There’s a growing mismatch between the growth of data and the growth of data skills and knowledge. The former is increasing at a healthy rate, while the latter is struggling to keep up. One outfit that’s hoping to close the data education gap is Data Society. The company, which provides tailored education and training sessions to companies and organizations (as opposed to individual users), seeks to give users a basic foundation of core skills in the areas of data management, data analytics, and data science.
The Washington, D.C. company employs 50 full-time educators, who present a data science curriculum that was created by a team of professional content creators and data scientists. The company also has a roster of hundreds of part-time instructors it can tap into, particularly for specific industries.
The company started out with the business-to-consumer (B2C) model, but shifted course several years ago to the business-to-business (B2B) model, which enables it to be more flexible in meeting clients’ needs, according to Data Society co-founder and CEO Merav Yuravlivker.
“We completely flipped the switch and said, no more B2C, we’re focusing on our industry clients,” says Yuravlivker, a former teacher who founded Data Society in 2014. “We’re one of the only players in the space.”
Over the years, Data Society has trained upwards of 10,000 individuals for more than 100 clients, many of which are employed by financial services companies, healthcare firms, and federal agencies. The company’s client roster includes names like NASA, CDC, Department of Treasury, Discovery Financial Services, OptumHealth, and IQVIA, among others.
The students fall into two general groups: practitioners who need the technical skills to be able to work with data and apply the techniques, and executives who need to know what data is capable of and how to build a team. “Beyond the technical piece, we found a big need to train executives, mangers, and general staff in the understanding of how to use data science in general, how to think about that strategy, how to staff up,” Yuravlivker says.
The ability to tailor the Data Society curriculum to the specific needs of a client gives the company an advantage over education providers that have more rigid curriculums. This customization takes the form of industry-specific capstone projects in some cases, while in others, the…
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