AFIT Launches Data Analytics Certificate Program Published July 15, 2020 By Katie Scott Air Force Institute of Technology WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - In an effort to support the U.S. Air and Space Forces becoming a more data-informed organization, the Air Force Institute of Technology has launched a new on-line data analytics certificate program. “The Air Force is a data-driven organization, which requires technology, process, and people. Attracting and maintaining top talent is quintessential. We must develop talent from within the Air Force, along with seeking support from our partners,” said Ms. Eileen Vidrine, Air Force Chief Data Officer. “A graduate certificate in data analytics is a key component in our workforce development approach to improve the Air Force data enterprise and increase data-driven decisions.” “Data quality and integrity are of utmost importance to the mission of the Air Force. Every decision or action is predicated on the availability of data. With data analytics, we can transform data into useful information upon which appropriate decisions can be made,” said Dr. Adedeji Badiru, Dean, AFIT Graduate School of Engineering & Management. To maintain military advantage, the ability to process numerous data points for rapid decision-making is imperative. The National Defense Strategy emphasizes the growing need for personnel with data analytics capabilities, however, few Airmen are taught the skills required to manage and analyze data. “Effective data analytics can impact both operational effectiveness within the Air Force operational major commands and greatly enhance sustainment and acquisition across the Air Force, especially within the Air Force Materiel Command,” said Dr. Darryl Ahner, professor of operations research and chair for the data analytics certificate program. Developed as a multi-departmental program within AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management, the graduate-level certificate program consists of five 10-week courses completed on-line. Courses focus on the use and understanding of data analysis applications and tools while covering topics such as database design and management, machine learning, statistics, and computer programming. “This program is unique in that it focuses on the effective use of data analytics across the Air Force and emphasizes application of techniques along with an understanding of those techniques limitations and assumptions,” said Ahner. The data analytics certificate program is open to all active duty and civilian Air and Space Force personnel at no cost. “Students can expect to gain an understanding of applying analysis techniques that, when coupled with their specialty expertise, enhances their capability to provide decision-makers data analysis leading to better policies, processes, and decisions,” said Ahner. More information on the new Certificate in Data Analytics is available on the AFIT website at www.AFIT.edu/EN/allprograms; questions can be emailed to AFITensDataAnalytics@afit.edu; and prospective students can apply online at www.afit.edu/Admissions/AFITApplicationProcess.