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PL-300 (Formerly DA-100) Certification Exam

Would you like to grow your skill set in Microsoft Power BI? Perhaps you’re looking for Microsoft certifications to show off on your resume? If you are, then you’re not alone.
If expanding your Power BI horizons (and job prospects while you’re at it) is what you’re after, then you’re probably here to learn more about the PL-300/DA-100 exam.
The PL certification can help you progress your career in the world of data analytics, and this article will tell you everything you need to know about it.

What Is the PL-300/DA-100?

The PL-300 is a Microsoft course covering the intricacies of modeling, visualizing, and analyzing data with Power BI. This means PL-300 is just the same old DA-100 course it’s always been, only that Microsoft remodeled it under a new name.
Now, you might be wondering if you should spend your time, energy, and resources to get this certification. Here are some of the benefits:

1. You Get a Microsoft Certification

You might be familiar with the struggle of finding something to write on the “Core skills and certifications” part of your resume.
If you feel that your data analytics certifications are far and few in between, don’t fret.
With this course, such issues will be a thing of the past. Why? Passing the PL-300 exam earns your Microsoft Certified Data Analyst Associate Certification.

2. You Get to Expand Your Skill Set

The PL-300 isn’t just any certification that bored data analysts take to pass time. The efficacy of this widely acknowledged course has been proven time and time again.
This means that you’re getting out of this course with valuable skills that you can leverage in the real world.

3. More Desirability in the Job Market

And finally, let’s cut to the chase to what (probably) brought you here. Outright, a PL-300 certification increases your value in the labor market as a data analyst.
This means that you’re more desirable and less disposable. Above that, it gives you more leverage when negotiating the terms and conditions of your employment.

Who Should Take the PL-300/DA-100?

The PL-300 /DA-100 is aimed at data analysts or aspiring data analysts who want to validate their skills.
Candidates taking the PL-300/DA-100 course should have a basic comprehension of data repositories and data processing for both on-premises and cloud operations.
If you meet any of the below criteria, the PL-300/DA-100 course was created for people like you. These are:
  • Future analysts, students, or recent college graduates seeking to add certifications and credentials to their resumes
  • Power BI users and analysts aiming to better their skills
  • Hopefuls and aspiring Power BI developers
  • Anyone looking for a hands-on, comprehensive guide to passing the Microsoft PL-300/DA-100 exam

What Experience Do You Need for the PL-300/DA-100? / What Are the Requirements?

Though almost anyone can take the PL-300 course, having some prior experience and proficiency will help you with this course.
Some of the requirements and experience you need to enroll and effectively complete the PL-300 program include:
  • At least 1–2 years’ experience using Microsoft Windows and its related products
  • Familiarity with data analysis
  • Some proficiency with reporting tools and concepts
  • Prior exposure to Power BI (or similar tools), although not necessary, goes a long way
Some preliminary software and hardware requirements that will help through the course include:
  • Enrolling in the Power BI Service or Power BI Desktop
  • A Power BI desktop application
  • Work or school email address since personal accounts such as Gmail and Yahoo are prohibited

What Experience Do You Need for the PL-300/DA-100? / What Are the Requirements?

The PL-300 exam uses a variety of questions, including multiple-choice and yes/no questions, to test your mastery of Power BI.
The objective of this course is to make you more proficient in using Power BI in manipulating data, a skill needed in today’s data-driven world.
Below are the main objectives for the PL-300/DA-100:
  • Prepare the data (20–25%)
  • Model the data (25–30%)
  • Visualize the data (20–25%)
  • Analyze the data (10–15%)
  • Deploy and maintain deliverables (10–15%)
The course will help you achieve these objectives by tackling a set of crucial data analytics topics and aspects. These are:

1. Data Access and Processing

The PL-300 course will guide you through studying the processes of accessing and processing data from a broad scope of data sources, including relational and non-relational data.

2. Implementing Security Practices

Security was made a priority a long time ago in the DA-100 exams. Looking at present-day data security concerns, this was a decision that aged well.
This course also dedicates a lot of time to helping you learn to implement security standards and policies across the Power BI spectrum.

3. Report Management and Deployment

Power BI reporting plays a crucial role in any developer’s career. For this reason, you’ll also spend a significant part of your PL-300 certification demystifying the process of managing and deploying reports for sharing content and distribution.

4. Power BI Reporting

Last but not least, you will spend a significant part of your PL-300 course learning about report building.
Expect to learn how to build paginated reports with the Power BI interface and publish them to a workspace for inclusion within Power BI.

How Much Does the PL-300/DA-100 Cost?

The price for the PL-300 exam is $165 USD, but this varies based on the country in which the exam is proctored. To find the cost based on your location, you can check here.

What Can I Expect During the Exam?

The PL-300 examination format is nothing you’ve never seen before. There’s a high chance you’re familiar with it (or something similar).
The following four parts will help you paint a nearly accurate picture of the exam you will take at the end of your PL-300/DA-100 course:
1. Duration
The duration of your PL-300/DA-100 exam will be about 180 minutes, or 3 hours.
2. Examination Format
A large part of your PL-300/DA-100 exam will be spent answering multiple-choice and multi-response questions.
3. Number of Questions
Your average PL-300/DA-100 exam will have 40–60 questions. This number gives you about 3–4 minutes to answer each question.
4. Pass Mark
There are no participation trophies for taking this Microsoft course. You only get this certification if you get a pass mark of 700/1,000.

Which Books Would You Recommend for the Exam?

Preparing for your PL-300 exam will be a multipronged effort. You’ll find yourself reading books, watching YouTube videos, hunting for answers on forums like Quora and Reddit, and seeking online guidance from PL-300 or DA-100 alumni.
However, this shouldn’t discourage you in any way. With the proper planning, preparing for this exam will be effortless.
For instance, reading up on Power BI and related topics will help you get ready for the PL-300 exam. Some of the books that will help you go a long way are:

1. Exam Ref DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI (First Edition) by Daniil Maslyuk

This book will help you demonstrate your real mastery of Power BI analysis and visualization. It’s also the official study guide for the Microsoft DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI certification exam.

2. The Definitive Guide to DAX (Second Edition) by Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo

This book by expert Microsoft BI consultants Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari will help you master the DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) language. If you’re unfamiliar, DAX is one of the two languages used in Power BI.
Since DAX is an intensive topic in the PL-300 exam, this guide will be of great use.

3. Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide (Second Edition) by Devin Knight, et al.

This book is self-described as a fast-paced introduction to all aspects of Power BI professionals, data analysts, and data visualizers.


The PL-300/DA-100 will go a long way in helping you get a grip on data visualization and Power BI concepts.
The course goes the extra mile, helping you learn more about different concepts relating to this topic while offering hands-on delivery.
With that in mind, taking this course can be more than beneficial to anyone looking to work in this field.
Dear Watson Consulting is Australia’s leading Microsoft Power BI specialist. For more information (or inquiries) about Power BI Consulting, Training, or Mentoring, contact us today.

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