IQCP Certification : Peter Audooren Shares Experience of Taking IQCP Exam
In this interview Peter Audooren, Data Quality Consultant, kindly shares his experience of successfully completing the IQCP certification exam. He talks about the process involved, style of questions and how it will support his career moving forward.
This is part of a regular focus on Data Quality Pro where we serve to help our members complete the IQCP certification by interviewing other IQCP certificate holders, providing study guide materials, creating a study group and generally helping our members accelerate the IQCP process.
Data Quality Pro: Tell us about the work you do for clients or employers, what areas of data quality and data governance do you get involved with?
Peter Audooren: I have a quite extended experience with data quality, ranging from fairly simple static analysis of content of databases in the context of BI or data integration projects to setting up a data quality measurement methodology, defining the process, implementing it initially locally and rolling it out across HP Europe; later on teaching this to HP Corporate.
Data Quality Pro: What were some of your reasons for taking the exam?Peter Audooren: The IQCP is new and not that well known yet. However, it seems promising, and I have started promoting it within my own employer's (Cronos Group, approx. 2000 consultants).
Certification seems in general to have value for customers.
Data Quality Pro: How did you prepare?Peter Audooren: My preparation was fairly limited: I diagonally read through Larry English's "Improving Data Warehouse and Business Information Quality" (Wiley).
Other than that, I banked on my experience
Data Quality Pro: Talk us through the examination itself – how is the process structured?Peter Audooren: The exam is a typical certification test as far as I can see: arrive at the test location, ensure that you follow "the rules" (no mobile phones, nor literature, etc.), sit down in front of the PC and get started.
The exam is a series of 150 multiple choice questions. Some are brief, some contain more extensive text.
Select the correct answer and move on. There is the possibility to mark questions for later review before finally submitting the exam. The only "difficult" thing is the exam content. The IAIDQ website gives a good overview of the process and exam content.
My personal summary is: make sure that you know enough about basic statistics, change management, data modelling and architecture, quality management: those are the high level subjects as I perceived them.
One side note: I'm not a native English speaker and in general this was not a problem. There were I believe 6 questions, where language was a problem: I simply couldn't understand those questions nor decide what the proper answer could be.
Data Quality Pro: Were there topics you wished you had studied in more detail?Peter Audooren: The bigger part of my experience is with (data) quality and data modelling/architecture. I have been involved in change management processes and projects a couple of times too. And of course, when dealing with the root causes of data quality problems, one has to start some changes too.
However, that would have been the subject for me to study some more, dig into literature to freshen and deepen my knowledge.
Data Quality Pro: Was it tougher or easier than you expected?Peter Audooren: I had no idea what to expect. Some questions were almost trivial, some were far from trivial. I percieve the test as tough but not in an exagerated manner.
Data Quality Pro: How do you think the IQCP will help you in future?Peter Audooren: That is a good question. I think IQCP will be helpful by promoting data quality and the IQCP and by becoming a genuine community of people collaborating, sharing, contributing. And that will / must obviously include myself: "improve the world, start with myself"?
Data Quality Pro: What advice can you offer those about to take it?Peter Audooren: Part of the deal is signing the IAIDQ Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. That implies that one is honest about of course also about e.g. one's past experience. If one has genuine and broad experience, then a lot of preparation should not be necessary. If one's experience is maybe not that broad or that deep in one of the areas, then it seems wise to study some good reference material about that particular subject matter in which one has less experience.
In my case for example, I have experience with change management projects as team member/contributor, but less than with quality, data modelling, statistics. Experience driving such change management projects, or with larger change management projects would have been a plus. Therefore, it would have been better had I spent some more time on studying the change management topic.
Peter Audooren can be reached on LinkedIn