UC, Cincy State Collaborate to Help Area Business Professionals Apply Data Analytics

Friday, November 17, 2017

Two Cincinnati-area colleges are working together to prepare professionals in the emerging field of data analytics. The schools are approaching the area of study on two levels – through an overview introduction and with an eight-week course for the Project Management Professional® Certification Exam Preparation.

“Whether someone is setting out in pursuit of new skills or they are interested in refining skills they already hold, this new collaboration opens many new doors of opportunity and growth for learners to advance their technical skills and careers,” said Nelson Vincent, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at the University of Cincinnati. 

“Our goal is to help busy professionals advance their skills in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible,” said Amy Waldbillig, vice president of workforce development for Cincinnati State.

Michelle Ford, data analyst for UC eLearning, taught Introduction to Data Analytics for Business Professionals on Oct. 16 on UC’s Uptown campus. Ford’s goal is to help students understand at a high level what data analytics is, how to communicate what data means, and how to make data accessible in a visual format to others in an organization.

“Data analytics being an in-demand skill has to do with the fact that there is so much data in the world. People are realizing they have to have proof to back up their claims,” Ford said. During the one-day intensive course, students used Microsoft Excel to analyze and visualize data to solve problems they are facing at work.
David Hatter, Cincinnati State adjunct professor and business technologist, is the instructor for the 40-contact-hour PMP® Certification Exam Prep course, which began Sept. 11 on Cincinnati State’s Evendale campus. Hatter is an accomplished business technologist with nearly 25 years of experience as a software developer, business analyst, project manager, instructor, speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He has been involved directly in the design, development, and deployment of roughly 200 custom software solutions and is especially good at bridging the business/technology chasm, thanks to superb communication and technical skills.

The course is delivered in a modified boot-camp style, meaning a great deal of information is covered in each class session. Students met for eight hours per day, one day per week for five consecutive weeks. The course also satisfies the requirement to sit for the PMP® certification exam.  

Associate Director for UC Information Technology-Research and Development Jane Combs recently renewed her PMP® Certification and had the PMP Certification was instrumental in her success and career development at UC.  

“The skills I acquired as part of the PMP training program prepared me to become an effective project manager and leader,” she said.

The impetus for this pilot began as a simple connection on LinkedIn between Sean G.L. Johnson, business manager for the Workforce Development Center, and Janet Staderman, program director for Communiversity. Both Johnson and Staderman recognized the value in leveraging their individual programs’ expertise in developing technical course offerings for local businesses. 

Cincinnati State and UC have several articulation agreements. The most recent, signed earlier this year, allows Cincinnati State students to transfer their credit hours to UC toward earning a bachelor’s degree. This continuing education pilot seemed like a natural next step for adults who want to learn technical competencies, such as data analytics and project management, as noncredit coursework.  

Those interested in learning more about the Data Analytics or Project Management Professional® courses may contact Janet Staderman at 513-556-4354 or at janet.staderman@uc.edu. Or visit UC Continuing Education’s website at uc.edu/ce.