Analytics Training and Speaking Engagements—US and international locations

Upcoming workshops and speaking engagements

    Data Exploration & Visualization
        A 2-day workshop at the INFORMS Conference on Big Data

        June 25th-26th, 2014—San Jose, California

    TDWI Executive Summit, Invited Speaker and Panelist
        Big Data Visualization: Rapid Returns on Your Big Investment

        July 21st-23rd, 2014—Boston, Massachusetts—My talk is on the 22nd at 4:15 PM

    Data Exploration & Visualization
        A 2-day workshop at the INFORMS Annual Conference — Bridging Data and Decisions

        November 7th-8th, 2014—San Francisco, California
        Course registration for the San Francisco workshop should open soon


All of our courses are available on-site at your organization-contact us to arrange an engagement.
 
 
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Data Management and Visual Analytics with Tableau (2-days)
A hands-on, case study approach using real-world data, challenges and all…

Download the course brochure About the instructor Attendee feedback
+ Read about Data Management and Visual Analytics with Tableau (2-days)

Everyone can benefit from learning a reliable, flexible and repeatable method to analyze real-world data. Combine this with a solid grounding in the flow and core features of Tableau to achieve great returns with this course. In just two-days, you will complete multiple real-world case studies with Tableau paired with supporting data management capabilities of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

The core of this course is based on the principles and methods in The Accidental Analyst and Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8 (the original Tableau book, now on the fourth edition). Stephen Few, best-selling author on data visualization wrote about The Accidental Analyst, “This is a wonderful book, filled with practical advice. Business people who are struggling to make sense of their data will find it accessible and directly applicable to their work-a great resource for building analytical prowess.”

Overview
Our two-day course includes well-crafted lectures on the principles of analytics and Tableau combined with extensive in-class examples, allowing you to follow along with Stephen to learn how to take charge of your data with Tableau. Learnings from the lecture and examples are reinforced with real-world case studies focused on the methods and core features of Tableau, combined with supporting capabilities of Excel and Access. At the end of this course you will be able to:

+ Connect to commonly used data sources
+ Explore these data sources for quality issues that could impact your findings
+ Learn methods to identify and address data quality problems,
greatly improving your analysis
+ Create tables and charts that quickly inform and guide you in answering your questions
+ Customize tables and graphs to clarify and clearly answer
the questions for decision-makers
+ Build interactive dashboards that bring your work together in a coherent manner
+ Confidently present results to managers, colleagues, clients and the public
+ Learn expert tips, tricks and shortcuts that will save you both time and aggravation

Details and Registration
This two-day course is taught in-person worldwide- both in public venues and onsite at leading organizations. No prior knowledge of Tableau is required. Bring your laptop with Tableau and Microsoft Office installed. We also recommend bringing a mouse rather than using your laptop touchpad, it’s much more efficient with Tableau!

Participant feedback and comments
“Jam packed with tons of information.”
“The step by step examples are great.”
“Walking through thought process instead of just how to do a series of features.”
“I liked how it was a very interactive class with numerous hints and tips provided.” and
“…like the material on preparing the data.”

Who should attend
Business or data professionals at companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions or in the government who want to learn a repeatable, proven method to make confident decisions based on data. This hands-on workshop is useful for newer or intermediate analysts, and experts have also attended to learn how to effectively teach others how to analyze data. Note: Participants must bring a laptop with Microsoft® Office installed. All participants will receive course notes, real-world exercises, a copy of our book The Accidental Analyst and a laminated set of our popular Rapid Dashboards Reference Cards which is packed with tips and tricks that are helpful for effective data presentation.
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Data Exploration & Visualization (2-days via INFORMS)
Experience first-hand the power of visualization in exploring data as an adjunct to tried and trusted analytics methods.
+ Read about Data Exploration & Visualization (2-days)
The topics of data exploration and visualization are hot topics for successful analysts, statisticians and data scientists. Attendees of this course will experience first-hand the power of visualization in exploring data as an adjunct to tried and trusted analytics methods. Using a hands-on lecture and case study approach, attendees will walk away with a proven framework for data exploration that is directly relevant to real-world problems in many fields. Incorporating popular free and leading software tools to facilitate hands-on learning, attendees will be able to directly apply the methods and techniques from this course in their work, regardless of their visualization tool of choice.

