Analytics value training (AVT) is a training programme designed to help organisations become more data driven and generate value from analytics. It brings together three disciplines – business, IT and data science – in a skills-based training programme that is tailored to both organisational needs and individual level of analytics knowledge and skills.
The programme, which runs over 12 months, involves online learning, classroom learning, workshops and practical case studies. It is cost-effective, which makes it good for organisations who are sponsoring participants. It is also flexible, which means that participants can develop the skills that they need and want, as well as the skills their organisation needs. As the AVT programme designer, I am particularly familiar with the feedback we have been receiving. So far, it looks like there are five main reasons why customers love AVT.
People remember and apply the content
AVT is practical and memorable. It uses three main models: the analytics life cycle, analytics maturity and the skills matrix. It is also case-based, which enables participants to apply their new knowledge to real-world problems immediately. This cements the learning in their minds.
The programme includes three online training elements – basic analytics, advanced analytics and AI – and also teaches the concept of analytics maturity. Over the 12-month period, participants do five classroom sessions, including enterprise, process and people perspectives of analytics. We know that when learning is applied immediately, participants tend to remember over 90% of the course content two weeks later, which is significantly higher than traditional education. This retention is even better when the training is repeated over a longer period, so the multiple case study approach embeds the learning more fully.
Analytics value training is team-based
Knowledge may be individual, but analytics is a team sport. Data scientists need to be able to collaborate and cooperate within a team and also work closely with business users to identify key problems that need insights and solutions. Analytics value training, therefore, emphasises the importance of teams going through the programme together. Team collaboration is a central part of the programme. This means that what participants do in the training programme helps them to work better together once they are back in the workplace.
Analytics value training is delivered by thought leaders and experts
One of the issues with traditional classroom or university-based learning is that it is often delivered by academics. They may be experts in the theory, but few have much practical experience. This makes it harder for them to show participants how to apply their knowledge. Analytics value training is different. The programme is delivered by thought leaders from within and beyond SAS. Many of them are domain-specific experts who teach or provide mentoring to participants in their particular areas. This ecosystem of thought leaders really understands the problems of applying analytics, and participants can benefit from their experience and expertise.
Analytics value training brings together groups from different functions
Analytics value training is not just for data scientists. It brings together data scientists, IT professionals, business analysts and business managers. The focus is on giving them the skills they need to work together to get value from data and analytics. Analytics value training, therefore, helps these groups to understand each other better – and to appreciate what others bring to the table. This, in turn, helps to ensure that everyone’s skills and knowledge are used as effectively as possible. We use a model of four personas (data analytics engineers, modellers, consumers and explorers) to show participants how to improve value co-creation and integrate analytics in a way that recognises everyone’s needs and skills.
Analytics value training uses participants’ own organisational examples
The classroom-based case study sessions in analytics value training are known as LABs. Participants bring a case study from their own organisation, with the aim of building concepts using a real-world business problem that is relevant to them. This case-based project creates the basis for a decision about next and coming steps. This is good news for participants because they get to apply their new skills and knowledge to something relevant. It is also good news for their sponsoring organisations because it gives real practical value even before the training is complete.
In the past 24 months with this programme, we have been fortunate with a dynamic group of easy adopter participants. As AVT expands into domain-specific topics, the shape of the programme will evolve. I am looking forward to seeing what the next cohort of participants will choose to love about AVT. Will you be joining us?