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Adobe today launched a global program through which it will provide college instructors and students with free access to the Adobe Analytics platform and a curriculum created in partnership with major universities.

As part of that effort, Adobe has created an Adobe Analytics curriculum for education, in collaboration with professors from institutions such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Utah, and the University of Michigan.

Literacy goals

The modules included in the curriculum address data collection issues such as warehousing and cleansing, data strategy and architecture, standard metrics and functionality, and analysis workplace fundamentals that teach students how best to curate data using a set of visualization tools created by Adobe. The program is an extension of an existing Adobe Creative Campus program, which advances digital literacy via access to the Adobe Creative Cloud platform within a classroom setting.

The goal is to increase the data analytics literacy of college graduates by making it easy for them to access analytics via a cloud service, said Nate Smith, group manager for Adobe Analytics. Adobe benefits because the students represent a potential pool of end users, he added.

As organizations seek to rely more on decisions that are driven by data, it’s become apparent that employee analytics literacy needs to improve. Training workers to employ analytics applications that make it easier to visualize trends and anomalies has become a higher priority. But many organizations have employees that remain perfectly content relying on two-dimensional spreadsheet applications. The challenge is encouraging those employees to get comfortable with analytics.

Many organizations are naturally looking to recruit college graduates who are well-versed in analytics fundamentals to fill that skills gap. It’s not uncommon for these recruits to surface insights other employees miss because they’ve been working with a set of data for an extended amount of time, Smith said.

Adobe isn’t the only analytics application provider to have determined colleges and universities are fertile grounds for attracting additional users. As these companies vie for the next generation of users, the level of analytics acumen among college graduates should steadily increase.

Future tense

In the meantime, organizations should remember insights have a shelf life, as data is continuously updated, Smith said. With more organizations embracing analytics applications, it’s apparent many need to modernize their business processes to make the insights surfaced truly actionable, he added.

There’s clearly a lot of focus on digital business transformation in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge organizations face is that most of them don’t have a lot of insight into how customer behaviors are evolving. There’s a lot of guesswork when it comes to crafting a digital customer experience, and it requires a significant amount of experimentation. Analytics will obviously play a crucial role in enabling organizations to visualize the impact a business process change is having on the customer experience.

Of course, if no one within the organization understands how to collect, organize, and analyze that data, no amount of software will make a difference. No one knows this better than the providers of analytics applications. As such, organizations of all sizes might want to ask those vendors how far they are willing to go to increase the potential user base of their software.

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