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Adobe Partners With Brooks Bell to Develop ACE Certification for Adobe Target


If you’ve been in the testing industry for any length of time, you’ve probably completed an online certification of some sort. Now, the next time you take Adobe’s Target Certification, you can thank Brooks Bell for making the questions so tough.

Brooks Bell has taken its partnership with Adobe to a new level by teaming up with the software giant to create two tests for Adobe Target Certification. As the leading experts on the testing tool, our team was the obvious choice for Adobe who needed to develop updated certification tests following the complete revamp of Adobe Target.

What the Certification Covers

Adobe’s previous certification exam needed a facelift due to a new guided, visual user interface for Adobe Target. The new certification for Adobe Target is split up into two tests: one for Business Practitioners and a more advanced test for Analysts.

  • Target Business Practitioner: This exam is designed for individuals who have been using the tool for at least two years. It covers the tool’s functionality and ability, and serves as a standalone test as well as being a pre-requisite for the more advanced Analyst exam.
  • Target Analyst: This exam is designed for advanced users who have worked with the solution for at least three years. As a result, this test is more skills-based and is geared around how to analyze results and interpret statistics provided by the tool.

The Brains Behind The Questions

As the premier experimentation consultancy, Brooks Bell was best positioned to partner with Adobe in the creation of both exams. Members of our team (Brian Shampnois, Director of Analytics and Project Lead, Molly Bruckman, Kyle Pinegar, Shana Braun, Chad Pry and Jeremy Andrews) jumped at the chance to work on this project with Adobe. The team of six, consisting of analysts and developers who have years of experience working with the tools, collaborated with Adobe to create the exam.

Despite being well-versed in Adobe Target, none of the team had been involved in a project like this before, making it an exciting challenge for our experts.

As Molly Bruckman, Optimization Analyst, puts it, “I thought it was a great experience. I really enjoyed going through the process and writing the questions, engaging with something a little bit different from my day-to-day role but still applying the skills I have learned.”

The team brought in a third-party agency specializing in test creation to facilitate the exam-writing process, providing training on the nuances of creating an exam.

The process began by defining the skill set that individuals in each role should possess to be considered a “minimally qualified candidate.” From there, the team created a list of tasks they should be able to accomplish using the tool and the sub-tasks that enable each task. Then, sub-tasks were reviewed and cognitive levels assigned to each. This process took weeks of focused meetings to produce our question writing blueprint.

Once all the documentation was in place, it was time to actually begin writing the questions, all of which were multiple choice. Each test had a full week dedicated to writing. Periods of time were dedicated to individually creating and reviewing questions with the project team to ensure all the experts in the room can correctly answer the questions, the non-correct choices were sufficiently distracting but inarguably incorrect, and the cognitive level of the question written matches that of the blueprint. For a group of people who have all taken these kinds of tests before, it was certainly interesting (and challenging) to be on the other side of the table.

In total, the team spent four months, clocking 386 hours on this project. The final questions were handed off to the Adobe team who completed pre-test examinations before setting the passing score. In this case, it was a challenging 80%.

Benefits of Certification

It was a huge pleasure to be involved in something that is so beneficial to companies and individuals alike. Although talented new graduates are flooding into the sector, finding qualified individuals remains a problem for the industry. The Adobe Target Certification is a great way for companies to find the expertise they need, and is also a way for individuals to stand out as they search for a job in this line. These tests are specific and exacting in their requirements and adding the certification to your resume will go a long way to helping you secure the job you want.

Most importantly, the project strengthens Brooks Bell’s expertise in the tool. The teaming up of the leading testing tool and the premier experimentation consultancy resulted in creating something that benefits everyone in the testing and optimization industry.

Brian Shampnois, Director of Analytics
Brian manages the team and processes for analytics at Brooks Bell. His areas of expertise include data analysis, A/B testing and website optimization, and user psychology. Before joining the Brooks Bell team, he worked as a data analyst at Lulu.com. Brian is a DAA-certified web analyst and holds certifications in many optimization tools, including Adobe Analytics & Target, Ensighten, and Tealium.