Article

Top 10 Retail Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and sought-after retail analyst certifications available today.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a retail analyst in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise, knowledge, and experience that employers value. Certifications allow employers to quickly identify qualified professionals with the skill set necessary to perform the job duties associated with the position. They also provide assurance that the person has taken courses or training to gain the requisite knowledge and skills for success in a retail analyst role. Having certifications can help an individual stand out from other applicants and may give them an edge when competing for a job opening.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Retail Analysts and explain how they can benefit a retail analyst's career.

What are Retail Analyst Certifications?

Retail analyst certification is a type of professional certification that helps individuals gain the skills and knowledge needed to become successful retail analysts. Retail analysts are responsible for analyzing data, trends, and customer feedback to identify opportunities for improvement in a retail business. This includes evaluating sales data, market conditions, customer preferences, and competitor information to create strategies that will help the business reach its financial goals.

By obtaining a retail analyst certification, individuals can demonstrate their expertise in this field and be better equipped to work with retailers to improve their operations. The certification shows employers that the individual has the necessary skills and knowledge required for the job. It also provides an understanding of how various aspects of a retail business interact with each other and how decisions can impact the bottom line. Additionally, it can provide insight into new technologies and best practices for working within a retail environment. With this knowledge, retail analysts can become integral members of any team by providing valuable analysis on topics such as product pricing, product placement, marketing campaigns, store layout design, inventory management, and more.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become a retail analyst, it is important to consider obtaining a certification in the field. Certification can demonstrate your knowledge and dedication to the industry, which may give you an edge when applying for jobs or promotions. Additionally, many employers will look favorably upon applicants who have obtained a certification in their desired field.

Related: What does a Retail Analyst do?

Top 10 Retail Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Retail Analysts today.

1. Certified Professional in Retail Analytics (CPRA)

Certified Professional in Retail Analytics (CPRA) is a professional certification program that provides recognition to those who have demonstrated expertise in retail analytics. The CPRA certification is administered by the International Institute of Retail Analytics (IIRA), and it is designed to help professionals gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful retail analysts.

The CPRA program consists of three levels of certification: Associate, Professional, and Master. Each level requires completion of a set number of courses and exams. To qualify for the Associate level, you must complete two courses and pass one exam; for the Professional level, you must complete four courses and pass two exams; and for the Master level, you must complete six courses and pass three exams.

To get certified at any level, you must first register with IIRA online. Once registered, you can purchase course materials from IIRA’s website or through its partner organizations. After completing all required coursework, you will need to take an online exam for each level of certification. Exams are offered twice a year at designated test centers around the world.

The cost of the CPRA program varies depending on which level you are seeking certification in and how many courses you take. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$2,000 USD to become certified at any given level.

In total, it takes approximately 6-12 months to become certified as a Certified Professional in Retail Analytics (CPRA).

2. Certified Retail Analyst (CRA)

Certified Retail Analyst (CRA) is a professional certification program designed to provide retail professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry. The program focuses on developing key competencies such as customer service, product knowledge, merchandising, sales techniques, and financial analysis. It also covers topics such as marketing, operations, pricing strategies, inventory management, and store layout.

The CRA program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course is self-paced and can be completed in approximately 8-10 weeks. The exam must be taken at a Pearson VUE testing center and takes 2 hours to complete.

To become certified as a CRA, you must first complete the online course and then pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher. You will then receive your official Certified Retail Analyst certificate from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The cost of becoming certified as a CRA varies depending on where you take the course and exam. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $250-$500 for both parts of the program.

3. Certified Retail Data Scientist (CRDS)

Certified Retail Data Scientist (CRDS) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a comprehensive understanding of the retail industry and its data-driven decision-making processes. The CRDS credential is designed to validate an individual’s ability to analyze, interpret, and use retail data to inform business decisions.

