Too late to return or CDMP: Data Quality specialist exam

‘Please note this is the Data Management Fundamentals Practice exam. There are no practice exams for the specialist exams.’, — you will see it once you log into a Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) canvas website. It will be a recurring thing if you decide to take a specialist exam as there is not much information available on the exam: no practice tests and no prep materials. Hence, I decided to post some quick observations on the CDMP data quality specialist exam.

About the exam

If you pass the Data Management Fundamentals exam with a score between 70% and 79%, you will get the CDMP Associate certification. If you pass two specialist exams in addition to the fundamentals exam and score a certain percentage on them, you will be awarded the CDMP Practitioner certification.

The exam contains 100 questions. If your first language is not English, you could take an ESL version of the exam, hence increasing your exam time from 90 minutes to 110 minutes — honestly, I don’t understand how it is possible to complete the exam in 90 minutes.

Before the exam

  • Search the Internet for articles, whitepapers, and relevant data quality courses. Then close all of them as it will be waste of time in my opinion, unless they are aimed at preparing you for the specialist exams.
  • Read ‘Data Quality’ from the DMBoK.
  • Take specialized courses. I’ve covered several institutions such as Modelware, Dataversity, etc. that provide the fundamentals exam, as well as specialist exam deep-dive here.

During the exam

(1) unlike the fundamentals exam, the specialist exam was not based on the DMBoK. Well, not entirely true. If the fundamentals exam was mostly based on the DMBoK (50%), it felt that the data quality specialist exam was just partly based on the DMBoK (30%).

(2) like the fundamentals exam, the specialist exam is an open-book exam where you are checked on your ability to apply, analyze or evaluate information, rather than on your ability to recall the information. Most of the questions were about the actual data quality program implementation — strategies, steps, critical success factors, program justification, benefits realization.

(3) not all questions were pure data quality. I found a few questions from master data management (de-duplication process); calculated formula questions — to calculate probability with replacement, mode, mean, and standard deviation; fit for purpose question when you are presented with an analysis X and asked to determine what purpose it fits.

(4) not all techniques and tools are covered in the DMBoK, e.g. risk priority number calculation; force-field analysis, etc.

(5) there were a number of questions about data quality dimensions. In some cases it was as simple as ‘Accuracy is best described as’…with the answers matching the DMBoK one by one. And other questions required some thinking, e.g. ‘10% of data don’t have a sales order and 20% are mapped to the wrong customer. What data quality dimension is it?’

After the exam

It is too late to return. Now as I have the fundamentals and one specialist exam under my belt, I need to keep on moving to pass the 2nd specialist exam.



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Eka Ponkratova

Eka Ponkratova


I’m a data consultant, interacting closely with you to get data to work for you