Understanding Data in Organizations

Everywhere data is found, you will find people trying to harness that data for the benefit of their business, organization, department or projects. This course helps you learn how people, computers and processes collect, understand and transform data to better equip organizations to win in a competitive environment. You also gain an understanding of how data moves through organizations, and learn approaches for getting the right data to the right users.

This course can be applied to the Data Analysis Certificate.


Richard Lundell, PhD

Richard Lundell, PhD

Richard Lundell is the senior manager of database engineering at Footlocker, a global retailer of shoes and apparel. Rick has more than 25 years of experience in education, data management, relationship building and leadership. Rick’s career trajectory is unique, but ... read more

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Use and define key data management terms.
  • Create and pose precise data management questions aimed at increasing understanding and driving towards specific business goals.
  • Identify areas of data management within their organization for possible improvement.
  • Communicate process-flow and people-flow information to improve business efficiency.

Course Outline/Topics

  • Why do organizations care about data? Different groups for different reasons.
    • Customers/consumers
    • Sales
    • Business management
    • Project management
    • Development
    • Database administration
    • IT security
    • Auditors and regulators
    • Exercise: Who do I involve in this data conversation? What roles?
  • How to get data work done
    • Challenges of silos and departments
    • Project management approaches
      • Waterfall
      • Lean/Agile
      • DevOps/DevSecOps
    • Exercise: What is the best way to run this data work?
  • Understanding data flow in an organization
    • Data created by the organization
    • Data from outside the organization
    • How data moves and why
    • Exercise: How do I get the right data to the right users?
  • From data to intelligence: From spreadsheets to business intelligence, big data, and the internet of things
    • How to create intelligence and decisions out of data: Today
    • How to create intelligence and decisions out of data: Tomorrow
    • Exercise: What could the next step in evolution of this data product/service be?
  • What does “data-driven organization” mean?
  • How does the focus on data change organizations, their cultures and their success?


"I really enjoyed Rick’s perspective, analogies and overall well-rounded expertise when it came to conveying these different proponents of data used in companies. I really liked how organized the course was and the general flow. I thought the depth, content and discussion were all really well balanced and it was very enjoyable. I enjoyed both days equally, and find that both of them were equally usable going forward. I was really looking forward to this course because of my background and the instructor’s field of work. So this was overall great. I loved it."  —  Participant, February 2022

"I liked that Rick would specifically highlight concepts/information that were important to our day-to-day jobs. It helped tune in when it was an important concept that may not have seemed very relevant at first. It also helped form questions that led to further explanation."  —  Participant, February 2022

"Rick is an excellent instructor, and I really enjoyed this class! He is constantly gauging his pacing, student understanding and interaction throughout the class. He is also sensitive to the relevance of the course topics to the students’ professional roles or goals and tweaks his comments to pair well with the students. In terms of content, I thought the one-day class was well-balanced in terms of content and breadth and was a good mix of lecture, discussion, reviewing online sources and watching a few TED talks. I learned a good amount. My current role is outside of data analysis, but I did not feel intimidated or lost during this course. Bravo!"  —  Participant, December 2020

"Rick is an excellent instructor. He really gave me tactics for improving my day-to-day work. I appreciated too how many times he explained terms that might seem obvious. Many times he hit on items I’ve been afraid to ask! The instructor’s notes are easy and fast. He was right – I did not waste time writing. I will easily be able to go back and reference."  —  Participant, December 2020

"I really liked the teaching notes that were provided because I spent less time taking notes and more time listening. Also, it will be very helpful to reference the teaching notes in the future …. What I also loved about this class was the focus on people and soft (people) skills needed to be a successful data analyst (or in any role really), such as being a better active listener and showing your interest in whoever you’re working with by asking lots of questions for clarification. Throughout my career, I have found building a strong rapport with coworkers and customers is absolutely essential for success and only makes your job easier and more enjoyable in the long run."  —  Participant, December 2020

"Great thought-provoking discussions."  —  Participant, May 2019

"I really enjoyed this class. Dr. Lundell is a great instructor and made this class so interesting! He was well prepared and engaged the class in productive discussions. The course overall helped me make progress in my acquisition of data analytics language."  —  Yolanda Rivera, Milwaukee College Prep Schools, Participant, May 2019

"Liked the exploration of data with project management and added considerations. Also really liked the emphasis on the human element."  —  Participant, May 2019

"The content was interesting and Rick was very engaging and entertaining. Thought-provoking topics helped to identify some organizational issues in my own work."  —  Clint Herbert, DCF-DMCPS, Program and Policy Analyst-Advanced

Date: Mon & Wed, Apr 24-26

Delivery Method: Live Online

Time: 6-9pm CT

Platform: Zoom

Instructor: Richard Lundell PhD


$425 by Apr 10
$450 after Apr 10

CEUs: .7

Enrollment Limit: 20

Program Number: 5020-14697

Note: Participants will receive instructions for logging into Canvas to access course materials and Zoom links several days prior to first day of class.

Registration Deadline: Apr 24

Register Now


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