To become a Certified Retail Data Scientist, you must complete an online course offered by the International Institute of Retail Analytics (IIRA). The course consists of four modules: Introduction to Retail Analytics, Understanding Retail Data Sources and Structures, Analyzing and Visualizing Retail Data, and Applying Machine Learning in Retail. The total course time is approximately 10 hours.

The cost for the IIRA Certified Retail Data Scientist course is $499 USD. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive your official CRDS certification from IIRA.

4. Certified Advanced Retail Analyst (CARA)

Certified Advanced Retail Analyst (CARA) is a certification program designed to help retail professionals develop advanced skills in areas such as sales forecasting, store operations, customer service, merchandising, and data analysis. The program is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The CARA program consists of four courses that take approximately 12-18 months to complete. The courses cover topics such as retail analytics, financial management, marketing strategies, and customer service. Each course includes lectures and case studies. Participants must pass a final exam after completing each course in order to earn their certification.

In order to become certified as a CARA professional, applicants must have at least three years of experience in the retail industry or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Applicants must also submit an application form and fee. The fee for the CARA program is $1,500 USD.

Once certified, CARA professionals are eligible for promotions within the retail industry or may pursue other career opportunities outside of the field. They can also use their certification to demonstrate their expertise in retail analytics and operations to potential employers or clients.

5. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail Certification

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail Certification is a certification program that validates the expertise of professionals in implementing and managing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail. This certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to configure and customize the system, as well as manage its day-to-day operations.

The certification exam consists of two parts: Core Solutions and Advanced Solutions. The Core Solutions exam covers topics such as configuring product information, setting up customer data, creating sales orders, and managing inventory. The Advanced Solutions exam focuses on topics such as customizing the user experience, integrating with other systems, and leveraging analytics to drive business decisions.

The certification process typically takes around three months from start to finish. During this time, individuals should complete self-study courses or attend instructor-led classes to learn the necessary skills for taking the exams. Additionally, individuals must register with Microsoft to take the exams and pay associated fees (currently $165 USD per exam).

Once an individual has passed both exams, they will receive their official Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail Certification. This certificate is valid for two years after which time it must be renewed by retaking the exams or completing continuing education requirements.

6. Oracle Retail Merchandising System Certification

Oracle Retail Merchandising System Certification is a professional certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of individuals who work with Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS). This certification is intended for professionals who have experience in designing, implementing, and managing Oracle RMS solutions.

To get certified, applicants must pass one or more exams that test their knowledge on topics such as product setup, inventory management, pricing and promotions, reporting and analytics, and system administration. The exams are administered by Oracle University.

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the number of exams taken. Typically it takes about two weeks to complete all the exams required for certification.

To get certified, applicants must register for an exam at Oracle University’s website. Once registered, they can take the exam at any authorized testing center. The cost of the exam varies depending on which tests are taken; however, most exams cost around $200 USD.

7. SAP Certified Application Associate - Retail

SAP Certified Application Associate - Retail is a certification program offered by SAP that validates an individual’s skills in the areas of retail operations, customer service and sales. This certification is designed to demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to work with SAP solutions in the retail industry.

The exam for this certification takes approximately 90 minutes and consists of 80 multiple-choice questions. The cost of the exam varies depending on location, but generally ranges between $500-$600 USD.

To obtain this certification, individuals must first register for the exam through the SAP website or their local testing center. After registering, they must then study for the exam using materials provided by SAP, such as e-learning courses, practice tests and other resources. Once they have completed their studies, they can then take the exam at a local testing center or online via proctored exams.

Once an individual has passed the exam, they will receive their official certification from SAP. This certification is valid for three years from the date it was issued and can be renewed by taking additional exams or completing continuing education courses if needed.

8. Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification is an industry-recognized certification program that validates a user’s ability to create and share interactive data visualizations using Tableau Desktop. It is designed for individuals who are experienced with Tableau and want to demonstrate their proficiency in the software.

The certification exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and consists of 25 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers topics such as data visualization best practices, connecting to data sources, creating basic calculations, building dashboards, and sharing workbooks.

