Data & Analytics Fundamentals Academy

Training today’s workforce for tomorrow’s essential skills

Training the workforce to work in AI and analytics

Canadians have a long way to go in understanding artificial intelligence—only 4 percent of the Canadians surveyed by Deloitte last year, for example, felt confident explaining what AI is and how it works. The findings in the resulting research report, Canada’s AI imperative: From predictions to prosperity, show that many Canadian businesses don’t understand what their businesses can achieve with AI. And that means they don’t know where to turn for solutions. Even among the early adopters of AI, 68 percent reported low to modest familiarity with selecting AI technologies and technology suppliers. Early adopters also listed their top three challenges in deploying AI initiatives as integrating AI into their company’s roles and functions, implementation challenges, and data issues.

These insights speak to the need to increase Canadians’ literacy in AI, the imperative to provide more education about what AI is and what it can do for Canadian business in practical and tangible ways. This is highlighted in our most recent report, The upskilling imperative: Building a future-ready workforce for the AI age, which lays out how business leaders can train their workforce for an AI-centric future.

Schulich and Deloitte: A Collaboration

York University’s Schulich School of Business and Deloitte are collaborating to offer training in AI and analytics to Canadian executives and analytics practitioners, the objective of which is to help bring both the executive and operational levels of an organization up to the same level of understanding.

Recognized business authorities consistently rank Schulich and its executive training division, the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC), as leaders in Canada and among the best in the world. With its specialized masters programs in the field of AI and machine learning technology solutions, Schulich is an established brand. Its SEEC trains about 10,000 executives and managers per year in a wide range of business topics. Deloitte is a global leader in analytics and AI innovation and its application to real-world business problems in the areas of AI strategy (including AI education and academies), data and analytics modernization, and AI insights. Through its AI and analytics academies, Deloitte trains more than 600 Canadian business executives and analytics practitioners each year in both building and using purposeful AI and analytics.

The Data & Analytics Fundamentals Academy

Our joint practitioner program, the Data & Analytics Fundamentals Academy, is a boot camp for professionals whose area is not data and analytics. With six modules based on a business problem that can be solved through data and analytics, the objective is to equip non-technical professionals with an analytical mindset and foundational capabilities in:

  • Framing business problems as analytical questions
  • Data engineering
  • Data modelling
  • Data visualization
  • Storytelling with data
  • Rapid prototyping

The academy includes real-world case studies, hands-on experiential learning, and a prestigious alumni and faculty network.

It’s delivered by a joint Schulich-Deloitte faculty team led by Murat Kristal, a Schulich professor, and Audrey Ancion, a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Omnia AI practice. Participants will be recognized with a SEEC AI certificate of recognition after successfully completing the course.

The courses will be delivered virtually, with one module per week over the course of six weeks and a capstone project due in the seventh week. There will be at least four cohorts, of up to 25 participants each, per academic year:

  • Cohort 1: July 8 to August 12, 2020 (capstone project on August 19)
  • Cohort 2: September 7 to October 12, 2020
  • Cohort 3: November 2 to December 7, 2020
  • Cohort 4: January 11 to February 15, 2021

Reasons to consider the Data & Analytics Fundamentals Academy

According to a LinkedIn study, artificial intelligence and analytical reasoning were two of the top four skills companies need most in 2019. Our academy program offers non-technical professionals an opportunity to improve their skills in data, analytics, and AI.

Through the Data & Analytics Fundamentals Academy, you can modify or advance your career by developing in-demand skills:

  • Know how to frame business problems and business opportunities as analytical questions that can be solved through data
  • Confidently lead multidisciplinary teams in developing data, analytics, and AI solutions that improve customer and colleague experience, increase revenues, reduce costs, and mitigate risks
  • Translate business needs into data needs and appreciate the data preparation, data engineering, and data modelling required to extract insights from different structured and unstructured data sets
  • Build proficiency in data visualization and storytelling and rapid prototyping to be able to effectively articulate insights that lead to data-driven decision-making

The academy will also provide you with the opportunity to interact with peers from different industries as well as with the Schulich-Deloitte faculty team, which has delivered AI and analytics solutions to hundreds of corporate clients in Canada and worldwide each year.

Register for an academy course.


The Schulich-Deloitte cognitive analytics and visualization lab

The Schulich-Deloitte Cognitive Analytics and Visualization Lab is the centerpiece of the Schulich School of Business’s master of management in artificial intelligence (MMAI), and master of business analytics (MBAN) programs, providing students with an innovative space to learn advanced analytics and AI concepts. The lab is a hotbed of collaboration, innovation, and research, created to foster advances in the interpretation of big data and artificial intelligence. The lab shapes tomorrow’s analytics and AI leaders while helping businesses address their most pressing challenges by using data to uncover insights and set strategy. Visit to learn more. 

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