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Udacity, Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree program

Udacity recently launched the Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree program, and Tableau, creators of an award-winning and exceptionally powerful data visualization tool, is one of our key partners for the program. Their expertise not only helped us build the world-class curriculum, but every enrolled student receives a free Tableau software license for the duration of their program studies.

In my role as Program Lead for the Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree program, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Tableau, so it was with great excitement and anticipation that I made my preparations to attend Tableau Conference 2016 (#Data16), Tableau’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. Going in, I knew it was a big event, but the actual experience of joining 10,000 other Tableau users has been even more powerful than I could have imagined.

As I write this, I’ve been at the conference for approximately a day-and-a-half, and I can say without hesitation that I have been—and continue to be—very impressed. 10,000 serious software users coming together to discuss managing, analyzing, and visualizing data in the modern world produces a LOT of data excitement!

The keynote speeches are a centerpiece of the conference experience, beginning with Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky, and Chairman and Co-founder Christian Chabot, who together presented an impressive vision of Tableau’s future, and how analysts will be able to use this powerful software tool. Can I admit though, that I’m especially looking forward to the Thursday afternoon keynote? Bill Nye!

The list of companies attending is quite impressive as well. Analysts representing consulting firms like Deloitte and McKinsey, banks like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, tech companies like Apple and Google, and retail companies like Target and Walmart are all here to hone their data skills and learn more about the future of business analytics.

Alteryx, our other main Nanodegree program partner alongside Tableau, has a booth at the conference, and I have spent a great deal of my time here, speaking with companies and individuals about our new Nanodegree program, our program partners, and the future of business analytics. It’s been extremely gratifying to witness the degree of interest in Predictive Analytics for Business—companies want more predictive analytics integrated into their data strategies, and they see our Nanodegree program as a cost-effective way to advance the skills of their teams.

Some additional conference highlights:

  • We ran into some Nanodegree program students who are really excited about the program! One student, who went through our beta program, said, “I’m going to hire as many graduates from your program as I can!”
  • Another conference attendee said, “You guys have really knocked it out of the park with this one. Developing predictive skills while learning two software tools is just awesome.”
  • Business analysts from companies like Disney, JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity Investments, Comcast, Ross Stores, Wells Fargo, Coca Cola, and others have expressed interest in the Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree program.

I’m really looking forward to getting home and beginning a new round of work on behalf of our program, and our students, and I know I’ll be energized by everything I’ve experienced here. But first, Bill Nye!


Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree program

Sam Nelson
Sam Nelson
Sam is the Product Lead for Udacity’s data programs. He’s worked as an analytics consultant on projects in several industries, and is passionate about helping others improve their data skills.