This course has been jointly developed and will be taught by Stephen McDaniel and Dr. Eileen McDaniel, authors of multiple books and courses on visual analytics, advanced analytics and data management. Based on their experience teaching thousands of people at hundreds of companies, government agencies and non-profits around the world, they co-authored The Accidental Analyst. The Accidental Analyst follows a practical framework for business analytics, adapted from the scientific method. This framework intelligently applies the core techniques of visual analytics to rapidly and iteratively explore data for new insights, business opportunities and possible threats.

Data Exploration & Visualization is exclusively taught via INFORMS, both public and on-site.


 
 
Data Management and Visual Analytics with Microstrategy Analytics Desktop (2-days)
A hands-on, case study approach using real-world data, challenges and all…

A free solution for visual analytics and analytic dashboards!
Download the course brochure About the instructor Attendee feedback
+ Read about Data Management and Visual Analytics with Microstrategy Analytics Desktop (2-days)
Microstrategy Analytics Desktop is an exciting new offering of Microstrategy, an established leader in business intelligence. Available as a free product for both personal and professional use, Freakalytics considers this new product a good alternative to other leading products in visual analytics and analytic dashboards. It is capable of working with local data sources such as Excel, text files and Access databases in addition to remote, big data sources such as SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL and Hadoop.

Everyone can benefit from learning a reliable, flexible and repeatable method to analyze real-world data. Combine this with a solid grounding in the flow and core features of Microstrategy Analytics Desktop to achieve great returns with this course. In just two-days, you will complete multiple real-world case studies with Microstrategy Analytics Desktop paired with supporting data management capabilities of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

The core of this course is based on the principles and methods in The Accidental Analyst. Stephen Few, best-selling author on data visualization wrote about The Accidental Analyst, “This is a wonderful book, filled with practical advice. Business people who are struggling to make sense of their data will find it accessible and directly applicable to their work-a great resource for building analytical prowess.”

Overview
Our two-day course includes well-crafted lectures on the principles of analytics and Microstrategy Analytics Desktop combined with extensive in-class examples, allowing you to follow along with Stephen to learn how to take charge of your data with Microstrategy Analytics Desktop. Learnings from the lecture and examples are reinforced with real-world case studies focused on the methods and core features of Microstrategy Analytics Desktop, combined with supporting capabilities of Excel and Access. At the end of this course you will be able to:

+ Connect to commonly used data sources
+ Explore these data sources for quality issues that could impact your findings
+ Learn methods to identify and address data quality problems,
greatly improving your analysis
+ Create tables and charts that quickly inform and guide you in answering your questions
+ Customize tables and graphs to clarify and clearly answer
the questions for decision-makers
+ Build interactive dashboards that bring your work together in a coherent manner
+ Confidently present results to managers, colleagues, clients and the public
+ Learn expert tips, tricks and shortcuts that will save you both time and aggravation

Details and Registration
This two-day course is taught in-person worldwide- both in public venues and onsite at leading organizations. No prior knowledge of Microstrategy Analytics Desktop is required. Bring your laptop with Microstrategy Analytics Desktop and Microsoft Office installed. We also recommend bringing a mouse rather than using your laptop touchpad, it’s much more efficient!

Participant feedback and comments from the Tableau version of this course
“Jam packed with tons of information.”
“The step by step examples are great.”
“Walking through thought process instead of just how to do a series of features.”
“I liked how it was a very interactive class with numerous hints and tips provided.” and
“…like the material on preparing the data.”

Who should attend
Business or data professionals at companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions or in the government who want to learn a repeatable, proven method to make confident decisions based on data. This hands-on workshop is useful for newer or intermediate analysts, and experts have also attended to learn how to effectively teach others how to analyze data. Note: Participants must bring a laptop with Microsoft® Office installed. All participants will receive course notes, real-world exercises, a copy of our book The Accidental Analyst and a laminated set of our popular Rapid Dashboards Reference Cards which is packed with tips and tricks that are helpful for effective data presentation.
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Complete Tableau Training (4-days)
The original Complete Tableau Training, authored and taught exclusively by Freakalytics since 2009.
This is the course that many early adopters of Tableau attended, public and on-site, and that Tableau endorsed in 2009, with Freakalytics as the founding Tableau Education Partner. Since Stephen left Tableau as Director of Analytics in 2013, we are now the world’s leading provider of independent Tableau training expertise, able to objectively train and advise clients on how best to utilize Tableau in conjunction with other leading data visualization, data storage and analytic products.

