Data Architect Exam Overview

Hello, and welcome to Another Salesforce Blog!  Here I will be posting solutions to problems that I couldn’t find an answer to in hopes of helping those who find themselves stuck when using the Salesforce platform.

This week, I hit a major career milestone: I passed my first Salesforce architect exam! I started the year off right by taking the Data Architect exam last Wednesday.

Certified Data Architect Logo

I have been preparing to take this exam for about six months on and off (much like my late writeup on Javascript Developer I, life happened a lot in that six months!), and am pleased to announce that I passed it on the first try.

This exam focuses primarily on the design of the underlying database structures within Salesforce and external, connected databases. It requires knowledge of the performance and business tradeoffs of various solutions, as well as their limitations.

The sections of the exam and their respective weights are as follows:

Data modeling/Database Design: 25%
Master Data Management: 5%
Salesforce Data Management: 25%
Data Governance: 10%
Large Data Volume considerations: 20%
Data Migration: 15%

Based on my calculations, I scored approximately 71% on this exam, with a required 58% to pass. Nice!

Evelyn’s passing scores for the Data Architect Exam

The primary resources that I used to study were Focus on Force, Salesforce documentation, and the wonderful architects and developers in my network. I also started taking on small architecture projects at work to prepare myself. I found that the questions in the Focus on Force lined up closely with the questions on the exam.

Initially, I struggled the most with the Large Data Volume considerations, as there are multiple methods of handling large volumes of data, and the exam requires the selection of the most correct answer for credit. My strategy for these questions is to weed out the obviously incorrect answers (out of four answers, there’s almost always two), and to justify to myself which answer is the most correct of the remaining two. I was able to clear this section of the exam with 100%.

The section I spent the most time studying for was Data Modeling and Database Design. Weighted at 25% of the exam, it is important to know when to use dummy users, how to place them within the role hierarchy, and how the relationships between objects affect data management. This ties in with the other 25% weighted section, Salesforce Data Management, heavily. The best way to study for these sections is to do hands on work in a sandbox or developer org. I am a big fan of drawing out entity relationship diagrams, as they help me visualize the different relationships.

I am a firm believer in tying certifications with real world skills, which helped me to clear the Data Migration section, weighted at 15%. Writing Data Loader Scripts is a great way to beef up your knowledge on the underlying object structures, as well as the limitations of Data Loader. It’s important to know when to use Data Loader vs. Data Export tools within Salesforce vs. Third Party tools.

The section that I struggled with on the exam was the Master Data Management section, weighted at 5%. This section focuses heavily on establishing a System of Record and Source of Truth for your Master Data Management (MDM) solution. I scored a 25% on this section in the real exam, but was able to balance it out with high scores in the other sections. I neglected studying hard for this section due to the low weight, but it would have been a make or break section for me if I hadn’t focused on Large Data Volumes.

I hope that this helps! Best of luck in your exam preparation!

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any comments or questions!

-Evelyn, Another Salesforce Blog

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