August 6, 2020

Online Applied Data Analytics program focuses on data decision-making for working professionals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An understanding of how to work with, interpret and present data is now an important skill in myriad jobs that do not have “data scientist” in their job descriptions.

Purdue University’s online Applied Data Analytics in Technology Graduate Certificate is a three-course, for-credit series designed for working professionals who need the ability to gather, refine and draw insights from data, as well as visualize and present the results, to make better data-driven decisions – but who don’t necessarily need a full master’s degree.

More than just training in using data, the series of courses offers students an education on the topic that should leave them thinking differently and more critically about the world around them by deepening their understanding of how data now impacts daily life on a near ubiquitous basis.

The three online courses, which must be taken in sequence, give students a grounding in data literacy, data analysis and data visualization. Students will come away with an understanding of descriptive analytics capturing what is happening, predictive analytics looking ahead at what is likely to happen and prescriptive analytics pointing the way to potential actions. They also will learn how to create visualizations and presentations using data.

Almost anyone who uses data for decision-making can benefit from the courses, said Mark Schuver, director Purdue Online-Polytechnic Institute, who led the development of the series. Personnel in human resources, information technology, marketing, operations and supply chain management, along with industrial and quality engineers, among others, are prime candidates for the program.

Instructors for the courses emphasize making the material accessible for and applicable to students from a variety of fields. “They really understand what working professionals need,” Schuver said.

Students take one three-credit course per semester over three semesters. The courses require approximately 12-14 hours a week, including a live class session via WebEx one evening a week. Those sessions will be recorded so a student who misses a class can view the video to catch up. The fall and spring semesters run for 16 weeks, the summer semester for 12 weeks. 

The courses cost $750 per credit hour for Indiana residents and $775 for nonresidents. If a student decides to pursue a master’s degree, credit from the courses can be transferred into Master of Science degrees in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. For more information and to register, visit

Data science research and teaching is a major emphasis at Purdue with the goal of being at the forefront by tightly coupling theory, discovery and applications, including exposing students to data science as it pertains to their lives and careers.

The online Applied Data Analytics in Technology Graduate Certificate aligns with that vision and draws on Purdue’s expertise to create an interdisciplinary program with immediate real-world applicability.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-494-8167,

Source: Mark Schuver,

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