step) Celebrate the learning journey

As you take these steps towards becoming #LookerCertified, don’t forget to acknowledge and celebrate the time you’re investing to refine your relationship with data. What’s a destination without the journey, right? Once you have your Looker certification, you will not only have quantifiable proof of your Looker knowledge, but you’ll also be able to connect with your peers in the Looker Certified Community, join the LinkedIn group of Looker certified professionals, and leverage your achievement as you build upon your career now and into the future.

*please see Kryterion’s website for guidance about onsite testing during COVID-19

Learn more about the Looker Certification program or reach out to our team with your questions about our programs.

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