There have been many changes to the Microsoft certification program lately. Among these changes have been brand new MCSA and MCSE certifications, including MANY new exams. Among these changes is the recent addition of the MCSA: BI (Business Intelligence) Reporting certification.

What exams qualify?

The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) certification in BI Reporting requires 2 exams to be passed in order to earn the full MCSA: BI Reporting certification.

Here are the 2 exams required to earn this certification:

  • 70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI
  • 70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel

The MCSA: BI Reporting certification doesn’t have a large list of exams to choose from, however, it is very specialized for professionals who are working with Power BI and SQL data models.

From MCSA to MCSE Certification

MCSA: BI Reporting Certification from Microsoft 2Just like all the other MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) certifications, the MCSA: BI Reporting certification also provides a foundational path to earning the bigger MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) certification. There are multiple MCSE’s to choose from, each in a different specialization area. The MCSA: BI Reporting certification is a foundation on the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification.

The way the path from MCSA to MCSE works is that you first earn an MCSA certification by passing the required exams. Then after earning the MCSA of your choice, you need to pick and pass an elective exam from the list of electives that count towards the eligible MCSE for that MCSA certification.

To simplify this, here’s the steps necessary to earn this MCSA and then upgrade to the bigger MCSE certification:

  1. Pass both the above mentioned certification exams to earn the MCSA certification
  2. Choose one of the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics elective exams, and pass it.

As you can see, if you take the MCSA: BI Reporting path to MCSE, you will be required to take and pass a total of 3 Microsoft certification exams. And, there are a number of elective exams for the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification.

Happy studying!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect and developer, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.


  1. Can an IT fresher who is looking to start a career in this field can give this exams ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann September 15, 2017 at 11:43 am

      The certification exams generally assume that you have 2 years of experience working with the technology tested. Although, as long as you know the material you can pass the exam, so go ahead and study if you desire to achieve this certification if you wish.


  2. I’ve seen conflicting information on other sites about which exams satisfy the requirement for the MCSA: BI Reporting cert. Is Analyzing Data with Excel (779) an alternative to the Developing SQL Data Models (768) cited in your post?


    1. I am wondering about the same thing?


      1. Chris Pietschmann October 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        The MCSA: BI Reporting certification was just announced when I originally wrote this post and it seems they’ve changed the requirements a bit since then. The required exams for the MCSA: BI Reporting certification are the 70-778 Power BI and 70-779 Excel exam. Sorry for the confusion.

    2. Chris Pietschmann October 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out. The MCSA: BI Reporting certification was just announced when I originally wrote this post and it seems they’ve changed the requirements a bit since then. The required exams for the MCSA: BI Reporting certification are the 70-778 Power BI and 70-779 Excel exam. Sorry for the confusion.


  3. Will 70-778 or 70-779 be allowed as electives for the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics for those who acquired their MCSA using other exams?


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 31, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      70-778 and 70-779 are not currently listed as electives to take to upgrade an MCSA to the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics. However, the order in which you pass exams does not matter. If you already passed one of the exams listed as an elective to upgrade an MCSA to the MCSE, then you could take these 2 exams to earn this particular MCSA: BI Reporting and then you’ll actually earn both the MCSA and MCSE since you will have passed all the required exams.


  4. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the information on 70-778 and 70-779.
    Please, I want to find out if I would be able configure a real time data reporting with SQL server and Power BI and publish it on our SharePoint hosted in-house.

    I am interested in learning and certification on this path ( 70-778; 70 -779) because I have huge data sitting on my office inventory system, procurement system, M&E and SharePoint and I plan to apply the knowledge in designing an executive reporting that gives senior management a real time reporting on status of inventory, procurement, distribution, work-plan and status at every point.
    I do not want to generate and print out reports on these systems for management use rather, I want these information to be live on the dashboard.
    Please, can I achieve this goal after taking MCSA and MCSE on BI reporting and data management and Analytic.


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 3, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Once you learn the technologies, you should be able to implement a solution that fits your requirements. You don’t need to get certified to implement a solutions. I’d recommend you research how to do what you are looking to do with the technologies, and start prototyping and looking into a solution that fits your needs. Then, if you still desire, keep studying and get certified if that’s something you still desire.


    2. I don’t have certifications of any kind but I’m passionate with programming even before windows was created. If you have passion for writing applications even with Visual Basic and understand relational database, you can produce all reporting and dashboard you can think of. I can do ETL (extract,transform, and load) of any data format and export to excel, send auto email report or on a big screen dashboard or live metrics data that refreshes periodically. Most of my periodic routine reports are written program and SQL script . You can create data sets and transform and do calculations and format results to produce whatever you want using Visual Basic . Visual Basic can manipulate all Microsoft applications and others . Understanding relational database and solid programming will make it easy to understand and learn other applications. Once you make connections to the backend database using Connection strings syntax , you can build data sets that you can manipulate to produce reports on any fornat.Good Luck.


      1. I just remember I earned the Unix script writing long time ago at Boston University Corporate Center

  5. Hello Chris,

    I want to Is there is any specific certification for Power BI .
    I do not want to give 70 -779 exam focusing excel. So will I get specific certificate of 70-778 exam of power BI ?
    Any help will be highly appreciated.


    1. Chris Pietschmann December 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      There’s the Power BI exam, but you’ll need to pass multiple exams to earn a larger certification.


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