How to Prepare for the DA-100 Exam - Study Guide

Introduction to DA-100 Exam

Microsoft recently has advanced away from its technology-specific certification certifications to a more real-world approach. They have segmented into these classifications:

  • Role-Based – Associate Level as well as Expert Level
  • Fundamentals
  • Specialty

The above classifications fall into four groups of

  • Microsoft 365
  • Azure
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Workplace

DA-100 exam is entirely a role-based job at the associate level certification for the Data Analysts. And this comes under the group of Azure certification hierarchy.

DA-100 is a new certification course introduced by Microsoft. In other words, it is also known as Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI. DA-100 is a segment of a recently introduced array of role-based certifications.

DA-100 gives the candidate scope to become a Data Analyst Associate, which is Microsoft Certified. DA-100 assesses candidates’ skills in establishing industry-relevant expertise for using Power BI.

Microsoft BI is a Business Intelligence Domain that is put out to help and make it easier for the Data Analyst to shift that data around.

It also gives the Analyst the opportunity to pull different data from various sources and later merge it into BI (Business Intelligence) reports.

Maximum of this work can be performed from an easy GUI with very little programming experience and sometimes also with no programming experience.

This course also enables building as well as designing meaningful data visualizations. This is done for discovering useful and insightful information by first identifying then cleaning, followed by transforming and finally modelling data.

When a candidate clears the examination, he/she gets the certification of Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate (MCSA).

DA-100 Exam Details

Exam Name Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI
Exam Code DA-100
Total Number of Questions 40-60
Exam Format Multiple Choice and Multi-Response Questions
Duration 180 Minutes
Languages English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Passing marks Minimum 700( with a total of 900)

Who Should Take the DA-100 Exam?

There are specific job titles with every certification that generally benefit from each given certification in addition to others. Given below are a few of the certifications that will easily fall into this job role.

DA-100 test and consecutive certifications are a great added benefit to all the IT professionals that are exposed or are in touch with data flow in any volume.

DA-100 exam being an associate-level certification, is intended for-

  • Data Analysts
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Database Administrators

What are the prerequisites for DA-100 Exam?

Some sort of experience with reporting tools or concepts is great to have. This helps give an understanding of the underlying data and a use case of how you would use it.

Along with that, some of those general experiences, as well as experience with Power BI or other similar tools, can be helpful. This is not absolutely necessary, though.

Someone who wishes to clear the DA-100 exam needs to be familiar with data. This refers to that a candidate should have an understanding of data sources, moving data to some other paths, pulling in data, and altering it into different formats.

Successful data analysts start the role with relevant experience of data in the cloud.


  • The capability of handling cloud base relational databases.
  • The capability of handling cloud base non-relational databases.
  • The capability of analyzing data and visualization concepts.
  • Having an understanding of data concepts.

Is the DA-100 worth it?

DA-100 is one of the great paths where a candidate can learn data visualization along with Power BI, which will help a business visualize its data. As this exam is more role-oriented, it also gives exposure to higher-level concepts that are important to BI.

Through this course, anyone who is looking to learn more in the field of Data Analytics will be of great benefit.

DA-100 is great in validating Power BI skills along with much higher-level concepts that can easily translate to related tools.

DA-100 is also great for validating the wheelhouse of BI and data analytics. Thus this certification is worth every penny.

Skills Required For The DA-100 Exam?

There are some specific skills that are measured in the DA-100 exam. Consider the exam objectives and their weightage below-

Skills Weightage
Prepare the data 20 to 25%
Model the data 25 to 30%
Visualize the data 20 to 25%
Analyze the data 10 to 15%
Deploy and maintain deliverables 10 to 15%

While following the above course structure you should also consider this elaborated course outline to get the precise idea of how you can plan your preparation-

Topic 1: Prepare the data

1.1 Get data from various data sources

  • Identifying and connecting to a data source
  • Changing of data source settings
  • Create a local dataset or select a shared dataset
  • Select a particular storage mode
  • Choosing of an appropriate query type
  • Identify query performance issues
  • Use Microsoft Dataverse
  • Use parameters
  • Create or use a PBIDS file
  • Create or use a data flow
  • Connecting to a dataset by using the XMLA endpoint

1.2 Profile the data

  • Identifying data anomalies
  • Examining data structures
  • Interrogating column properties
  • Interrogating data statistics

1.3 Clean, transform and load the data

  • Resolving inconsistencies, null values or unexpected values
  • Applying user-friendly value replacements
  • Identifying and creating appropriate keys for joins
  • Evaluating and transforming column data types
  • Applying data shape transformations to the table structures
  • Combine queries
  • Applying user-friendly naming conventions to columns and queries
  • Leveraging Advanced Editor for modifying Power Query M code
  • Configuring data loading
  • Resolving data import errors

