Invariably as an experienced analyst, I come across this question by people I interact with- How do I train myself/my team in analytics? Analytical training is a fast growing need, given the tremendous need for analytics implementation in organizations and the relatively smaller pool of trained analysts. There are lots and lots of sources on the Internet, and what separates a good tutorial or approach to training from others is something that even experienced analysts take time to understand.
Analytics Training is of many kinds and depends on the existing skill levels of the trainee as well as the direction of career or business domain in which they want to pursue.
Self Training- Self training is an important part of training in analytics, and one of the seminal parts of the foundation course in the Jigsaw Academy course deals with using the Internet to learn continuously in this fast changing technologically oriented field.
- Blogs like those at http://blogs.sas.com/content/ or http://r-bloggers.com/ offer great help to learn and be updated with new analytical thinking.
- Newsletters like those from ZDNet or Beye-Network.com
- Communities like those at All-Analytics.com and analyticbridge.com
- Tutorials at University websites like http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/
- Interactive Q and A like those at http://stackoverflow.com/
Specialized certifications are a good way to build and establish progress in training of skillset. Some of the more important and credible trainings given by analytics and decision science tool vendors are-
- SAS http://support.sas.com/certify/ SAS Institute has one of the oldest , most comprehensive trainings, e-learnings and certifications for business analytics based on SAS Institute products. A slight drawback of these certifications is that the books are slightly expensive to prepare for them.
- SAP -SAP is a leader to data driven business intelligence and especially visual reporting solutions and they offer certifications at http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/index.epx
- IBM (SPSS and others) at http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/certs/index.shtml SPSS has been one of the oldest analytics platforms and after the acquisition by IBM , the training program has been further integrated and extended including with programs like Cognos
- Google (for web analytics http://www.google.com/intl/en/analytics/education.html) Google remains the leader for web based analytics and their suite of training is formidable. A great advantage of Google trainings is the content is in the form of e-learnings and is given free to all over the Internet.
- TDWI -The Data Warehousing Institute is one of the leading industry bodies in education in the business intelligence arena, and their certification in business intelligence can be accessed at http://tdwi.org/pages/cbip-certification/cbip-home.aspx
- Oracle has comprehensive trainings in the related field of databases and applications at http://certification.oracle.com/
- Microstrategy offers certification in it’s own tool at http://www.microstrategy.com/education/Certification/
- Cloudera’s Hadoop certification (for Big Data) is one of the best trainings for people aspiring to do Big Data Analytics.http://www.cloudera.com/hadoop-training/
A complete list of universities offering courses in business analytics is also available at http://www.kdnuggets.com/education/usa-canada.html while in India , IIM Calcutta offers a EPBA (Executive Program in Business Analytics). A slight drawback of university driven academics training is both the much higher cost, and sometimes the lack of industry relevant and cutting edge updated syllabus.
In Part 2 of this article we will explore training institutes that are independent of universities, software vendors and offer remote training in analytics.