About the instructor Attendee feedback

Rapid Graphs and Data Analysis with Tableau 8 (Days 1 & 2)
The first half of the original Complete Tableau Training, since 2009. We combine best analytic practices with training on the core of Tableau capabilities to help you make sense of your data with Tableau.

+ Read about Rapid Graphs and Data Analysis with Tableau 8 (2-days)
Gain confidence and expertise in this two-day course as you learn how to create graphs and tables with Tableau to improve the speed and quality of your daily decisions. Topics include core features, the power of Show Me!, data access, thinking analytically, effective business graph design, data management, data exploration principles, table calculations, filtering and the value of highlighting with multi-graph views. Each attendee will receive the book, Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8 by Stephen McDaniel and Eileen McDaniel, PhD.Contact us for on-site training

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Dashboard Design and Advanced Mapping with Tableau 8 (Day 3)
The third day of the original Complete Tableau Training, since 2009. This is the basis of the dashboard course we taught at three Tableau conferences, both in the US and Europe, as the founding Tableau Education Partner.

+ Read about Dashboard Design and Advanced Mapping with Tableau 8 (1 day)

Building on the content from the first two-days, or a solid understanding of Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8, this one-day course covers dashboard capabilities with two case studies, dashboard design principles, advanced mapping capabilities and publishing to Tableau Server. Dashboard topics include design principles and best practices, common mistakes, layout, interaction features and testing. Mapping topics include custom geocoding and best practices for combining maps with other view types in Tableau. Each attendee will receive the book, Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8 by Stephen McDaniel and Eileen McDaniel, PhD.

Prerequisite- if you don’t attend the first two-days of our Tableau training then you should possess knowledge of Tableau commensurate with the book “Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8”.

Contact us for on-site training

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Advanced Data Preparation and Management for Tableau 8 (Day 4)
The last day of the original Complete Tableau Training, since 2009. We uniquely combine learning about data preparation and management both inside and outside Tableau, enabling attendees to gain the most from their Tableau work.

+ Read about Advanced Data Preparation and Management for Tableau 8 (1 day)

Building on the content from the first two-days, or a solid understanding of Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8, this one-day course focuses on data preparation and data management, skills essential to efficiently achieving great results in Tableau. Topics include Excel data preparation, data joins and unions, custom SQL, Access, advanced data item calculations, table calculations and general data management within Tableau. Each attendee will receive the book, “Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8” by Stephen McDaniel and Eileen McDaniel, PhD.

Prerequisite- if you don’t attend the first two-days of our Tableau training then you should possess knowledge of Tableau commensurate with the book “Rapid Graphs with Tableau 8”.

Contact us for on-site training

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SAS Programming for Data Management and Analytic Data Preparation (2-days)
A hands-on, case study approach using real-world data, challenges and all…

About the instructor Attendee feedback from other courses
+ Read about SAS Programming for Data Management & Analytic Data Prep (2-days)

In this course, we uniquely combine learning about data access, data review, data cleaning and data management with the SAS programming language. The SAS language provides unique capabilities to manage data that can benefit data analysts in a wide range of activities.

This two-day course is taught online and in-person worldwide-in public offerings and onsite at leading organizations.

Why this course is different
This course follows an innovative approach to learn how to effectively use the SAS programming language—it is about solving real-world problems with proven approaches in a compact, two-day format. You can reference SAS books and online manuals for all the details, but this course will guide you across some of the most critical methods, approaches and techniques to begin harnessing the SAS language to address your real-world data management needs.

The core of this course is based on using the SAS programming language to solve common data access, cleaning and management principles and methods as explained in The Accidental Analyst. Stephen Few, best-selling author on data visualization and dashboard design, wrote about The Accidental Analyst, “This is a wonderful book, filled with practical advice. Business people who are struggling to make sense of their data will find it accessible and directly applicable to their work-a great resource for building analytical prowess.”

Overview
Our two-day course (taught in four, half-day increments online) includes lectures on the principles of data access, data review, data cleansing and data preparation combined with extensive in-class examples, allowing you to follow along with Stephen to learn how to take charge of your data with the SAS programming language. Learnings from the lecture and examples are reenforced with real-world case studies, executed independently.

