Data-Driven Decision Making for Business Leaders

Today, data literacy is an essential business skill. Managers and leaders need to understand the characteristics and applications of data sets in order to communicate effectively with their teams and make important decisions for their organization. Our Data-Driven Decision Making for Business Leaders program will give you the tools that enable you to make data-driven decisions and develop strategies for using data in organizational planning.

Managers and leaders who need to improve their data literacy will find what they need in our two-day professional development program, which includes lectures, classroom discussion, case studies, and user-centered design exercises. Get the insights, tools, and vocabulary you need to thrive in today’s data-focused business environment.

Program Benefits

  • Understand the latest trends and technologies in data and identify those that are most important for their organizations

  • Communicate effectively with technical staff to apply data-driven strategies within a department

  • Apply data to improve their organization’s effectiveness, launch new products and services, or both

  • Find the most valuable sources of free public data for your work

  • Present concepts for data-driven projects to senior management, clients, or business partners

  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

  • The different types of data most important to managers and leaders
  • Using data to improve organizational operations through better planning, marketing, production, and more
  • How companies use data to build new products and services in various sectors
  • Key data-related concepts—such as data quality, interoperability, and data security—and how they apply to your work
  • Analytic and data publishing tools, such as machine learning and data visualization, and how they can help you put data to use
  • Relevant, high-value sources for government, business, and NGO datasets
  • Customer segments and personas to identify opportunities for data-driven decision making
  • Value proposition canvas for using data to achieve organizational goals

Who Should Enroll

This program is ideal for current and future managers who want to improve their understanding of data and emerging tech concepts. Non-technical staff who want to communicate more effectively with technical staff and interpret data resources will also benefit.

Program Information

Program Dates

April 8–9, 2019
Instructor Joel Gurin, Laura Manley
November 4–5, 2019
Instructor Joel Gurin, Laura Manley

Class Times

Programs run from 9 am to 5 pm.

Program Fee

2019 Program Fee: $2,850


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.


Joel is the president and founder of the Center for Open Data Enterprise, a Washington-based nonprofit that works to maximize the value of open data as a public resource. Before launching the Center in January 2015, he wrote the book Open Data Now and led the launch team for the GovLab’s Open Data 500 study and Open Data Roundtables

Laura Manley is the inaugural Director of the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Led by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the project aims to steer rapid technology-driven change in directions that serve net, long-term public good. Manley is also a Senior Consultant for the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.