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Rotman's Data Literacy Program

Leverage big data. Improve decision-making

Equip yourself with a foundation in data literacy to help you to understand, interpret and ultimately influence data analysis.


Data literacy is no longer a luxury.  It is a must, just like financial literacy, and is the critical link that allows data and analytics to be translated into actionable insights that are relevant to key organizational decisions.

Mara Lederman
Associate Professor, Strategic Management

The business world is in the midst of a data revolution. Technology is reducing the cost of collecting, storing and analyzing data while human activity – both economic and social – is moving online, leaving digital footprints of things previously impossible to observe or measure. As a result, organizations have access to more data than ever before.

In response to the data revolution, organizations are investing in new technologies AND new types of people.  They are hiring analysts, data scientists and, in some cases, creating a Chief Data Officer. Yet, as a consumer of data analytics and a decision maker, you require more than just data and data experts–you need a critical level of data literacy.

Rotman's Data Literacy Program will equip you with a foundation in data literacy that will help you to understand, interpret and ultimately influence the types, quality and usefulness of the data analysis being carried out within your team or organization.

New! Professor Avi Goldfarb, a professor of Marketing, will also lead a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and what it means for business. This is an area of expertise at Rotman and Avi is one of our leading experts on this topic. 

Through discussions, case studies and real-time examples you will develop a common language of data, and will be introduced to the main toolkit of data analysis. You'll be exposed to the three types of data analysis in modern organizations: descriptive analysis, predictive analysis, and most importantly, prescriptive analysis. In developing a solid understanding of the goals and limitations of each type of analysis, you will be able to leverage the data assets of your organization.

Realizing the promise of the data-driven organization, by Bernardo Blum, Avi Goldfarb and Mara Lederman.

This program has been certified by the University of Toronto's Sustainability Office as a Green Course.

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Who Should Attend

This program is for anyone who is a consumer of data analytics:

  • Individuals who possess data that is not being maximally exploited
  • Individuals who regularly receive data output and/or reports
  • Individuals who want to integrate data and analytics into their own or their group's decision making
  • Individuals trying to build more data-driven and evidence-based teams or organizations
  • Individuals who need to engage with data and analytics to carry out their role

This program is not designed for data analysts or Chief Data Officers but will be useful to almost anyone in between.

Participants in varied roles from a range of industries are encouraged to attend, including the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Potential participants include:

  • Corporate directors and officers
  • Divisional vice-presidents
  • Experienced public administrators in federal, provincial and municipal government
  • National, regional and international business unit managers
  • General managers and branch managers
  • Executive directors of associations and NGOs
  • Senior managers of crown corporations
  • Professional services executives

Key Benefits

  • Understand the critical role played by senior managers in creating a data-driven organization
  • Know how to ask the right questions to drive effective and efficient decision-making using data
  • Recognize the potential that data offers and understand why the promise of big (or small) data may not always be fulfilled
  • Recognize and evaluate opportunities for collecting new data
  • Be exposed to a variety of different types of data analytics (from dashboarding to predictive modeling to experimentation) and understand where and how different types can be used to improve performance within your organization
  • Learn how to structure organizations to maximally exploit data investments
  • Make data analytics an intuitive and necessary part of corporate conversations

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is improving quickly. Soon, many tasks that are currently performed by humans will instead be done by machines. As a senior leader, you will need to learn to identify tasks that AIs can perform, hire people who can enhance the capabilities of these machines, and manage the machines themselves. Helping an AI machine learn and teaching it how to operate successfully within your organization can lead to impressive benefits for the organization as a whole. This program will equip you with the data literacy required in order to lead human-AI teams in the future. 

This program has been approved for 21 continuing professional development (CPD) hours under Section A of the continuing professional development (CPD) log of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).



The Data Literacy Program runs over three days. Topics include:

Day 1: Types & Tools Day 2: Analysis & Interpretation Day 3: Application & Communication
  • Data types
  • Data quality and reliability
  • Classes of analytics
  • Tools for descriptive analysis
  • Tools for predictive and prescriptive analyses
  • Understanding prediction
  • Unstructured data
  • Data output interpretation
  • Evidence vs. advocacy
  • Correlation, causation and why they matter
  • Experimental design
  • Break-out groups for case studies


You are encouraged to bring a sample data analysis or analyst report from your organization.This will serve as a learning aid during lectures and discussions. If possible (given confidentialityconstraints), you are encouraged to submit this sample report in advance to allow for use duringclass discussion.

The application process for this program is currently closed. If you would like to receive more information about the program or speak to our Learning Advisor, please fill in the form below..

Dates and FeesMark your calendar

Dates: TBD

Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario

Fee: $3,950 CAD + HST

Questions?We’re here to help

Speak to our expert Learning Advisor about choosing the right program for you or your organization.

Tel: 416.978.6586

Effective decision making through dataProfessor Avi Goldfarb

Avi Goldfarb, HRM Online TV

Faculty and Instructors

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