At the end of this course you will have experience with:
+ Connecting to commonly used data sources and effectively
taking an inventory of these sources and combining them as needed
+ Exploring data sources for quality issues using a core set of techniques
+ Learn methods to identify and address data quality problems,
greatly improving your analysis
+ Structure and optimize your data for easy analysis in SAS or other analytic tools
+ Learn expert tips, tricks and shortcuts that will save you both time and aggravation

Prerequisites
You should be moderately familiar with managing data with tools such as Excel, Access or other commonly used programs in business. For maximum value and to perform the work on the exercises in this class, you must have access to one of these:
SAS Display Manager System (commonly called PC SAS or the interactive SAS system on Unix), or
SAS Enterprise Guide with either a local or remote SAS Server (you must have the ability to create and delete data from your SAS server, run this SAS program to verify) or
WPS (WPS can run programs written in the language of SAS).

At a minimum, you should have a basic working knowledge of opening your SAS application, creating a simple program (like this one), executing the program and reviewing the results. The instructor will be utilizing a text editor (Notepad ++, free here) and submitting his SAS examples in batch. You can read about batch processing on the Windows system with SAS here or using WPS here.

* Note that WPS is available on a 30 day trial basis from MineQuest (if you plan to trial this product for use with the course, be certain not to obtain your trial to far in advance of the course.)

The instructor and SAS
Stephen has used SAS since 1988 and has worked with it in a wide range of applications and industries. He has accessed, cleaned, organized and managed data using SAS at many companies, including building automated systems with the SAS language to achieve these goals.

Stephen built the world’s first data warehouse for clinical trials with SAS programming and Oracle in the mid 90′s and built enhancements to data warehouses at Loudcloud, Netflix and many other companies with SAS. Additionally, he has previously worked at SAS as a Director of Research and Development, helping build advanced interfaces on top of the SAS language.

In the late 90′s, when SAS created the first certification program, Stephen scored the 2nd highest score in the world on the normalization version of these exams. Stephen is also author of SAS for Dummies (2 editions) and The Accidental Analyst, a comprehensive approach to effectively accessing data to answer real-world business questions.

Who should attend
Business or data professionals at companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions or in the government who want to learn a repeatable approach to manage their data with the SAS programming language. All participants will receive electronic course notes, sample data and real-world exercises.

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What others have to say
+ Read What others have to say
Are you considering attending training by Freakalytics? While nobody is perfect, we are pleased to share that nearly 99% of attendees rated training by Freakalytics as exceeding or meeting their expectations. We have trained a diverse range of people including marketing managers, directors of business intelligence, operations analysts, CFOs, CEOs, data miners, CIOs, business analysts, data architects, senior developers, project managers, hedge fund managers, CMOs, university institutional research directors and others. Here is a sample of recent attendee comments.

There is no substitute for learning at the feet of a master. And I’m not just saying this because I coordinate training for AEA. I’d been using Tableau Software for months. I’d read Stephen’s book. I’d watched Tableau’s free webinars (which are quite good by the way if you’re a Tableau user).”
“However, in four-days of live training I (a) built confidence in the areas where I was on the right track; (b) learned multiple minute details and in particular time-saving shortcuts that only became apparent when seeing someone demonstrate the concepts and software in real time, and (c) moved through roadblocks that I had not been able to surmount via reference manuals and trial-and-error. I’ll now not only be faster, but also more capable and able to produce a better product.”
Susan Kistler, Executive Director, American Evaluation Association
Read her full write-up here

Over on LinkedIn Tableau Enthusiasts Group, Kelly M wrote:
I’ve taken Stephen’s Dashboard workshop at the 2011 conference and it was excellent. Within 15 minutes the guy next to me (Ed) said ‘Well, that trick alone just made the cost for the whole workshop worthwhile.’ The workshop was so well designed that it appeared seamless. That’s a knack that people don’t often get credit for. I judge training based on whether I remember anything later and I can say that I still remember Stephen (and his wife) when I’m building dashboards. Highly, highly recommend any course Stephen offers!
 

