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Telling the Story of Data

If there’s one thing that Jared Moen has taken away from his business analytics courses, it’s this: make sure you can communicate your findings clearly and effectively.

Moen does reporting on proprietary business applications for the enterprise data analytics team at Wells Fargo, and works with about 1,000 team members across 200 different teams. His reporting methods and techniques to display information visually are important to help colleagues make sense of the data.

“Senior managers want to see their analytics visualized – they want to see it quick and they want it to make sense,” said Moen. He designed an analytics dashboard for senior management, and his skills in data visualization are getting him noticed at work. “People know who I am at work because of what I can build, analyze and present.”

Moen credits an early course in his program, Spreadsheet Modeling and Visualization, to jump-starting his increased influence in the workplace. “I was able to apply what Professor Olson taught us in class to the next day at work,” he said. “That class had the biggest and fastest impact on my career so far.”

The hands-on project work in the course helped Moen become comfortable tackling larger data sets at work, quickly boil them down to what matters and summarize it through various tables, charts and graphs for others to use in their decision making.

Another analytics tools course, Data Analytics and Visualization, exposed him to other specialized analytics methods and applications, including Tableau, a leading visualization software.

Moen is on track to complete his MS degree in fall 2018, and one of his final courses, Storytelling, will help him develop a another data communication skill in huge demand – building a compelling narrative to explain what the data says.

“Storytelling with analytics is huge right now,” Moen says. “The additional piece that companies like Wells Fargo are looking for is being able to tell a story with the data.”