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Last Thursday and Friday, I joined the datavault certification training, organised by Genesee Academy and Centennium BI expertisehuis.

In this post, I want to give my reflections on this training and the certification exam that is part of it. I give it both good points and some less good points. I will start with giving a little description on how the training is setup.

Setup of the training

The training starts with a set of online videos that are made available two weeks upfront of the actual two days classroom training. They give a good introduction and even some in depth information about the Data Vault modeling and methodology.

The two days classroom training contains a slightly adapted set of the slides that are presented in the online videos. You receive those as handouts in a nice binder.

During the first day, a lot of the slides are presented and additional context is given. Two small modeling cases need to be worked out and are discussed. When time permits, a third – slightly bigger – case is started.

The second day the third case is worked out and discussed in detail. Also any questions asked during the first day are discussed. The last slides are presented and a recap is given before the 2,5 hour exam starts.

The exam consists of both true/false questions, open questions where you have to write down the answer and some modeling. You need to have 90% of the questions correctly answered to be granted the title of “Certified Data Vault Data Modeler”.

How I rate it

In the next section I’ll give my thoughts on it. Of course this is highly subjective. I also need to add that I had already read a lot about Data Vault upfront and that I even started an implementation.

The Bad

Actually, it isn’t that bad, but just a matter of speech. Here it comes:

  • the slides in the classroom training don’t add any value to the ones presented in the online videos
  • there is more theoretical information in the online videos than in the classroom training

The Ugly

  • the fact that you need to have a score of 90% to get certified is not mentioned upfront
  • some of the true/false questions in the exam are ambiguous and need you to write down your assumptions to clarify your answer
  • some slides are already a little outdated based on the ongoing insight

The Good

As in any good presentation, it is the material that isn’t in the slides that really add value. In this training this is no different. The context around the material in the slides is provided by the trainer and explained in detail.

  • in-depth discussion on specific topics based on feedback and questions from the participants
  • the cases provide plenty of room for discussion on how to model in certain circumstances and why to do it like that


The classroom part provides an interaction that can’t be matched by slides or online videos, even though some information is repeated. But that’s the idea of learning as well, by using repetition. You do need to watch the online videos upfront if you are really new to the subject.

I still think it has been worth the money.

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