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Business Analytics and Data Visualization

Turn data into actionable insights by understanding the analytics process

No matter your industry, you are likely seeing an increased quantity of data gathering in all areas of your business from customer demographics, sales, operations, inventory and marketing. As the data needs of the business increases, how as a non-analyst do you create a narrative of your data to help solve everyday business problems?

This three-day program is designed to address the key elements of the business analytics process and help make your Monday smarter. You will cover:

  • What is the business analytics process?
  • Creating the right visuals and narrative for your data
  • Applying descriptive statistics and dashboards instruments
  • Practice solving common business problems using the skills learned throughout the program


Make stronger data driven decisions

Module 1: Understanding the Business Analytics Process

So, you have a lot of data. Now what? This module will help you understand the step by step process to ask the right questions or frame your business problem so you can use data to solve it. Throughout this session, you will learn more about the business analytics process and practice each step using actual business examples. You will leave with the ability to:

  • Ask better questions to more accurately frame the problem or opportunity 
  • Find the correct data to address the problem
  • Convert raw data into actionable insights
  • Consider the audience and their needs as you present your business solution
  • Use a data narrative to tell your story with confidence

Module 2: Data Visualization

Pie, line, bar, heat map…how do you choose the right visuals to accurately tell your data story? During this session, you will:

  • Dive into the anatomy of visualization
  • Understand the function of each chart type and how it can accurately display your data
  • Use both text and numerical data to help sell your message
  • Practice hands on creating data visuals in Microsoft® Excel

Module 3: Descriptive Statistics

Brush up on statistics to ensure you are telling a factual story. During this session, you will:

  • Explore descriptive statistics
  • Construct dashboard-like instruments
  • Learn what the data tells you and understand how it impacts your organization
  • Understand what the data is telling you through statistical analysis

Module 4: Practice

The goal of this program is to give you the tools you need to apply business analytics in your current and future positions. Throughout each session, case studies and examples will be woven into the learning to help you apply each concept to business problems. 

Is This For Me?

Created for non-analysts to be better able to use data for better decision making

This program is for you if you are:

  • looking to gain insight into how to make more informed decisions using data; from starting the process to communicating with confidence.
  • working in a data driven business and need a better understanding of how to use data for decision making.
  • feeling overwhelmed with the quantity of data you are presented with and don’t know where to start when using it to solve a business problem.
  • In a functional role that is evolving because data is impacting your job profile and decision making.
  • considering a career transition into an analyst role and want to learn more to determine if this is a good next step for you.
  • looking to shift your decision-making style and mindset to be more data driven.

Common program participant titles and job functions may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Nurse Manager
  • Clinic Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Buyer
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Operations Manager 
  • Marketing Manager 
  • Demand Planner 
  • Business Consultant 
  • Supply
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners 
  • Individuals looking to advance their careers or those making a career change

Meet a Previous Participant

Who Completes Business Analytics and Data Visualization?
Kelly Corbo

Being able to present data in a focused and appealing way is a very valuable skill. I was lucky enough to gain this knowledge in the Business Analytics and Data Visualization program. I currently work as a Marketing Specialist for Land O' Lakes, but I'd like to move into a Web Analytics role in the future. Coming from a Communications background, I was looking for a base level analytics program. I wanted something I could apply right away. This program was a great size to be able to build relationships with the other participants and feel comfortable enough to ask questions and feel involved.

I no longer create lengthy PowerPoints that are unclear to my audience. I first ask myself before creating a presentation - "what story do I want to tell?" I decide on my main focus and make sure I drive that point home. It is also easier to understand what other teams are trying to get across and I can help them relay their message. I've recommended this program to co-workers and am interested in furthering my professional development with Executive Education.


Learn from our top-notch faculty with industry experience

John R. Olson, Ph.D.

John Olson is a professor and chairs the department of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of St. Thomas. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Management and Statistics from the University of Nebraska. He has consulted with numerous firms across the Midwest in the areas of Six Sigma and quality management, Lean thinking, theory of constraints, project management, and strategic management of operations.  Dr. Olson has worked with 40+ organizations, including the Veterans Administration’s several smaller regional clinics, to improve their organizational systems. 

Dr. Olson’s research interests focus on how companies create value in the supply chain. He has examined many different industries, including health care, manufacturing, e-commerce, e-services, and logistics, and has published over 20 articles in leading academic journals and trade publications.

Darin Sullwold

Darin Sullwold is a certified Lean Master and Six Sigma Black Belt. He works as a staff industrial engineer with Seagate Technology and has held previous roles with The Bergquist Company and ADC Telecommunications. He uses data and Excel every day to help businesses make the correct decisions. Mr. Sullowold holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Dave Wehling

Dave Wehling has over 25 years of global analytics experience for Fortune 1000 companies.  Dave currently manages analytics and forecasting for the International Division of the Toro Company in Bloomington, MN.  Dave’s responsibilities include providing data analysis for Toro’s sales and marketing efforts in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  Dave’s team delivers analytics and forecasts for sales of 10,000 items into 106 countries.

Dave holds a Doctorate in Business Administration and has taught graduate and undergraduate business courses on subjects including marketing information, operations management, finance, transformational leadership, and sales.

Your Investment

Why Choose Business Analytics and Data Visualization?

Price: $1595
2.1 CEUs

  • Confidently use data to help make decisions. Whether you are working with business analysts or looking to solve a business problem on your own, you will return to work with a framework for making business decisions using the analytics process.
  • You have data. Use it to tell a story. Once you have framed the question, use it to interpret a business problem and accurately tell a story with the correct visuals and at the right level for your audience.
  • Present data in a factual way. There is no getting around the need for statistics in making sound business decisions with data. Practice these skills and understand the importance in statistics terms like variance in telling your story.
  • Practice in class. Using case studies woven through the program, you’ll practice using the analytics process and presentation skills in an environment where the fate of your business is not on the line. 

Additional Program Details

  • Cost includes tuition, learning materials and refreshments.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are non-credit educational experiences; one CEU is equivalent to 10 contact hours of study.
  • Program sessions are held on the downtown Minneapolis campus. Parking is available within one block.
  • There are no prerequisites for this program.

Why St. Thomas Executive Education?

At St. Thomas Executive Education you will:

  • Gain practical tools from experienced faculty
  • Learn current, real-world skills you can apply on Monday (and every day)
  • Network with other professionals working in business
  • Have a personalized experience from program exploration to successful completion

All of this leads to a smart, practical and personalized experience to gain confidence and excel in your career. With over 30 open enrollment programs, we can help you dive into a specific topic area, understand business terminology and further develop your leadership and management skills.