By now, as an adult, you are likely aware of what your natural strengths are. You may have applied them in various lines of work and even augmented them with tools that it took you a little more effort to acquire. Over time, through practice and education, you become a hybrid of natural and acquired strengths—you build on your foundational talents.

A recent article in the New York Times details how hybrid, cross-functional employees are more in demand than ever. “To get a job as a top executive, new evidence shows, it helps greatly to have experience in as many of a business’s functional areas as possible.” In other words, those are who succeed are equipped for being flexible and willing to take on new responsibilities or even shift between departments.

Given the rapidity of technological change and business evolution, especially as you advance within an organization, it’s easy to imagine why hybrid employees are in high demand. And even though the article focuses on the path to the C-suite, cross-functionality and getting out of your comfort zone are becoming more and more applicable at all levels of a business. There are fewer and fewer jobs with cleanly defined roles.

Maybe you used to operate more at an entry level, but have recently gotten promoted and had to learn how to not only manage others but also take a step back and think in a more strategic fashion, as opposed to a daily or weekly, tactical, “how-do-we-get-this-project-done” way. A move like this requires enhancing your leadership and people skills—“soft skills”—while also forcing you to accomplish what remained of your duties more efficiently. You build atop what you already know you can do.

Our Business Analytics course is designed to do exactly the same—build on your foundational talent—by covering what is probably the most useful, unifying area of study when it comes to cross-functionality.

After all, as that NYT article points out: “The manager had better also be adept at using the technology that links all that information together.” Whether you’re a newly established project manager, or wish to acquire more technical skills to enhance your current role, or are looking to pad your resume, or perhaps just looking for a challenge, this course is directly geared toward practical application—the necessities of proving your worth in new roles.

At this point in the development of data science and analytics, it’s not about being on the forefront of developing theories and building products as often as it’s about applying products and frameworks that already exist to streamline old ways of conducting business. This will ring true to many project managers who already know how to lead a group of people to discover and implement solutions, but who need to stay on top of swiftly shifting technologies and use cases.

Adaptation is a useful analogy that underlines how quickly you may have to learn new concepts. For those who are looking to expand their comfort zone by retooling what they know or acquiring new expertise, it’s likely you have limited time and resources to devote to picking up new skills, so getting to the practical applications of business analytics as quickly as possible is crucial.

You don’t need to know how to build a tool from scratch in order to use it; you just have to know how it works, what to use it for, and why it matters. (Right now, you’re reading words on a screen that operates in a way you most likely don’t understand, but you definitely can use it!) So in this course, the practical applications come first and foremost, grounded in what theoretical frameworks still remain crucial to comprehension. That’s also why it ends in a one-hour career consultation—to synthesize and collaborate with you on where your newly acquired skills might best be put to use.

You’ve extended your foundation before. This course isn’t a remodel, but another wing of your existing skillset. Let’s start building together.

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