In the competitive world, almost all professionals want to stand out from the crowd by showing some extra achievements. Having good certifications in the relevant field is the best way to gain attention. In the field of data science and analytics, there is a wide range of certification opportunities available belonging to the different domains that certify the expertise of holders in their skills. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) is such a premier and classic certification intended for analytics professionals. Here in this article, we discuss the CAP certification program with its expectations and the steps to prepare for the same.
About Certified Analytics Professional
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) is a certification program offered by INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), an international professional society of analytics and operations research professionals. Through this certification, INFORMS aims to validate the analytics knowledge and ability of analytics professionals. It also aims to differentiate certified analytics professionals from its peers and enhance the analytics knowledge and abilities of professionals. It sets a standard by which the organizations can identify and develop potential analytics professionals.
INFORMS is considered as the first professional society that developed a certification program for analytics professionals. The major highlights of this certification are given below:-
- To achieve this credential, the candidates need to pass an exam that is facilitated by INFORMS.
- This exam is based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA) that is prepared by the job-task-analysis working group of INFORMS. The members of this group carry a broad background in the analytics field.
- The content of this certification is software and vendor-neutral.
- There is a process for the renewal of this certification.
There are eligibility criteria for the candidates to apply for this certification. These criteria are given below:-
- Educational Qualification: A BA/BS or MA/MS is required in either of the areas of analytics, operations research, management science, statistics, engineering, business, mathematics, information technology and computer science.
- Experience: 3 years of experience with MA/MS in related areas, or 5 years of experience with BA/BS in related areas, or 7 years of experience with BA/BS or higher degree in unrelated areas.
The CAP Exam
To become a Certified Analytics Professional, candidates must go through an exam. This exam can be taken from the designated test centres across the world. To register for this exam, the candidates need to pay a fee of $695. For INFORMS members, this fee is $495. Following are the important details about the exam:-
- Duration: 3 Hours
- Number of questions: 100
- Format: Multiple choice questions
This exam assesses the breadth of knowledge of the candidate across seven domains. These domains and their weightage is given below:-
- Business Problem (Question) Framing (12-18%)
- Analytics Problem Framing (14-20%)
- Data (18-26%)
- Methodology (Approach) Selection (12-18%)
- Model Building (13-19%)
- Deployment (7-11%)
- Model Life Cycle Management (4-8%)
The questions from these domains are based on the Job-Task-Analysis (JTA) and are not based on any specific software, platform or vendor. There is a criterion-referenced methodology used by INFORMS to determine the passing score for its exams. The candidates receive an official score immediately after completing the exam.
Steps to Prepare
The Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) exam is a little different from the other certifications. It is software and vendor-neutral and completely based on Job Task Analysis. There are limits on the attempts also as a candidate can only appear a maximum of 3 times in a year. So there is the need to prepare with good planning. To prepare for the CAP exam, the following steps will be really helpful for the candidates:-
- Understand the Pattern and Collect Basic Information: You can visit the official website of the CAP exam to collect the important information related to the certification. From this website, you can obtain the complete handbook of the exam by sharing your Email ID. The handbook gives you all the information about the certification including a set of sample questions as well. Based on the given domains and sample questions, you can understand the pattern, breadth and depth of the exam.
- Collect Required Learning Materials: In the exam handbook, you will find a list of reference books across the domains. Along with that, you can obtain the Job Task Analysis by sharing your Email ID on this page. These referred books and the job task analysis will be almost sufficient to prepare for this exam.
- Learn and Prepare Notes with a timeline: Based on your time management and understanding of the breadth and depth of the exam, you can define a timeline for your preparations. You should go through the referred book based on the domains of the exam and start creating the notes one by one.
- Mock Test on MachineHack: MachineHack, India’s leading hackathon and assessment platform, provides different types of mock tests for such professional certification exams. These mocks are provided for free, just to support the candidates in their careers. These are prepared based on the details as given by certifying organizations and feedback from the successful candidates. You can also find Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) exam mock test on MachineHack. This mock test will help you to assess your level of preparation for the exam. In this mock, you will find the same number of questions across the required domains to be attempted within the stipulated time. Through this mock, you will gain the experience of taking the CAP exam in real life.
CAP is one of the standard certifications in the analytics profession. The pattern of this exam is unique as it is different from the vendor-based mainstream certifications. It needs to have a clear understanding of the contents that need to be covered for this exam. Along with the preparation, the mock test taken on the MachineHack platform helps the candidate a lot for the self-assessment of their preparation. After following the preparation steps as discussed above, this exam will not be difficult to crack.
Good luck to the aspiring candidates!