DataMaster: Data Analytics Skills for Today’s Business

Businesses have invested heavily in data technology, infrastructure and analytics software—and they’re gathering more data than ever before. But they haven’t made the same investment in the people who can analyze all that data. There simply aren’t enough data scientists, data analysts or people with those skills to glean value from the data and turn it into insight.

The DataMaster program is designed to address the immediate needs of organizations for greater data analytics skills. (Read the Lean Methods Group’s CEO David Silverstein’s article “Don’t Be Late to the [Data] Party” for more on the industry outlook and skills gap.)

Unlike data science courses that rely on expensive technology and advanced programming skills, the DataMaster program provides an accessible, practical approach and a structured methodology for data analysis.

If your organization needs to grow its data analytics capability, our DataMaster program offers a way to rapidly develop the data analysis skills your team needs to deliver value that translates into competitive advantage.

Explore these resources to learn more about DataMasters and what you can expect from the program:

Knowledge, Skills and Salary of a DataMaster
The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century: Data Analyst CNBC
Data Analysts: What You’ll Make and Where You’ll Make It Udacity
Big Data and Analytics Survey 2015 IDG
Hal Varian on How the Web Challenges Managers McKinsey Quarterly
For Today’s Graduate, Just One word: Statistics The New York Times


FAQs: DataMaster Certification

Is the DataMaster program right for me and my team?

Anyone interested in converting data into actionable decisions is a good candidate for the DataMaster program. DataMasters become versed in the practical application of data mining and analysis techniques. They may be dedicated to a department, such as finance, marketing or operations, or they may work cross-functionally across departments to achieve wide-ranging goals. Most importantly, DataMasters challenge themselves to find new questions to ask to develop their own unique hypothesis, and use advanced data analytics in the search for answers.

What prerequisites do I need to enroll in the DataMaster course?

While there are no course prerequisites for Part 1 of the program, introductory level coursework in mathematics or statistics is helpful, along with a basic proficiency in data manipulation with Excel. Program participants will need access to Microsoft Excel version 2010 or newer. Students will need to have taken Part 1 before enrolling in Part 2.

Why Excel vs. other software tools and packages?

It takes years of experience to master the higher level tools such as Hadoop, MapReduce and Spark. (Read Program Manager Shannon Murphy’s article “Need a Data Analyst? Develop From the Inside.”) But there is one essential building block—Excel—80 percent or more of what a data scientist does still gets done in Excel. Excel incorporates more and more of the analysis and visualization tools found in data analytics programs, yet it’s far more accessible. Advanced Excel capability is a vital building block that should come before taking on more sophisticated tools. Wrapped around a methodology, Excel can be a very powerful tool.

Click through to learn more about the tools covered DataMaster Part 1 and Part 2.

What methodology does a DataMaster use?

The methodology DataMasters use is proven approach referred to as the OSEMN process (usually pronounced, “Awesome”). It stands for:

How long does it take to complete the course?

The complete classroom course runs for 10 days, in two one-week blocks. Students may elect to take only Part 1, the first week, or both Part 1 and Part 2 and receive certification after passing the exam..

How is a DataMaster different than a Six Sigma Black Belt?

Some of the DataMaster skills and tools overlap with Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, but the difference is in how individuals use them, as well as the scope of the data, and visualization and communication techniques. DataMaster techniques complement an organization’s improvement opportunity pipeline and also support and inform strategy and innovation.

DataMaster techniques complement an organization’s improvement opportunity pipeline, and also support and inform strategy and innovation.

Both a DataMaster and Black Belt will be familiar with the use of basic statistics, modelling and root cause analysis, but DataMasters will use their analytical skillset to understand and explore both organizational and external data sources to derive insight.

While Black Belts commence their efforts with a well-defined project objective, DataMasters start with a business question to be answered. The exploration required to adequately understand and service this question may result in multiple different projects, some of which may be quality related.

For someone already on a Lean Six Sigma track, DataMaster techniques complement an organization’s improvement opportunity pipeline for methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma. Read these articles to learn more:

Big Data Analytics Make Lean Methodologies Leaner Still
Call in Your Black Belt to Manage Your Big Data Analytics Team
Beyond Six Sigma: How Advanced Analytics Is Transforming Manufacturing

How does the Lean Methods Group support its DataMaster graduates after they complete the course?

In addition to some coaching and support during the class, DataMaster instructors are available for on-site or remote coaching, facilitation and training as candidates bring the data analysis methodology back to their organizations.

What makes Lean Method Group’s program different?

Unlike courses that simply teach you how to use Excel, focusing on basic formulas and analysis, the DataMaster course focuses on an analytical methodology so you understand how to first frame a business problem and then map those needs to a process that will get you answers you can use.

Getting value from vast troves of data demands more than simply knowing how to create charts and graphs or do basic statistical analysis. DataMasters learn to ask questions and develop unique hypotheses, to not simply analyze the data before them, but also to marry data from many disparate sources and to realize when they’re missing data altogether.

With a strong methodology and familiar software program, combined with visualization and storytelling techniques, the DataMaster course provides a unique opportunity for organizations and individuals to uncover valuable insight that leads to better business decisions.

DataMaster Software Tools
Proficiency Level Product Time used in Course
Intermediate – Advanced Excel 60%
Beginner – Intermediate Power BI
Beginner R 10%


Ready to learn more?

Visit DataMaster Part 1 to learn more, or contact us to set up a time to speak with our director of public training or a member of our data analytics team.