Topic 2: Model the data

2.1 Design a data model

  • Define the tables
  • Configuring column and properties
  • Define quick measures
  • Flattening out a parent-child hierarchy
  • Define role-playing dimensions
  • Define a relationship's cardinality as well as cross-filter direction
  • Designing the data model to meet the performance requirements
  • Resolving many-to-many relationships
  • Creating a common date table
  • Defining the appropriate level of data granularity
  • Applying or changing sensitivity labels

2.2 Develop a data model

  • Applying cross-filter direction with security filtering
  • Create calculated tables
  • Create hierarchies
  • Create calculated columns
  • Implement row-level security roles
  • Implement object-level security
  • Set up the Q&A feature

2.3 Create measures by using DAX

  • Use DAX for building complex measures
  • Use of CALCULATE to manipulate filters
  • Implementing Time Intelligence using DAX
  • Replacing numeric columns with measures
  • Using basic statistical functions in order to enhance data
  • Create semi-additive measures

2.4 Optimize model performance

  • Remove unnecessary columns and row
  • Identifying poorly performing measures, visuals, and relationships
  • Improving cardinality levels by changing the data types
  • Improving cardinality levels through summarization
  • Implementing row-level security roles
  • Create and manage aggregations
  • Use Query Diagnostics

Topic 3: Visualize the data

3.1 Create reports

  • Adding visualization items to reports
  • Choosing an appropriate visualization type
  • Formatting and configuring visualizations
  • Importing a custom visual
  • Configuring conditional formatting
  • Applying slicing and filtering
  • Adding of an R or Python visual
  • Add a Smart Narrative visual
  • Configure the report page
  • Designing and configuring for accessibility
  • Configure automatic page refresh
  • Create a paginated report

3.2 Create dashboards

  • Set mobile view
  • Manage tiles on a dashboard
  • Configure data alerts
  • Use the Q&A feature
  • Add a dashboard theme
  • Pin any live report page to the dashboard

3.3 Enrich reports for usability

  • Configure bookmarks
  • Create custom tooltips
  • Edit and configure interactions between visuals
  • Configure navigation for a report
  • Apply to sort
  • Configure Sync Slicers
  • Use the selection pane
  • Use drill through and cross filter
  • Drill down into data using interactive visuals
  • Export report data
  • Design reports for mobile devices

Topic 4: Analyze the data

4.1 Enhance reports to expose insights

  • Apply conditional formatting
  • Apply slicers and filters
  • Perform top N analysis
  • Explore statistical summary
  • Use the Q&A visual
  • Adding of a Quick Insights result to a report
  • Creating references lines by using of Analytics pane
  • Using the Play Axis feature of the visualization
  • Personalize visuals

4.2 Perform advanced analysis

  • Identify outliers
  • Conduct Time Series analysis
  • Use anomaly detection
  • Use groupings and binnings
  • Using Key Influencers for exploring dimensional variances
  • Using the decomposition tree visual for breaking down a measure

Topic 5: Deploy and maintain deliverables

5.1 Manage datasets

  • Configure a dataset scheduled refresh
  • Configuring of row-level security group membership
  • Provide access to datasets
  • Configure incremental refresh settings
  • Promote or certify Power BI datasets
  • Identify downstream dataset dependencies
  • Configure large dataset format

5.2 Create and manage workspaces

  • Creating and configuring a workspace
  • Recommending a development lifecycle strategy
  • Assign workspace roles
  • Configure and update a workspace app
  • Publish, update or import assets in a workspace
  • Apply sensitivity labels to workspace content
  • Use deployment pipelines
  • Configure subscriptions
  • Promote or certify Power BI content

Microsoft DA-100 Preparation Guide

While you start preparing for the DA-100 exam the given below study guide will help you with your preparation:

1. DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI

  • You can take up a course on analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI at the Udemy app or website.
  • The next is the Free Trial Learning Path course "Become a Data Analyst-Learning Path" on LinkedIn Learning.
  • Another one is the Learning Path Free Trial course of Microsoft Power BI for Analysts on Pluralsight.

2. Practice Tests for Microsoft Power BI DA-100 Exam

  • Microsoft Power BI Practice Exam at Udemy (Practice Test).
  • Analyzing Data with Power BI Test at Amazon e-book (PDF).

3. Microsoft Power BI Projects for DA-100 Exam

  • Datacamp Interactive Introduction to Microsoft Power BI.
  • Coursera Guided Project on Sales Analysis using Power BI.
  • Data Analysis & Visualization with Power BI by Udacity (Nanodegree)


At the end of this topic, you have got a brief idea of what the DA-100 exam is all about. Also, you have understood the benefits you will get after acquiring this certification. The skills that will be measured are also there in the article for your understanding while you prepare for your DA-100 exam.

Curated by-

Ms. Mahima Garg

She is a technology enthusiast and an author who is passionate about ideation, planning, implementing, integrating, and managing business processes for business growth. This led her and the team to build a Global IT Certification and Preparation Platform for professionals which help them get certified and enhance their career growth. With 20+ years of experience in IT and Management, she believes to impart what she has learned in her exciting career.

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