University of the Ozarks Launches Data Analytics Program

University of the Ozarks has launched a new certification program in data analytics this summer.

The all-online program was developed in partnership with Podium Education in Austin, Texas, and will be available as credit-coursework for U of O students as well as a stand-alone certificate for the general public.

There are currently 18 Ozarks students enrolled in a summer session data analytics boot camp to launch the program. The summer boot camp consists of a pair of three-credit courses – Introduction to Applied Analytics and Data Visualization with Tableau.

The certificate program is 12 credits and can be completed over three semesters. The full program will begin in the 2020 Fall Semester.

University Provost Dr. Alyson Gill said data analytics is a much-requested skill set from both students as well as prospective employers.

“When we looked at regional market needs, we realized that there was a significant gap in training in data analytics—meaning that a significant number of posted positions listed data analytics as a preferred skill with no local or accessible program offering that training,” Gill said. “This program, which is for our current students and also as a stand-alone certificate for others outside the University, provides a ‘leg up’ in the job market. These skills are desirable for businesses as they lead to better understanding of their customers along with how to  market to those customers.”

Gill said students can benefit from data analytics regardless of their major or professional interests and that they do not have to have a background in computer science or statistics.

“This certificate provides numerous transferable skills, including problem-solving, project management and critical thinking,” Gill said. “At the same time, these skills extend across all academic disciplines, and, because of this multidisciplinary impact, it benefits everyone.”

Gill said the University is exploring expanding the data analytics certificate program into a minor.