Essential Data Skills for Professionals

This course provides a practical introduction to the process of using data to make decisions. You will learn the language of data and how to apply a simple, structured process that will show you how to ask to the right question, obtain the most relevant data, make sense of the data, come to conclusions supported by the data and present the results to stakeholders in a way that is easy for them to comprehend and act on.

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      Description

      Today’s ever-growing volume of data and the easy access to tools to make sense of that data is driving organisations, both public and private, to use data to answer questions and support decision making.

      Using data to support decisions helps organisations move from an “I think the answer is…” mindset based on intuition to an “I know the answer is…” mindset based on facts. However, simply having access to the data and the tools is not enough to promote data-driven decision making. The people answering the questions and making the decisions must have the ability to define questions in the terms of data and then locate, interpret and analyse the data to come to an answer or decision.

      In this interactive, practical workshop participants learn how people make decisions using data, the language of data and how to apply a simple, structured process that shows you how to answer questions or make decision with data. Participants will also learn to ask business-relevant data questions, obtain relevant data, make sense of the data, draw conclusions supported by data and present results to stakeholders in a way that promotes action.

      Participants apply the structured process using real-world problems they select from their workplace.

      Key Topics

      • Understanding Data and Decision Making
      • Decision Making
      • Asking the Right Question
      • Workshop Activity
      • Acquire Suitable Data
      • Analyse the Data
      • Act on the Analysis to Answer the Question
      • Data-Driven Decision-Making Canvas

      Learning Objectives

      At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

      • Describe the key terms related to making decisions with data
      • Explain how people use data to improve decision making
      • Apply a simple, structured process to make decisions using data
      • Have informed conversation with data professionals in your organisation

      Prerequisites

      The Introduction to Data Skills for Business People course is a foundation-level course and does not require any prior knowledge.

      Target Audience

      This course is intended for people working in non-data specialist roles who are interested in developing their data skills and capabilities. The workshop has been designed as an introduction to data skills and no prior knowledge of data analysis concepts or methods are required.

      Topic Outline

      Session 1 – Understanding Data and Decision Making

      In this module, you will learn how people use data to make decisions and how to formulate a high-quality question that can be answered using data.

      • Welcome remarks and virtual learning tips
      • Workshop overview, expectations and objectives
      • Module 1 – Understanding Data
        • Jargon decoding
        • Myth-busting
        • How people make decisions with data
      • Break (5 minutes)
      • Module 2 – Decision Making
        • Decision-making biases
        • How to control decision-making biases
        • Introduction to the Data-Driven Decision-Making Workflow
      • Break (10 minutes)
      • Module 3 – Asking the Right Question
        • How to define a question that can be answered with data
        • What is a relevant question?
        • What is an unambiguous question
        • What is a worthwhile question?
      • Break (5 minutes)
      • Module 4 – Workshop Activity
        • Work with a small group to define the data-driven question related to your function
        • Receive feedback from the group on the question

      Session 2 – Using Data to Answer Questions

      In this module, build on the foundations learned in module one and learn how to acquire the best data to answer the question, analyze the data to determine the answer to the question and how to present the answer in a compelling way to the business stakeholders.

      • Reflection on Module 1
      • Module 1 – Acquire Suitable Data
        • Introduction to data terms
        • Data Sources and Formats
        • Clean and Integrate Data
        • Evaluate Data Quality
        • How to avoid biased data
        • Breakout Activity: Identify the potential data sources for the data-driven question related to your business function or role
      • Break (5 minutes)
      • Module 2 – Analyse the Data
        • Make sense of the data using exploratory data analysis
        • Choose the right type of analysis for your question
        • Key descriptive statistics concepts
        • Correlation versus Causation
        • Breakout Activity: Identify the potential types of analysis for the data-driven question related to your business function or role
      • Break (10 Minutes)
      • Module 3 – Act on the Analysis to Answer the Question
        • Interpret and determine the answer to the question
        • Prepare the results with data visualisation
        • Communicate the answer with data storytelling.
        • Make and implement the decision
        • Breakout Activity: Identify how you might communicate the answer the data-driven question related to your function
      • Break (5 minutes)
      • Module 4 – Data-Driven Decision-Making Canvas
        • Introduction to the Data-Driven Decision-Making Canvas
        • Breakout Activity: Fill-in a draft data-driven decision-making canvas for the question related to your business function or role.