To get certified, you must first register for the exam through the Tableau website. Once registered, you can take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or online from home. The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but generally ranges from $100-$200 USD.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your digital badge and certificate. You can also view your certification status in your Tableau profile page.

9. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Professional Certification

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Professional Certification is a professional certification program for individuals who want to demonstrate their expertise in the field of business intelligence. The certification is designed to validate an individual’s ability to design, implement, and manage business intelligence solutions using IBM Cognos products.

The certification requires successful completion of two exams: IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Professional v10.2 and IBM Cognos Analytics v11.0. Both exams are available through Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

The total cost of the certification is approximately $400 USD, which includes the cost of both exams and any applicable taxes or fees. The time required to complete the certification will vary depending on an individual’s experience with IBM Cognos products and their familiarity with the topics covered in the exams. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from one to three months to complete all requirements for this certification.

10. SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional

SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional is a professional certification program offered by SAS Institute. It is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in advanced analytics and data science. The certification validates the ability to use SAS software to create, interpret, and communicate insights from data.

The certification requires passing two exams: SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Exam A (A00-405) and SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional Exam B (A00-406). Both exams are three hours long and consist of multiple choice questions.

To get the certification, you must pass both exams within 18 months of each other. You can register for the exams online at the SAS website or through a Pearson VUE testing center. The cost of each exam is $180 USD.

Do You Really Need a Retail Analyst Certificate?

When considering whether or not to pursue a retail analyst certificate, it is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of such a certification.

On the one hand, obtaining a retail analyst certificate can provide valuable insight into how to analyze the performance of various retail stores. This knowledge can be invaluable in understanding how to optimize store operations and maximize profits. Additionally, having a recognized credential may help you stand out from other applicants when applying for positions in retail management or analytics. Furthermore, this type of certificate may also open up new career opportunities within the field of retail analytics.

On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks associated with obtaining a retail analyst certificate. For instance, it requires an investment of both time and money in order to complete the necessary coursework and exams. Additionally, since this type of certification is relatively new, there may be limited job opportunities available for those with such credentials compared with more established credentials in other fields. Finally, since the field of retail analytics is constantly evolving and changing, employers may prefer candidates who have more recent experience and knowledge over those who possess older certifications.

In conclusion, whether or not you decide to pursue a retail analyst certificate depends on your personal goals and situation. If you believe that such a certification would help you achieve your desired career objectives then pursuing one could be beneficial; however if you feel that such a credential would not bring any additional value then it might not be worth pursuing at this time.

Related: Retail Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Retail Analyst Certifications

Q1. What is a Retail Analyst Certification?

A1. A Retail Analyst Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of retail analysis. This certification is designed to provide professionals with the skills needed to analyze data, interpret customer trends, and develop strategies for success in the retail industry.

Q2. What qualifications do I need to become a Retail Analyst?

A2. To become a certified Retail Analyst, you must have at least two years of experience working in the retail industry and have completed an approved retail analyst training program. It is also important to have strong analytical skills and be knowledgeable about customer buying behavior, marketing techniques, and product assortment strategies.

Q3. How can I obtain a Retail Analyst Certification?

A3. The first step towards obtaining a Retail Analyst Certification is to enroll in an approved retail analyst training program, such as those offered by accredited universities or professional organizations like the National Association of Professional Salespeople (NAPS). Once you complete the required coursework, you will then need to take and pass an exam in order to receive your certification.

Q4. How much does it cost to become a Certified Retail Analyst?

A4. The cost of becoming a Certified Retail Analyst depends on which training program you choose to enroll in; however, most programs range from $1,000-$5,000 USD depending on length and type of instruction provided. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with taking the certification exam if applicable.

Q5. How long does it take to become a Certified Retail Analyst?

A5. Most retail analyst training programs take between 6-12 months depending on the amount of time spent studying for the exam and completing other requirements for certification eligibility; however, some programs may take longer than 12 months depending on individual circumstances or availability of course materials/instructors/etc..