Microsoft Certification: Exam 70-778 and Exam 70-779

Many people have asked me how I prepared to take Microsoft Exam 70-778 (Power BI) and Exam 70-779 (Excel).

So, this is my advice based in my experience:

You must be already familiarized with DAX, Power Query, T-SQL and SSAS. Doesn’t mean you cannot learn it and pass the exam but without some previous knowledge about these topics it will surely take longer, and you are increasing the probabilities of be unsuccessful.

If you are only starting now working with Power BI, better to consolidate the basics before taking the exam. There are plenty of invaluable resources in the web where you can learn, for free! From Microsoft Documentation to gurus’ blogs such as CurbalPowerPivot Pro, RADACAD, SQLBI, Guy in a Cube… and many, many others.

In my case I had a solid 2+ years learning Power BI in work environment when I decided to sit for the exams. Of course, it doesn’t mean you need all this time, but I think it is important to notice it.

The first book I read was Power Pivot and Power BI – by Rob Collie & Avi Singh and I honestly recommend it.

Then I did the Microsoft courses Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI and Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel in EDX which are also the online training recommended by  Microsoft in the Exams page.
Note you can just Audit the curses, i.e., you don’t need to pay for them unless you are pursuing the certification. In my case yes I paid but was because these were part of the Microsoft Professional Certification in Data Science I was taking at the time.

When I decided sitting for the exams (Summer ’18), I bought the official exam reference books Exam Ref 70-778 Analyzing and Visualizing Data by Using Microsoft Power BI  by  Daniil Maslyuk and Exam Ref 70-779 Analyzing and Visualizing Data by Using Microsoft Excel by Chris Sorensen.

The two Exam Ref are well organized, and one can see Authors have put a lot of effort to create a study path. Chapters follow the Exam structure and reference many extra resources. Kudos to them. Important, I studied for one exam at the time, 70-778 first and then 70-779. There are so many similarities between Power BI and Excel that can trick you that I won’t recommend to study for both exams at same time.

A third important resource I used was the white paper recently published at the time: Planning a Power BI Enterprise Deployment by Melissa Coates and Chris Webb.
This paper has been extremely useful for me until today and still one of my main references to a complete view of Power BI Environment.

As Practice Questions, I summarized and reviewed the questions of the Microsoft Curses, the Exam Ref books and I did the free test provided by Accelerated Ideas.

Following the practice examples in the Exam Ref books is also recommended and a good way to train.

The exams length time is between 120 and 150 minutes but you must read carefully the case studies and the questions, hence is important to manage tightly the time. There are questions that all answers are right, and you most select the most complete. Be aware of these.

And finally, be calm! If you get stuck move for the next question. You can come back to it later.

I hope it would help you and good luck for the exams!

Intro to Measures and Slicers

Check out Video #5 of Power BI Series and learn about DAX Measures and Slicers in Power BI Desktop.

This video covers:

  • How to create a Measure
  • Intro to Quick Measures and standard calculations
  • Intro to Slicers and Edit Interactions

If you are starting learning DAX I suggest:

  • Book:  Power Pivot and Power BI by Rob Collin & Avi Singh.  This was one of the first books I read about DAX.
  • Blog:  DAX Fridays  by Curbal.com . Ruth releases a video every Friday covering DAX functions (and more) and to date, the playlist counts with more than 80 videos.  Awesome work .

There are plenty of other sources (books, blogs, videos, etc), but these are my recommendations if you are new to DAX and Power BI and want to learn the basics.

Calculated Columns in Power BI Desktop

Check out Video #4 of Power BI Series and learn two easy ways how to create a calculated column in Power BI Desktop.

This video covers:

  • Create a Calculated Column in DAX
  • Create a Calculated Column in Power Query
  • Delete Calculated Columns differences and Errors

You can download the files here:
Link to GitHub

And access the online dashboard here