The best course I have ever taken! In just two-days, I learned so many new ways to communicate with my executive team, thanks!”
— On-site attendee, 2013
 

I am really glad I did it.  Thank you
 

so much! I learned so much in such a relatively short period of time. Great, great, great
 

I found the course very valuable. I am genuinely not sure whether to laugh or cry when I think about how we have been doing things so far, and how much easier my work will now be!  Well-presented and great content!  Thanks you  Rob
 

Great instructor, materials, good combo between hands-on and lecture format.  Good flow and nice class size and location.
 

Well planned curriculum, good materials and Stephen was super-knowledgable
 

I never saw all the capabilities available in Tableau, this was very helpful.  Excellent content.
 

- good practical real world experience and expertise - i.e. NOT someone who learnt the product in order to provide training.
 

Stephen has excellent domain knowledge.
 

Great explanations from (a) highly experienced speaker!
 

- Really clear and easy to understand  - Wasn't talked at, this made it very enjoyable
 

The manner it was presented, advanced concepts simply presented.
 

- Very helpful instrcutor  - Very knowledgable instructor who could show us what are the most common issues people have and how to overcome them.
 

American Marketing Association Workshop Attendee Feedback
Below is a summary of attendee comments provided from the AMA survey at the conclusion of our course. Approximately half the attendees gave Stephen the highest possible instructor rating, Excellent, with the balance rating the instructor as Very Good.
- Instructor was knowledgeable and easy to listen to.
- Attendees enjoyed the hands-on aspect especially working with real data.
- The course interactivity was great!
- Students enjoyed hearing Stephen’s business insights and it was very interesting to see how he thinks about data.
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About the instructor, Stephen McDaniel
So much data, so little time!
+ Read about the instructor

Stephen McDaniel, Chief Data Officer AdvisoryStephen is Co-Founder and Principal Data Scientist at Freakalytics, LLC. He advises Chief Data Officers and Chief Information Officers on how to develop and implement successful strategies for all aspects of data utilization, from collection to integration to storage to analytics and distribution of findings. He is passionate about projects that bring together people, systems and data resulting in smarter choices, happier customers and higher profits. As an analytics educator with broad experience training thousands of students, he teaches individuals and teams that work with data, regardless of skill level or department, how to manage and analyze data to answer business questions.

Stephen is lead author of SAS for Dummies™ (two editions), Rapid Graphs with Tableau (four editions), the Rapid Dashboards Reference Card and App and co-author of The Accidental Analyst: Show Your Data Who’s Boss. Working with Dr. Eileen McDaniel at Freakalytics, he was the co-founder of Tableau’s worldwide training program, authoring and delivering public and on-site hands-on training in analytics in over 60 cities around the world and at multiple Tableau conferences in the US and Europe.

Stephen has over 25 years of experience as a statistician, analyst, data architect, instructor, data miner, consultant, software innovator and author. He is a faculty member at INFORMS and the American Marketing Association (AMA) and has been a faculty member at The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI), developing and teaching hands-on courses based on real-world case studies. Many of his courses focus on the emerging techniques of visual analytics and data visualization. He has directly led and provided vision for data warehousing, business intelligence and advanced analytic teams at Tableau Software, SAS Institute, Netflix, Brio Technology, Fidelity Investments, Glaxo, PharmaResearch, IBM, eBay, Paradigm Genetics, Takeda Abbott Pharmaceuticals and Loudcloud. He has worked with or been an invited instructor at leading organizations around the world including Target, State Farm, Eli Lilly, IMS Health, Boeing, American Express, Oracle, Australian Government—Intellectual Property Australia, Duke University, US Navy CyberDefense Operations Command, and The University of Washington at Seattle. When he isn’t analyzing data, you will likely find him hiking in the mountains or visiting wineries with Eileen.

Bala Ganesh, Director of IT at Loudcloud wrote:
Stephen built a successful business intelligence team and data warehouse in world record time!

Chris Stolte, Tableau co-founder and CDO, wrote when Stephen resigned from Tableau as Director of Analytics to return to Freakalytics full-time:
We have benefited greatly from your input, guidance, and effort in the last year and I really appreciate the work you did to help define the product vision.

Endorsing the value of The Accidental Analyst, which Stephen co-authored, Pat Hanrahan, PhD, Canon USA Professor at Stanford University, Co-founder of Pixar and Tableau Software, in his only talk at the Tableau Conference in 2012 explained that the book changed how he thought about analytics and inspired him to develop a new approach to teaching courses at Stanford.

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